EU Vote On Controversial Copyright Rules Notches Early Win For Tech Giants

EU Vote On Controversial Copyright Rules Notches Early Win For Tech Giants”

Article 11 - slammed as a "link tax" - could have made internet content aggregators pay publishers for sharing links, while Article 13 would have made platforms liable for users' copyright infringements by users.

"I wouldn't consider the vote as a surprise since we knew all along that there was a split between MEPs on this sensitive issue", said Maltese MEP Francis Zammit Dimech to Lovin Malta.

The overhaul of European copyright law is divided into several sections, one of which is the reform criticised by Wikipedia and others who have warned it will lead to blanket censorship by tech giants.

That section, designed for the benefit of the entertainment industry, would require any online outlet where users can share content (everything from YouTube to dating sites) to create an automated system of filters to prevent the posting of copyrighted material.

Wikipedia went down in at least three countries on Wednesday in a protest at the upcoming vote.

Earlier this year, more than 1,300 recording artists, including McCartney, James Blunt, and opera star Placido Domingo signed an open letter to the European Parliament in support of the reform.

The Independent Music Companies Association, supportive of article 13, said there was "a massive disinformation campaign going on" and spoke of "scaremongering".

An online petition calling for MEPs to vote to for the parliament to be able to amend the proposals had gathered more than 850,000 signatures at the time of the vote.

Other protests are expected over the next two days before the vote, on 5 July, and European Union citizens are urged to contact representatives in Parliament to Express their disapproval.

Citizens have made themselves heard via thousands of emails and tweets, hundreds of calls and a petition signed by almost 1 million people. We encourage all those involved to tone down the rhetoric and make sure that threats of physical violence, or even death, are never acceptable.

"From the outset, our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace - and now, for artists and authors, it doesn't".

Earlier this week, UKIP leader Gerard Batten blasted the proposed laws, known as Article 13 and the "link tax" Article 11, as an attempt to "destroy the capacity for free speech" online.

A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, said: "The success of our partners has always been core to our work at YouTube, and to delivering great services for people".

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