6 Member States challenge the legality of Article 13

On 5 September, we learnt that Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Ireland and the Netherlands sent a list of questions to the Council’s Legal Service before the summer recess questioning the legality of Article 13 and Recital 38 of the Commission’s copyright proposal.

In a nutshell, the Member States challenge:

  • the compatibility of the proposals with the principles of freedom of expression and information, the protection of personal data, and the freedom to conduct a business;
  • the appropriateness of the changes to the interpretation of the E-commerce Directive in relation to intermediary liability (so-called ‘safe harbor’);
  • the redefinition of key principles of copyright, such as what constitutes a ‘communication to the public’, in an unclear and possibly inappropriate manner.

More importantly, the paper makes clear that, at least 6 Member States do not support the Commission’s position regarding Article 13 nor do they stand by the Commission’s narrative on this matter.

We understand that the Council’s Legal Service will reply to this list of questions at next week’s Council Working Party on Intellectual Property, held on 11 and 12 of September. We hope that more Member States will raise their voices against Article 13 to ensure the compatibility of the Copyright Directive proposal with the EU acquis and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.

Signed by: Media Publishers

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