Last month, the EU Committee on Legal Affairs (which somehow works out to the initialism JURI) voted in favor of a new copyright reform plan called the EU Copyright Directive, sending it to a parliamentary vote. On its face, the idea of copyright reform is good considering how old many governments' legislation on the subject is, but two parts of the plan—Article 11 and Article 13—were a bit draconian in their perspective. Thankfully, the European Parliament has sent the whole idea back to be reworked.
Article 11 in the EU Copyright Directive would have required that links to news stories (like the one you're reading right now) be subject to a licensing/tax fee when companies like Google or Facebook point people at them. So merely searching via Google for some of Android Police's hotter scoops would have forced big G to cough up the cash to help you. By a more cynical perspective, this "Link Tax" is really nothing more than a lobbying effort by maladapted media companies to try to pump more money in the midst of declining viewership and an era of unnecessary and pointless paywalls. (/rant)
Article 13 would have required that all content posted to the internet be fed through copyright "filters" that magically pull every piece of copyright-infringing material out, presumably scanning a nonexistent library of all copyrighted works for comparison. In essence, Article 13 asks every site to install a magic box of bullshit, precisely the sort of plan we've come to expect from technically ignorant politicians with lobby-lined pockets.
If you'd like a bit more discussion on both Articles and their impact on the internet, BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow presents a detailed and accurate (if politically slanted) perspective on the implications of each for tech companies.
Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board. All MEPs will get to vote on #uploadfilters and the #linktax September 10–13. Now let's keep up the pressure to make sure we #SaveYourInternet! pic.twitter.com/VwqAgH0Xs5
— Julia Reda (@Senficon) July 5, 2018
In a surprisingly pleasant twist for European-residing citizens of the internet, the bundle of copyright laws was voted down by parliament, sending the whole plan back for re-examination. It's possible (and likely) that the lobbyists and regulators that brought the bill initially could attempt another vote in the future, but it appears that most parliamentary representatives actually seem to understand how harmful these particular regulations would have been.