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EU institutions agree on copyright reform

The European Commission, Council, and Parliament have finally concluded the trilogue negotiations.

Background: The copyright reform has been one of the most controversial initiatives of the outgoing European Commission. The EC launched its proposal back in September 2016; in July 2018, the EU Parliament voted down the first text agreed in the trilogue negotiations. Parliament then reached a new position in September, after which a new round of negotiations commenced.

What’s new? After a tense round of trilogue negotiations, in which meetings were cancelled at almost no notice and texts were redrafted multiple times, the EU legislators have agreed on a common position. The most controversial points were the reward mechanism for press publishers, and the blocking of unlicensed copyrighted content online. Eventually, negotiators agreed on a text along the lines of a Franco-German compromise, which still retains many of the controversial provisions of the previous texts.

What happens now: Parliament and Council will need to formally adopt the rules before they can come into force. Unlike other pieces of legislation, it cannot be taken for granted this will be a mere formality, as MEPs are divided on the issue and stakeholders across the board are continuing to voice their discontent.