The European Parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of adopting a controversial new law that will bring sweeping reforms to how copyrighted content posted online is governed. The legislation was adopted with 348 votes in favor and 274 against. For proponents of digital rights, the decision by politicians will come as a huge blow after over a year of campaigning for what they perceive as the upholding of the integrity of the internet. MEP Julia Reda, one of the most vocal critics of the directive said on Twitter that the vote signalled a “dark day for internet freedom. Years in the making, the EU Copyright Directive has been heavily debated and divisive among politicians, as well as aggravating the wider tech industry. One part of the proposal in particular — Article 13, which will govern the way copyrighted content is uploaded to the internet — has many in the tech community throwing their hands up in despair. “In a stunning rejection of the will five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety,” said rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a blog post. Article 13 dictates that anyone sharing copyrighted content must get permission from rights owners — or at least have made the best possible effort to get permission — before doing so. But this doesn’t just mean full songs,… [Read full story]
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