World Media

EU approves tougher EU copyright rules in blow to Google, FB

EU approves tougher EU copyright rules in blow to Google, FB

This latest development marks the final hurdle in the legislative process after Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted to adopt the Directive last month, with 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions.

The legislation was voted through by a majority of European Union ministers despite opposition from Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, and Sweden.

Nineteen countries, including the United Kingdom, voted in favour, while six countries voted against and three abstained. Six member states, including Italy and the Netherlands, voted against it.

The good news? Nothing moves quickly in the EU. Accompanying statements emphasise regret that the legislative institutions have not been able to come up with a concept of copyright liability that all stakeholders deem fair and compelling.

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"This is quite remarkable, taking into account that these filters are commonly expected to be the core tool information society service providers will use to fulfil their new obligations under Article 17", said Rauer. For example, Germany said that it must be the aim to render so-called "upload filters" largely unnecessary in practice. It also states that copyrighted material must be removed from videos.

Except when using individual words and very short extracts of press publications, internet platforms would have to seek an authorization from press publishers.

However, there remained a degree of controversy over the reform, with particular attention directed at Articles 17 and 15. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook or Instagram will be responsible for filtering out copyrighted content uploaded by their users.

Google and Facebook will now be forced to enter into licencing agreements with artists, musicians and journalists to display their work for the first time, signalling a potential shift in the economics of the web.