Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

European Union lawmakers reject controversial copyright law

European Union lawmakers reject controversial copyright law

More than 70 internet pioneers including World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle signed an open letter against the change.

The European parliament's Committee on Legal Rights previously voted in favour of the changes.

Supporters of the law said it was never about censorship but fairly paying artists, musicians and other creators. On 5 July, the European Parliament plenary voted against the mandate to start negotiations with Council.

"We have a 1st win!" the "Save the Internet" campaign said in a statement.

It suggests websites can continue to house music videos but must ensure that copyrighted works are not available where a licence has not been agreed for its use.

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

The vote comes just wo weeks after an European Union committee voted 14 to nine to waive them through.

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"We're talking about the major United States platforms like Google and Facebook that have been making huge profits at the cost of European creatives".

But two articles (the 11th and 13th) in the draft sparked criticism among many deputies.

In the end MEPs narrowly voted to reject the law in its current form, deciding to return to the issue in September.

"From the outset our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace - and now, for artists and authors, it doesn't".

If successful, user-generated content services like YouTube will have to obtain music licences, and can no longer hide behind Europe's safe harbour provisions, which protect them from liability if users upload content without rights-holders' permission. Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney wrote a letter to MEPs yesterday urging them to support the bill, arguing that the value gap "jeopardises the music ecosystem". Moreover, it doesn't deal with false copyright claims, which are now frequently used under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down perfectly legitimate content from websites.

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".

The EU Parliament will vote at noon on Wednesday.

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