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MEPs agree on provisional text of Copyright Directive

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United Kingdom

Today, 26 February 2019, Members of the European Parliament (the Legal Affairs Committee) have approved the draft text of the new Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market. The draft legislation was approved by 16 votes in favour and 9 votes against and no abstentions. The final vote in Parliament is scheduled to take place during the 25-28 March II plenary session.

We reported just last week on the progress of the draft Copyright Directive (see our blog: Progress finally made on the proposed new Copyright Directive) and confirmed that on 13 February 2019, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission had finally managed to reach political agreement on the text of the new Copyright Directive. On 20 February 2019, the Council of Ministers followed suit and endorsed the agreement. The next stage in the process was for the Legal Affairs Committee to vote on the draft and today, 26 February 2019, the European Parliament issued a press release stating that the Legal Affairs Committee have also now approved the draft text. The draft legislation was approved by 16 votes in favour and 9 votes against, with no abstentions.   

This seems to be a positive step in the right direction given that the draft has caused so much controversy to date. There are still a number of Member States (Italy, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland) averse to the agreement (and who voted against the deal), claiming that the Directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of rightsholders and the interests of EU citizens and companies.

The final vote in Parliament is scheduled to take place during the 25-28 March II plenary session. It will be interesting to see whether the 751 MEPS will vote to accept or reject the bill and we will of course report back as soon as the results are in. 

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