Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

The EU's failed copyright directive: Here's how industry big wigs reacted

The EU's failed copyright directive: Here's how industry big wigs reacted

A series of high profile figures had joined the campaign against the proposals, including comedian Stephen Fry, British inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales. "Without appropriate regulation, the will of the Internet giants will be imposed unsparingly on the artists". On 5 July, the European Parliament plenary voted against the mandate to start negotiations with Council.

"I wouldn't consider the vote as a surprise since we knew all along that there was a split between MEPs on this sensitive issue", said Maltese MEP Francis Zammit Dimech to Lovin Malta. These proposed rules would be a compliance nightmare for the free online encyclopedia, which relies heavily on fair use of media content and freely shared images.

The vote on the revised legislation, according to European Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, is scheduled for September 10-13.

In the end, the vote failed 278-318, with 31 abstentions.

If the articles do not pass September's vote, they may very well be trashed, at least for now. A similar law that was enacted in Spain four years ago forced Alphabet shut down the local edition of Google News.

"These new figures expose the fact that Google is acting like a monolithic mega-corp trying to submerge the truth under a tsunami of misinformation and scare stories pedalled by its multi-million propaganda machine". Unfortunately, like a lot of the internet it seems, I don't think taking away fair use policy is the way to go about it, particularly when it is used for just as much good as it is bad (think advertisement and innovation).

In accordance with article 13 of the draft document, access content violates the rights of authors, can be blocked.

By contrast, musician Paul McCartney voiced his support for the legal text, in an open letter to MEPs. "Members have understood that the proposed upload filters and the "link tax" would unduly limit how users can participate and express themselves online and serve only special interests", she added.

Goyens calls the MEPs' rejection of the JURI Committee bill "a big decision in the fight to prevent large-scale and systematic filtering of online content from becoming the norm".

"We are confident that the European Parliament will eventually support a framework that fully acknowledges the rights of creators in the digital landscape of the 21st century".

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