EU Parliament to vote on controversial copyright law

EU Parliament to vote on controversial copyright law

At the plenary session of the European Parliament today, MEPs voted 303 to 223 in favour of a resolution that criticises the United States and the European Commission's approach to ensuring compliance.

The reason the EP rejected the law was primarily because of Articles 11 and 13, which would implement a link (or excerpt/snippet) tax and upload filters for copyrighted content.

Article 13 would make digital platforms, think YouTube and Facebook, liable for any copyright infringements on uploaded content, and could require a filter to block illegal postings.

Of the 627 MEPs that voted, 278 supported Voss, while 318 voted against. "I look forward to supporting colleagues in that and will continue to be active in efforts to strike a balance that works for everyone", explains Alyn Smith MEP, SNP member of the European Parliament for Scotland.

The bill, which passed through committee last month, would have required companies like Google and Facebook to buy licenses from news media companies before running links to their stories on their platforms. Earlier this week, Italian, Spanish, Estonian, Latvian, Polish, French, and Portuguese versions of Wikipedia blocked users from accessing pages on their sites in order to raise awareness about the copyright directive and to encourage users to contact their representatives.

Wikipedia founder campaigned against the European Union proposals.

Wikipedia Italia has said the directive, which, among other things, proposes giving publishers the ability to request payment for the use of short bits of text, threatens the freedom of the Internet and could force it to close. Experts warned that such a system, which would rely on databases, would have no way of telling whether copyrighted material was being used legally under the "fair use" exceptions allowed by various countries.

The saga isn't over yet, but it does mean that the directive will be sent back to the drawing board, and members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote again in September.

At the heart of the intense battle today were Articles 11 and 13. But they should be listening to the kind of people that signed the letter of opposition along with Berners-Lee when they're crafting regulations.

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