Google Fights EU Copyright Overhaul, Says Would Hurt Europe for 'Decades to Come'

European lawmakers could vote as soon as next week on the landmark legislation that is meant to modernise copyright to the electronic age but has set off a fierce lobbying warfare in Brussels.

Tech giants, artistic founders and EU member states have fought for three years over the reform, together with Google making a last-minute attempt to dissuade MEPs from passing the law this season.

The largest stumbling block was a provision which requires Google-owned YouTube and other platforms to remove illegal content utilizing automatic filters, or face massive liability.

“This would be bad for creators and users, who will observe online services inadvertently block material only because they will need to err on the side of caution and reduce legal risks,” he added.

These”unintended consequences” may”hurt Europe’s creative economy for decades ahead,” he added.

Another bone of contention is a provision to make”neighbouring rights” — that opponents call a hyperlink tax — for media publishers.

News organisations, including AFP, have pushed to the move, asserting that giants such as Facebook and Google earn billions in revenue from advertisements tied to news stories, while publishers suffer.

The projected reform”hurts small and emerging publishers, and limits consumer access to a diversity of information sources,” said Walker.

“Under the directive, showing anything beyond mere details, hyperlinks and’words and very short extracts’ will be restricted,” he cautioned.

At first considered a formality, the outcome of the vote from the European Parliament is now highly uncertain.


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