Home > Reading Room > Vote to approve EU copyright bill deemed ‘disastrous’

Vote to approve EU copyright bill deemed ‘disastrous’

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 21 June 2018

« Return to Reading Room

With the world of IP constantly changing, there is no place at the moment where it has gone under such a change than the EU.

One of those changes in is respect of copyright protection and the introduction of a new EU copyright bill.

Part of this bill is Article 13, which has caused some controversy within the technology industry.

Earlier this month, 70 tech leaders signed a letter which openly opposed article 13 and labelled it an ‘imminent threat to the future of the internet’.  

In a nutshell Article 13 seeks to push the enforcement of copyright and will put more pressure on websites to review all material posted online and create a system to recognise if this material is in breach of copyright. Effectively, every images, words and sounds posted to the internet by users will be scrutinised and penalised if it is found to be in breach of copyright protection.

This is obviously going to be a big operation and will be a big ask for all companies, even those who have huge platforms and resources.

In addition to the practical issues, concerns have been raised at the invasion of these new measures, which activist Cory Doctorow says effectively allows US companies are “going to get to spy on everything Europeans post and decide what gets censored and what doesn't."

A committee of MEP’s, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs have voted to approve Article 13 by 15 votes to 10.

In addition, they also voted to implement Article 11.

Article 11 will require online platforms to pay news publishers a fee if they want to link their news content, in a bid to limit tech companies such as Facebook and Google’s influence over them.

This may seem all well and good, but many have criticised the lack of certainty of the term ‘link’ and believe it may affect freedom of speech.

The changes are not set in stone yet as the wider European Parliament is yet to vote but it seems the attempt to bring out of date law up to date with the modern world is proving more difficult than first thought.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

Want to speak
to someone?

Complete the form below and we’ll call you back free of charge.

Visual Captcha