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European Union Rejects Online Copyright Reform

The European Union has rejected draft legislation which sought to penalise digital platforms for user-uploaded copyright breaches – reform incurring significant costs for Facebook, YouTube and Google.

As previously reported, several European artists and musicians (e.g. Sir Paul McCartney) voiced their support for the reform, asserting a “fair and sustainable” internet is needed “for all”.

278 MEPs voted in favour of the draft legislation, whilst 318 voted against it. The ‘Copyright Directive’ will now return to the drawing board, ahead of a second vote in September.

The draft legislation included two particularly controversial articles – ‘Article 11’ [“link tax”] and ‘Article 13’ [“upload filter”].

The first forced digital platforms (such as Facebook and Google) to pay news publishers for linking back stories, whilst the second required all user-uploaded content to be checked for copyright breaches.

The successful implementation of such reform is expected to incur significant costs for the likes of Facebook and Google.

Consumer advocates also claim such laws would significantly change internet behaviours, including terminate the sharing of popular memes.

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