European Union votes to adopt 'upload filters' as part of internet copyright law

Busker Madeleina Kay performs outside YouTube's offices in Kings Cross London as part of the #LoveMusic campaign which supports

Among the amendments, sharing and information sites like GitHub and Wikipedia will be exempt from Article 13, while publications will now be able to get away with "individual words" and hyperlinks without fear of punishment under Article 11.

To do this, the directive relies on two main weapons: obliging aggregators to recompense original authors whenever a snippet of their work appears in a feed (Google News, for example); and demanding that sites such as YouTube pre-screen uploads of music or videos to prevent copyright infringement.

Eleonora Rosati, a lawyer and copyright expert at the University of Southampton, said the ultimate impact depends on how specific the final version of the legislation is and how it's interpreted. "[The warnings] are correct, but exaggerated".

It's safe to say the vote hasn't gone down too well. "We are in favor of a rules-based, multilateral approach and of settling the differences through the WTO, therefore the rule of law has to be accepted, and not the right of might", said global trade committee rapporteur Bernd Lange (Socialists & Democrats, Germany).

The cost of developing the filters would be substantial.

Florence sits on doorstep of Carolinas with projected winds of 100mph
An estimated one million people evacuated North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia as the storm moved close to the US. Duke has said it could take several weeks to fully restore power in areas that are inaccessible due to flooding.

YouTube already uses Content ID to identify and block copyrighted content, but when these rights are put into the hands of publishers the censorship might become much more severe.

"Anything you want to publish will need to first be approved by these filters", said Julia Reda, a German lawmaker who opposes the law. Supporters of the law argue that people and companies in the creative industries are being starved of revenues lost to the sharing of their intellectual property on digital platforms. Facebook declined to comment.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Google, Facebook, Amazon and Mozilla, urged a more balanced approach in the forthcoming talks between lawmakers, the Commission and European Union governments. The "link tax" could see news publishers forcing Google, Microsoft and similar companies to pay them to display their articles. "He just has to combine the proposed solutions to find a proposal that would be carried by the majority of the plenary". If search engines are required to pay licensing fees for every bit of text, some results will inevitably be removed when a certain publisher proves untraceable, links or outlets are not considered viable enough to contend with, or a publisher refuses to license their content for any reason.

They said that discussions between the co-legislators can now start on a legislative proposal which is a key element of the digital single market strategy and one of the Commission's priorities. But the lawmakers behind the initiative argue that links are exempt.

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