Danish regulators require online distributors to license content

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Rights AllianceNew copyright law took effect in Denmark on June 4, strengthening the position of rights-holders by requiring online providers to obtain licenses for content that is uploaded to their platforms.  It implements the EU’s 2019 copyright directive to enable press publishers to assert their rights against tech giants.

“The fact that the Copyright Act now states that online platforms have a responsibility towards the use of copyright-protected content provides effective tools to be able to protect Danish-produced content against misuse,” said Maria Fredenslund, Director of the Rights Alliance, in a prepared statement. “This is especially important because the illegal consumption of content is increasingly moving to platforms like YouTube and Facebook.”

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There are exceptions.  For example, ordinary links from one website to another are permissible, without having to have a permission from the press publisher.

An appeals process is available to both the rights-holder and the online distributors.  Also, the law will be re-visited in 2023 to determine whether it has been effective.

Read the analysis by Rights Alliance (Translated from Danish to English by Google Translate)

Read the regulation (Danish Ministry of Culture)

Why it matters

“The tech giants have gained a dominant position in society, making news media and artists dependent on the platforms to reach the public,” said Joy Morgensen, Denmark’s Minister of Culture.  “The media now gets exclusive rights to their content, so the tech giants have to pay to use the content.”

A timely example played out this week as French regulators levied a €220 Million (US$ 270M) fine against Google as part of an anti-trust settlement.

The piracy angle

From a piracy/anti-piracy persepctive, the distributor must obtain licenses, but also, the sheer volume of uploads are daunting to keep up with.  But also, the new law provides a compelling incentive to monitor for illegal uploads and block or take them down as they occur, using automation.

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