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Unprecedented lobbying: EU adopts controversial copyright reforms

Unprecedented lobbying: EU adopts controversial copyright reforms

The reforms were not universally supported by all European Union member states, with the Netherlands, Poland and Italy among those that voted against the new measures in the Council's vote. The new rules were first proposed nearly three years ago and member states have two years before they need to add the directive into their national legislation. "When it comes to completing Europe's digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle". In the new rules, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube will be required to obtain licenses for copyrighted works from rights holders to host the content on their respective sites.

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".

"With today's agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age".

According to the press release there is no reason for concern at all.

However, there remained a degree of controversy over the reform, with particular attention directed at Articles 17 and 15.

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The Directive was amended to exclude memes and gifs from its purvey, as they come under provisions safeguarding "quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche".

Article 17 makes firms liable for content uploaded to their website, which could lead to the use of upload filters to vet content before it appears online.

The new Directive will boost high-quality journalism in the EU and offer better protection for European authors and performers. "This [directive] hurts small and emerging publishers, and limits consumer access to a diversity of news sources".

It isn't just Europe that will feel the impact of this ill-conceived legislation.