European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

27 March 2019

Creatives and news publishers will be empowered to negotiate with internet giants as a result of controversial new copyright rules which also, say promoters, contain safeguards on freedom of expression.


MEPs adopted the directive in plenary by 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions. This marks the end of the legislative process for the European Parliament that began in 2016. It will now be down to member states to approve Parliament’s decision in the coming weeks. If the member states accept the text adopted by the European Parliament, it will take effect after publication in the official journal and then member states will have 2 years to implement it.

The directive aims to ensure that the longstanding rights and obligations of copyright law also apply to the internet. YouTube, Facebook and Google News are some of the internet household names that will be most directly affected by this legislation.

The directive also strives to ensure that the internet remains a space for freedom of expression.

Hyperlinks to news articles, accompanied by “individual words or very short extracts”, can be shared freely [see below] and some uploaded material, such as memes or GIFs, are now specifically excluded from the directive.

For the European Parliament press release click here.

For the BBC News report click here.

< Back to News