News Media Europe

European publishers slam delays in implementation of Copyright Directive

Press releases , June 7, 2021


-Brussels, 7 June 2021-

European press publishers association News Media Europe slams the late transposition of the European Copyright Directive throughout Europe. Only 4 Member States have transposed the Directive by the deadline for implementation, today.

These delays threaten the sustainability of the free press, according to European press publishers, who are eagerly waiting for a clear legislative framework that allows them to set up the mechanisms needed to start licensing their content online.

Wout van Wijk, Director of News Media Europe, commented: “While the clock is ticking, it is important that Member States introduce smart and solution-focused copyright laws. Publishers need a legal instrument to monetize the use of their content online, ensuring the availability of trustworthy, high-quality press content to European citizens”.

Holger Rosendal, Legal Director at Danske Medier, reacted: “In a context of fast-evolving technologies and new distribution models for press content, it is important to grant newsrooms better control and the flexibility to create balanced partnerships with online services.”

Only late last week, the European Commission adopted guidelines on Article 17 of the Copyright Directive (EU) 2019/790. The guidelines are supposed to help Member States interpret a key provision allowing the cultural and creative sector to claim remuneration to content sharing platforms.

News Media Europe notes that the guidelines do not exclude the possibility for press publishers to benefit from the licensing opportunities offered under Article 17. To our satisfaction, the Commission also recalls that Article 17 aims to “foster the development of the licensing market”.

Our association encourages Member States to use discretion available under the Copyright Directive to support press publishers. Some governments (e.g. France, Denmark) have elaborated concrete solutions in discussion with stakeholders to ensure press publishers can effectively exercise their new neighbouring right. Such solutions include reasonable copyright exceptions, the ability to negotiate collectively, remuneration guidelines, fair negotiation frameworks and third-party oversight (arbitration, mediation).

In parallel, the adoption of the Australian news bargaining code has triggered international discussions on how competition policy can complement copyright. While the French and German competition authorities are largely active on this issue, it is important that the European Union hop on the train with Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act negotiations.

About News Media Europe:

News Media Europe (NME) represents the progressive news media industry in Europe – over 2500 European news brands in print or online, and also on radio and tv. NME is committed to maintaining and promoting the freedom of the press, to upholding and enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands which are one of the most vital parts of Europe’s creative industries.

For further information please contact:

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director,

Aurore Raoux, EU policy manager,