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Last Pressure in the European Parliament for the Reform of Copyright in the EU

BRUSSELS – The European Parliament will vote Tuesday on the controversial copyright reforms supported by press editors and the music industry, while criticized by the great activists of technology and freedom on the Internet, AFP said Tuesday.
The wave that led to the vote was marked by waves of lobbying and protests by sympathizers and opponents of the law, designed to update European copyright legislation, which is now nearly two decades old.
The reform, which lasted two years, is strongly supported by media companies and artists who want better performance on web platforms, such as YouTube or Facebook, which use their contents.
But some of these Internet giants, such as Google, the owner of Google, are strongly opposed to this offer, which derives huge benefits from the publicity generated in the content they host, as well as supporters of Google. A free Internet that fears the unprecedented restrictions of web freedom.
“The result of the vote is very uncertain, but we remain confident,” said a parliamentary source.
The last days before the vote were marked by parades and stunts in the media, including tens of thousands of people who demonstrated in Germany on Saturday under the slogan “Save the Internet.”
Similar protests were held in Austria, Poland and Portugal, while leading Polish newspapers printed blank cover sheets on Monday urging MEPs to adopt the reform.
Germany is at the center of the anti-reform movement led by Julia Reda, a 32-year-old MP from the Piracy Party, who campaigned against two of the provisions of the law that became hot spots in the debate.
The first is Article 13, which aims to strengthen the bargaining power of rights holders with platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Soundcloud, which use their content.
As part of the reform, European legislation would impose for the first time on platforms, the responsibility to enforce copyright, asking them to verify everything that users publish to avoid infringements.
Reda and his supporters insist that Article 13 would require platforms to install costly content filters that automatically and often wrongly remove Web content.
The founders of the law, led by their MEP Axel Voss, rapporteur, say that filters are not an obligation, but they do not explain how companies can comply with Article 13 without them.
Opposition MEPs are campaigning for Article 13 to be removed from the law, supported by BEUC, the very influential European consumer organization.
“We fully support the objective of guaranteeing fair remuneration for creators, but this should not be to the detriment of consumers, there is a very high risk that the new law will do more harm than good,” said Monique. Goyens, director of BEUC.
The second article advocates the creation of a “neighboring right” on copyright for the media.
This should allow information companies to receive a better payment when their production is used by information aggregators such as Google News or social networks like Facebook.
Major publishers, including AFP have advocated for reform as an urgent remedy to preserve quality journalism and the revenues of traditional media companies.
But opponents have called it a “link tax” that would stifle online discourse and pay only large media companies, without real benefits for journalists.
France and other Member States strongly support the reform, and voting in the European Parliament should be a formality.
But the opposition of influential firms like Google and the popular movement led by Reda have questioned this result.
“The copyright is not censorship, it is freedom of creation and diversity of information,” said the French presidency in a tweet.
“Without copyright, there is no longer a Europe of innovation and culture.”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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