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Saving music online: MEPs vote in favour of Copyright Directive

The proposals to reform copyright were passed by the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday March 26 by 348 votes to 274

MEPs have voted in favour of the Copyright Directive, marking a great victory for the UK Music – #LoveMusic campaign.

The proposals to reform copyright were passed by the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday March 26 by 348 votes to 274.

Article 13 has now been renamed Article 17 in the revised text. The text was finalised last month with provisions that commercial sites and apps must secure licences for copyrighted material uploaded by their users, as well as employing upload filters. The Directive also upholds the authors’ and performers’ right to “appropriate and proportionate remuneration”.

Axel Voss, the MEP behind the recommendations, told fellow parliamentarians that the rights of creators needed to be weighed up against freedom of expression. He also acknowledged that platforms such as Youtube, which use uploaded user-generated content, must take responsibility for copyrighted content.

“This is a decisive issue, namely, to what extent can we translate our concept of copyright into a digital age,” he said. “Who is copyright for? Do we want to set up a legal framework for the internet so that content creators are not swindled? That is the basic issue that we are dealing with today.”

He continued: “There have been many allegations and accusations of the fact that we have created a definition where we only include those platforms which precisely know that they do use content which belongs to others, and monetise that content. The platforms need to have a responsibility and we want to give them that responsibility to deal with copyrighted content where the rights-holders are not those platforms.”

The European Parliament vote was not the final step. The proposals need final approval by the European Council, which is set for April 9. 

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