In the first weeks of December 2020, CEATL Authors’ Rights Working Group, coordinated by Cécile Deniard, conducted a flash-survey among its member associations to gather information about the implementation of the Digital Single Market directive that was voted in April 2019 by the European Parliament and has to be transposed into the national laws of Member States by June 2021.

The goal of the survey was twofold:

  • Taking stock of the progress of the legal transposition process at the end of a 2020 year that was heavily disrupted by the Covid crisis;
  • Making sure the implementation of articles 18-22 is on top of everybody’s agenda since they contain the seeds of a rebalancing of the contractual relationship and breakthroughs in favour of authors, including the notion of collective bargaining.

The main findings are listed below. A summary of the results of the survey can be accessed here (https://www NULL.ceatl-members NULL.pdf), and the Annex with the individual answers and comments of the respondents here (https://www NULL.ceatl-members NULL.pdf).

Main findings

* Timeline: In spite of the delays and disruptions caused by the Covid-crisis, there are reasons to believe that the great majority of Member States intend to transpose the DSM on schedule (by June 2021). At this point, however, the process isn’t completed anywhere but in the Netherlands.

* Processes: After the period of widespread consultations and stakeholder dialogues, the process seems to be slowly shifting to discussing actual drafts.

* What is in the pipelines? Despite a high level of engagement, many of our associations still have a hard time finding out what the actual plans are for the transposition of articles 18-22, due to the delays in the process or to a lack of transparency. The implementation of article 21 on dispute resolution procedures seems particularly hazy at this stage in most countries.

* What is to be done? The survey shows that the associations will have to use all the resources they have in terms of access and leverage to push for a less than minimal implementation in the limited time that remains.

* Assets: On the plus side, however, the survey (questions 3 and 4) also shows that most of our association have the focus and networks to actively and publicly lobby, or at least share information and act in coordination with other authors’ and creators’ organizations.

Implementation of the EU Digital Single Market Directive: flash-survey among our members