European Union passes controversial copyright law, approves 'upload filters' and 'link tax'

Lester Mason
April 17, 2019

The measures, which are expected to heavily impact the bottom line of online companies, were heralded by the European Council as a "milestone for the development of a robust and well-functioning digital single market".

Still, the directive allows users to generate and upload content freely for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche.

The most controversial part of the bill is Article 13 (later renamed Article 17), which makes tech and social media companies liable, forcing them to ensure copyrighted content is not uploaded on their platforms.

European Union sources say that Italy, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland voted against the directive, and Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia have abstained. Under the new rules, Google and other online platforms will have to sign licensing agreements with musicians, performers, authors, and journalists to use their work.

However, there was also no shortage of supporters to the plans on Monday.

In terms of the application of Article 17, Germany called for the European Commission to establish a dialogue with all interested parties, as had been established in the text, in order to avoid any violations on the right to freedom of expression.

"The directive would not help, but rather hold back, Europe's creative and digital economy", Google senior vice president Kent Walker wrote previously of the new rules. "Clear rules will guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms".

"The entertainment lobby will not stop here, over the next two years, they will push for national implementations that ignore users' fundamental rights", tweeted Julia Reda, a German member of the European Parliament. "There is no time to wait".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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