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The EU’s parliament approves the controversial ‘Article 13’ copyright law


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201903260163

Michael Birnbaum

Mar. 26 2019

BRUSSELS - The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a sweeping set of changes to copyright laws that could force big tech companies to be legally responsible for the content that users upload on their websites.

Once the rules go into effect, Internet platforms will have to be much more active in policing content posted by ordinary users. Advocates of the law — commonly known as “Article 13” — say it is needed to rein in an anything-goes approach to intellectual property online. Critics say it will crimp expression on the Internet and could lead to censorship.

The new rules, approved in a 348 to 274 vote, would force Google News and other aggregators to pay publishers for certain types of links to their articles. Services that offer users the chance to upload their own content, such as YouTube and Facebook, could be liable for videos that violate copyrights. European Union governments are expected to approve the rules next month, which would put them on course to go into effect in two years.

Advocates and critics agreed that the changes could create a fundamental shift in the way the Internet operates, and both sides lobbied heavily ahead of the decision. Musicians, news publishers and other content creators fought for the new law. Internet freedom advocates, along with big tech companies, scrambled to fend it off.

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