'The EU parliament has approved new copyright rules that campaigners have warned could be "catastrophic" for the internet.
MEPs voted for the controversial rules, known as article 11 and 13. The most criticised of those is the latter, which stipulates that technology platforms must filter the things people post on them, and check for copyright infringement.
Campaigners warn that would probably force internet companies to introduce stringent new automated checks that content must pass before they are posted to platforms like Twitter and Facebook. That could reject anything that even possibly infringed copyright – leading to potentially banning memes that use screengrabs from films, for instance, according to campaigners.
Julia Reda, a pirate party MEP who has actively campaigned against the new measures and said they would be "catastrophic", said that upload filters will mean that legitimate content will be removed from sites accidentally. "Anything you want to publish will need to first be approved by these filters, perfectly legal content like parodies & memes will be caught in the crosshairs," she wrote on Twitter.
Article 11 introduces a so-called "link tax". That will mean that companies like Google and Facebook could have to pay news organisations to use their headlines on their sites, for instance, which campaigners claim could undermine some of the most central technologies of the internet.
“Today, MEPs have decided to support the filtering of the internet to the benefit of big businesses in the music and publishing industries despite huge public outcry," said Siada El Ramly, director general of EDiMA, the trade association representing the online platforms. "We hope that governments of the EU will hear their citizens’ concerns in the next stage of negotiations.”'
Read more: EU parliament approves new copyright rules that could be 'catastrophic' for the internet
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