Content is king online. Everything around the web revolves round it. While various measures are available to check text-based contents, this may not be the case for some like videos and music.
Google and Facebook may now have to filter out contents published on their platforms by users. This comes as a backdrop of the recent European Parliament vote on 12 September 2018.
Internet activists and Tech platforms protested the result of the European Parliament vote to back copyright rules that are designed to help music, video and other right holders get compensation for the use of their content over the internet.
Google’s Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. with other Internet-based technology companies may possibly now be coerced to negotiate licenses for web contents that are uploaded on their sites by users.
This came after lawmakers largely supported a legislative proposal for new copyright laws unveiled by the European Commission in 2016.
It was a turn around on Wednesday when European parliament which previously rejected the rules gave a final vote in support of the move after lawmakers made some slight amendment to the initial text.
If negotiating a license does not materialize, companies would need to consciously filter out copyrighted content from what is uploaded by users on their platforms. The development sparked concerns from internet activists who saw the move as one that will eventually lead to censorship.
According to Siada El Ramly, the director general of Edima, an internet platform association which includes the likes of Google and Facebook, the European lawmakers decided to go in support of the filtering of the internet in favor of big organizations in the publishing and music industries in spite of a pronounced public outcry.
Siada hopes that the EU governments will hear the cry of their citizens and go on their side in the next stage of the negotiations.
There could still be one more opportunity to look more closely at some demands since the final version of the rules is still to be agreed upon with the EU member states and the commission.
A favorable decision on the side of internet users is quite slim though since they also support the commission’s initial proposal.
It is obvious many are concerned the government has failed to heed the cry of experts and its citizens. Julia Reda, a German member of the European Parliament and internet activist refers to a part of the vote as catastrophic because of parliament paying deaf ears to people’s calls.
Similarly, the parliament vote came at a time when legislators in the US and Europe are pushing to make tech outfits more responsible for what is uploaded on their sites. On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed new legislation compelling internet companies to remove all ISIS videos and terrorism promoting content from their services within just an hour of notice or get fined if they don’t.