After the vote, German MEP Axel Voss, from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said: “There has been much heated debate around this directive and I believe that Parliament has listened carefully to the concerns raised.
“Thus, we have addressed concerns raised about innovation by excluding small and micro platforms or aggregators from the scope.”
Ahead of the vote, it was also claimed that meme culture – including satirical videos and edited images – could be negatively affected if all content uploads were monitored and material blocked.
Other said the monitoring of content could be the top of a slippery slope, with the EU moving on from blocking copyrighted material to other forms of content, such as speech, that they may want to censor.
The new directive insists the text includes “provisions to ensure that copyright law is observed online without unfairly hampering the freedom of expression that has come to define the Internet”.
It adds: “Thus, merely sharing hyperlinks to articles, together with ‘individual words’ to describe them, will be free of copyright constraints.”
However, the civil liberties group the Electronic Frontier said the vote was the “worst possible outcome” and MEP Julia Reda was unconvinced by the amendments, calling Wednesday’s vote a “severe blow to the free and open internet”.
“This law leaves sites and apps no choice but to install error-prone upload filters,” she wrote.
“Anything we want to publish will need to first be approved by these filters, and perfectly legal content like parodies and memes will be caught in the crosshairs.”
War on Free Speech: EU Demands Facebook and Google Censor ‘Illegal’ Speech in One Hour https://t.co/jV90BcG0Ic
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 2, 2018
She added: “The adopted version… allows only ‘individual words’ of news articles to be reproduced for free, including in hyperlinks – closely following an existing German law.https://archive.fo/xYYPnhttps://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/09/12/internet-disaster-eu-parliament-approves-link-tax-upload-filter/