EU lawmakers reject recommendations seeking overhaul of copyright rules by a vote of 318 to 278 and 31 abstentions, amid criticism the directives, if passed, would have threatened online freedom.

A total of 318 law makers voted against the copyright directive, which included the concerning Article 13, while 278 voted in favour, and 31 abstained.
A total of 318 law makers voted against the copyright directive, which included the concerning Article 13, while 278 voted in favour, and 31 abstained. (Getty Images)

EU lawmakers rejected on Thursday the tough position recommended by a key committee on an overhaul of EU copyright rules, which aim to make tech giants such as Google and Facebook share revenues with publishers, broadcasters and artists.

The revamp has triggered strong criticism from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, net neutrality expert Tim Wu, internet pioneer Vint Cerf and others.

A total of 318 law makers voted against the copyright directive, which included the concerning Article 13, while 278 voted in favour, and 31 abstained.

The Article 13 or mandatory upload filtering requires online platforms such as YouTube, GitHub, Instagram and eBay to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials or seek licenses to display content.

Critics say this could mean the end for internet memes where ordinary internet users riff on other people's photos, music or video while others fear it could become a tool to control and spy on users.

Leveling playing field

Europe's broadcasters, publishers and artistes such as Paul McCartney back the overhaul, saying it would level the playing field for contents holders.

Wikipedia went down in at least three countries on Wednesday in a protest ahead of  the European Parliament vote.

"The directive would threaten online freedom and would impose new filters, barriers and restrictions to access the web," Wikipedia Spain said in its statement.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies