Tuesday 26 March 2019 12:55 pm

European Parliament passes controversial EU Copyright Directive

The European Parliament has voted for a controversial copyright directive that critics claim could harm the future of the internet.

Read more: EU agrees draft copyright reform in blow to tech giants

The Copyright Directive passed today with 348 MEP votes, compared to 278 voting against it.


The law includes ill-received elements such as making tech firms liable for content posted without adequate copyright permissions.

Creators and musicians have backed the rules, saying artists will be fairly compensated for their work, but opponents say the law will hurt user-generated content.

“This directive protects creativity in the digital age and ensures that the EU citizens benefit from wider access to content and new guarantees to fully protect their freedom of expression online,” said Digital Single Market vice-president Andrus Ansip and Digital Economy and Society commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

“The new rules will strengthen our creative industries, which represent 11.65m jobs, 6.8 per cent of GDP and are worth €915bn per year.”

Critics including World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee, however, point to Article 11 and Article 13 as being harmful enough to change the nature of the web.

Read more: Nirvana sues fashion designer Marc Jacobs over alleged copyright breach

Article 11 will force search engines and news platforms to pay for links from news websites, while 13 makes clear that tech giants are responsible for any material posted to their platforms without a copyright licence.

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