Members of the European Parliament voted against the introduction of a controversial Internet copyright law which would have introduced a “link tax” and an “upload filter,” which would check every single Internet upload for copyright infringement.
318 MEPs voted against the law while 278 MEPs voted for it, prompting the law to be modified before a second vote in September.
“The draft law, known as the Copyright Directive, was intended as a simple update to copyright for the internet age. But it attracted substantial criticism for the inclusion of two key provisions: Articles 11 and 13,” reported the Verge. “The first, Article 11, was a ‘link tax’ that would force online platforms like Facebook and Google to pay news organizations before linking to their stories; while the second, Article 13, proposed an ‘upload filter’ that would have required all content uploaded online to be checked for copyright infringement.”
Most public concern was over the potential for the European Union to censor online memes and Internet culture, as well as anything else which could be deemed an infringement of copyright.
The Pirate Party launched an opposition campaign to Copyright Directive, which was supported by the UK Independence Party (UKIP), World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, and Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle.