Google Search, Snippets Affected By EU Parliament Copyright Rules

The European Parliament on Wednesday backed a very restrictive copyright directives aimed at companies such as Google that now may need to share revenue with European news publishers and copyright holders.

The original proposal was rejected in July.

Changes to the EU Commission’s original proposal add safeguards to protect “small firms and freedom of expression.” These ensures that artists, musicians, performers and script authors, as well as news publishers and journalists are paid for their work when it is used on platforms such as YouTube or Facebook, and news aggregators like Google News, intended to share content.

“Next week as the head of the delegation of the committee I’m [traveling to] Silicon Valley to talk to Google, Facebook, Netflix and other representatives to say … you are invited into the European markets, but you must play by our rules,” Helga Trupel said during a press conference.



EU member states must approve the new rules before they can go into effect. The rules also apply to snippets, where only a small part of a news publisher’s text is indexed and displayed, for example, in search results.

The ruling also requires that journalists, and not just their publisher, benefit from the payments. It also requires Google, Facebook, Twitter and others to monitor copyright infringement much more aggressively. They also will need to scan content for violations before it is uploaded, such as in the case of YouTube.

Sharing links to articles, together with “individual words” that describe them, are omitted in the copyright constraints, per the European Parliament.

Wikipedia and open source software platforms will not be affected. Uploading to online non-commercial encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, or open source software platforms, such as GitHub, are excluded from the requirement to comply with copyright rules.

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