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What’s in the Sweeping Copyright Bill Just Passed by the European Parliament


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A meeting of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament has approved a package of changes to copyright law.

Credit: Diliff

The European Parliament has approved a package of dramatic changes to copyright law that will have big implications for the future of the Internet.

"We're enormously disappointed that MEPs [Members of European Parliament] failed to listen to the concerns of their constituents and the wider Internet," said Danny O'Brien, an analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The legislation makes online platforms like Google and Facebook directly liable for content uploaded by their users and mandates greater "cooperation" with copyright holders to police the uploading of infringing works. It also gives news publishers a new, special right to restrict how their stories are featured by news aggregators such as Google News. And it creates a new right for sports teams that could limit the ability of fans to share images and videos online.

Today's vote was not the end of Europe's copyright fight. Under the European Union's convoluted process for approving legislation, the proposal will now become the subject of a three-way negotiation involving the European Parliament, the Council of the Europe Union (representing national governments), and the European Commission (the EU's executive branch). If those three bodies agree to a final directive, then it will be sent to each of the 28 EU member countries (or more likely 27 thanks to Brexit) for implementation in national laws.

That means that European voters who are concerned—or excited—about this legislation still have a few more months to contact their representatives, both within their national governments and in the European Parliament.

 

From Ars Technica
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