The Council of the European Union has approved the EU’s new law on copyright, making digital platforms like Google and Facebook legally responsible for content they host.
MEPs had formally adopted the modernised law on 26th March and the endorsement today (15th April) by the council was the legislation’s final hurdle.
Under the law, the first major revamp of EU copyright rules in 18 years, online platforms will have to sign licensing agreements with authors and publishers to use their work. They will also be required to use filters stopping users uploading copyrighted material.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said: “With today's agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age. Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms. When it comes to completing Europe's digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle.”
The move was broadly welcomed by the trade last month with Society of Authors c.e.o. Nicola Solomon branding it "a victory for creators".
As a member state of the EU, the UK now has two years to put the directive into law.