On Wednesday, European Parliament approved a Controversial EU Copyright law that hands more power to news and record companies against internet giants like Google and Facebook that promised to fight on.
Watershed vote in French city of Strasbourg confirmed European Union as Silicon Valley’s most powerful critic and follows anti-trust decisions that have cost Google and Apple billions.
EU is also leading political charge on Protecting Data Privacy, and just ahead of Copyright vote warned web firms it could hold them responsible for the terrorist propaganda.
Backing Copyright Draft were traditional media, in urgent search of the income at a time when web users are shunning newspapers and television with advertising revenue siphoned away by the online platforms.
European Lawmakers were sharply divided on Copyright Issue, with both the sides engaging in some of most intense lobbying EU has ever seen.
But, despite uncertainty ahead of Vote, MEPs meeting in Strasbourg ended up passing the draft law with 438 votes in favour, 226 against, and 39 abstentions. “I am relieved,” said German MEP Axel Voss who tabled the law, which now goes for negotiation with the EU member states.
“What we have achieved should not be interpreted as a confrontation… We just want creators to be respected in the digital world,” he added.
Text MEPs settled on compromised on ways news organisations will charge companies for links to content, with platforms free to use “a few words” of text, according to a key amendment.
It also spared small companies from so-called upload filters that will make platforms such as YouTube or Facebook liable for copyright breaches and force them to automatically delete content by violators.
MEP Julia Reda, a strong opponent of the law, called these “cosmetic changes” and slammed the vote as “a severe blow to the free and open internet”.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who firmly backed the reform, hailed “a great step forward for Europe”.
He further added that,”I am proud that France has been at the forefront of this fight”.
Draft had been fiercely resisted by US tech giants as well as online freedom activists, with some campaigners warning it could spell the end of viral “memes” or jokes.
Source Economic Times