THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL has given the green light to the Copyright Directive that will bring sweeping reforms to how copyrighted content posted online is governed.
The Directive, which includes the controversial Article 11 and Article 13 (now known as Article 17) was backed by 19 countries, including France, Germany and the UK, naturally. Six member states, including Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, voted against it, and Belgium, Estonia, and Slovenia abstained.
The vote required the backing of 55 per cent of Member States, and with 71.26 per cent voting in favour, the controversial Copyright Directive will now pass into law.
"With today's agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement following the vote.
"Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms. When it comes to completing Europe's digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle."
Today's vote comes after members of the European Parliament last month voted 348 in favour of the law, 274 against, despite widespread protesting of the Directive.
The backbone of these protests involves Article 17, 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.
Julia Reda, MEP for the European Pirate Party, said on Monday: "The entertainment lobby will not stop here, over the next two years, they will push for national implementations that ignore users' fundamental rights.
"It will be more important than ever for civil society to keep up the pressure in the Member States! #SaveYourInternet". µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score
Smarter than your average pair of smart glasses
9.8-rated vuln hasn't yet been fixed