Europe & UK

March 11, 2019

Google, YouTube, other Web Platforms may see big changes due to EU’s new copyright directive


New copyright rules have been approved by the European Union that will provide a greater share of revenue from platforms such as YouTube, Google and Facebook to content rights’ holders.

Lawmakers from the European Parliament and representatives of the E.U.'s 28 national governments reached an agreement on the new rules late last month after negotiations for two and a half years and an intense lobbying campaign pitting tech giants like Facebook and Google against film and music companies and digital rights’ campaigners.

If officially approved, the main change to E.U. copyright rules would introduce a requirement for platforms such as Google News to buy licenses to host newspaper articles and YouTube to negotiate licenses with film producers, record companies, collecting societies and other rights’ holders to host content on their sites. However, small excerpts or snippets will be allowed sans licensing. Further, the rules do not cover hyperlinks.

The copyright directive aims to bridge what is called the “value gap” between what platforms earn by hosting others’ content and what rights’ holders themselves get paid.

The new copyright directive is till to be formally signed off by the E.U.’s Council of Ministers and the European Parliament; the move is expected later this month.

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