Italian Wikipedia shuts down due to proposed European Union copyright law

EU interpreters strike parliament

A sweeping, controversial copyright reform bill passed through the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) on Wednesday (20 June), but the legislation could still be toppled during a make-or-break vote in the full chamber's plenary session next month.

The former sought to require websites like Facebook and Google-as well as smaller, far less wealthy and powerful websites-to pay news organizations in order to link to their content, a rule critics have derided as a "link tax".

The reform proposal, which can be read here, would increase the legal requirements to post copyrighted material online.

At the end of it all, the latter group have come out on top - with 318 MEPs voting against the Directive versus the 278 for.

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Two weeks ago, European Parliament sent the media world into a frenzy by pushing legislation that threatened to dismantle the internet as we now know it. With that in mind in the run-up to today's vote, Wikipedia went dark in Spain, Poland and Italy while some of its other local versions carried banners encouraging users to contact members of the European Parliament in protest.

McCartney wrote to MEPs accusing some internet platforms of refusing to compensate artists for their work "while they exploit it for their own profit".

As many as 70 computer scientists, including the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, 169 academics and 145 human rights, press freedom, and scientific research organisations join hands with Wikipedia in opposition of the proposed law.

"I wouldn't consider the vote as a surprise since we knew all along that there was a split between MEPs on this sensitive issue", said Maltese MEP Francis Zammit Dimech to Lovin Malta.

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Article 13 would implement a so-called "upload filter"-or what opponents have called a censorship machine-to screen all material uploaded to the internet for copyright infringement".

The reforms will be debated again in September, after the changes are refined by policy makers.

The stumbling block between politicians, businessmen and ordinary users of the network become paragraphs 11 and 13 of the new Directive.

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