The text of the controversial copyright directive was debated and voted on in the European Parliament on Tuesday 26 March. The vote is in favor of it.
The debate on the “Copyright Directive” opened on Tuesday 26 March in a European Parliament that we could not describe as full. It finally ended with a vote in favor of the Directive.
A text considered unbalanced
The European Copyright Directive is a controversial text. Some articles, in particular, Articles 11 and 13, concentrate the majority of criticism. They focus respectively on hyperlinks and moderation of platforms such as YouTube. Many fear that these provisions may be very difficult or even impossible to enforce, without limiting freedom of expression or creativity.
The debate began in the morning. Several Members, out of a total of 751 in Parliament, took the floor. Many have spoken out against the directive. Tiemo Wölken (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) was evident. According to him, “Article 13 should be deleted”.
Article 11 has also been repeatedly cited as problematic and difficult to implement. According to the Italian Massimiliano Salini (European People’s Party), this Tuesday 26th was playing out “one of the most important battles” of his mandate: that for creativity.
Votes in favour of the directive
Other Members, on the other hand, defended the text draft so far. José Blanco Lòpez, a Spanish deputy (Partido Socialista Obrero Español), for example, explained that for him, there is “no creation without fair remuneration.” The text and in particular Article 13 will allow a “redistribution of the wealth of the major platforms,” he said, before adding that no one would limit freedom of expression, on the contrary.
Andrus Ansip, the Vice-President of the European Commission, who has never concealed his support for the text, shared this view. “The vote is a message to creators: we tell them that we care about them and that we want to protect them for[their] valuable work,” he told the microphone. According to him, the “ultimate beneficiaries” of the reform will be the citizens. It, therefore, believes that the Directive can improve access to art and culture.
Intense debate and discussions
The vote was held around 1 PM with a full Parliament this time. Some MPs had installed anti-article 13 signs in front of them; others support signs.
348 votes adopted the directive to 274. The European Parliament validated Articles 11 and 13. Axel Voss, smiling, was applauded by Parliament while others, such as MP Julia Reda, spoke of a “dark day” on Twitter. The amendments that had been proposed to modify the text were not even voted on in the end.
The final vote concludes the trialogue, i.e., the discussions between the various European bodies on the text. States will now have to discuss the implementation of the laws.