13 December 2017
Following many different versions of the Council of the European Union’s “compromises” in relation to the Copyright Directive, a consolidated version is now available here. The compromises have been subject to much commentary. Of the compromise proposal dated 30 August 2017, commentators note the softening of the automated content filtering provisions, now being relegated to the recitals only (albeit still drafted in such a way as to ultimately leave the CJEU and domestic courts to determine their exact scope). Shortly thereafter on 26 September 2017 a compromise proposal was released which extended the text and data mining exception from “research organisations” only to also include “cultural heritage institutions”. Commentators have argued that this minor tweak does not go far enough to align with the goals of the single market. A further compromise proposal dated 30 October 2017 was described as “chaos” by commentators, particularly in relation to Article 13 of the Copyright Directive. Here, the Council proposed to leave the existing safe harbour legislation of the E-Commerce Directive in place, ultimately resulting in two contradictory statutory regimes (with the revised proposal only applying to service providers with the “main purpose” of providing access to copyrighted works).