EU backs controversial copyright law


Sir Tim Berners-LeeImage copyright
Peter Macdiarmid

Image caption

Web pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned about the possible consequences of copyright changes

The European Parliament has backed controversial copyright laws critics say could change the nature of the net.

The new rules include holding technology companies responsible for material posted without proper copyright permission.

Many musicians and creators say the new rules will compensate artists fairly – but others say they will destroy user-generated content.

The Copyright Directive was backed by 348 MEPs, with 278 against.

The laws on copyright were last amended in 2001.

It has taken several revisions for the current legislation to reach its final form.

The two clauses causing the most controversy are known as Article 11 and Article 13.

Article 11 states that search engines and news aggregate platforms should pay to use links from news websites.

Article 13 holds larger technology companies responsible for material posted without a copyright licence.

  • What is the controversial Article 13?

It does not include cloud storage services and there are already existing exemptions, including parody – which is likely to protect memes, short video clips that go viral.

However, there is no specific guidance in the directive about this.

Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS for Music, which collects royalties for music artists, welcomed the directive as “a massive step forward” for consumers and creatives.

“It’s about making sure that ordinary people can upload videos and music to platforms like YouTube without being held liable for copyright – that responsibility will henceforth be transferred to the platforms,” he said.

However, Google said that while the latest version of the directive was improved, there remained “legal uncertainty”.

“The details matter and we look forward to working with policy-makers, publishers, creators and rights holders, as EU member states move to implement these new rules,” it said.

Kathy Berry, senior lawyer at Linklaters, said more detail was required about how Article 13 would be enforced.

“While Article 13 may have noble aims, in its current form it functions as little more than a set of ideals, with very little guidance on exactly which service providers will be caught by it or what steps will be sufficient to comply,” she said.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here