History continues to be in the making, as on 26 March 2019 the European Parliament approved the new Copyright Directive despite strong opposition from internet giants such as Google, Youtube and Facebook.
Members of Parliament (MEPs) adopted the Directive in full by 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 absenting.
Opponents to the Directive believe the vote was a blow for internet users in Europe, as the new rules aim to ensure that the same rights and obligations of ‘analogue’ copyright law are also applicable in the digital sphere. Those arguing against the new Directive, in particular Articles 11 and 13, said that the proposals threatened to limit the freedom of expression of internet users. Under the terms of the Directive, online platforms are likely to be better-policed for copyrighted content.
There are a few final steps to be taken before the Directive becomes law, starting with its approval by the European Council next month.
The vote by the Council is scheduled for either the 8th or 15th April. Once it has passed this stage, it is left for the Council and Parliament to give their official signatures before being published in the EU’s Official Journal, and will take effect 20 days thereafter. The member states will then have a further two years to implement or transpose the directive into their national law.