European Union: EU DSM Copyright Directive: Overview

Last Updated: 30 April 2019
Article by Giangiacomo Olivi and Saverio Cavalcanti


On March 26, 2019, the EU Parliament eventually adopted the final text of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market ("EU Copyright Directive"), based on the EU Commission proposal no. 2016/0280.

The EU Copyright Directive gave rise to a huge debate among EU institutions and the relevant stakeholders in the last three years, with particular reference to its provisions concerning so-called "link-tax" and "web-filtering" for content-sharing platforms. Some of the stakeholders even argued that freedom of expression on the Internet would be threatened by the enactment of the Copyright Directive. The EU Copyright Directive must be implemented by member states within 24 months of its forthcoming publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The purpose of this post is to provide an overview of the most interesting¬—and debated— provisions of the EU Copyright Directive.

"Link-tax" (Art. 15)

Such provision requires member states to provide:

a) publishers of press publications established within EU, with the right to prior authorize the online use of their press publications by online operators (information society service providers); and

b) conversely, publishers of press publications and authors of works incorporated in the press publication, with the right to receive an appropriate share of the revenues that press publishers receive for the use of their press publications by online operators.

It is worth noting that the above obligations do not apply to

(a) private / non-commercial uses of press publications by individual users;
(b) hyperlinking;
(c) individual words / very short extracts of the press publication.

Further, the provision specifies that, should a work be incorporated in a publication based on a non-exclusive license, the publishers' right to prior authorization shall not be exercised in a way that prohibits other authorized users from using the work.

The rights granted to publishers of press publications expire within two years from the publication (bearing in mind that such two-year term starts from January 1 of the year following the publication).

This finally approved version of "link-tax" appears to widen the scope of the exceptions to the general prior authorization mechanism: Indeed, link-tax is not applicable for hyperlinking and "very short extracts" (so called "snippets"). That said, the expression "very short extracts" could give rise to different interpretations across EU member states: In this respect, the adoption of guidelines/clarifications from EU institutions would contribute to clarify the scope of this exception.

It is also worth noting that member states retain a broad discretionary power for determining the "adequacy" of the share of revenues to be assigned to authors. This may lead to different solutions across member states (having adopted different approaches on the "fair value / compensation" mechanisms).

Use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers (Art. 17)

Pursuant to Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive, online content-sharing service providers (e.g. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) are considered to carry out an act of communication to the public anytime copyrighted content is uploaded on their platform by users. Therefore, such providers are required to obtain authorization from the rightholders—for instance, by concluding a licensing agreement—in order to make available the relevant works through their platforms.

The final version of the EU Copyright Directive does not contain any specific obligations against the above providers concerning the adoption of "web-filtering" measures (as in the first draft of EU Commission proposal). For more details on Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive, read our post on this topic.

Text and data mining (Artt. 3 and 4)

The EU Copyright Directive provides for several exceptions to the general need for rightholders' prior authorization, should the activity consist of "text and data mining", i.e. automated analytical techniques aimed at analyzing text and data in digital form, in order to generate patterns, trends, correlations, etc.

Any text and data mining activity carried out on lawfully accessible works shall be provided with an exception, to be further defined by member states through local laws. No specific retention period is set forth, so that reproductions and extractions may be retained for as long as necessary for the purposes of text and data mining.

The above exception applies only to the extent rightholders have not expressly reserved such activity "in an appropriate manner, such as machine readable means in the case of content made publicly available online."

Fair compensation and the right of revocation (Art. 18)

Article 18 affirms a general principle according to which authors and performers, within the execution of a contract for the exploitation of the rights on their works, must receive adequate and proportionate remuneration. Additionally, Recital 24 provides for a remuneration mechanism that calculates compensation on a flat-rate basis in the case of the use of a work for educational purposes. Lastly, it should be noted that, pursuant to Article 22 - "Right of revocation", authors/performers may revoke completely or in part the license or the transfer of rights on a certain work, should that work not be exploited for a certain period.

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions