European Lawmakers Reject Controversial Online Copyright Law - NBC4 Washington
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European Lawmakers Reject Controversial Online Copyright Law

The law would have required online platforms to use content recognition technologies to filter out images, audio, code or footage that infringe on copyrights

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    European Lawmakers Reject Controversial Online Copyright Law
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    Lawmakers in the European Parliament on Thursday rejected a new copyright proposal that digital rights campaigners said would have changed the free and open nature of the internet, NBC News reported.

    Article 13 of the E.U. copyright directive would have held platforms like Google and Facebook responsible for enforcing copyright laws, requiring them to use content recognition technologies to filter out images, audio, code or footage that infringe on copyrights. For example, media that often fall on the margins of copyright law are memes, which invariably re-purpose images or clips to create running jokes online, and often fall on the margins of copyright law.

    Jim Killock, the executive director of the London-based digital rights organization Open-Rights Group, said in a statement after the vote: "Round one of the Robo-Copyright wars is over. The E.U. Parliament has recognized that machine censorship of copyright material is not an easy and simple fix."

    The legislation had support from musicians' groups hoping the legislation would give protection to and improve the rights of intellectual property holders of audio and video. Former Beatle Paul McCartney urged Parliament ahead of Thursday's vote to support the proposal, saying the legislation would "address the value gap and help assure a sustainable future for the music ecosystem and its creators."

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    (Published Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018)