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(15 April 2019) - A “censorship of the internet” could be in store as a direct result of the EU’s new rules on Copyright protection, a Polish government minister said today, as EU member states approved the controversial plans after more than two years.

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The member states voted in the Council on Monday to formalise their adoption of the EU’s copyright reform and the plans passed a qualified majority of 71.26%, just above the threshold of the required 65%. However, there remained a degree of controversy over the reform, with particular attention directed at Articles 17 and 15.

Article 17 makes firms liable for content uploaded to their website, which could lead to the use of upload filters to vet content before it appears online. Exceptions in the directive have been made for content that is deemed “quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche,” including the use of memes.

Article 15, meanwhile, provides that news publishers have the right to negotiate licenses with news aggregators, adding that “authors” of works are entitled to a share of the additional revenue sourced from the new “link tax”. (EurActiv)

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