The EU Copyright Directive explained

14 June 2019

As we reported last month, the Copyright Directive has finally been agreed by the EU.

If implemented in the UK, the Directive could strengthen authors’ rights and bargaining power with publishers in various ways – it’s really important that authors understand these rights and know exactly what you are entitled to. But with Brexit looming, how likely is the Directive to be transposed into UK law? Do you know your Article 15 from your Article 17? Your transparency obligation from your bestseller clause? We know that discussions around the Directive are often overly technical and jargon-heavy. 

That’s why we’ve produced a guide to the Copyright Directive which we hope explains these things in a more accessible way. We will need your help to push for it to be fully implemented - so we need you to understand exactly what impact it will have.

You can access the guide here.

Please let us know if you have any questions or want to know more. 


Keith A Forbes (21/06/2019 09:28)
" Much appreciate the Society’s work in this connection. I hope the UK government will soon include it in UK law irrespective of Brexit. As a member of the SOA and sole author, editor, writer, administrator and webmaster of which has a huge amount of my work I have a particular interest in seeing both the online and offline rights of authors protected. Many of us are not well financially compensated for the work we do but fortunately some of us who are disabled are qualified to receive Working Tax Credit. If the SOA does not mind a suggestion I recommend it also look into and publish a report on how many of us who are authors often receive as income from our efforts far less than the new statutory minimum wage."
Theodore John Swystun (15/06/2019 11:57)
" I am preparing a scholarly work on Central and East European political developments in the early 20th century. I should like to reproduce in that work a letter from the Union of Democratic Control -- a working group of 52 Member of the British House of Commons to Sir Eric Drummond, Secretary-General of the League of Nations on 13 December 1930. The letter was circulated to members of the Council of the League as an official document. The original letter was, of course, in English and I intend to reproduce it in English; translation is not an issue here.
The Union of Democratic Control was not an "official" entity of the British Government, although the letter concerns governmental policy and was written by members of the British Government.
The United Nations position is that it holds the copyright for the archives of the League of Nations, including this letter, even though the League was only the recipient of the letter.
The letter was published at least once before in a Canadian book in 1930, although the author is dead and the published no longer exists.
QUESTION: Where can I get information on whether the British government or the United Nations holds the rights to this letter, if indeed it is still in copyright? Although I am inclined to believe that this letter is in the public domain, this issue is sure to arise again in my research. Who owns the rights to a letter/petition sent to a governmental entity (such as the League), that was not translated by that entity?"

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