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Germany has fully implemented the DSM Directive, with Article 17 entering into force on 1 August, other provisions on 7 June


4 points

The German Justice Ministry presented multiple draft versions of the implementation law based on several rounds of public consultation. Parliament held two plenary debates and an expert hearing on the bill.

Article 17:

4 points

Germany has introduced ex-ante user rights safeguards against the blocking of uses under copyright exceptions through the concept of “presumably authorized uses”. Licensed uses or uses of public domain material are not awarded ex-ante protection, but ex-post measures against misuse are intended to discourage false copyright claims. Platforms must give access to data on their content moderation practices to researchers. Users’ organisations are awarded a collective redress option for injunctive relief against platforms that repeatedly block legal uploads. The platform definition is somewhat sharpened by including the criterion of “competing with licensed services for the same audience”. Platforms with yearly revenues below 1 million are presumed exempt from the filtering obligation.


1 point

Germany has implemented the public domain provision. The education exception is subject to license override and to compensation. The press publishers’ rights does not include meaningful limits - a proposal to categorically exclude headlines from the scope was rejected in the legislative process.


1 point

Germany was the first Member State to present a system of ex-ante user rights safeguards.

The copyright directive has been particularly controversial in Germany with mass street protests accompanying its adoption. While the German government voted for the directive in Council, it promised to try to avoid the use of upload filters in its national implementation.

While the implementation still relies on upload filters, Germany has adopted the most sophisticated system of user rights safeguards against overblocking to date. The government published three drafts subject to multiple rounds of consultation before sending the bill to parliament. The provisions on exceptions and limitations largely meet the requirements of the Directive.

Local partners: Our local partners have been Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V. & Wikimedia Deutschland

For more information please see our implementation tracking page for Germany.

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