European Parliament Approves Controversial New Copyright Laws

Busker Madeleina Kay performs outside YouTube's offices in Kings Cross London as part of the #LoveMusic campaign which supports

"For the sake of the internet's future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal", they wrote.

These two key provisions, known officially as Article 13 and Article 11 respectively, were previously rejected by the European Parliament when it voted on the draft legislation in July.

The proposals, which remain subject to potential change, would give content creators greater control over where their copyrighted material appears online and force online platforms to intervene to tackle unauthorised use of the material by users.

The push is part of an attempt to unify European approaches to intellectual property.

The "link tax" portion of the legislation has been amended so that just sharing hyperlinks to articles along with "individual word" to describe them will not be penalised. Article 11 will allow publishers to make money when companies link to their work - meaning they can ask for paid licences for their stories to be shared.

But proponents likewise say they are protecting less powerful users, such as the artists and newspapers who, these supporters argue, are losing the fight against big tech.

The law has divided many, with musicians including Paul McCartney saying that the reforms are necessary to fairly compensate artists, while critics such as Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales have argued that the impact will fall most on ordinary users of the internet.

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"This is a good sign for the creative industry in Europe", said Axel Voss, a German lawmaker who sponsored the bill.

Amendments to make the so-called "link tax" less comprehensive and to exempt smaller platforms from having to filter content have been included.

Others, meanwhile, called the criticism absurd.

We regret that a majority of Members of the European Parliament ignored the widespread warnings on the risks of the copyright proposal.

Another vote is planned for January, but Reda believes the final decision will be made next autumn. Much of the criticism has rightfully focused on Article 13, which would result in risky, preemptive, automatic filtering of content without necessary safeguards to protect creativity online. Industry groups complain that TDM is needed to generate artificial intelligence, a race which doesn't see Europe winning any time soon.

The European Union (EU) wants to shake up the way Internet companies handle media, e-books, digital music, news articles and other content posted online by better protecting the rights of the authors and creators.

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