On 17 May 2019 the official version of the new Directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market was published. This marks the end of a controversial legislative process at EU level. It also marks the beginning of what will surely be a contentious process of national implementation. This article provides an overview and critical examination of the new Directive. It argues that what started as a legislative instrument to promote the digital single market turned into an industry policy tool, shaped more by effective lobbying than evidence and expertise. The result is a flawed piece of legislation. Despite some positive aspects, the Directive includes multiple problematic provisions, including the controversial new right for press publishers and the new liability regime for content-sharing platforms. On balance, the Directive denotes a normative preference for private ordering over public choice in EU copyright law, and lacks adequate safeguards for users. It is also a complex text with multiple ambiguities, which will likely fail promote the desired harmonization and legal certainty in this area.
Quintais, João, The New Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: A Critical Look (July 24, 2019). European Intellectual Property Review (2019) (forthcoming).