EU member states adopted wide-ranging copyright reforms on Monday, marking the end to fractious campaigning around the issue that pitted big tech firms against copyright holders and publishers.
Some 19 countries backed the reforms in a European Council vote, including France, Germany and the UK, with Belgium and Slovenia abstaining and six countries, including Italy and the Netherlands, voting against.
The rules, which countries have two years to implement in local law, are intended to curb the privileges of online firms, including search engines such as Google and content-sharing platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, which are seen as benefiting from copyrighted content at publishers’ expense.
The Council said the rules would “ensure adequate protection for authors and artists”.
‘Fit for the digital age’
“With today’s agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age,” said European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in a statement following the vote.