Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

European Union lawmakers agree common stand on copyright reforms

European Union lawmakers agree common stand on copyright reforms

It must now be approved by each member state individually before returning to the European Parliament for a final vote, which is likely to take place early next year.

However, the reform has been watered down from original proposals.

He insisted he was not looking for a "confrontation" or that the proposals should be seen as an attack against the internet or internet platforms like Google.

"We want the internet to be an accelerator, not a brake", he added. "And, if a right holder requests to conclude a license agreement with the platform, the platform has to enter into a fair an appropriate licensing agreement".

"In an attempt to encourage start-ups and innovation, the text now exempts small and micro platforms from the directive", the European Union announced. "And we share that goal- that is a very applaudable goal".

After the vote German MEP Axel Voss, who was responsible for putting the legislation together, expressed his jubilance at the vote passing.

Supporters of the plans included musicians and artists, such as McCartney and Wyclef Jean, as well as Euro politicians keen to give the likes of Facebook and Google another bloody nose.

"I am angry about this and have been deleting emails for weeks". It wasn't - but make no mistake, yesterday's vote in favour of the directive was extremely consequential. "It's been a lot of hard work". While Google News recently stopped showing such snippets under article headlines, depending on the final version of the law, the links and headlines could also be covered by the rules.

Tech companies would have to build filters that prevent users from uploading copyrighted material. "If they don't understand the rules, what hope the rest of us?"


Because even the best filtering systems, such as YouTube's, are still awful, critics say that the inevitable outcome is that over-filtering will be the default mode of operation.

There's still one more Parliament vote in January.

The block followed a campaign from freedom of speech campaigners, who argued the laws could lead to even greater control over the internet.

Many of Parliament's groups were split on the vote, including the ECR. But campaigners argue the substance of the new directive is the same, including the parts referred to as a link tax and the controversial automated filters. It could discourage people from sharing their content. "Upload filters or anything else that restricts this will stop artists from making and creating the future".

Conservative MEPs who backed the measures celebrated the move for "at last catching up with the digital age".

But critics say this will mostly harm smaller websites that can't afford to pay the tax, and the tech giants will easily pay up or just decide not link to news.

Wider opportunities to use copyrighted material for education, research, cultural heritage and disability (through so-called "exceptions").

These closed-door discussions, which also include the European Commission, are known in EU jargon as "trilogues". "However, this must be achieved without stifling innovation on the internet or closing it off to entrepreneurs and start-ups".

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