Last week, the European Parliament voted 348 to 274 to pass the Copyright Directive. Unless something truly extraordinary happens during the upcoming meeting of the European Council -- think of it as the Senate of the EU, where the governments of Member States are represented -- draconian and highly disruptive new rules on content licensing and monitoring will become EU law.
Today, the European Parliament voted 348 to 274 to approve the proposed Copyright Directive. This EU-wide legislation will impose draconian copyright obligations on nearly all internet services and companies, requiring content upload filters, convoluted and uncertain licensing agreements with the entertainment industries, and the payment of a link tax or new licensing fee to news incumbents. EU member states will likely move to ratify the proposal next.
If you follow global tech policy, you probably know that the European Union is in the process of adopting a Copyright Directive to update its copyright framework. The Copyright Directive is infamous on this side of the Atlantic because of the mandate for automated web filters contained in Article 13 of the same. Elsewhere, we’ve written about the harmful effects for free expression that Article 13 would have.
Today, the European Parliament voted to amend the Copyright Directive to force platform companies to create content-upload filters and pay media organizations a link tax. Public Knowledge specifically opposes policies like Article 13 and Article 11. Once adopted by Europe, there is a substantial danger that this idea might be adopted around the world.