EU approves controversial copyright directive2018-09-13 17:06 by Daniela
The European Parliament has passed a bill that would force tech companies to block copyrighted music, videos and photos from the internet, and to pay publishers for featuring their content. Among other things, the bill calls for automatic filters of uploaded content that would identify copyrighted material. It would also make online publishing platforms liable for copyright infringement.
Having passed the EU Parliament, this will now be revised in secret, closed-door meetings with national governments ("the trilogues") and then voted again next spring, and then go to the national governments for implementation in law before 2021. These all represent chances to revise the law, but they will be much harder than this fight was. We can also expect lawsuits in the European high courts over these rules: spying on everyone just isn't legal under European law, even if you're doing it to "defend copyright."
Critics argue that the most controversial part of the proposal will effectively force all but the smallest website operators to adopt "upload filters" similar to those used by YouTube, and apply them to all types of content, to stop users from uploading copyrighted works. That could pose problems, given how expensive such filters could be to develop, and the high likelihood of false positives.
Supporters say the reforms will restore the balance of power between musicians, filmmakers and news publishers on one side and Big Tech on the other. But critics have warned that the rules could signal the end of internet memes, or even lead to the closure of Google News.
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