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Copyright Directive Approved; Fight Continues

Well, shit. The European Parliament approved the Copyright Directive in full. Despite all the efforts, the result of the vote was a pretty comfortable 348 to 274, with 36 abstentions. However, the proposal to open the text for amendments, which could have led to the removal of articles 11 and 13, or 15 and 17 in the final text, failed by a mere five votes, so I am tempted to say “this is on you” to anyone who claims to care as much as a whit and didn’t at least write their MEPs these days.
Still, as the EFF article points out, this isn’t over. The final text now also needs to be approved by a majority of member states in the European Council, so while such a majority currently exists there is at least a chance that it may still get rejected. And even if it is approved, it won’t have direct effects, but instead each member state must transpose the Directive into its legislation, and all the unclear or insufficiently defined elements pretty much guarantee that any form that will be adopted will lead to lengthy court battles. Rightsholders definitely have the upper hand there, and they will use this to push for the strictest interpretation and frighten everyone else into submission, but the fight’s still on and we must stand together and push back with everything we have. If we are to still have any functional Internet to speak of, access to information or the right to free expression, failure is not an option!

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