×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

European Parliament Gives Final Approval to Controversial Article 13 Copyright Directive

The European Parliament on Tuesday gave final approval to Article 13, a controversial part of a wider directive that shakes up the rules around copyright in the European Union. The new rules will have ramifications for online platforms, content owners and creators, and the general public.

The proposed new framework, now approved, has sparked widespread debate among the platforms, public, and content firms. The platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, largely objected while many creatives supported moves to ensure they are compensated for distribution of their work, and there are sufficient efforts to fight piracy.

“The directive aims to enhance rights holders’ chances, notably musicians, performers and script authors, (creatives) as well as news publishers, to negotiate better remuneration deals for the use of their works when these feature on internet platforms,” the Parliament said in notes accompanying the announcement that the directive passed.

Crucially, the rules approved in Strasbourg include what was Article 13 – and was renumbered to Article 17 – that makes platforms liable for potential copyright infringement on content uploaded to their sites.

Another controversial element was contained in Article 11, which requires users to get permission before sharing content and has been dubbed a “link tax.” The Parliament said that “hyperlinks to news articles, accompanied by ‘individual words or very short extracts,’ can be shared freely.”

It also spelled out ways to lift the burden on start-up platforms, which will not be subject to the same obligations.

“This directive is an important step towards correcting a situation which has allowed a few companies to earn huge sums of money without properly remunerating the thousands of creatives and journalists whose work they depend on,” said German politician Axel Voss, who was behind the copyright rules.

He added: “It helps make the internet ready for the future, a space which benefits everyone, not only a powerful few.”

Google, which has actively lobbied against the changes to EU’s copyright laws, continued to insist the legislation will have negative consequences. “The Copyright Directive is improved but will still lead to legal uncertainty and will hurt Europe’s creative and digital economies,” a Google rep said in a statement. “The details matter, and we look forward to working with policy makers, publishers, creators and rights holders as EU member states move to implement these new rules.” Facebook declined to comment.

Raffaella De Santis, an associate at law firm Harbottle & Lewis, said that artists will hail the passing of the directive but there could be unintended consequences for swathes of online services.

“This outcome is unpopular with digital services and importantly, many European voters,” she said. “The key focus now will be on how the directive is implemented across the EU over the next two years, and care will need to be taken to ensure that smaller services are not disproportionately disadvantaged by measures which are in reality designed to curtail the formerly unchecked power of the tech giants.”

Steve Smith, chair of industry group Directors U.K. the directive will be a game changer fir authors and directors. “Like other directors, my work is uploaded and used all over the internet, for which I receive no additional payment,” he said. “The implementation of the Copyright Directive will level the playing field between creators and the tech giants and help directors, for the first time, be rewarded fairly for the use of our work.”

Whether the directive is implemented in the U.K., however, remains to be seen with the details of its exit from the European Union still up in the air.

More Music

  • Britney Spears

    Britney Spears' Fans Demand Release of Pop Star from Psychiatric Facility

    A group of protesters gathered outside City Hall in West Hollywood on Monday afternoon (April 22) to demand the release of pop star Britney Spears from a psychiatric facility. Carrying “Free Britney” signs and chanting “Hands off, Britney” and “Justice for Britney” about a dozen fans took to the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and [...]

  • Arista Records Names Danny Cooper Senior

    Arista Records Names Danny Cooper Senior VP of Promotion

    Danny Cooper has been named senior vice president of promotion at Arista Records, it was announced today by John Boulos, the label’s executive VP of promotion. In this role, Cooper will work closely with Boulos in all areas of promotion across genres, and oversee Arista’s promotion staff throughout the U.S. He is based in Los [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce, Editorial

    Lizzo Reveals Summer-Fall Tour Dates

    Hot on the heels of her Nice Life/Atlantic Records debut album “Cuz I Love You” (which got a rave review in Variety last week) and her two Coachella performances, Lizzo has announced dates for a huge North American tour, billed “Cuz I Love You Too.” Produced by Live Nation, the tour begins July 18 in Portland, [...]

  • Delta Air Lines celebrates Grammy Weekend

    Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Zedd to Headline iHeartMedia Wango Tango Concert

    Jonas Brothers, Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Zedd, Ally Brooke (with special guest Tyga), Ava Max, Fletcher and Tomorrow X Together will perform at iHeartMedia’s annual Wango Tango concert at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles (formerly StubHub Center) on June 1. Freeform will broadcast a 90-minute television special on Friday, June 7 [...]

  • Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin JonasJonas

    Jonas Brothers Set Their First Album in a Decade for June

    Coming 10 years almost to the week after their previous studio album, the Jonas Brothers’ “Happiness Begins” has been set for a June 7 release. A date for their full-length comeback has been eagerly anticipated by fans ever since the near-surprise March 1 release of “Sucker,” a single that has just reached No. 1 on [...]

  • Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to

    Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to Be Released in October

    The memoir Prince was working on at the time of his death is coming out Oct. 29, according to the Associated Press. Publisher Random House confirmed Monday that “The Beautiful Ones” will combine Prince’s unfinished manuscript with rare photos, scrapbooks and lyrics. Announced just weeks before his 2016 death, the 288-page book, issued in partnership [...]

  • TV Review: ‘Motown 60: A Grammy

    TV Review: ‘Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration’

    If nothing else, CBS’ “Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration” special alerted America to the continued vitality of Smokey Robinson as a contemporary performer. Ten months from turning 80, the singer’s performances were focused and controlled as he weaved his sultry vocals through classics he wrote — the ballads “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Ooh Baby Baby,” chief among them. Producers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content