European Council votes to adopt copyright directive

17 April, 2019, 17:43 | Author: Myra Gill
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This decision will likely heighten the tension between Brussels and Silicon Valley, following a series of multi-billion dollar fines and tax demands against technology behemoths Google, Amazon and Apple.

The "Article 13" reforms, which are reflected in Article 17 in the finalised Directive, provide content creators with greater control over where their copyrighted material appears online and require online platforms to intervene to tackle unauthorised use of the material by users.

Still, the directive allows users to generate and upload content freely for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche.

The bill itself was approved by the European Parliament in March; the latest vote just confirms the individual votes of member states.


Nineteen countries, including the United Kingdom, voted in favour, while six countries voted against and three abstained.

Poland had been one of a handful of member states who voted against the plans, along with Italy, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden. However, German ministers stressed in the minutes that "upload filters" would not be made mandatory in Germany. "When it comes to completing Europe's digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle".

All of the aforementioned countries, bar Sweden, had committed to a joint statement ahead of the vote, saying that the directive "does not strike the right balance between the protection of rights holders and the interests of European Union citizens and companies". Supporters of the reforms, along with the European Commission, suggest that the new rules will ensure fair remuneration for those producing content displayed online.

Member states now have two years to implement the Directive on a national level.

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