Legislators have agreed to a major overhaul of copyright provisions and slap the big tech companies who argue that the changes are costly and restrict freedom of expression.
The European Parliament voted Tuesday to approve heavily controversial changes that blame platforms such as YouTube for copyright infringement on their users.
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The proposal was rejected by tech companies that warned against creating expensive content filters and stopping links to publications. Internet activists argued that the changes would lead to censorship.
On the other side of the two-year struggle were record companies, artists and media companies. They said that reforms are needed to update copyright protection for the Internet age and to ensure they are properly paid for content.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said the vote will "put an end to the existing digital Wild West by creating modern rules".
Critics say the provisions contained in the bill are far too broad and could be too far-reaching material can be copyrighted, such as quotes or parodies. They warn that the law could even kill Internet memes.
"The details are important, and we look forward to working with policymakers, publishers, creators and rightholders as EU Member States implement these new rules, "the company said in a statement. A member of the European Parliament from Germany said the vote marked a "dark day for the freedom of the internet".
The voting Tuesday paves the way for the law once it has been approved by the European Council, which represents the member states of the bloc. The European Council has announced that it will approve the measure, but its implementation will take two years.