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Will controversial copyright rules be adopted by the EU?

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Will controversial copyright rules be adopted by the EU?

YouTube may be penalised if the directive is adopted
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REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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Opinion is divided over the future of copyright rules in the EU, as members of the EU Legal Affairs Committee gear up for a vote this Wednesday.

At issue is the modernisation of copyright rules for the digital age.

Artists and authors support the proposals, which have been debated for almost two years now. They believe the directive will protect their right to be remunerated fairly for their work.

"Nowdays the main problem is that user product content platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc are not playing fair," said Véronique Desbrosses, General Manager of the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers.

"They are using loopholes in the law not to remunerate creators and yet they have become the main route to access cultural content on the Internet."

But digital platforms are against Article 13 of the directive, which would require digital platforms, from newspapers to video-sharing sites, to proactively filter uploads in order to remove copyright infringements.

"Article 13 is dangerous because it basically envisions that plaftorms have to block everything that people post that contains content that belongs to somebody else," Anna Mazgal, Wikimedia's EU Policy adviser, told Euronews.

"We are worried about the vast majority of users that have the right to use somebody else's content because they make parodies, because they make political commentary, because they quote."

Many internet services already have filtering systems. Youtube say they already have a filtering system that automatically identifies content in cooperation with rights-holders.

On the eve of the vote it remains unclear which way the future of the digital single market will lean.

Clarification: This article was amended on the 20th June 2018 to clarify that it is not just audiovisual content that will be affected by the directive, but content of any kind. The article has also been clarified to acknowledge that companies like Youtube already have content filtering systems for copyrighted material.