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IPFS News Link • European Union

Today, the EU will vote on the future of the internet (again)

•, By James Vincent

The fight over EU copyright reform is not over yet. Today, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote on amendments to the Copyright Directive, a piece of draft legislation that was intended to update copyright for the internet age but has been mired in controversy after the inclusion of two provisions: Articles 11 and 13, also known as the "link tax" and "upload filter." 

Critics of the directive claim that these clauses threaten the internet as we know it. The link tax would require online platforms like Google and Facebook to pay media companies when linking to their articles, and the upload filter could force them to check all content uploaded to their sites to remove copyrighted material. Supporters of these measures, meanwhile, say their dangers are being exaggerated and that the legislation simply gives small players a way to reclaim the value of their work in an ecosystem monopolized by Silicon Valley.

You might have thought these issues were settled already if you remembered that the legislation was rejected by EU politicians in July. However, that vote only sent the directive back to the drawing board, giving MEPs a chance to suggest amendments. (They did so with gusto, sending in hundreds.) Today, these amendments will be voted on. The result could be that the legislation carries on exactly as before (with Articles 11 and 13 intact); the articles might be removed; or any number of other changes introduced.