Brussels, Feb. 20, 2019 (dpa/NNN) EU member states on Wednesday said that they have agreed on a reform that would grant media companies stronger copyright protections for news snippets in internet searches.
The provision is part of a controversial overhaul that negotiators from member states and the EU Parliament agreed to in principle last week.
Now that member states have signed off, it will head to parliament for approval.
Twenty-one states backed the reform, while the Netherlands, Poland, Luxembourg, Finland and Italy opposed it, with Slovenia and Belgium abstaining, EU diplomats said.
The ambitious copyright overhaul, proposed by the European Commission in 2016, aims to update EU copyright rules for the digital age by ensuring that artists and news publishers are fairly remunerated for work that appears online.
Under the deal, internet portals will have to pay publishers money for displaying news snippets in search results.
But groups such as the European Consumer Organisation charge that the measures will damage the free exchange of information.
Another opponent is Google, which says that it would make internet companies liable for infringements and cause traffic to drop for publishers.
Among other things, the reforms also stipulate that online platforms such as YouTube would have to check content as it is being uploaded to see if it is protected by copyright.
This can be done with a type of software called an upload filter.
But critics say this software is not foolproof and that it could accidentally block content that would be legal.
If parliament approves the legislation, member states have two years to implement the legislation. (dpa/NNN)
Edited by Fatima Sule/Felix Ajide