THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT has voted to pass the controversial Copyright Directive that will bring sweeping reforms to how copyrighted content posted online is governed.
Members of the European Parliament voted 348 in favour of the law, 274 against, despite widespread protesting of the Directive.
The backbone of the protests involves Article 13 - now renamed 'Article 17 in the revised text - which many have claimed threatens an open internet. It clamps down on copyright avoidance in such a way that it would make user-generated content almost impossible, and memes a thing of the past.
It's feared that the article will lead to the widespread introduction of "upload filter," that will scan all user content uploaded to sites to remove copyrighted material.
Article 11, often referred to as a 'link tax', would affect sites like INQ hugely as it would obligate search engines to pay licensing fees for use of the content it uses to illustrate the link. That means the headline, a snippet of text and an image would all be subject to a non-waivable licensing fee and could force Google to pull its News service in Europe.
Many are already posting their reactions to Tuesday's vote, with Julia Reda, an MEP from Germany's Pirate Party, said the passing of the law marked "a dark day for internet freedom."
Dark day for internet freedom: The @Europarl_EN has rubber-stamped copyright reform including #Article13 and #Article11. MEPs refused to even consider amendments. The results of the final vote: 348 in favor, 274 against #SaveYourInternet pic.twitter.com/8bHaPEEUk3— Julia Reda (@Senficon) March 26, 2019
In a blog post, rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation fumed: "In a stunning rejection of the will five million online petitioners and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety,"
In a statement given to INQ, Raegan MacDonald, head of EU Policy at Mozilla said that while the firm expects the Directive to return to the political stage, it will do it's best to "minimise the negative impact of this law on Europeans' internet experience and the ability of European companies to compete in the digital marketplace".
The European Parliament vote was not the final step, as the proposals need final approval by the European Council, which is set for April 9. µ
Won Ton Destruction
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