The EU has approved a controversial overhaul of copyright laws
European Union member states will now have two years to work out how to put the laws into action within their own countries.
What’s happened: The European Parliament voted the measures through by 348 to 278.
Why controversial? Two specific provisions have come in for criticism. Article 11 will let news organizations collect more fees from aggregators like Facebook and Google. Article 13 would require web giants to automatically filter copyrighted material, such as songs or videos, unless they have been specifically licensed. Although vaguely worded, both sections will require tech companies to do a lot more to police content on their platforms.
A showdown: The run-up to the law has seen two sides line up to fight it out. The music industry and big publishers are in favor. The opposing side includes the tech giants, but also a large grassroots movement that says the law will damage free expression online.
But some compromise: The proposals have been watered down from their original form to address some of the concerns raised by companies like Google, which had threatened to drop its news service in Europe over Article 11 (which it called a “link tax”). However, opponents are still far from happy with the new law.
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