Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google Search, Snippets Affected By EU Parliament Copyright Rules 09/13/2018

Google Search, Snippets Affected By EU Parliament Copyright Rules 09/13/2018

Article 11 is meant to give publishers and newspapers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories, while Article 13 requires platforms like YouTube and Facebook to scan uploaded content to stop the unlicensed sharing of copyrighted material.

The Directive has proved to be highly controversial, with a number of high-profile artists and digital rights campaigners, such as Paul McCartney, Wyclef Jean and Tim Berners-Lee, weighing in on either side of the argument. The first, Article 11, will require tech companies to pay publishers when their content appears on services such as Google News.

The scope of Article 13 has been narrowed to platforms that host "significant" amounts of content and "promote" them as well, while the revised Article 11 removes copyright constraints on article links and "individual words" words describing them. Under existing law, the users of those platforms are responsible for not uploading copyright-protected material, and platforms like Google must remove material if someone shows that it violates copyright.

Internet bloggers commented on Twitter that artistic freedom and creativity had been sacrificed by courting companies and publishing houses that don't understand the internet.

On Wednesday more than 200 amendments to the bill will be discussed, in a flurry of effort to find compromise between the demands of content creators and the rights of users. Requirements for platforms to filter all user uploaded content will likely result in a reduced user experience and the over-removal of legitimate content.

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However, some still remain opposed to the laws, including MEP Julia Reda, who called the European Union endorsement "a severe blow to the free and open internet".

The final version clarifies that this will not include the sharing of hyperlinks to content such as news stories.

[These measures] will undermine free expression online and access to information.

Supporters argue the rule will safeguard media pluralism in Europe, but major tech companies have lobbied heavily against it. The last two would introduce a link tax and upload filters. "He just has to combine the proposed solutions to find a proposal that would be carried by the majority of the plenary". But the lawmakers behind the initiative argue that links are exempt. When Spain tried something similar, Google shuttered its Google News product.

"There is a difference between you sharing something on your personal Facebook page, and a for-profit news aggregator doing the same", she said.

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