EU Parliament to vote on controversial copyright law

Italian Wikipedia goes dark in bid to save memes and remixes from new EU online

Valentin Wolf Global Look Press

Some in the content industry were less pleased. Likewise, on 20 June 2018, the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs ("JURI Committee") adopted its legislative report on the proposal.

Supporters of the law said it was never about censorship but fairly paying artists, musicians and other creators.

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 vote did not pass, with 278 voting in favour and 318 against.

Sir Paul McCartney is among those supporting the contentious legislation; he believes the change would safeguard the "sustainable future for music".

Immediately after the vote, interest groups started flooding mailboxes with press statements. A similar law that was enacted in Spain four years ago forced Alphabet Inc.to shut down the local edition of Google News.

"We welcomed the support of the government", a spokesperson for the Wikipedia Italia, Maurizio Codogno told Italian news agency ANSA. One petition generated 20,000 signatures from creators.

Critics of the bill had focused on two articles.

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German MEP and vice president of the Greens-European Free Alliance, Julia Reda, said that this would give Parliament the "opportunity to replace the text with less far-reaching objectives".

Various companies including Mozilla and Wikipedia have voiced their concerns online ever since the proposed "Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market" copyright laws became public, and it looks like some of the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have heard those complaints.

The issue will return on the plenary agenda in September.

Lobbying campaigns are set to accelerate over July and August, when the Brussels policy agenda usually slows down as the Parliament and Commission head into recess.

"It is perhaps unsurprising considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals". The obligation applies to all online content sharing services as defined by the texts, regardless of their size.

Supporters of the legislation were quick to voice their disappointment.

"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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