European Union states approve controversial copyright reform

European Council gives final thumbs up to controversial

After that, the members will have 24 months to transpose the directive into their national legislation.

Five countries that were against the directive, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy and Finland, issued a joint statement criticizing the directive.

Nineteen countries, including the United Kingdom, voted in favour, while six countries voted against and three abstained.

Member states of the European Union will have two years to implement the provisions of the bill. However, German ministers stressed in the minutes that "upload filters" would not be made mandatory in Germany.

The European Parliament backed historic measures to reform EU copyright law on Tuesday (26 March) in a move set to have a far-reaching impact on rights for content creators and artists across the continent. Two aspects of the reforms attracted particular scrutiny and comment.

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Internet users have protested fearing the bill would make "upload filters" mandatory on all social platforms, barring users from putting up copyrighted content (which could be anything from a meme to a song used in the background).

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.

However, the provisions were subsequently amended and supporters of the reforms have said the changes ensure newly emerging platforms are not exposed to the same burdens as more established platforms, and that there are other safeguards on freedom of expression.

The adopted directive includes articles 15 and 17.

The directive introduces a new right for press publishers for the online use of their publication. Article 11, which says aggregators must license content that is more than a "short extract", was also approved.

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