Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch:
The European Parliament has just voted to back controversial proposals to reform online copyright — including supporting an extension to cover snippets of publishers content (Article 11), and to make platforms that hold significant amounts of content liable for copyright violations by their users (Article 13).
BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, also denounced the result of the plenary vote, warning that if the plans MEPs backed today become EU law the “benefits of the Internet for consumers will be at risk”.
“It is beyond comprehension that time and again EU policy makers refuse to bring copyright law into the 21st century. Consumers nowadays express themselves by sampling, creating and mixing music, videos and pictures, then sharing their creations online. MEPs have decided to thwart this freedom of expression which is dangerous for creativity and innovation,” said Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC, in a statement.
I understand the impetus for stricter adherence to copyright law by forcing platforms to be responsible for users’ uploads, but it’s hard to see how rights-holders will actually benefit from these new laws. A smarter way to update copyright law for the internet wouldn’t look like a giant filter between users and platforms, nor would it charge a fee for merely linking to or citing news stories.
However, this legislation isn’t the law yet:
While the parliament has now agreed its position on the reform the process is not yet over. There will be trilogue negotiations with Member State representatives, via the European Council, and a final vote — likely early next year.
If you live in the E.U., please call or write your local representative and urge them to find a way to make these reforms — since they are likely to pass — less stupid.