The European Union has taken the first step in passing new copyright legislation that critics say will tear the internet apart. From a report: This morning, the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favor of the legislation, called the Copyright Directive. Although most of the directive simply updates technical language for copyright law in the age of the internet, it includes two highly controversial provisions. These are Article 11, a “link tax,” which would force online platforms like Facebook and Google to buy licenses from media companies before linking to their stories; and Article 13, an “upload filter,” which would require that everything uploaded online in the EU is checked for copyright infringement. (Think of it like YouTube’s Content ID system but for the whole internet.) EU lawmakers critical of the legislation say these Articles may have been proposed with good intentions — like protecting copyright owners — but are vaguely worded and ripe for abuse.
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