The European Parliament has voted to reject sweeping reforms to copyright laws that threatened to tear the internet apart.
The proposals, which could have required the likes of Reddit to filter content and imposed a so-called “link tax” on firms including Google, have been sent back to the drawing board.
At a European Parliament plenary session on Thursday morning, 318 MEPs voted against the changes, while 278 voted in favour. German MEP Julia Reda, who campaigned against the changes, tweeted:
The vote basically means that MEPs will have another chance to debate and amend Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive, which would force platforms such as Reddit and Facebook to examine and then censor user content, in case it breaches copyright.
Article 11, another controversial element of the laws, will also be debated again amid fears that it could impose a “link tax” on companies including Google for linking to publishers. Further debate will take place in September.
Scottish MEP Catherine Stihler made a short speech against the reforms prior to the European Parliament vote. She said she was in receipt of a petition signed by a million people and said the EU “owes it to citizens to give [the changes] the full debate necessary.” After the vote, she tweeted:
Jimmy Wales has been a vocal critic of the copyright plans, with Wikipedia blacking out in parts of Europe to encourage users to campaign against the reforms. “We did it. You did it. Thank you,” he tweeted after the vote.
Europe’s broadcasters, publishers, and artists, including Sir Paul McCartney and James Blunt, backed the overhaul, saying it would level the playing field for rightsholders.
Two weeks ago, we reported that the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus would be getting a new (and rather glamorous) Sunrise Gold edition in the US after having already been released in the UAE, parts of Asia and Europe. Well Australia, get your Kylie Minogue-style golden hot pants out of storage, because the Sunrise...
German authorities want mobile instant messaging and email service providers to be regulated to the same degree as telecommunications companies. The Bundesnetzagentur, or Federal Network Agency, argues that the lines between over the top (OTT) services like Gmail and WhatsApp and traditional call and text applications have become blurred to the point that many consumers...