European Union lawmakers reject controversial copyright law

GETTYMatteo Salvini was a member of the ENF

GETTYMatteo Salvini was a member of the ENF

With that in mind in the run-up to today's vote, Wikipedia went dark in Spain, Poland and Italy while some of its other local versions carried banners encouraging users to contact members of the European Parliament in protest.

Music legend McCartney as well as major music labels and film studios have lobbied politicians urging them to back the changes.

However, lawmakers on Thursday voted against opening talks with European Union countries based on the committee's recommendation and parliament will now have to revise the proposal for a vote in September before starting talks with European Union countries that have already adopted their own position.

The two most disputed aspects to the reform were an effort to boost revenue for hard-up news publishers and a crackdown on non-copyrighted material on tech platforms such as Google-owned Youtube or Facebook.

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They also argue it will only benefit well-known news providers to the detriment of independent and start-up news companies. Sharing of memes and remixes might also be threatened.

Wikipedia Italia has said the directive, which, among other things, proposes giving publishers the ability to request payment for the use of short bits of text, threatens the freedom of the Internet and could force it to close. There then follow negotiations with member states for a final position, during which the full extent of the law and whether it does apply to Wikipedia will be worked out.

Parliament's decision to reject reforms proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee marks a victory for global giants such as Netflix, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, which would have faced several changes and restrictions if the draft had been approved.

In a protest a message has posted on the website which reads, "Freedom of internet at risk". Lawmakers are looking for a balance between making sure that creators are being properly paid while not stifling free speech or digital innovation. "We need to prevent that and it is inexplicable how some people want to support this internet capitalism", the German MEP added. However, the battle to defeat the Article 13 Censorship Machine is far from over: it must now be won in the European Parliament plenary in September. "We can not stop the public pressure now".

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