September 12, 2018 / 11:18 AM / 13 days ago

EU lawmakers agree common stand on copyright reforms

STRASBOURG, Sept 12 (Reuters) - EU lawmakers agreed on Wednesday on a common position on copyright reforms ahead of talks with the 28 EU countries on legislation to force Google, Facebook and other tech giants to share revenues more fairly with Europe’s creative industries.

Of the lawmakers at the assembly, 438 voted in favour while 226 were against, with 39 abstentions. The next step is negotiations with the European Commission and the 28 EU countries to reconcile their different positions before updating the existing copyright laws.

A majority of the lawmakers had in July rejected the tough approach proposed by a key committee tasked by the Parliament to look into the issue.

The Commission kicked off the debate on copyright reforms two years ago in an attempt to ensure that online platforms pay publishers, broadcasters and artists a fair share of revenue and bear liability for online infringement.

Lawmakers subsequently beefed up the EU executive’s proposal in favour of Europe’s creative industries, prompting a backlash from the tech industry.

The debate has centered around two points, one of which could force Google, Microsoft and others to pay publishers for displaying news snippets.

The other is mandatory upload filtering, which would require online platforms such as YouTube, GitHub, and Instagram to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials or seek licences to display content. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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