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Sweden: proposed bill and Union comments on the Copyright Directive
Sweden: proposed bill and Union comments on the Copyright Directive
18 Jan, 2022

Ever since the EU Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market (https://eur-lex NULL.europa NULL.eu/eli/dir/2019/790/oj) was approved and sent to every EU country for its transposition, national governments have been working in collaboration with many of the parties involved, authors and translators among them.

Back in 2020 CEATL Authors’ Rights Working Group conducted a flash-survey among its member associations to gather information about the implementation of  the above mentioned directive.  

In Sweden, the government’s memorandum for a proposed bill to implement the above mentioned directive was published and submitted for comment in the beginning of autumn 2021. The plan is for it to be made into Swedish law on July 1, 2022.

Shortly before Christmas, the Swedish Writers’ Union (https://forfattarforbundet NULL.se/in-other-languages/about-us/) delivered its comments for consideration in cooperation with several other organisations that administer copyright. By and large the Union supports the proposed bill. Its comments focus mainly on Articles 18-23 which aim to strengthen authors’ rights. To strengthen the position of creators of culture in relation to the big publishers is important not only for the sake of the authors, but also for smaller publishers, cultural diversity and national cultural heritage.

According to the Union, the suggested unconditional legal rights to appropriate and proportionate remuneration for authors, as well as relevant and comprehensive annual reports on the exploitation of their works will have a big impact on improving the present ”disharmonious” imbalance between parties in the literature market. In contrast to Article 18.1 in the directive, the Union suggests that licensing agreements to third and fourth parties should also be transparent in that such parties should also be obliged by law to provide information on the exploitation of works. Such an obligation would make it easier for authors to demand further remuneration from licensees if it is deemed appropriate and proportionate. Publishers and licensees already have digital information about the exploitation of works and cannot maintain that this would be unduly costly for them.

The Union also suggests establishing an independent body to lead negotiations on collective agreements for the literature sector.

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