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14 September 2018, 04:10 | Casey Mitchell
EU votes to adopt controversial copyright law that could ban memes and 'destroy the internet'
There is also concern about Article 11, which has been dubbed a "hyperlink tax", as it would require sites like Google and Facebook to pay news organisations to link back to their content and use their headlines.
Article 13 requires certain platforms like YouTube and Facebook stop users sharing unlicensed copyrighted material.
Approved by 490 votes to 148, with 51 abstentions, the resolution affirms that the EU-U.S. relationship is a key guarantor of global stability, but that the choice of a one-sided "America first" policy has eroded relations between the two powers, and harmed the interests of both parties.
The vote in the European Parliament "is a strong and positive signal and an essential step to achieving our common objective of modernising the copyright rules in the European Union", said EU commissioners Andrus Ansip and Mariya Gabriel, who had proposed the reform. Philipp Welte, a newspaper publisher, told Handelsblatt that journalistic online content needed to be able to be financed to protect press freedom and independence. "I am convinced that once the dust has settled, the Internet will be as free as it is today, creators and journalists will be earning a fairer share of the revenues generated by their works, and we will be wondering what all the fuss was about".
Updated proposals were subsequently tabled and have now been approved by MEPs, meaning the Parliament is now ready to open talks on finalising the reforms with the Council of Ministers, the EU's other law making body.
On top of inhibiting the spread of news, the link tax could also make it all but impossible for Wikipedia and other non-profit educational sources to do their work because of their reliance on links, quotes and citation. Public Knowledge specifically opposes policies like Article 13 and Article 11.
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The rules will now move on through the next stages of the approval process, which will include a final vote in January, which looks set to see the rules passed. "This is a disastrous result for the protection of our fundamental rights, ordinary internet users and Europe's future in the field of artificial intelligence". Activists are now calling for an overhaul of article 3 "to allow SMEs, researchers, innovators and startups access" to the data they need.
In remarks following the vote in Parliament this 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". Run by a group called "save the internet", this deal doesn't seem to be quite done yet.
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