Purpose and methodology of our project

Our aim, with this project, is to present how the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market will either empower or hurt users and creators in the digital age. The rules that regulate creativity and sharing must be fair and take into account contemporary online activities and digital practices. Essentially, the internet needs to be for the people, and key legislation needs to be based on this principle.

In order to do this, we analysed nine different issues that are included in the Directive. We worked with the final compromise version that is the result of the trilogue process, which ended on 13 February 2019. Each issue was then scored, allowing us to also provide an overall score of the Directive, based on an understanding of all elements of the proposal.

Too often, the Directive is reduced just to a few controversial issues: content filtering or a new right for publishers. These are clearly crucial issues, but it is important to understand that the Directive includes other rules that can also have massive effects on Europe's research and science, education, cultural, or AI industry–just to name a few.

We decided to analyse the Directive through a particular lens: of the potential to either empower or hurt users and creators in the digital age. We are critical of views that the Directive simply attempts to regulate business relationships between two sectors, and that therefore the policy debate should be left to them. The Directive will have tremendous impact on European citizens, who depend in all aspects of their lives on communication systems and digital tools that copyright law regulates.

The internet needs to be for the people. This means that core policies, like copyright law, need to be “for the people” by design.

As our analysis shows, the Directive is a legislative mixed bag. A range of positive developments concerning exceptions and limitations–rules that grant people the freedoms to use conten–are offered alongside other regulatory proposals that will have extremely adverse effects across all spheres of European society.

When the moment of the final vote will come, it is important for policymakers and stakeholders to understand not just a single issue, but the comprehensive effect of the Directive taken as a whole. This site is meant to help people understand this by providing evidence and analysis.

Methodology of our analysis

For the purpose of this project, we have prepared in-depth analyses of nine core parts of the proposed Directive. Each issue write-up is based on over two years of research and advocacy work.

For each issue, we define effects that the legislation will have upon people, we assess the impact of the given proposal, and offer a history of the legislative process.

Based on these analyses, we provide a score for each issue on a scale from -3 (very bad) to +3 (very good). These evaluations have been scored by our policy team based on the current state of the legislative process. This also means that while the negotiations art still ongoing, our assessments and score may still undergo changes. The infographic on the main page presents these scores, and gives a visual overview of the good and the bad of the Directive.

License information

This site is hosted by Communia, the International Association On the Digital Public Domain. We release all our documents, reports, infographics and researches under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0). Unless otherwise stated, images are released under CC0 as well. Please feel free to download and reuse.

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