LONDON – The EU took a step towards updating the countries’ copyright rules Wednesday when diplomats endorsed proposals known as the ‘Link Tax’ (via Reuters). If passed, the rules would see Google and Facebook have to pay publishers when they use short segments of news. The would also have to filter out copyrighted content on services like YouTube and Instagram.
Link Tax Deal Agreed, but Not in Law Yet
EU countries and various EU bodies finally agreed a deal on the ‘Link Tax’ last week. That deal was endorsed by diplomats Wednesday. The changes were first proposed two years ago.
The new rules would mean online platforms like Google and Facebook would have to sign licensing agreements with musicians, authors news publishers, journalists, and other rights holders if they want to use their work online. Before the proposals can become law they will have to be approved by a committee of EU lawmakers next week. A vote of the EU Parliament will follow in late March or Early April.
However, not all the countries were in agreement. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Poland opposed the deal while two member states abstained. In a joint statement, the dissenting nations said: “We regret that the Directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of rights holders and the interests of EU citizens and companies.”