European Parliament backs copyright changes

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Member of Parliament voted for the controversial rules with 438 votes in favor, 226 against and 39 abstentions.

However, the reform has been watered down from original proposals. "We just want creators to be respected in the digital world", he added.

"What we have achieved should not be interpreted as a confrontation".

Voss said the issue had recently been characterised by "insults and threats that we MEPs have been exposed to". "They need to be more constructive in future".

The European Commission, which kicked off the debate two years ago, says the overhaul is necessary to protect Europe's cultural heritage and create a level playing field between big online platforms and publishers, broadcasters and artists.

Proponents of the measures say that they'll serve as a useful tool against massive technology companies whose current business models they believe are hurting some companies and industries.

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"I am angry about this and have been deleting emails for weeks".

In a joint statement, Andrus Ansip, Digital Single Market vice-president, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said - with the vote concluded - the intention is to have the directive approved by the end of 2018. "It's been a lot of hard work".

Article 11 is meant to give publishers and papers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories, allowing them to demand paid licenses. The new version of the rules included hundreds of changes that have been made since the parliament rejected them in July, such as allowing exemptions for the very smallest tech companies.

"Requirements for platforms to filter all user uploaded content will likely result in a reduced user experience and the over-removal of legitimate content. If they don't understand the rules, what hope the rest of us?"

Critics have said the proposal amounts to a tax on links. Assuming it passes, there will surely be some time allotted for platforms to prepare before its implementation. The proposal will now go to a so-called trilogue to reach a compromise with alternative texts supported by the European Commission and Council before it becomes law.

The watershed vote in the French city of Strasbourg confirmed the European Union as Silicon Valley's most powerful critic and follows anti-trust decisions that have cost Google and Apple billions. A lot of artists are happy, but free-internet advocates are not. "Today the European parliamentarians proved they value the European independent press by voting for a publishers' right that will help ensure the sustainability of the European press sector".

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