Copyright: EU ushers in new online era

EU negotiators have reached an agreement on the text of the controversial EU copyright reform including intellectual property rights. In future search engines are to pay money to publishers for showing excerpts of articles and platforms must take action to prevent copyright infringements. Publishers are happy while consumer advocates fear the new rules could fuel online censorship. What will be the impact of the reform?

Open/close all quotes
L'Echo (BE) /

Reform will prevent cultural impoverishment

The copyright reform is a victory for creatives, L'Echo writes in delight:

“Every piece of work - including artistic work - deserves remuneration. Without this reform art, culture, and even knowledge will continue to decline, victim to the growing discrepancies in the distribution of advertising profits generated online. Without it, the greed of a few California-based companies would turn our society into a cultural wasteland, to the detriment of thousands of freelancers and small and mid-sized firms unable to compete with the giants. The press, too, has reason to rejoice, because the new directive stands to trigger a revolution in the digital sector.”

Denik (CZ) /

Generation of thieves must change its ways

If the new copyright law comes into effect users will have to change their ways, Denik points out:

“We have grown used to everything being free online. Songs, films, series, books, porns, recipes, essays, articles. ... The negative aspect is that valuable things like music recordings, quality newspapers, information and films have lost value. The EU is now trying to change the world of the great Internet thieves and impose rules on it. Rules that ensure that they pay for things. And that make it clear that you don't steal. Changing an entire generation for whom stealing online has become entirely normal, however, won't be easy.”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

Feud against the tech giants

Perhaps Brussels is compelled to join forces with the right in the fight against Google, Amazon and co, the Wiener Zeitung explains:

“Europe is taking the fight against the digital US companies and their in every sense overwhelming market dominance seriously. Not in a major battle but - in keeping with the physical and mental characteristics of the European Union - in the form of a gruelling feud that drags Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like into endless legal confrontations, big and small. Europe lacks the infrastructure and the political power for anything else. The law, not naked power, must do the job.”