New copyright rules for the internet

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Effective date: 7 June 2021

What changes?

New copyright rules for the internet will be established. These new rules are meant to reduce the differences in in copyright within the European Union (EU). The copyright rules will also better fit the growing digital use of copyrighted materials and should also ensure better protection for creators of images and music. Furthermore as many people as possible should be able to access content on the internet. These new rules include 3 components:

1. Improved copyright rules on research, education and cultural heritage

Text and data mining

Text and data mining (TDM) is the automated process of analysing texts and databases to find important (new) patterns, trends and relationships. A lot of these texts and data are copyrighted, which means copyright holders had to give their consent. This will no longer be necessary.

Education

No prior authorisation will be needed to use copyrighted materials in the classroom. This also applies to in private networks to which only teachers and students have access.

Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage institutes and organisations such as museums, libraries and archives are already allowed to digitise their (paper) collections without prior consent of the copyright holders. Now they will also be allowed to make these collections available online as well.

2. Measures to achieve a better functioning copyright marketplace

More protection for press publishers

Content from press publications, such as newspaper articles, cannot simply be used anymore on for instance news websites. The user must have authorisation and pay for this authorisation. This new protective measure will be added on top of the copyright. The protection lasts for 1 year after the original content was published. It does not apply to very short excerpts (snippets) and hyperlinks.

Suppliers of content sharing online services such as YouTube will be classified as user-uploaded platforms

This means that such platforms will need authorisation of copyright holders to disclose the content. They should make a ‘careful and optimal effort’ to obtain authorisation. They will have to pay part of their income from advertising to the right holder. If they fail to obtain authorisation, the suppliers of these online sharing platforms should filter the content in consultation with right holders and remove the infringing content if necessary. As this filtering is costly, for starting platforms a lighter regime applies. Filtering does not always work as intended. For instance if the software is unable to assess if the uploaded content falls under the exception for citation, criticism, caricature, parody or pastiche. To lessen the risk over ‘overblocking’, the platforms should have a complaints and appeals procedure in place.

Reinstate the option to entitle publishers, besides creators, to compensation for (photo) copying

This used to be their right, but it was denied through a ruling by the European Court of Justice. At the instigation of market parties, this option will be reinstated.

3. Measures to improve the negotiating position for creators

Transparency rules

Often creators assign their rights to a third party or licence their rights. The aim is to have the third party exploit their achievements. In the Netherlands regulations protecting creators are already in place. The transparency requirement is new. This means an operator who concludes a contract with a creator must inform the creator on the use of the work. This information should cover the way a work is used, the income derived from it and the amount of compensation for it.

For whom?

  • internet platforms
  • musicians
  • artists
  • film producers
  • script writers
  • news publishers
  • journalists

When?

This change in regulation will come into force on 7 June 2021.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO