Copyright - EU regulatory framework

European Union
EU institutions, EU Member States, EU Intellectual Property Office
Key objectives of the measure:

In his 2016 State of the Union speech European Commission President Juncker said that "As the world goes digital, we have to empower our artist and creators and protect their works.  Artists and creators are our crown jewels. The creation of content is not a hobby. It is a profession. And it is part of our European culture ".  The same day the Commission presented a draft reform of EU copyright rules for the digital age.  An important objective of the proposed EU copyright reform is that authors and artists should be fairly paid for what they create, and benefit from greater transparency from the contractual partners they rely on for exploitation of their work.


The main aim of the initiatives taken by the EU on the copyright framework in the reporting period is to contribute to the creation of a Digital Single Market within the EU by modernising the EU copyright framework so that it is better adapted to the digital environment, while preserving a high level of protection for right holders.


The review of the EU copyright framework is relevant to the Convention and its principles, since its objective is to ensure that the regulatory environment continues to be conducive to creativity, its sustainable financing and cultural diversity in the European Union.


The EU copyright proposal also aims to tackle the gulf between the market share of digital content, and revenues generated by digital sales.  It introduces a mechanism for creators to rebalance contracts where the agreed remuneration turns out to be disproportionately low compared to the revenues generated by their work or performance.

Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
legislative, regulatory, institutional
Main feature of the measure:
  • Licences for Europe stakeholder dialogue in 2013, aimed to foster practical industry-led solutions to bring more content online in the EU's single market.
  • Adoption of a EU Directive on collective management of rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use of 26 February 2014 (Directive 2014/26/EU) to increase transparency and accountability in the collective management of rights within the EU and to ease multi-territorial licensing by collective management organisations of authors’ rights in musical works for online use.
  • Launch of the EU Database of Orphan Works (28 October 2014 – the database is now up and running). The database ensues from the EU Directive on Orphan Works of 25 October 2012 (Directive 2012/28/EU), and provides information related to orphan works held by cultural heritage institutions and public-service broadcasting, facilitating their use in accordance with the Directive.
  • Communication on "Towards a modern, more European copyright framework" of 9 December 2015, setting out a plan for the modernisation of EU copyright legislation.
  • Proposal by the Commission of a EU Regulation on cross-border portability of online content services within the EU's internal market (proposal presented on 9 December 2015), introducing a common approach to ensure that subscribers to portable online content services in the EU can receive these services when temporarily travelling to another EU Member State.
  • Communication of 14 September 2016 "Promoting a fair, efficient and competitive European copyright-based economy in the Digital Single Market"
  • Proposal by the Commission for a EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (presented on 14 September 2016)
  • Proposal by the Commission for a EU Regulation laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmission of television and radio programmes (Proposal presented on 14 September 2016)
Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
  • Broader availability of copyright-protected content in the European Union and across borders, particularly online, while maintaining a high level of protection for right holders;
  • More transparency and accountability in collective management of copyright and related rights
  • A more modern EU copyright framework, including as regards specific uses as in educational, research and cultural heritage contexts, and a more balanced copyright marketplace.
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:


Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

Impact assessments accompany each legislative proposal and there is a specific ex-post evaluation of the Satellite & Cable Directive.

Indicators used to determine impact:
Please see individual impact assessments.