European Union copyright reforms draw fire from internet luminaries as key vote looms

EU votes to effectively ban memes electronically as Article 13 passes

Kim Kardashian hears the news that many

When users upload content to social networks, video websites and other digital platforms, the companies running those services aren't responsible for checking if the material violates copyright. The law can only take effect after it is agreed in three-way talks between MEPs, national governments and the Commission.

Similar laws introduced by Spain and Germany in the past resulted in Google News quitting Spain while Germany's biggest news publisher Axel Springer had to scrap a bid to block Google from running news snippets from its newspapers following a plunge in traffic.

Europe's attempts to force Google, Microsoft and other tech giants to share revenues with publishers and bear liability for internet content have triggered criticism from internet pioneers ahead of a key vote on Wednesday.

It read: 'By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet, from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users'.

Article 13's critics have warned that its passing could see a drastic change made to the creative atmosphere of the internet, affecting user-generated content from memes to remixes.

Google's parent company Alphabet, which also owns Youtube, made more than $100bn in revenue previous year, while Facebook made £40bn over the same period.

"The news of today's vote is music to our ears", said Eleanor McEvoy, chair of IMRO said.

Critics of the proposed law include World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

It said new rules will ensure that artists and publishers could benefit from online activity. For copyrighted works, services like Google's YouTube already use technology that scans and identifies protected content that's uploaded.

The internet was created because people had the freedom to post nearly anything they wanted online, stated the letter, and if you take that away, freedom of expression will be tied to a ball and chain.

"I will challenge this outcome and request a vote in the European parliament next month", Reda said. "Those platforms are really monopolising the market for access to cultural content on the internet", said Veronique Desbrosses, general manager for GESAC, a European umbrella association of author groups.

'We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online, ' the letter reads.

Article 11 has been called the "link tax" by opponents. In a separate 2012 ruling, the European Union court in Luxembourg said that sites should not be compelled to install or otherwise operate content filters to check for privacy.

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