The European Parliament approved the controversial copyright directive, which would allow the MEPs, the European Commission and the Council of the EU to continue the trialogues on the text.

The text became subject to unprecedented lobbying and controversy because it affects the interests of technological giants, artists and simple Internet users.

Lawmakers adopted the EC text with 438 votes, 226 were against it and 39 were the abstentions. EU Commissioners Maria Gabriel and Andrus Ansip welcomed the decision by the MEPs and Ansip stated that this is “a huge step towards the adoption of a balanced copyright reform in the EU”.

“The European Parliament approved filters for all other than the smallest sites and applications. Everything you want to publish will have to be pre-approved by these filters, absolutely legitimate content such as parody will also be tracked”, commented the MEP from the Pirate Party (Germany) Yulia Reda.

In plenary session, the deputies approved amended versions of the most controversial components: Article 11 and Article 13, called “Link Tax” and “Upload Filters”.

Article 11 allows publishers and newspapers to make money when companies like Google publish their stories. Article 13 requires platforms like YouTube and Facebook to scan uploaded content to cancel unlicensed copyright materials sharing.

Critics alarmed that these two changes represent a direct threat to the free flow of information on the Internet and will lead to censorship. It was criticised by number of IT companies, famous peoples in the tech sector and sites such as Wikipedia and YouTube. The directive also covers the creators themselves – some as Paul Makarten supported it, while others like Wacliff Jan condemned it, calling on the MEPs “to embrace and improve the Internet rather than to try to block the network’.

The directive should modernise the existing legal framework for copyright, which was adopted in 2001 and thus inadequate for the rapid development of the internet. In July, the MEPs decided to review the proposal of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs and to amend Parliament’s position on the controversial texts.

The wordings voted today will represent the mandate with which the EP will negotiate with the EU Council to reach an agreement. The Council formulated its position in May 2018.