The 'end of the internet' postponed

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A controversial and potentially high-stakes proposal to change EU copyright rules that could see companies such as Facebook and YouTube pay-out billions of dollars to music artists has been delayed after the European parliament voted against progressing it.

The essence of the argument from publishers and content creators is that they believe tech platforms generate far greater revenue from their users who watch videos and other popular content, than is paid by the platforms to the publishers/rights owners in what they refer to as a significant ‘value gap’ that has been present for many years, and which the tech giants have exploited to grow their businesses.

Record labels and artists, including Paul McCartney, believe new laws will help ensure that companies such as YouTube, Facebook and Google are made to pay what they consider to be a fairer amount to content creators.

Campaigners against the proposals include Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia founder, and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, as well as the tech companies themselves who are accused of spreading ‘fake news’ and excessive high-profile lobbying to dramatically present the proposal as ‘the end of the internet’ by exaggerating censorship and freedom of speech restriction arguments.

A total of 318 lawmakers voted against progressing the proposal with 278 voting in favour. The full European parliament will debate the topic further in September.

Richard Jones, Business Relationship Manager for ip21 Ltd