On Saturday, the European Parliament passed the Digital Services Act which aims to provide a framework to enable all countries in the European Union to battle digital piracy, as well as other crimes committed online. The legislation can be summarized as saying, "what is illegal offline is also illegal online."

Among the key regulations imposed by the new legislation is an obligation for platforms to be more transparent, thus making them more responsible for illegal material that appears on, is sold, or else distributed through their sites. One intent of the new legislation beyond combating piracy is to also to make platforms more accountable for disinformation distributed through their sites.

The Federation of European Publishers (FEP praised the passage of the new legislation, though expressed disappointment that it didn't go far enough in preventing illegal and pirated books from immediately returning to the platforms once they are taken down, a task that is especially onerous to police for small and medium-sized publishers. "For the book sector, and publishers, in particular, the fight against online book piracy is a constant and tedious task, where pirate books must be removed almost manually while operating on a massive scale," wrote the organization in a press release. "For instance, in France alone, it is 4 million illegal or phishing links related to books that had to be dereferenced through Google Search. And in many cases, illegal content that is removed will be re-uploaded right after, forcing publishers and their authors to start the removal procedure again."

Peter Kraus vom Cleff, president of FEP, commented, "The book sector was the canary in the mine of gatekeeper abuses, e.g., witnessing the rise of Amazon 25 years ago and being subjected to a death by a thousand cuts ever since. Today, Europe is showing once again its leadership and that abuses from online services will no longer be tolerated. Data is the life-blood of online competition and gatekeepers will no longer be allowed to deprive publishers of data derived from our works or weaponize them to their advantage”.

He added, “Europe is showing once again its willingness to regulate the online world, but the DSA does not fix the significant issue, which is the spread of illegal content online. I regret that it does not include stronger tools to fight illegal content, such as a fair notice-and-stay-down mechanism. The DSA can only be a first step which the European Union will need to follow-up on in the future to actually ensure that illegal content online does not reappear after being removed."