European Union approves tougher copyright rules in blow to Facebook, Google

European Council gives final thumbs up to controversial

European Member States now have two years to incorporate the directive into their national; legislation.

Supporters in the creative, music and journalism industries have long argued that the Copyright Directive will enable content-makers to be fairly paid for their work, while opponents, including the tech giants themselves, fear the changes will have an impact on freedom of speech and expression online.

"Information society service providers, like news aggregators or media monitoring services, will be required to honour the new press publishers" right, but there will be limitations to what the new right protects.

"We believe that the Directive in its current form is a step back for the Digital Single Market rather than a step forward".

Still, the directive allows users to generate and upload content freely for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche.

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Juncker called the copyright directive the "missing piece of the puzzle" when it comes to the digital age.

However, there remained a degree of controversy over the reform, with particular attention directed at Articles 17 and 15.

Critics of the legislation remain adamant that Article 17 (formerly Article 13) which puts the onus on websites to ensure that content uploaded by users has permission from rights holders, will result in upload filters and censorship.

"Most notably we regret that the Directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of right holders and the interests of European Union citizens and companies". "This [directive] hurts small and emerging publishers, and limits consumer access to a diversity of news sources". "Clear rules will guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms".

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