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Copyright Directive

August 20, 2018

European Parliament rejects proposal for copyright directive. The European Parliament has rejected the proposal for a new directive on copyright, which aimed to adapt this regulation to the challenges of digital platforms and the Internet. The lack of agreement (the proposal was rejected by a margin of 318-278 votes) concerned the controversial Articles 11 and 13 of the proposal.

On the basis of Article 11, digital platforms, including Internet giants such as Google and Facebook, were to be forced to pay both publishers and news and contents creators for including links to them. Critics of this measure argued that a type of link tax was created which would penalise them excessively and could even limit freedom of expression by not clearly defining the concept of a link to a content or part of it.

Article 13, for its part, provided that owners of websites or Internet platforms that uploaded any content, text, music or code should install a filtering system for possible copyright infringement of such content.

Opponents such as Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, considered it too expensive to incorporate a copyright filtering system into their digital platforms and warned against undermining the creativity that such a measure could entail, citing the example that under these rules, the Beatles could never have made versions of other musical hits.

The adoption of the Directive will be discussed again next September after reviewing the content of the controversial Articles 11 and 13 of the proposal.

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