On March 26, by a pretty slim margin, the European Parliament passed the un-amended Digital Single Market Directive. This directive includes the fan-unfriendly provisions known as Articles 11 and 13 (now re-numbered to 15 and 17, but otherwise unchanged), which we have written about before in this space. We won’t sugarcoat it—it’s bad news—but it isn’t the end of the world. Nonprofit platforms like the AO3 will not be affected, and there are provisions designed to protect some of the sites and fan activities you (and we!) love. A lot remains to be seen. Here’s a close look at what the law means and what we can expect.
The European ministers still have to vote on the directive before it becomes final, but it is widely presumed that they will approve it. Assuming the European ministers approve it, the directive will then be transposed into national legislation by EU countries, at which point it will become law. Each country’s implementation may be slightly different, but will conform to the directive’s principles. Here are some of the key takeaways from the directive as it passed: Read More