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Posted by Ailsa Willis

We’ve mentioned before that the European Parliament was going to vote on a reform of copyright laws in Europe. A vote that might have a very big impact on how online content is shared and used online.


So what happened?

The results are in. With 438 votes ‘pro’ and 226 against, the majority of votes clearly were in favour of the ‘copyright directive’.

This decision will have a big impact on the internet content platform giants of today such as Google / YouTube, Facebook / Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. After this reform they will be responsible for the copyrights of the content that is being shared on their platforms. This will count for all types of content: video, photography, music, film, articles. After this reform, copyright protected content will only be allowed to be shared on a platform, if the owner of the copyright agrees. If this is not the case the owner of the copyright will need to be compensated. This compensation is named a ‘linktax’. Platforms like YouTube will not be able to pass all the blame to the users of their platform and will instead need to cough up the dough themselves. Creators of content will be better protected. People won’t get away with copying their work and making (advertising) money on content that isn’t theirs to share.


What’s the impact now?

So what did this change for you if you’re a European citizen active on the internet? Currently nothing, the parliament members still need to start negotiations with all members. Once an agreement is found they’ll be able to start writing the defining texts.


It’s difficult to foresee what impact it will have on online content for Europeans. A lot will depend on how strict the new reform is implemented. Copyright free content will most likely be favoured by the aforementioned online platforms and get much more visibility and reach. The type of content often created by people who try to influence or convince crowds. That’s when we’re getting dangerously close to what has been called fake news during the 2016 presidential elections. We hope the biggest impact will go to creators and journalists so they will be earning a fairer share of the revenues generated by their works.







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