Europe’s controversial overhaul of online copyright receives final approval: a “dark day for internet freedom” or a “big step ahead”?
On March 26th, the European Parliament has given final approval to the Copyright Directive, a package of legislation designed to update copyright law in Europe for the internet age. The Copyright Directive itself contains reasonable amendments to laws enforced in 2001, but two regulations – Article 11 or the “link tax” which lets publishers charge big media platforms when they display snippets of news stories, and Article 13 (so-called the “upload filter”) that obliges sites to stop users from uploading copyrighted content – are the most critisized.
Experts in copyright law said that despite both jubilant and unhappy reactions, the real test is yet to come. The directive will now be passed on to EU member states, who will have to translate it into national law over the next two years.