EU finally approved a controversial reform on intellectual property rights

File - European flags in front of European commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 26 June 2018 (reissued 01 November 2018). The treaty was signed on 07 February 1992 and was a milestone on the way from the original European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) of 1951 to the modern European Union (EU). 01 November 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the coming into force of the Treaty of Maastricht. EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The European Union on Monday unanimously approved the controversial reform of European intellectual property rights following a recent vote by EU ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg in the final phase of a two-year process.

The result of the vote was expected after the arduous negotiations on the reform under intense lobbying by both its supporters and opponents.

However, six countries voted against reform, according to European sources Italy, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Poland and the Netherlands.

However, this minority of opposition countries is not sufficient to impede the adoption of the text.

Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia also abstained.

In a statement issued by the Council of the European Union, Romanian Minister Valer Daniel Briez, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, hailed what he considered a “balanced text”.

He pointed out that reform “opens up multiple opportunities for the European creative sectors” as well as “users whose freedom of expression will be enhanced over the Internet”.

Once published in the Official Journal of the European Union, member countries will have 24 months to introduce the new rules into their national legislation.

The reform was approved by the European Parliament at the end of March following a vote that reversed a sharp split (348 votes in favor, 274 against and 26 abstentions).

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also hailed the end of the track launched in September 2016 when the European Commission presented this reform with significant financial implications.

“Europe will have clear rules that will ensure fair incomes for content creators and great rights for users,” Juncker said in a statement.

Opponents have directed their arrows at two items in this reform.

The first is Article 13 aimed at strengthening the negotiating site for innovators and rights holders (such as authors and artists …) in the face of platforms that use content such as YouTube or Templar. Some fear the use of automatic download filters, which proponents of electronic freedoms may open the door to some form of censorship.

“The pressure group in entertainment will not stop here, because it will put pressure in the next two years on applications at the national level that ignore the fundamental rights of users,” said European Rep. Julia Reda, a symbol of opposition to the amendment. Pressure on member countries.”

The second controversial item is Article 11, which recommends the creation of a “parallel copyright law” for newspaper publishers. It would allow the media, including Agence France-Presse, to get money to reuse their production over the Internet by networks like Google or Facebook.

CCA Europe, the European Commission’s lobbyist for the digital industry, denounced the text as “unbalanced.”

We urge Member States to conduct an in-depth evaluation and try to minimize the consequences of the text in its application, “said member of the board Maud Sakie in a statement.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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