Earlier this week, the European Parliament voted in favor of a directive overhauling the European Union’s online copyright rules. These controversial changes, following extensive lobbying and a 348-274 vote, implicate an intersection between regulators, content creators/authors, and internet companies like online platforms and news aggregators (think: social media sites, internet news sites). The changes seek to impose liability on online platforms when users upload material that infringes on another’s copyright, a key difference from the U.S.’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects internet companies that promptly remove infringing content. The changes would result in internet companies needing to monitor for infringing content and news aggregators being required to negotiate licensing deals with creators (i.e. paying for the articles they publish/share).
Proponents say the changes protect creators and place necessary obligations on internet companies; opponents believe the changes go too far and would limit privacy and freedom of expression. Opposition to the changes continues to mount, as final approval and legislation is still subject to EU Ministers and member states.