The European Parliament has voted in new copyright rules. Article 13 of the legislation holds tech companies responsible if material is posted without copyright permission on their sites, while Article 11 mandates news aggregation platforms and search engines to pay use links from news websites.
Backed by 343 Members of European Parliament, with 274 against, the legislation will now go before its member states for approval. Twitter has said that there could be damage to the “open, creative and conversational nature of the internet.” Google has warned it may have to retract its Europe section on news aggregation.
To avoid hefty lawsuits, tech companies — small and large — will have to take pre-emptive measures to prevent user violations. The law heralds the era of the European “digital single market.” But this will serve to limit access to content and, some worry, freedom of speech.