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February 15, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:31am

New EU copyright deal will allow Facebook and Google to share ‘very short’ news snippets only

By Freddy Mayhew

News article snippets can continue to be shared across online platforms provided they are kept “very short”, according to a new digital copyright deal from the European Union.

The deal, which has been agreed by all three EU political institutions, also insists journalists must get a share of any “copyright-related revenue obtained by their publishing house”.

Under its terms, sharing snippets of news articles will not engage the rights of publishers that produced the content, but it does include provisions to stop news aggregators from abusing this.

The decision means the likes of Google and Facebook can continue to share news snippets. Memes and gifs can also still be shared without breaching the newly proposed legislation.

It must now win final approval from council representatives and European Parliament. Once ratified, EU member states will have 24 months to create national legislation to match.

German MEP Axel Voss said: “This deal is an important step towards correcting a situation which has allowed a few companies to earn huge sums of money without properly remunerating the thousands of creatives and journalists whose work they depend on.

“At the same time, this deal contains numerous provisions which will guarantee that the internet remains a space for free expression. “

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He added: “This is a deal which protects people’s living, safeguards democracy by defending a diverse media landscape, entrenches freedom of expression, and encourages start-ups and technological development.

“It helps make the internet ready for the future, a space which benefits everyone, not only a powerful few.”

Europe’s press publishers, represented by the European Magazine Media Association, European Newspaper Publishers’ Association, European Publishers Council and News Media Europe all welcomed the agreement on copyright reform.

A spokesman for the press publishers said: “We now call on the European Parliament to endorse the text as soon as possible, as it did last September, in order to allow a fair value exchange between those who produce and those who distribute for their own commercial gain, for the cycle to continue profitably and fairly.

“Quality journalism is at the heart of our democracies and if we want a future for professional journalism in the European Union, we must take action to support the press and to redress an unbalanced ecosystem.”

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

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