Art 5 DSM Directive in Hungary

In April 2020, Hungary became the first EU Member State to implement Art 5 of Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in Digital Single Market (DSM Directive), which regulates the use of works and other subject matter in digital and cross-border teaching activities.

After Hungarian schools and universities turned to remote teaching on 16 March 2020, the Hungarian Ministry of Justice decided to adapt to the new reality, joined forces with 150 civil organisations, and adopted the Decree 125/2020, which brought amendments to Arts. 33, 34, and 35 of the Hungarian Copyright Act.

This introduced the new Art 33A, which contains the definition of a “secure electronic environment” that is in line with Art 5(1)(a) DSM Directive. The new Art 34(3)(b) allows for the free use of copyright protected works, when such use is “in a digital form at the place of educational institution”, when the use constitutes “making available to the public through a safe electronic environment”, and when such use is of non-commercial nature. Lastly, Art 35(5) was amended so that it now allows for the distribution of parts of published books, as well as news articles in whole, to pupils and students, and it allows access to such works through the educational institutions’ safe electronic environment.

It seems that the Hungarian legislator managed to implement Art 5 DSM Directive in a way that enables unencumbered and effective education even in these trying times. Whether, and to what extent, the Slovenian legislator will follow, remains to be seen. At the moment, Slovenian Copyright Act (ZASP) does contain an educational exception, but the exception contains extraordinarily strict conditions that are not in line with Art 5 DSM Directive, nor with the current needs in education. With good Art 5 DSM Directive implementation, the Slovenian legislator would enable access to information and materials to students and educators, which would mean that Slovenia is keeping up with the times.

The importance of Art 5 DSM Directive and its implementation will be discussed at tomorrow’s Open Knowledge Day 2021 organised by IPI in cooperation with the Today is a new day institute, Aksioma, and Creative Commons. The event will take place through Facebook Live. Welcome!