EU Reaches Tentative Deal on Online Copyright Reform

The European Union is set to rewrite its two-decades-old copyright rules That will force Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc to share revenue with the creative Businesses and Eliminate copyright-protected Articles on YouTube or Even Instagram.

Negotiators from the EU countries, the European Parliament and the European Commission clinched a deal following day-long negotiations.

The commission, the EU’s executive body, established the debate a couple of decades ago, saying the rules required to be overhauled to protect the bloc’s cultural heritage and be sure publishers, broadcasters and musicians are remunerated fairly.

“Agreement reached on #copyright! Europeans will eventually have contemporary copyright rules match for electronic age with real benefits for everybody: guaranteed rights for customers, fair remuneration for founders, clarity of principles such as platforms,” EU digital chief Andrus Ansip said in a tweet.

Under the rules, Google and other online platforms might have to sign licensing agreements with rights holders such as musicians, performers, writers, news publishers and journalists to use their work online.

Google, which has lobbied against the two attributes and even implied that it may pull Google News out of Europe, said it would study the text before deciding on its next steps.

“Copyright reform should benefit everybody – including European creators and consumers, small platforms and publishers… The facts will matter,” the company said in a tweet.

Spain and Germany in recent years attempted to force Google to pay publishers to shooting snippets of their news articles, but that backfired after Google News pulled out from Spain and visitors of German publisher Axel Springer dove after it sought to block the research engine.

EU lawmaker Axel Voss stated it was time net giants pay their dues to rights holders.

“This deal is an important step towards fixing a scenario that has enabled a few companies to make huge sums of cash without properly remunerating the thousands of creatives and journalists whose job they depend on,” he explained.

But, lawmaker Julia Reda from the Pirate Party voiced concerns, saying that algorithms in upload filters cannot tell the difference between copyright infringements and lawful parodies.

“Requiring platforms to use upload filters would not just cause more frequent blocking of legal uploads, it would also make life hard for smaller platforms that cannot afford filtering applications,” she said.

Online platforms in existence for over three years and with less than 10 million euros in revenue and fewer than 5 million users are far from installing upload filters.

Nonprofit bodies, online encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia, and open source software platforms such as GitHub is going to be able to use potentially valuable data for research and educational purposes without being subjected to the copyright rules.

“It will become much harder for users to talk about their very own, non-commercial music, video or photo creations online. This reform is not dependent on the reality of how folks use the internet,” its deputy director general, Ursula Pachl, stated.

“If we want a future for professional journalism in the European Union, we must take action to encourage the press and to redress an unbalanced ecosystem,” they said in a joint announcement.

The arrangement needs approval in the European Parliament and EU countries before it can become law.

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