Agreement reached on digital copyright rules | News

The deal, reached between EP and Council negotiators aims to ensure that the rights and obligations of copyright law also apply to the internet. YouTube, Facebook and Google News are some of the internet household names, which will be most directly affected by this legislation.

Legislators also strove to ensure that the internet remains a space for freedom of expression. Snippets from news articles can thus continue to be shared, as can Gifs and memes.

Tech giants to share revenue with artists and journalists

The deal aims at enhancing rights holders’ chances, notably musicians, performers and script authors, as well as news publishers, to negotiate better remuneration deals for the use of their works featured on internet platforms.

Locking in freedom of expression

Sharing snippets of news articles will not engage the rights of the media house which produced the shared article. The deal however also contains provisions to avoid news aggregators abusing this allowance. The ‘snippet’ can therefore continue to appear in a Google News newsfeeds, for example, or when an article is shared on Facebook, provided it is “very short”.

Uploading protected works for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche has been protected, ensuring that memes and Gifs will continue to be available and shareable on online platforms.

Many online platforms will not be affected

The text also specifies that uploading works to online encyclopaedias in a non-commercial way, such as Wikipedia, or open source software platforms, such as GitHub, will automatically be excluded. Start-up platforms will be subject to lighter obligations than more established ones.

Stronger negotiating rights for authors and performers

Authors and performers will be able to claim additional remuneration from the distributor exploiting their rights when the remuneration originally agreed is disproportionately low compared to the benefits derived by the distributer.

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