Copyright law reform
EU Committee on Legal Affairs approves controversial upload filter and link tax

The European Parliament yesterday approved the controversial adoption of upload filters by a narrow majority. In addition, a neighboring right for publishing houses is to be introduced as part of copyright law reform. That means portals such as Google News will in future no longer be able to display headlines or short excerpts of press texts in their results without permission. The intention is to protect the copyright holders. But critics emphasize that especially small publishers are found online by readers via their listing in search engines.

Also, in the future commercial online platforms such as Youtube will need to check right from the upload phase whether content is protected by copyright and then block it if necessary, or require uploaders to acquire the licenses. However because checking is performed by algorithms, satire, parody and quotations cannot be recognized, endangering freedom of opinion and information.

Germany has already had a neighboring right for publishing houses since 2013 and Spain since 2014. In both cases with only modest success. Many publishers granted Google consent free of charge in Germany in order to preserve their listing. And in Spain Google even had to shut down its Google News service because of tougher legislation.

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