European Union copyright law may force tech giants to pay billions to publishers

Artists such as Madonna earn more per view from Spotify than YouTube. The European Union is aiming to rewrite the

Catastrophic Article 11 vote: The European Parliament just endorsed a #linktax that would make using the title of a news article in a link to it require a license. Supporters counters that hyperlinks will be exempt, but critics say the rule would change the entire nature of the internet and sharing of information. "[The warnings] are correct, but exaggerated". Haitian recording star Wyclef Jean was in town to oppose the law-putting him on the side of Silicon Valley giants and activists for internet freedom.

While YouTube already filters content via audio, allowing users to demonetise their content or take it down entirely, Article 13 would require the platform to begin sweeping imagery within the video before it's available for public viewing.

In a joint statement, Andrus Ansip, Digital Single Market vice-president, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said - with the vote concluded - the intention is to have the directive approved by the end of 2018.

Some also worry about the cost and reliability of automated filters.

Not all reaction was positive, however, German member of European Parliament, Julia Reda, said that the decision was a "severe blow to the free and open internet". YouTube said it spent over $100 million on an existing content ID system that identifies copyrighted material after it's published. Google and other critics argue the law will severely limit the flow of creative content. "We can not support Article 13".

"We need more common ground, more European strength, to bring the European Union and the United States closer to each other again", said Elmar Brok (European People's Party, Germany), rapporteur for the European Parliament's International Affairs Committee. That will mean that companies like Google and Facebook could have to pay news organisations to use their headlines on their sites, for instance, which campaigners claim could undermine some of the most central technologies of the inter net. Google has warned that the rule would prevent it from sending traffic to news publishers via search and Google News, because "paying to display snippets is not a viable option for anyone".

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, the major tech lobby, said MEPs "ignored the warnings. on the real threats this proposal causes".

Previous efforts to make sure publishers are paid have backfired in Europe.

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