The European Parliament today rejected a highly controversial EU copyright law proposal that has pitted Beatles legend Paul McCartney against internet giants and the creators of Wikipedia.
Lawmakers are now expected to return in September to the plans, which are aimed at ensuring creators of creative content — whether music, movies or news — are paid fairly in a digital world.
The draft law was firmly resisted by major US tech giants as well as advocates of internet freedom, with some campaigners warning it could even spell the end of viral “memes” or jokes.
Today’s vote represents a victory for democracy, said Siada El Ramly, head of EDiMA, a lobby representing Google, Facebook and other US tech giants. Members of European Parliament meeting in the eastern French city of Strasbourg voted 318 against the measure, 278 in favour, with 31 abstentions.
The vote would have given MEPs the mandate to start negotiations with member states for a finalised law which Austria, holder of the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, would like finished by the end of the year.