By RTE news agency cover title The rules surrounding digital rights are a mess article The copyright laws in the European Union are getting a makeover, with an agreement being made with the European Digital Rights (EDRi) group.
It is a change of heart, with the EU wanting to harmonise the law in the wake of the global copyright crisis.
The deal was signed on Thursday in Brussels and will be formalised in March.
The agreement comes as Europe struggles with an unprecedented copyright wave, with more than 40 million digital rights holders, many of them smaller music companies, unable to make any money on the rights.
This has been exacerbated by a number of different factors, such as the fact that most artists are not able to profit from their work and because of a growing number of online services that allow consumers to buy the rights on demand.
The EDRi Group says it has agreed a number key measures, including allowing internet providers to give users access to free downloads of music.
It is also a requirement for all music streaming services to remove digital rights restrictions.
As part of the deal, the EU will also work with the EDRi group to develop a code of conduct for the digital right holders.
The code is due to be signed on June 25, 2018, with all parties involved promised to implement it.
The European Commission hopes to sign the code of practice in time for the 2020 European Parliament elections.