EU backs new controversial copyright laws

Europe’s Copyright Directive was passed to update copyright laws for the internet age.

Yesterday, Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of a series of changes to legislation concerning copyright and the internet. The copyright reform envisaged could change how the internet treats user-generated content.

The most controversial parts of the reform are Article 13, which requires internet platforms to ensure that agreements with right holders for the use of their work are respected, and Article 11, which entails online platforms paying news organisations for the use of their content.

While many argue that such changes are necessary to compensate creators and artists, opponents of the reform worry that this may threaten user-generated content such as memes, and some fear that it could result in a restriction on free speech.

The rule changes still need to be signed off before European countries begin drafting local laws putting them into effect.