The European Parliament has passed the revised legislation governing copyright laws on the internet. The directive was passed after the original draft had been amended.
The new law will require Google to obtain licences for the privilege of linking with publishers and that internet platforms self-police their sites for infringement of copyright, an onerous task given the amount of content uploaded.
There was considerable objection to the reforms, mainly due to the belief that they would impinge on freedom of speech online. Over 200 academics from at least 25 research centres have lent their names to open letters opposing the new laws, particularly Articles 11, and 13 saying: "While the Proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (COM(2016) 593 final) contains a number of reasonable, common sense measures (...), there are two provisions that are fundamentally flawed. They do not serve the public interest (...)There have been improvements to the initial drafts, but on balance, Articles 11 and 13 will do more harm than good. They should be deleted".
It is rare that there is such wide consensus amongst the academic world and in light of this their views should be listened to.
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