Despite publishing the Copyright Directive 801 days ago, the European Commission took 749 days to publish their guidance on how member states should implement the controversial Article 17; in effect leaving states only 52 days to do so if they waited for the guidance. In practice, this therefore forced some member states to implement the Directive without the guidance if they wanted to meet the deadline. To add to the uncertainty surrounding implementation, until 10 days ago, there was a large question mark over whether Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe would recommend that the CJEU strike down Article 17 due to concerns around freedom of expression. In advising the CJEU to maintain Article 17, certainty surrounding Article 17's future existence has strengthened- though we have months to wait until the CJEU make the final ruling and this will become concrete. 

It has therefore come as a surprise to many that the Commission has announced it has sent a formal notice to all but four EU member states asking them to explain why they have missed the 7th June implementation date. Even forgetting the mayhem surrounding the implementation of the Directive, it is rare for the Commission to take enforcement action against member states so quickly, which further demonstrates the political charge behind the Directive.

The member states in receipt of the enforcement notice now have two months to respond to the Commission explaining why they have missed the implementation deadline...