Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Tech | By

Anti-meme European Union copyright law passes first hurdle, final vote in July

Anti-meme European Union copyright law passes first hurdle, final vote in July

The vote will most likely become the official parliamentary stance as it enters negotiations with all European Union member states to find common ground, unless lawmakers against the proposals force a vote at an assembly in July.

Article 13 or mandatory upload filtering would require online platforms such as YouTube, GitHub, Instagram and eBay (EBAY.O) to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials or seek licenses to display content. The changes have been criticised with Article 13 threatening memes, remixes and other user-generated content, and Article 11 which will require online platforms to pay a fee to publishers for linking to their news content.

The legislation is still being drafted, but on Wednesday the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs voted in favor of articles 13 and 11.

Google's parent company Alphabet, which also owns Youtube, made more than $100bn in revenue past year, while Facebook made £40bn over the same period.

"The damage that this may do to the free and open internet as we know it is hard to predict, but in our opinions could be substantial", the letter continued.

A letter titled "Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive Threatens the Internet" has been sent to the president of the European Parliament and signed by some of the world's leading internet pioneers, including web creator Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. The Federation of European Film Directors, Federation of Screenwriters in Europe and Society of Audiovisual Authors said the new right would allow authors to "benefit from the constantly growing on-demand exploitation of their works".

"But Article 13 is not the right way to achieve this".

Technology companies urged MEPs to vote against the measure.

To date, these companies have not been required to fairly remunerate songwriters or music performers for the use of their work in user-uploaded content online.

He added: "Ensuring that millions of users stick to licensing terms when sharing their content will be a capital and institutionally intensive process which will heavily tilt the favour towards the big American companies". "But we can not support Article 13, which would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks".

German MEP Axel Voss said: 'This vote marks the first step of the parliamentary procedure to adopt copyright laws fit to meet the challenges of the internet. "What we are asking is that, like any professional in any sector, is that someone who writes, publishes and performs music gets a fair return for the use of their work". "The EU Parliament will have another chance to remove this terrible law", he said.

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