EU Approves Controversial Copyright Reforms

In a vote Monday, 19 EU countries backed the reforms that aim to make sure copyright law is enforced on the internet.

EU Approves Controversial Copyright Reforms
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The European Union has approved new copyright reforms that could have serious repercussions for tech giants.

On Monday, 19 EU countries backed the controversial reforms, and six member states voted against them. Three countries abstained from the vote.

Last month, the European Parliament approved the legislation, which "aims to ensure that the longstanding rights and obligations of copyright law also apply to the internet."

The majority of the directive is pretty uncontroversial. But a couple of sections in particular have gotten some major backlash.

Article 11, nicknamed the "link tax," says websites have to pay publishers if they show parts of copyrighted content. That means Google News would pay news organizations if their stories are shared on the site. 

And Article 13, also known as the "upload filter," would make companies like Facebook and Google liable for any copyright infringements made by their users.

But critics say those would be difficult and expensive tasks for even the wealthiest platforms, and they worry the law will end up stifling creativity online and restricting free speech.

EU member countries now have two years to transpose the new rules into their national laws.