Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The proposed reform has attracted enormous attention and fierce campaigning on both sides EU lawmakers are set to vote on a controversial copyright reform that could change how internet companies treat uploaded content from users.A version of the proposal was rejected in July after a grassroots campaign, and fierce…
EU lawmakers are set to vote on a controversial copyright reform that could change how internet companies treat uploaded content from users.
A version of the proposal was rejected in July after a grassroots campaign, and fierce campaigning on both sides.
Critics fear the rules are too broad and could affect parodies, remixes, and even links to articles and websites.
But many musicians, authors, and other creators back the reforms which they view as necessary to support artists.
Hundreds of changes have been made since the July vote, but opponents say major issues remain.
What is the controversy?
The proposed copyright directive is supposed to protect creators by forcing payments to be made to them if their work is copied or linked to online.
Most of it is not controversial, and the debate is centred around two sections: articles 11 and 13.
But with more than 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, no human could do the job – filtering would need to be done automatically by computers.
Such systems are both expensive and often criticised for being over-zealous and filtering anything that might be copyright-protected.
For example, some people believe that background music playing in a family video could be filtered out, or that small samples of copyrighted content in a parody or internet meme image could be enough to trigger the automatic filter.
The possibility has led to such systems being labelled “censorship machines” by some opponents. MEPs behind the directive say such claims are wrong, and have decried what they see as a misinformation campaign.
The other debated section, article 11, seeks to grant new rights to news outlets and publishers, giving them a slice of revenue from aggregators like Google who link to their content.
The amendment by@AxelVossMdEPproves this “mythbuster” wrong: If snippets were not affected, why would his new amendments only allow individual words to accompany a link? If you use more than that, like a headline, you have to pay.https://t.co/kZ7vUTur1A#SaveYourInternet
Nobody’s hearing about all the good things in the Directive – like the transparency triangle. Authors will get proper accounting of how well their work’s doing, and a proper share of the profits if they do well.
And while some critics say the changes will hurt small businesses to the benefit of existing internet giants, those same giants – including Facebook and Google – also oppose the directive, which would make them liable for content uploaded by their users.
What happens next?
The July vote was defeated 318-278 after thousands of ordinary people contacted their European representatives following a grassroots campaign.
But under European parliament rules, that meant it would be amended and debated before going for another vote, due on Wednesday.
More than 250 changes to the original text have been proposed.
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