Tech Titans Rejoice After The Controversial EU Copyright Reforms Were Rejected by MEPs

    Photo by Thijs ter Haar from Flickr

    The European Parliament has voted against the draft reforms to the refreshed copyright directive of the European Union, which has been the subject of controversy coming from major tech companies during the recent weeks.

    Campaigners such as Youtube, Google, and Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the worldwide web, issued various petitions to the government body contending against the questionable nature of the said directive, calling it as sloppy writing. Earlier during the week, Wikipedia blacked out all its sites in Spain and  Italy in favour of a message that was asking its users to join it in their protest.

    In a vote to reopen the debate that is surrounding the directive, MEPs voted 318 to 278 in favour. This implies that the bill will now face more scrutiny and debate by MEPs, instead of being placed on the fast track to legislation.

    Under its current form, the directive would have required online publications to pay a part of their revenues to the publishers and take on the full responsibility for any form of copyright infringement on the internet.

    As an outcome, any service that enables users to post sound, video, or text, for public consumption must also establish an automatic filter that will scan for similarities to known copyrighted works and censoring those that match.

    However various major companies in the music and publishing industries have been working hard in favour of the regulation, which would have allowed record labels to claim back some of the revenue that they say has been lost by the existing “safe harbour” liability privileges for various streaming sites such as Youtube.

    A recent report that came from IFPI, a music industry body, suggested that Youtube returned less than $1 (75p) for every music user to the record companies last year, as compared to the $20 per user average of Spotify.

    Yesterday, Sir Paul McCartney, the Beatles star, wrote a letter that was addressed to the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). He urged them to support the bill, as he claimed that the value gap that is left between the two “jeopardizes the music ecosystem.”

    A petition against the reforms was led by some MEPs. It was called Save Your Internet and has been able to gather more than 700,000 signatures before the vote this morning.