Europe
European Parliament passes contentious copyright bill
Last Updated: 2018-09-13 14:19 | Xinhua
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The European Parliament on Wednesday passed the a bill of copyright reform which includes two controversial articles, to the disappointment of Internet giants like Google and Facebook.

The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was passed by the parliamentarians with 438 votes in favor, 226 against and 39 abstentions. Tech companies, most of which are based in the United States, have campaigned vigorously against it.

Two articles in the bill drew particular ire from the Internet industry.

Article 11 empowers news organizations to charge Internet companies for a fee when the latter, on its own Internet platforms, shares a link to the content produced by news organizations.

Critics led by tech giants have described Article 11 as leading to a "link tax", but news organizations argued tech giants must be stopped from "plundering" contents that were generated at a huge cost.

A joint statement signed by CEOs of around 20 news agencies, including France's Agence France-Presse, Britain's Press Association, Germany's Deutsche Presse-Agentur and Belgium's Belga, on Sept. 4 backed Article 11.

Article 13 asks internet giants to take measures to prevent user-generated content that infringes upon a rightsholder's copyright, and was embraced by artists like Paul McCartney, the music and film industries.

Opponents to this article again include Internet giants. They argue that if the article did become law, platforms like YouTube would have to install upload filters which would function like pre-publication censorship.

The European Parliament's approval does not translate the bill into law instantly, as the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, and the leaders of the EU's 28-member states would still have say on the issue.

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