European Union Copyright Directive

The European Union Copyright Directive is formally referred to as the Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament (EP), and is oftentimes known as the InfoSoc Directive (Information Society directive). Copyright owners should be aware of the European Union Copyright Directive, as its purpose is to enforce the WIPO Copyright Treaty.

Scope of the European Union Copyright Directive

The Directive 2001/29/EC is the Directive on the harmonization of copyright and related rights in the information society (IS). Established in 2001 by the European Parliament and European Council, the Directive is enforced across all EU member states in line with the WIPO Copyright Treaty.

One of the most advantageous features of the Directive is that is gives EU member states significant freedom with respect to transposition. This is because there are gray areas, and important details that are not included in the Directive, and it is therefore down the interpretation by member states. However, every country party to the European Union is obligated to enforce the Directive and follow the procedures provided within the relevant articles.

The Directive has the scope to adapt copyright legislation to mirror any technological developments in the marketplace. It also integrates into Community Law the main obligations adopted by WIPO. Overall, the EP, Council and Commission play pivotal roles in the development and enforcement of the Directive 2001/29/EC.

As a copyright holder, it is important to know about the obligations, rights and restrictions arising from the European Union Copyright Directive, as this will ensure you use your copyright in compliance with the applicable measures.