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Article 13 Lobbying Efforts Clash Before Crucial Copyright Filters Vote

Article 13 Lobbying Efforts Clash Before Crucial Copyright Filters Vote

Today, a pivotal vote will take place in the European Parliament, one that could change the direction of copyright enforcement in the EU. Framed around the so-called “Value Gap”, Article 13 aims to force Internet platforms to “play fair” on licensing rates with record labels. Ahead of the vote, hundreds of groups and organisations are facing off in a final clash of the causes.

Due to unlicensed copyrighted content being made available on YouTube and similar platforms, millions of citizens around the world are able to consume the same at rates close to free.

This, of course, is a situation that’s completely unacceptable to the content industries, the record labels in particular. While sites like YouTube compensate them for views of authorized content, the existence of unlicensed content uploaded by users means that the Google-owned video giant gains an unfair negotiating position, or so the claims go.

Soon, however, the labels hope that the free content ride will be over. In an attempt to plug the so-called “Value Gap”, they have lobbied strongly for new legislation (Article 13) that would see user-uploaded content platforms compelled to install filters to detect infringing content before it’s even made available to the public.

Two weeks ago, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament (JURI) voted on Article 13. With a 15 to 10 majority, the proposal of Rapporteur Voss was adopted. This means that the plans move ahead in their current form, despite massive and persistent public outcry.

This Thursday, a plenary vote on the JURI mandate will take place, so it’s no surprise that both sides of the debate are rallying to ensure that their voices are heard. In recent days, more than 80 creative sector groups and companies called on MEPs to support their position, that “playing fair” is the only way forward.

Billions and billions at stake…

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