Censorship fears linger as copyright directive overcomes final hurdle

2/3 of EU states voted for atrocious

2/3 of EU states voted for atrocious

The directive has been opposed by tech companies including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

Article 17's finalised text will see content platforms and apps like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter requiring individual licences from rights holders in order for users to post material.

Germans protested in the thousands on March 23, against the EU's proposed Copyright Directive. Exceptions in the directive have been made for content that is deemed "quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche", including the use of memes.

Member States will have two years to adopt the Directive into their legislation.

Nineteen countries, including the United Kingdom, voted in favour, while six countries voted against and three abstained. For example, Germany said that it must be the aim to render so-called "upload filters" largely unnecessary in practice.

The measures, which are expected to heavily impact the bottom line of online companies, were heralded by the European Council as a "milestone for the development of a robust and well-functioning digital single market".

Five countries that were against the directive, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy and Finland, issued a joint statement criticizing the directive.

"The directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of right holders and the interests of European Union citizens and companies", the statement said. Furthermore, since April 1st 2018, Europeans who buy or subscribe to films, sports broadcasts, music, e-books and games in their home Member State are able to access this content when they travel or stay temporarily in another EU country. "Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users, and responsibility for platforms", Mr Juncker said.

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