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EU Council adopts copyright directive

Written by Laura Cannon- Solent University student on 16 April 2019

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After months of deliberation and opposition the European Council has finally adopted the proposed copyright directive which was given the go ahead by EU parliament and lawmakers last month. This news was announced yesterday (15th April) and the council stated that the directive would “modernise existing copyright law.”

Previous to this news the new directive received a lot of criticisms from tech companies including; Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. This is because under the new rules, search engines like Google will have to sign licensing agreements with musicians, performers, authors and news publishers to use their work in its search results. It will also be up to the individual platforms to ensure that users are not uploading copyright protected material. This could involve installing filters that detect the material and prevent it from being uploaded.

The new directive was also objected by certain countries such as; Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. The countries said that the final text of the directive was a step back for the digital single market and fails to deliver on its aims of stimulating innovation, creativity, investment and production of new content. The statement said “The directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of right holders and the interests of EU citizens and companies.”

However not everyone is critical of the new directive, Valer Daniel Breaz, Romanian minister for culture and national identity, said the directive was a milestone for the development of a robust and well functioning digital single market. He said the balanced text will create “multiple opportunities for Europe’s creative sectors, which will thrive and better, reflect our cultural diversity and other European common values.” He added it will also benefit users, “whose freedom of expression on the internet will be consolidated.”

Following the signature and publication of the directive in the official journal of the EU, member states will have 24 months to transpose the new rules into their national law.

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