EU approves tougher copyright rules in blow to Google, Facebook

17 Avril, 2019, 17:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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The new rules were first proposed nearly three years ago and member states have two years before they need to add the directive into their national legislation.

Article 15, meanwhile, provides that news publishers have the right to negotiate licenses with news aggregators, adding that "authors" of works are entitled to a share of the additional revenue sourced from the new "link tax". Internet giants had warned such new requirements would impede information flow on the Internet. Under the new regime, sharing platforms will have to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials.

"We believe that the Directive in its current form is a step back for the Digital Single Market rather than a step forward". Exceptions in the directive have been made for content that is deemed "quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche", including the use of memes.

Juncker called the copyright directive the "missing piece of the puzzle" when it comes to the digital age.

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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.

Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive states that services such as YouTube could be held responsible if their users upload copyright-protected movies and music, which are often indexed in search engine such as Google and Bing. "This [directive] hurts small and emerging publishers, and limits consumer access to a diversity of news sources".

One possible way to defeat the legislation would be to have it overturned by the European Court of Justice.

It isn't just Europe that will feel the impact of this ill-conceived legislation. The unintended consequences of today's vote may affect us all in the future.

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