Article 17 is the EU’s copyright directive that will come into European law in 2021. The directive specifically states that content-sharing services must license copyright-protected material from rights holders before it can be re-shared on a digital or social platform.
Having not updated its copyright laws for nearly 20 years, the directive’s opening explains why such a shift in policy is necessary:
“Digital technologies have radically changed the way creative content is produced, distributed and accessed. We are adapting the EU copyright rules to new consumer behaviours in a Europe which values its cultural diversity.”
But what do these changes mean in practice and how might they look in the real world?