Strasbourg (France) – The European Parliament is due to vote on Tuesday on a controversial reform of EU copyright rules, following widespread protest.
The protest is against the measures that aimed to fairly remunerate artists and news publishers in the digital world.
The EU’s existing copyright rules, dating to 2001, are no longer appropriate for the internet era, the European Commission argued when it proposed the overhaul in 2016.
But critics of the planned reform argued that it will damage the free exchange of information online.
One key point of contention is a requirement for social media platforms such as YouTube to ensure at the time of uploading that content is not in breach of copyright rules.
Critics feared that this will lead to so-called upload filters automated software that, they argued, could also catch legal content and prevent it from appearing online.
This was one of the key issues highlighted in demonstrations against the copyright reform across Germany and in other European countries at the weekend.
One option would be for lawmakers to approve the reform but remove this aspect, known as Article 13.
The text before parliament was agreed in negotiations between the EU legislature and member states in February.
If approved in full, the reform could be finalised ahead of EU elections in May.
Any changes would have to be vetted by EU capitals, with the possibility that the reform remains stuck until July, when the new parliament is constituted.
The reform also includes a provision forcing the likes of Google News to pay publishers for press snippets shown in search results.