Opponents of the law say this will lead to controversial filtering systems that block everything from memes to GIFs before they’re even uploaded. The EU, however, says this won’t be the case, claiming that people will still be able to share such content freely.
Either way, it’s expected to hit platforms that rely on user-generated content — like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram — hard.
“With today’s agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement following the vote.
“Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms.”
The copyright battle has been characterized as “Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley,” with musicians from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney to Blondie singer Debbie Harry in favor and big tech firms like Google and Twitter against.
EDiMA, an EU tech lobbying group representing a number of Silicon Valley giants, has railed against the reforms, claiming they will infringe on internet user’s free speech.
Artists and media firms, meanwhile, argue the directive is needed as they’re losing out from the unfettered sharing of their intellectual property on online platforms.