Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

European Union rejects new internet copyright laws backed by Paul McCartney

European Union rejects new internet copyright laws backed by Paul McCartney

The last European Union copyright reform dates back to 2001, before the start of the digital revolution, and those who are lobbying for the reform are arguing that web giants must be held accountable for the content they feature in order to create a fairer marketplace and fight against piracy.

A total of 318 MEPs voted to discard the JURI Committee's decision and 278 elected to keep the legislation and move on to negotiations with the European Commission and national governments.

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The so called "link-tax" (Article 11) would also prevent online content-sharing platforms and news aggregators sharing links without paying for them.

Two weeks ago, European Parliament sent the media world into a frenzy by pushing legislation that threatened to dismantle the internet as we now know it.

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McCartney wrote in his own letter he believed the changes would have assured a sustainable future for the music industry by encouraging online upload platforms to pay songwriters and performers fairly for use of their work.

Had it passed in its current form, the law would have required online platforms such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook to monitor potential copyright infringements much more closely, while publishers, media, and artists would have gained more power to enforce copyright. They also argued it would only benefit well-known news providers to the detriment of independent and start-up news companies. "I think we'll see a lot of damaging effects there", she said in the Next Web article.

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Reda posted a video on social media urging supporters to continue pressuring their representatives to oppose the Articles 11 and 13. With that in mind in the run-up to today's vote, Wikipedia went dark in Spain, Poland and Italy while some of its other local versions carried banners encouraging users to contact members of the European Parliament in protest. They've heard the massive opposition, including Internet blackouts and 750,000 people petitioning them against these proposals. We congratulate our members for their hard work, and Julia Reda, Catherine Stihler, EDRi and others who have led the fight in Europe to stop these awful proposals.

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