European Union adopts controversial copyright reforms

European Union adopts controversial copyright reforms

European Union adopts controversial copyright reforms

This decision will likely heighten the tension between Brussels and Silicon Valley, following a series of multi-billion dollar fines and tax demands against technology behemoths Google, Amazon and Apple.

Google's YouTube, Facebook's Instagram, and other sharing platforms will also have to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials.

Germans protested in the thousands on March 23, against the EU's proposed Copyright Directive. Moreover, they will benefit from enhanced safeguards linked to the freedom of expression when they upload videos that contain rights holders' content, i.e.in memes or parodies. "According to a press release by the Council of the European Union, ".platforms will in principle have to obtain a licence for copyright protected works uploaded by users unless a number of conditions provided for in the directive are met".

This latest development marks the final hurdle in the legislative process after Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted to adopt the Directive last month, with 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions. For example, Germany said that it must be the aim to render so-called "upload filters" largely unnecessary in practice.

The new Directive will boost high-quality journalism in the EU and offer better protection for European authors and performers.

In addition, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the adoption would "guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms".

"It therefore risks to hinder innovation rather than promote it and to have a negative impact the competitiveness of the European digital single market", it added. Six member states, including Italy and the Netherlands, voted against it.

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