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This presentation addresses the hottest topic in EU copyright law and policy: Article 17 of the new Copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM) Directive (2019/790). The CDSM Directive is the culmination of a controversial political and legislative process at EU level. None of its provisions has caused greater debate than Article 17, which introduces a new liability regime for “online content-sharing service providers”. These include most user-generated content platforms hosting copyright-protected content accessed daily by millions of individuals in the EU and across the globe (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, TikTok, SoundCloud).
Even before the CDSM Directive is implemented into national law, the issues surrounding Article 17 have already spilled out to the policy and judicial arenas. At the policy level, the debates taking place in a number of Commission-led Stakeholder Dialogues have laid bare many of the unresolved challenges ahead for national legislators and courts. At the judicial level, the Polish government has already filed an action for annulment with the CJEU under Article 263 TFEU, focusing on the most problematic aspects of Article 17.
This presentation will first place Article 17 into its broader EU policy context of the discus-sion on the responsibilities of online platforms – from the agenda on “Tackling Illegal Content Online” to the Digital Services Act – and the narrow copyright context regarding the liability of intermediary platforms for third-party content they host. This will be followed by and explanation of the complex mechanics of Article 17 and an identification of some of its fundamental problems. Finally, some tentative proposals will be advanced for how to begin to address such problems, focusing on the core issues of licensing mechanisms and fundamental rights safeguards.
Dr. João Pedro Quintais (Portugal), Class of 2010/11 (MIPLC)
João Pedro Quintais is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on information law matters, including intellectual property, intermediary liability, content moderation, and the regulation of new technologies.
Among other projects, he is currently leading a work package on “Copyright Content Moderation in the Digital Single Market: What Impact on Access to Culture?”, in the context of the Horizon 2020-funded project “ReCreating Europe”.
He is a member of the Blockchain & Society Policy Research Lab, the Information, Communication & the Data Society (ICDS) initiative, and managing editor of the Kluwer Copyright Blog.