EU Reaches Tentative Deal on Online Copyright Reform

The European Union is set to rewrite its two-decades-old copyright rules which will Induce Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc to share revenue with the creative industries and remove copyright-protected Articles on YouTube or Even Instagram.

Negotiators in the EU countries, the European Parliament and the European Commission clinched a bargain after day-long negotiations.

The commission, the EU’s executive body, launched the debate two decades ago, stating the principles needed to be overhauled to protect the bloc’s cultural heritage and be certain publishers, broadcasters and musicians are remunerated fairly.

“Deal reached #copyright! Europeans will finally have contemporary copyright rules match for digital age with actual benefits for everybody: guaranteed rights for customers, reasonable remuneration for creators, clarity of principles such as platforms,” EU digital chief Andrus Ansip stated in a tweet.

Under the new rules, Google and other online platforms might need to sign licensing agreements with rights holders such as musicians, performers, writers, news editors and publishers to use their work online.

Google’s YouTube and Facebook’s Instagram and other sharing platforms will be asked to install upload filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials.

Google, which has lobbied intensively against both features and even suggested that it might pull Google News out of Europe, said it would study the text before deciding on its next steps.

“Copyright reform needs to benefit everyone – including European founders and consumers, small publishers and platforms… The facts will matter,” the firm said in a tweet.

Spain and Germany lately attempted to force Google to pay publishers for taking snippets of their news articles, but that backfired after Google News pulled out from Spain and traffic of German publisher Axel Springer dove after it sought to block the search engine.

EU lawmaker Axel Voss stated it was time net giants pay their dues to rights holders.

“This deal is an important step towards correcting a scenario that has allowed a few companies to earn huge sums of cash without properly remunerating the thousands of creatives and journalists whose work they depend on,” he explained.

However, lawmaker Julia Reda from the Pirate Party expressed worries, saying that calculations in upload filters cannot tell the difference between copyright infringements and lawful parodies.

“Requiring platforms to utilize upload filters would not just lead to more regular blocking of uploads that are legal, it would also make life difficult for smaller platforms which can’t afford filtering software,” she explained.

Online platforms in existence for over three years and with less than 10 million euros in revenue and fewer than 5 million users are far from installing upload filters.

Nonprofit bodies, online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia, and open source software platforms like GitHub is going to have the ability to use potentially valuable information for educational and research purposes without being exposed to the copyright rules.

European consumer organisation BEUC expressed disappointment.

“It will become much more difficult for users to talk about their own, non-technical audio, video or photo creations online. This reform is not dependent on the reality of how folks use the world wide web,” its deputy director general, Ursula Pachl, stated.

The European Magazine Media Association, European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, European Publishers Council and News Media Europe gave a thumbs-up into the revamp.

“If we want a future for professional journalism at the European Union, then we must take actions to support the media and to redress an unbalanced ecosystem,” they said in a joint announcement.

The agreement needs approval from the European Parliament and EU countries before it could become law.


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