Memes Are Safe: European Parliament Rejects Controversial EU Copyright Law
05-07-2018 13:16 (local time)

The EU Copyright Directive, which is aimed at protecting the intellectual property of people who author material that is uploaded to the internet, has come under criticism because it could effectively lead banning parody content on the world wide web, such as viral memes, for example.

Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg have rejected the copyright directive, with 318 voting against, 278 in favor and 31 abstaining.

Article 13 of the directive, which was rejected by European MPs, states that online media would be liable if its users upload or publish unlicensed content, including photos, videos, source code or music. According to the bill, such actions would require either that a license fee be paid, that the content be pre-filtered or that it be automatically censored.

The bill has faced harsh criticism from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, net neutrality expert Tim Wu, internet pioneer Vint Cerf and other specialists in the field.

First proposed in 2016, the document was intended to update copyright rules in order to tackle piracy and to introduce "fair pay" for artists and media when the fruits of their labor were used online and in real life. Opponents of the bill, however, have claimed that it would endanger freedom of expression and the public's access to information.

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