Europe tells tech giants to start paying artists
Artists and publishers were celebrating a major victory over Silicon Valley last night, after the European Parliament approved new copyright rules designed to help them secure a greater share of digital riches.
After years of debate, Euro MPs approved updates to intellectual property laws that force platforms such as Google, YouTube and Facebook to police infringements by their users.
The reforms signal a potentially significant shift in the economics of the web. As well as liability for infringement, tech giants could also fac bills from copyright holders for carrying snippets in search results or social media feeds.
The directive's two most controversial components are Article 11, which will require websites such as Google News to obtain licences for showing extracts of publishers' news stories and which critics have called a "link tax", and Article 13, which will make sites such as YouTube responsible for copyrighted material uploaded by users.
The tech industry has lobbied hard against the proposals, which must become national law by 2021.
Artists including Sir Paul McCartney had campaigned for the measures, accusing tech companies of exploiting the music industry.