The New Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: A Critical Look

European Intellectual Property Review (2019) (Forthcoming)

24 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019

See all articles by João Quintais

João Quintais

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Date Written: July 24, 2019


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.

Keywords: Copyright; EU law; Collective licensing; Digital Single Market; Exceptions and Limitations; Licensing; Text and Data Mining; Digital content; Online services

JEL Classification: K11, K19

Suggested Citation

Quintais, João, The New Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: A Critical Look (July 24, 2019). European Intellectual Property Review (2019) (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: or

João Quintais (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Rokin 84
Amsterdam, 1012 KX

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