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EU Parliament Approves Strong Article 13 Copyright Directive, Will End 'Safe Harbor'

image from upload.wikimedia.orgThe EU Parliament voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve strong new copyright legislation.  While some changes were made, the provisions, adopted by a vote of 438 to 226, include strong wording that makes YouTube, Facebook and others liable for material uploaded to their platform. Article 11, which includes a so-called 'link tax' was also approved.

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In a move sought by a broad music industry coalition, the European Union Parliament overwhelmingly approved Articles 11 and 13 Wednesday. The legislation includes strong new copyright protections for all creators.

Included is a new directive that will force popular sites like YouTube to 'filter' or pre-check material upload to its site and hold the companies liable if the content is not properly licensed. Google and other critics argue the law will severely limit the flow of creative content.

 The approved legislation reads:

“Article 13 creates an obligation on information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users to take appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders and to prevent the availability on their services of content identified by rightholders in cooperation with the service providers”

EU and UK trade groups including IMPALA and the Music Publishers Association hailed the vote on Article 13 as "historic."

Article 11 is aimed primarily at newspaper and other publishers, giving them more control and potential compensation when companies like Google link to their stories.

The legislation approved today still faces a final vote in the European Parliament in January. Given today's  438 to 226 vote it seems unlikely that it will be rejected.

 

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