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A central thread in the evolution of the open sourcesoftware movement has been a concern about the extension, use and misuses of copyright law, another example of this is currently taking place in the European Union (EU). Some people reading this may be EU citizens, others should take note because what starts in Europe will have effects around the world, The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market 2016/0280 is also known as the EU Copyright Directive. You can find a balanced article about the directive on Wikipedia . In sumarry it aims to compensate copyright holders by requiring Internet platforms such as Google and news aggregators to obtain a license before linking to copyrighted content. It also requires websites who primarily host content posted by users to take "effective and proportionate" measures to prevent unauthorised postings of copyrighted content or be liable for their users' actions. Grounds for opposition to the Directive include the lack of clarity, the narrow provision of exemptions and insufficent protection for 'fair use'. You can see a fuller explanation of the objections on the website of Julia Reda (https://juliareda.eu/eu-copyright-reform/), a German Pirate Party member of the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted on fifth July 2018 to reopen the directive for debate in September 2018. On twelth September 2018, parliament approved an updated position with the final vote being four hundred and thirty eight in favour and two hundred and twenty six against, meaning negotiations can start between the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, with a conclusion in early 2019. If the three groups agree on the final language, the directive will go to governments of the member states to be passed as laws within those countries. The arithmetic of the twelth Septenber vote does not look encouraging but if you are an EU citizen there is still time to lobby your MEP details of how to do this and points which you might like to make are on the website of Julia Reda (https://juliareda.eu/eu-copyright-reform/)
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