European Commission referred 6 countries to the European Court of Justice for failing to fully transpose the Copyright directive in time

On 15 February 2023, exactly 1400 days after the adoption of the 2019 Copyright directive, the European Commission has referred 6 countries to the European Court of Justice for failing to fully transpose the directive in time.

AEPO-ARTIS and the 650,000 performers represented by its members support the Commission’s step to confront Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Poland and Portugal with their responsibility for timely transposition. The directive aims to modernise EU copyright rules and to enable consumers, media distributors and creators to make the most of the digital single market. A reform of the online landscape, upon which performers are increasingly dependent, is absolutely necessary.

The deadline for implementation, 7 June 2021, has long since passed and it is disturbing that in a country like Denmark the transposition has yet to go through the entire democratic process. Also, in Bulgaria where new elections have just been announced, performers have to wait for a new government to be appointed after which the procedure has to be restarted from scratch.

More than striving for a rapid transposition, performers across Europe are lookingfor national rules that will make the objectives of the Copyright directive effective. Poland is a good example that good recipes sometimes need some time. The current Polish draft, as explained by Polish performers themselves, provides for additional unwaivable remuneration rights for performers that offer them concrete and effective opportunities to turn their participation in the digital streaming market into a viable profession.

AEPO-ARTIS therefore supports the Polish authorities in their late transposition and reminds the Commission that once transposition has been completed by all Member States, the real work will only then begin. After all, the Commission will have to check whether the directive has been effectivelytransposed in all Member States. Commissioner Breton has already confirmed that the introduction of a remuneration right constitutes a correct application of the principle of fair remuneration. The question that remains to be answered is whether a literal implementation, without any additional mechanism that ensures performers receive fair remuneration, would comply with the obligations set out in the directive.

Follow the progress of the implementation of the Copyright directive via our tracker.