With companies now required to screen content for copyright infringement, it's possible that smaller sites will be unable to pay enough staff to police the images, text, and video being routinely shared by its users. The vote will most likely become the official parliamentary stance as it enters negotiations with all European Union member states to find common ground, unless lawmakers against the proposals force a vote at an assembly in July.
Europe's attempts to force Google, Microsoft and other tech giants to share revenues with publishers and bear liability for internet content have triggered criticism from internet pioneers ahead of a key vote on Wednesday.
While the Internet today is "an open platform for sharing and innovation", automatic filtering of user-generated content would ultimately transform it "into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users", they wrote.
The European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs voted by 15 votes to 10 to adopt Article 13 and by 13 votes to 12 to adopt Article 11. "And the closest equivalents are mostly run by American companies, meaning that U.S. big tech is going to get to spy on everything Europeans post and decide what gets censored and what doesn't". The latter means online platforms would have to pay publishers if news is published on their platform, and the former could mean taking a wrecking ball to the internet, at least according to critics. Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO, said: "This vote is the welcome result of a sustained campaign by IMRO and our European counterparts to ask the political system in Ireland and beyond to value creativity and the arts as much as technology".
In the weeks leading up to the vote, internet luminaries like the creator of the worldwide web Tim Berners Lee, and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, led protests against the directive.
CISAC director-general Gadi Oron welcomed the vote, which he said would "bring more fairness to the creative community in the digital market".
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The internet was created because people had the freedom to post nearly anything they wanted online, stated the letter, and if you take that away, freedom of expression will be tied to a ball and chain.
'We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online, ' the letter reads.
The letter also warned the damage Article 13 would cause to the Internet would be "hard to predict" but certainly "substantial".
More rifts have opened up in the European Parliament's negotiations over a contentious copyright law overhaul after a new MEP stepped in to lead on talks.