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EU copyright rules have become
Swedish law

What does the new EU Copyright Directive mean for us all? We asked Frantzeska Papadopoulou, Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Stockholm University, about the new Swedish law of 2023 – the directive is part of that.

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Photo: Marian Weyo/Shutterstock.

  • What does the EU have to say about copyright?

The DSM Directive is the new directive, or EU guidelines, in the field of copyright. Länk till annan webbplats.

DSM stands for “Digital Single Market”, and the Directive aims to harmonise laws in EU countries on the use of copyrighted material in a digital environment. This means that the laws should be the same in all 27 EU countries.

The Directive became part of Swedish law (the Copyright Act) on 1 January 2023.

  • Media can claim compensation

One of the most important changes in the Directive relates to what the media sometimes refer to as link tax (Article 15 of the DMS Directive).

This means that media organisations such as newspapers, radio and television should be able to claim compensation when platforms such as Google and Facebook use their articles by publishing text extracts.

The new provision will not affect your right to use text extracts for personal use, or your right to use hyperlinks.

  • Platforms must have a licence for sharing

Another new provision is Article 17, which has been very controversial. The Directive doesn’t aim to restrict the use of material on the Internet, but it does aim to create the right conditions for it.

The Directive means that platform services that earn money by making material posted by their users available (Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc.) are responsible for their use of this material. To continue allowing the sharing of copyrighted material, they have to have a licence with a rights organisation, i.e. organisations representing originators.

The new regulation also means that platforms such as YouTube will have to pay compensation to originators in the same way that Spotify does, for example.

  • Originators must receive compensation

The Directive also gives individual originators the right to receive fair and reasonable compensation when their works are used online (Articles 18–20).

Digital use of a copyrighted work must be reported to the originators, and the originator should be entitled to higher compensation if the compensation they receive is unreasonable in relation to the use made of the material.

  • Parody and jokes are allowed

Furthermore, the Directive establishes the right to parody what someone else has done, i.e. to distort it in a jocular fashion.

Member States are free not to have such protection at the moment. Until now, Sweden has not had such an exception in the Copyright Act.

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