Post by Martin Husovec and Martin Kretschmer

Article 17 Implementation Roundtable

Brussels, Thursday, 13 June 2019, 09:30 – 17:00 
University Foundation
Egmontstraat 11 rue d’Egmont
1000 Brussels, Belgium

The Digital Single Market is a widely shared aspiration. The recently adopted copyright reform is one of the EU’s central interventions to re-arrange online creative markets. The expectation is that the newly created rules will facilitate fairer attribution of value where it is due. Since the narrative behind the legislation was dramatic, the expectations are high.

However, due to political turbulences in the legislative process, the resulting text of the Directive is extremely complex. There is now a serious risk that the Member States will spend another decade debating what exactly they agreed upon in spring 2019. This risk is intensified by the fact that several Member States continue to hold strong views against the adopted legislation even after the legislative process is over. Therefore, there is a real threat that diverging national implementations will undermine legal certainty and the competitive environment in the European online space. Incompatible national implementations or regulatory “forum-shopping” for more favorable implementations most certainly would not benefit the Digital Single Market.

The European Copyright Roundtable is an event conceived in the hope that these risks can be minimized through an open, fair and respectful debate. Organised by academics, without any industry funding, the ECR creates a European forum, which brings academics and stakeholders into a conversation about important questions of the implementation stage. Sustained academic examination and proper exchange on the European level can help reducing the differences and inform the national implementation phase. This is why invitations were sent to academics from all sides of the opinion spectrum and a diverse set of stakeholders. By inviting the Member States representatives to the audience and giving them a possibility to interact with experts, the organisers hope to lower the risks of national fragmentation.

The workshop thus aims to shed light on the most important questions that made the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market so controversial. This time, the questions will be addressed through fine-grained analysis of options and interpretation of the adopted legal text. The purpose is not to reopen entire policy debates. With the help of the academic community, the organisers have assembled a list of pertinent questions regarding Article 17 of the DMSD. A call was issued on 20 May: How to Implement Article 17 DSMD? Have Your Say! The resulting list has been distributed to the speakers and the audience, and published online. The list will form the basis for the debate, which is structured into four panels focusing on different parts of the legal mechanism. Each panel features three academics and up to three industry representatives.

Since the seats at the venue are limited and participation in person can be costly, the event will be live streamed on ECR’s YouTube channel. The video-recording will continue to be available online in its archive. The organisers also will seek to document the debate. If the format proves successful (feedback is invited!), the hope is that similar discussions can be facilitated around other provisions of the DSM Directive.

Further details about the Event (including Programme, List of Questions, Speakers and live stream links) can be found on this resource page.

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