EU approves The controversial Article 11 and Article 13 Of Copyright Directive





The European Parliament has voted in favor of the Copyright Directive, a controversial piece of legislation intended to update online copyright laws for the internet age. In a session on Tuesday morning, MEPs approved amended versions of the directive's most controversial provisions: Articles 11 and 13, dubbed by critics as the "link tax" and upload filter." The final vote was 438 in favor and 226 against.

The fallout from this decision will be far-reaching and take a long time to settle. The directive itself faces a final vote in January 2019 (although experts say it's unlikely it will be rejected) After that it will need to be implemented by individual EU member states, who could very well vary significantly in how they choose to interpret the directive's text.

The most important parts of this are Articles 11 and 13. Article 11 is intended to give publishers and newspapers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories, allowing them to demand paid licenses. Article 13 requires certain platforms like YouTube and Facebook to stop users from sharing unlicensed copyrighted material.

Critics of the Copyright Directive say these provisions are disastrous. In the case of Article 11, they note that attempts to "tax" platforms like Google News for sharing articles have repeatedly failed and that the system would be ripe to abuse by copyright trolls and censors.

However, the defender of these provisions says the arguments above are the result of scaremongering by big US tech companies, eager to keep control of the web's biggest platforms. They point to existing laws and amendments to the directive as proof it won't be abused in this way. These include exemptions for sites like GitHub and Wikipedia from Article 13 and exceptions to the "link tax" that allow for the sharing of mere hyperlinks and "individual words" describing articles without constraint.

In remarks following the vote in parliament on Tuesday morning, MEP Axel Voss, who has led the charge on introducing Articles 11 and 13 thanked his fellow politicians "for the job we have done together." This is a good sign for the creative industries in Europe," said Voss.

Opposing MEPs like Julia Reda of the Pirate Party described the outcome as "catastrophic."

It's important to note that this is far from the end of the story for the Copyright Directive and its impact on the web. The legislation approved still faces a final vote in the European Parliament in January (where it's possible, though very unlikely, it will be refected). After that, individual EU member states will still get to choose how to put the directive in law. In other words, each country will be able to interpret the directive as they see fit.


Spread the news:

Comments