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European Parliament Approves Controversial New Copyright Laws

European Parliament Approves Controversial New Copyright Laws

The new, stricter laws are designed to update copyright for the 'Internet age'

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

The European Parliament has approved a controversial online copyright laws.

The Copyright Directive is designed to update copyright laws for the 'Internet age', but those opposed to it say that the new stricter laws could mean that memes, gifs and user-generated content are at risk of being banned.

While many artists and content creators are in favour of the laws, as they say it will mean that they are compensated for their work, which seems fair enough.

The original legislation was knocked back in July and since then changes have been made, but its critics still say it will lead to censorship.

The most important bits of the directive, for most people, are Article 11 and Article 13. Article 11 will allow publishers to make money when companies link to their work - meaning they can ask for paid licences for their stories to be shared.

Article 13 will require certain companies - such as YouTube and Facebook - to stop users from sharing copyrighted material, without a proper licence.

This is the one that has people worrying that memes and gifs, which more often than not contain copyrighted images, could be 'illegal'.

Amongst those who have spoke out against the Copyright Directive are founder of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who was one of dozens of people to sign a letter to Antonio Tajani MEP, President of the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, musician Sir Paul McCartney has spoken out in favour of stricter laws to stop artists getting ripped off.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: uk news