India: European Union Directive On Copyright

Last Updated: 27 February 2019
Article by Varun Sharma


The efforts of the European Union (EU) to pass a new copyright law has just received a much-needed push. In a meeting held on Friday1, ambassadors from a majority of EU member countries have agreed to the draft directive rules. With the final agreement on the draft rules expected to come before the February 14th deadline, we take a look at some of the provisions of this directive that have been the subject of debate recently.

What Is The New EU Directive On Copyright?

Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Copyright in the Digital Single Market or the Directive on Copyright is a proposed draft law in the European Union. The law is aimed at regulating the sharing of copyrighted materials across the internet. As per the draft rules, each member state will be allowed to pass its own copyright laws as long as they are in consonance with the directive. Hence, the draft proposal will bring standardization to copyright law in the EU region.

Object Of The Directive On Copyright

The new draft rules have been proposed with the aim of updating the sound principals of the existing copyright framework in EU with the new uses as well as with the new actors and business structures that have emerged with the development of technology. The directive was introduced after the realization that in the current digital ecosystem, the opportunities for users to access the copyrighted material has exponentially increased. The directive is aimed at enhancing the "cross-border access to copyright-protected content services, facilitate new uses in the fields of research and education, and clarify the role of online services in the distribution of works and other subject-matters."2

The focus area of the directive remains the cross-border use of the copyright material. The Explanatory Memorandum explains that although there are certain exceptions for the use of copyrighted material at the national level in the field of education and research, their cross-border use remains uncertain. The directive will hence provide legal certainty for certain cross-border use of copyrighted material in three main areas. They are: "digital and cross-border uses in the field of education, text, and data mining in the field of scientific research, and preservation of cultural heritage."

Even though the draft rules are aimed at bringing more clarity regarding the cross-border use of copyrighted material, it has faced severe criticism from society. The Directive on Copyright has in total of 5 title chapters and 24 articles. But some of its components have received an unfavorable response due to the uncertainty of meaning and vagueness of implementation. Most prominent examples of this are Article 11 and Article 13.

Protection Of Press Publication Concerning Digital Uses

More commonly referred to as Article 11, this article requires the member states to grant the content creator with exclusive rights regarding the production of their works, performances, phonograms etc.3  Also dubbed as the "link tax", this Article would allow press publication to charge money from news aggregator services such as Google News and Bing news for showing snippets of their news. The protection granted by this article has not been extended to the scientific or academic publications and has also excluded "acts of hyperlinking which do not constitute communication to the public."

The main problem is the interpretation of the article. The draft rules don't explicitly state how much of an article would be exempted from the protection granted under this article. The article also doesn't explain what will amount to individual and non-commercial use. Many people fear that this can be interpreted and manipulated to suit the big players in the market.

Use Of Protected Content By Information Society Service Providers Storing And Giving Access To Large Amounts Of Works And Other Subject-Matter Uploaded By Their Users

More commonly referred to as Article 13, this article puts the onus of removing content that violates copyright on the Information Society Service Providers (ISSP) such as YouTube and Facebook. As per the current copyright laws, if the use of content online infringes upon the copyright of its creator, it will be for the creator to file a complaint against the infringer. But the current rules propose to shift this duty on the ISSPs and imposes a penalty on them if they fail to take action.

This Article has been a major point of contention for many people across the globe. Fears have been voiced that Article 13 will only benefit the big business houses and will lead to a situation where most of the content online will be controlled by a small number of large companies.4 Many people have raised censorship concerns as well that entails the application of this article.

Impact Of EU Directive On Copyright In India

To understand the impact of draft rules on India, an analogy needs to be drawn between the copyright directive and the GDPR laws. When GDPR laws were passed by the EU, the tech companies all over the world adopted its guidelines. Facebook and Twitter took GDPR guidelines as the base denominator and applied it worldwide, including in India. This is the reason why people in India received the "We have Updated Our Privacy Policy" email as soon as the EU data protection laws were passed. The same could happen again once draft rules are adopted by the EU.


Although aimed at doing greater good, the Directive on Copyright is far from being a perfect law. It would be easy for the big companies to use the vague language in the directive to their own advantage and hence restricting the free flow of thought and creativity over the internet. If implemented improperly, it would open the floodgates of litigation and will change the way we use our internet today.


1 Mehreen Khan, EU Countries finalise draft rules to update copyright law, Financial Times

2 Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, 2018, (European Union)

3 Art. 2, Directive Of The European Parliament And Of The Council On The Harmonisation Of Certain Aspects Of Copyright And Related Rights In The Information Society, 2001, (European Union)

4 Susan Wojcicki, A Final Update on Our Priorities for 2018, Youtube Creator Blog,, (22/10/2018)

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