With 374 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 in abstentions, the European Union voted to approve a controversial new copyright law on Tuesday. Campaigners claim that it could change the way in which the internet works.
The two most controversial parts of the rules are considered as Article 11 and Article 13
Article 11 would grant press publications to copyright their content online and charge companies like Google News for aggregating their stories. It has also been referred to as “link tax” by the critics.
Article 13 forces the internet companies to scan the content being uploaded in case it might be in violation of copyright. It is also being referred to as “Meme Ban”. This law could threaten social media users from sharing memes, snippets of films or music, etc.
Tech companies are strongly against these rules. Youtube has said that it could be forced to stop millions of people from uploading their videos at all.
These new set of rules do not force the companies to introduce such filters but they could face heavy fines if they do not follow the rules.
Julia Reda, the German Pirate Party MEP, said its passing marked “a dark day for internet freedom”.