Published: Wed, April 17, 2019

Tech giants face copyright bill as EU states back crackdown

Tech giants face copyright bill as EU states back crackdown

Additionally, EU Member States finally adopted new rules to make it easier for European broadcasters to make certain programmes on their online services available across borders. After that, the members will have 24 months to transpose the directive into their national legislation.

Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden were among the countries which voted against, and Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia opted to abstain from voting.

The good news? Nothing moves quickly in the EU. European Union countries will have two years from the date the Directive takes effect to implement its provisions into national law.

Even some member states that voted in favour of the reforms did so with explicit reservations. For example, Germany said that it must be the aim to render so-called "upload filters" largely unnecessary in practice. Platforms will now be forced to police copyrighted material through tools like filters. Two aspects of the reforms attracted particular scrutiny and comment. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook or Instagram will be responsible for filtering out copyrighted content uploaded by their users.

Under the new rules, online platforms, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, will need to sign licensing agreements with authors, journalists, publishers, musicians, and actors if they want to use their content online.

However, the provisions were subsequently amended and supporters of the reforms have said the changes ensure newly emerging platforms are not exposed to the same burdens as more established platforms, and that there are other safeguards on freedom of expression. The other controversial clause, the Link Tax, Article 15 in the final directive although formerly Article 11, may cause news aggregation sites to withdraw from Europe rather than face the uncertainty of lawsuites.

The directive introduces a new right for press publishers for the online use of their publication.

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