European politicians have rejected changes to copyright law that would have put more responsibility on sites like YouTube to vet piracy. Critics of the proposals said it could have restricted ‘fair use’ such as remixes and memes.
Had the ‘Copyright Directive’ completed the European Union’s legislative process, 28 European countries would have been required to put the measures into their domestic laws. That would likely have meant many companies changed their website policies worldwide.
The biggest change would have meant any site that lets users upload content would have to use some form of automated filtering to make it less likely that copyrighted material would get online.
Opponents of the move said such filters would struggle to tell the difference between straight copyright infringement and material that is based on copyrighted material but is being used in a legitimate way. This includes material that comes under ‘fair use’ exemptions.
The proposals had been drawn up by a committee of European Parliament members. However, the full Parliament voted by 318 to 278 to reject them. The full Parliament will now meet in September to debate and draw up its own proposals.