The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM-Directive) came into force on 7 June, 2019. This directive now has to be implemented in the 27 member states by June 2021.
This page serves as a resource for civil society and the general public to influence the implementation of the directive in such a way that users' rights are preserved as far as possible. We provide advocacy guidance, policy information and campaign resources to those wishing to shape the European online copyright framework over the years and decades to come.
As our work continues, we will update this page with new information and content to help civil society actors wishing to communicate our message to the general public and to policy-makers.
For further information about our work on copyright, please contact Peter Berry (✉ peter.berry <AT> epicenter.works).
||During the COVID-19 crisis, access to information was more important than ever. YouTube blocked Macron's speech providing this information on copyright grounds, because it matched with content from broadcaster Canal Plus. Filters don't work, because a computer doesn't know what I need to know!|
|A popular parody of George W Bush and John Kerry was threatened by a copyright issue surrounding the song "This Land". An upload filter will never recognise parody and will therefore block political messages, threatening our right to free speech. Filters don't work, because a computer doesn't understand free speech!|
YouTube's automatic Content ID system took down popular parodies of the film Downfall due to copyright claims. Memes are an art form in the internet age and cannot be blocked by upload filters. Filters don't work, because a computer doesn't understand a joke!
|When Pixar released the film Pixels, Vimeo automatically removed all videos with the word "Pixels", regardless of whether they had anything to do with the film or not. This overzealous content filtering led to many original videos wrongfully being taken down. Filters don't work, because a computer doesn't know what I produced!|
|Samsung had parodies of its Note 7 tablet blocked by YouTube on copyright grounds. Perfectly legal videos mocking the product were removed automatically by YouTube; automated filters cannot recognise such parodies. Filters don't work, because a computer doesn't understand a joke!|
Our full #SaveYourInternet campaign is available to be used, translated and adapted. The raw files can be downloaded here.
You can find our informational video on the implementation of Article 17 here.
If you want to translate the video into your language, the raw video file and the English language script are available here. Simply translate the script, record the audio and mix it with the video file!
There are many examples where overblocking and false copyright claims have led to legal content being removed from a website. Our library of these cases is constantly being updated; here are some of the weirdest and most worrying:
Absurd Takedowns by Filters
- 10 hours of continuous white noise were subject to a copyright claim based on flagging by an algorithm
- Birds chirping in the background of a video were recognised by an algorithm
Freedom of Speech Issues
- Memes from the film Downfall were taken off YouTube due to copyright claims
- Videos of Obama singing during the 2012 election campaign were removed from YouTube by their ContentID system
- A parody video of George W Bush during the 2004 election campaign was removed from the Internet due to false copyright claims
False Copyright Claims
- Sony claimed that they had the copyright on works by J.S. Bach
- An hour-long video of a cat purring was claimed by two artists
- Any videos with the word “Pixels” in the title were taken down from Vimeo to protect an upcoming Pixar film with the same title, including the trailer for the film itself
- A clip from a 1980s NES game on YouTube was used by Family Guy; the clip was then taken down due to a copyright infringement against the Family Guy episode
- A lecture on copyright law was taken down because it included clips from songs in order to teach about copyright lawfully
- A study by Bits of Freedom found that seven out of ten ISPs take down material against which there is a copyright claim without checking it first
Copyright Claims Used for Nefarious Ends
- A negative review of a building company on a forum was removed after a copyright claim under DMCA following failed defamation attempts
- Samsung claimed videos mocking the Note 7 infringed upon their copyright; videos were blocked by YouTube
- Copyright claims against original artists are being used as extortion
- Negative film reviews are being taken down on the basis of copyright claims, so that film production companies can protect themselves.
This map shows which partners we can find for our campaign to support our messaging. Use it to connect with other civil society actors and give our message more weight!
For more detailed policy recommendations, Communia have created Guidelines for the Implementation of the Directive.
Academics from IVIR have written Recommendations for Safeguarding User Rights in the Implementation of Article 17.