The Twenty-eight have completed this Monday the last step for the ratification of the reform of the copyright in the European Union, whose changes to adapt the directive of 'copyright'To the digital era have faced those who asked for more guarantees for creators and large platforms such as Google and YouTube and Internet users who say it will serve as a weapon of censorship.
The controversial reform has gone ahead by qualified majority, with the vote against six countries that see in the change "a step back" in the Single Market - Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Finland and Sweden - and the abstention of Belgium, Slovenia and Estonia.
After the approval of the European Parliament in March and the governments on Monday, the countries will have two years to translate the norm into their national legislation, starting from its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The countries will have two years to translate the norm into their national legislations
The reform foresees the obligation for large platforms as Google, YouTube or Facebook to monitor and filter the contents that Internet users share in their spaces, to detect whether works protected by copyright are being published without the permission of their creators.
Thus, the pages should do everything possible to find the author and ask permission or remove the content, in order to ensure that the creators are fairly remunerated for their works. The platforms thus become responsible for the content they host.
Satirical content such as the popular 'meme' and 'GIF' are exempt from this requirement, since the upload to the content network will continue to be protected if it is to quote, criticize, review, caricature, parody or imitate.
The platforms should monitor and filter the contents that Internet users share
In spite of everything, the critics with the reform warn that this article will allow to exert the censorship and will leave in the hands of algorithms the filter to decide what is published and what not.
The other big news is that press editors can claim compensation from news aggregators for using their content, a sort of 'Google rate' similar to the one that led Google News to withdraw from Spain, although less restrictive.
These platforms may continue to share fragments of press articles from third parties in their spaces, but these texts must be "very brief" to avoid abuses. In addition, publishers will automatically have the right to negotiate on behalf of their journalists with aggregators for the publication of their products.
These two provisions are the most controversial articles of the reform (13 and 11, respectively), during which the MEPs have denounced strong pressures from interested lobbies and massive campaigns to send messages and even threats. The complexity of the reform has also been reflected in the divisions that existed within the different parliamentary groups at the time of voting.
Digital single market
The institutions maintain that the new directive reinforces rights holders - musicians, interpreters and scriptwriters - and news editors so that they can negotiate more advantageous agreements, but insist that it also strengthens freedom of expression.
The reform provides for less stringent requirements for startups than for large companies and also does not affect contributions to encyclopedias online without a commercial purpose, as in the case of Wikipedia, or open source software platforms, such as GitHub.
"Europe will now have clear rules that will guarantee fair remuneration for creators, stronger rights for users and responsibility on the part of the platforms," the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said in a statement. Reform of 'copyright' was "the piece of the missing puzzle" to complete the Digital Single Market.
The president of the European Parliament, the Italian conservative Antonio Tajani, in turn, has applauded the adoption of the reform because, in his opinion, it proves that the EU "defends our culture and creative industry and protects twelve million jobs".