EU member states were given until June 7, 2021, to transpose the EU Copyright Directive into national legislation. This law affects most online content sharing service providers, including social media platforms, that make available, organize and promote for profit-making purposes copyrighted content uploaded by users. Despite the pandemic slowing the process, several states, including Germany, France, Hungary, and the Netherlands, have completed transposing or adopting the directive into their country’s law.  Other countries are not far behind, but the reality is that platforms need to comply on June 7th. 

The UK, having left the EU, will not be implementing the directive. 

What are the Key Things You Need to Know? 

The two main provisions of the directive for platforms include: 

  • Obtaining licenses for content on their sites 
  • Preventing the availability of unauthorized content 

Other provisions include setting up a user appeals process and preventing reuploads of previously notified content. 

Does the Directive Impact All Providers? 

The Directive specified that certain platforms were exempt from these obligations. First, non-profits in defined areas such as online encyclopedias and scientific repositories, like Wikipedia and, are excluded. Second, small companies will not need to prevent unauthorized content but must still respond to takedown notices and pursue licensing. Courts will apply the principle of proportionality in assessing whether a service provider has complied with its obligations based on the type of service, size, audience, type of works, and availability of suitable and effective measures. Finally, platforms that are not providing access or now chose to block access to those who live in the EU will not have to conform to the directive. 

Rightsholders’ Obligations 

Rightsholders also have obligations. For example, they must provide relevant and necessary information to enable a platform to identify content that cannot be made available on their site. This is key. If this information is not provided directly or through a vendor such as Audible Magic, the platform’s only obligations are to respond to takedown notices. 

We recommend you consult with appropriate legal counsel as you implement provisions to meet the Directive. 

How to Move Forward 

Audible Magic is here to help service providers with meeting the new legislation by offering services to:  

Use our identification services for audio and video to help prevent hosting unauthorized copyrighted content

  • Identify unauthorized or authorized copyrighted content.  
  • Implement stay-down measures for unauthorized copyrighted content.  
  • Track activity for reporting purposes.  

Access and Manage Licenses  

Audible Magic offers sub-licenses for music or, where possible, helps facilitate obtaining licenses directly from a rightsholder. In addition, we offer proven services to ingest and clear catalogs and perform royalty reporting and payments.  

Learn More about the Copyright Directive 

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