May 19, 2022

Roundup: The European Parliament has Voted in Favour of Article 13

UPDATE April 18, 2019

European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) Release Statement on Adoption of the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

European Directive on Copyright Adopted. Where to Next? (via LIBER)

UPDATE April 15, 2019

European Ministers Give Final Green Light to Copyright Reform (via

EU Approves Tougher EU Copyright Rules in Blow to Google, Facebook (via Reuters)

Europe Backs Copyright Overhaul that Threatens to Hit YouTube and Facebook Hard (via CNBC)


Official Documents

News Release from EP: “European Parliament Approves New Copyright Rules For the Internet”


Video Recording of Debate

Opening Statements
By Axel Voss (Epp,De), Rapporteur, Nicola Danti (S&D, IT) For IMCO Committee and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner in Charge Of Digital Economy and Society

MEPs Debate Part One

MEPs Debate Part 2

Closing Statements
by Andrus ANSIP, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Single Market and by Axel VOSS (EPP, DE), Rapporteur

Additional Debate Video Resources

Video Recording of Post-Vote News Conference

Who Voted What: Copyright in the Digital Single Market: European Parliament Vote (via Julia Reda, MEP)

Statements From Library and Library-Related Organizations

From Association of  European Research Libraries (LIBER):

LIBER cautiously welcomes today’s European Parliament vote in favour of new copyright legislation because of the meaningful improvements this brings for education and research. The victory is, however, bittersweet as we remain concerned about the impact of certain aspects of the legislation on information sharing and knowledge creation.

Read the Complete Statement


The existing international copyright law framework allows significant divergences to exist in the exceptions and limitations under national copyright law. The EU’s Directives relating to copyright all reflect the recognition that these divergences need to be eliminated in order to promote trade and other activity involving copyrighted works among the EU’s members states. The European Union and its member states understand that without Directives, these divergences would not be eliminated; they would not go away on their own.

The barriers that national copyright law places in the way of trade between two member states of the EU are no different from the national copyright barriers between an EU member state and a country outside the EU, or between two non-EU members. Just as the copyright barriers between two EU member states will not go away on their own, so too the barriers between countries outside the EU will not go away on their own. It is disingenuous, and somewhat illogical given justifications for its own reforms, for EU member states to suggest that they will.

Read the Complete Statement

From European University Association (Added March 28)

The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was adopted by the European Parliament on 26 March 2019. While EUA welcomes the strengthened exemptions for the education and research activities of European universities, it remains cautious about the agreement’s impact on other sectors and society at large.

Read the Complete Statement

From SPARC Europe

SPARC Europe remains apprehensive with regard to Article 11 and 13, despite the important safeguards gained within those two contentious provisions, owing to SPARC Europe’s dedicated lobbying efforts. SPARC Europe had asked MEPs to vote for the Directive but had called for the deletion of Article 11 and 13, to no avail. In fact, a separate vote on those was missed by a margin of only five votes, and would have indeed been held, had it not been for a handful of MEPs unintentionally pressing the wrong button when they voted (no joke). As no after-the-fact corrections are allowed, the error affected the final result.

Article 11 [now 15] – the “link tax”

Article 11 provides an exclusive right for press publishers when their press publications are shared online, particularly via news aggregators. This means that press publishers are able to charge a fee when their publications, or parts thereof, are copied and shared online. This new right could even subsist in short “snippets” of text from newspapers or other news sources.

Thanks to SPARC Europe relentlessly pushing to preserve the interests of Europe’s research community, academic and scientific publications are excluded from the scope of Article 11.

Read the Complete Statement

From the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA)


It was an unhappy day for the internet because despite huge opposition from outside the EU institutions, Article 11 introduces a new two-year neighbouring right for news publishers, and Article 13 in effect brings in de facto copyright enforcement by algorithms on uploads by users of for-profit publicly accessible internet platforms. These Articles, now renumbered Articles 15 & 17 respectively, were adopted, albeit somewhat changed from the Commission’s original proposals. The outcome of the other Articles though, was pretty good for libraries and research institutions.

As librarians and information professionals, our professional ethics require us to uphold the human rights of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. EBLIDA and its pan-European and international partners were thus quite concerned about these two very controversial Articles and had campaigned with others[iii] for them to be dropped from the Directive. Our concerns were that Article 11 (now 15) may adversely affect the future of circulation and re-use of recent online news information by and within organisations of all types, including libraries and other non-profit information services and that Article 13 (now 17) risks curtailing freedom of expression on the internet due to automated surveillance of platform user uploads.

Read the Complete Statement

From European Alliance for Research Excellence

EARE welcomes the decision from EU institutions to enable all Europeans – public researchers and commercial entities – to benefit from a broad and mandatory copyright exception for Text and Data Mining (TDM).

The adoption of Articles 3 and 4 in Tuesday’s vote on the Copyright Directive in the European Parliament will bring much needed clarity for all entities that are at the forefront of the research and innovation ecosystem in Europe, including researchers, libraries, startups, SMEs, technology companies, and others.

Article 4 will be particularly instrumental in supporting the development and growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the European Union. It will promote applications of data analytics and big data and therefore unlock many new business opportunities for innovators in Europe.

Read the Complete Statement

Other Statements

Roundup of Statements from European Publishing Organizations (Added 4/1/2019)

From EFF:

In a stunning rejection of the will five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety.


…unlike the GDPR, which gave existing regulatory bodies the clear power to adjudicate and enforce that law and its ambiguities, it’s unclear who is supposed to impose consistency in the EU between, say, a harsh French regime and a potentially softer German solution, or interpret the Directive’s notoriously incoherent text.

That means it will fall by default to Europe’s judicial system, and the long, slow road to a final decision by the EU’s superior court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Read the Complete Statement

From Center for Digital Technology


If the world of copyright were as limited in scope as Article 13 proponents seem to think, then perhaps this licensing obligation would be achievable. However, since 1886 when the “formalities” necessary to obtain copyright protection were abolished (in Europe), the scope of material protected by copyright has ballooned to cover all original expressions “fixed” in tangible media: major studios’ movies, books, and music, yes, but also family vacation snapshots, text posts on social media, personal blogs, and so on. Here’s where the practical application of a licensing obligation starts to fall apart (and we’ll leave aside the complications around ‘incidental uses’ of copyrighted material for now) – there is just no way for any OCSSP to even identify all rightsholders whose content may appear on their site, much less enter into licensing negotiations with them.

For example, consider the popular practice of posting screenshots from one social media site to another. Even assuming that licenses for the original post were properly obtained by the first OCSSP (through agreements with each of the rights holders for the post itself as well as any depictions/reproductions of third-party content within the post), by what means could the second OCSSP (on whose site the screenshot is later posted) determine who the rightsholders are, much less find a way to obtain licenses from them? At least some proponents of Article 13 suggest that extended collective licensing (ECL) could solve this problem, pointing to a separate set of provisions (Article 9A) in the Copyright Directive.

Read the Complete Statement

From Open Knowledge Foundation

MEPs have today voted to press ahead with a controversial copyright crackdown in a ‘massive blow’ for all internet users.


While entertainment footage is most likely to be affected, academics fear it could also restrict the sharing of knowledge, and critics argue it will have a negative impact on freedom of speech and expression online.

EU member states will have two years to implement the law, and the regulations are still expected to affect the UK despite Brexit.

Read the Complete Statement

From Public Knowledge

Public Knowledge strongly opposes the mandates found in Article 17 (previously Article 13) and Article 11. Additionally, Public Knowledge urges both Congress and the Administration to ratify U.S. commitment to balanced copyright reform in the planned free trade agreement with the European Union. Doing so would limit the Copyright Directive’s international impact while supporting an Open Internet.

Read the Complete Statement

Press Reports

From Wired:


European politicians have voted to pass Article 13 and Article 11 as part of sweeping changes to regulation around online copyright. The European Parliament passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274.

Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made to the legislation, but failed to garner enough votes. Julia Read a German MEP representing the Pirate Party who opposes the copyright directive said it was a “dark day for internet freedom”.

A vote on debating amendments – including an amendment to remove Article 13 from the broader copyright legislation – was rejected by just five votes.

Member states now have two years to pass their own laws that put Article 13 into effect.

Read the Complete Article


Under the final deal, U.S. tech giants such as Google will have to negotiate licensing agreements with rights holders — such as record companies, collecting societies and media companies — to publish their content on YouTube and Google News, and scan its video-sharing platform to remove copyright-protected content that falls under these deals.

Read the Complete Article

Article 13: Memes Exempt as EU Backs Controversial Copyright Law (via BBC)

YouTube Creators are Still Trying to Fight Back Against European Copyright Vote (via The Verge)

Last Update: 9:50 EDST/March 28, 2019

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.