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EU copyright reform stalls

January 21, 2019

EU reforms to copyright rules stalled this week as a meeting of Euro MPs and officials was called off, with publishers blaming Google and other tech giants for lobbying against the changes.

The European Commission says the overhaul is necessary to protect Europe’s cultural heritage and level the playing field between big online platforms and publishers, broadcasters and artists.

Euro MPs, the Commission and national representatives were meant to meet this week to reconcile a united position but the meeting was called off after EU countries failed to resolve differences. Andrus Ansip digital commissioner tweeted he was disappointed by the delay.

Tech companies have been lobbying EU countries mainly about Article 11 which could force them to pay publishers for displaying news clips. The other measure, Article 13, would require online platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials, which critics say could lead to censorship.

Member states at the January 18th meeting disagreed on the size of the carve-out for small and medium-sized enterprises, with Germany pushing for a higher threshold for SMEs subjected to the rules while France wanted a lower bar, reported Reuters.

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