EU countries back copyright reform targeting Google, Facebook

EU countries on Monday endorsed an overhaul of the bloc’s two-decade old copyright rules targeting Google and Facebook. (AFP)
Updated 15 April 2019
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EU countries back copyright reform targeting Google, Facebook

  • An overhaul of the bloc’s two-decade old copyright rules target Google and Facebook
  • Nineteen countries voted in favor while six were against and three abstained

BRUSSELS: The European Union’s bid to overhaul its two-decade old copyright rules cleared its final hurdle on Monday as EU governments backed the move forcing Google to pay publishers for news snippets and Facebook to filter out protected content.

Nineteen countries, including France and Germany, endorsed the revamp while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden were against. Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained.

The European Parliament gave its green light last month to a proposal that has pitted Europe’s creative industry against tech companies, Internet activists and consumer groups, triggering intense lobbying from both sides.

The European Commission kicked off the debate two years ago, saying the rules needed to be revised to protect the bloc’s creative industries which is worth €915 billion ($1 trillion) and employs 11.65 million people.

Under the new rules, Google and other online platforms will have to sign licensing agreements with musicians, performers, authors, news publishers and journalists to use their work online.

Google’s YouTube, Facebook’s Instagram and other sharing platforms will also have to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials.


Bulgaria: Killer of TV journalist gets 30 years in prison

Viktoria Marinova. (AFP)
Updated 23 April 2019
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Bulgaria: Killer of TV journalist gets 30 years in prison

  • Media watchdog Journalists Without Borders had accused authorities of trying to impede the inquest and sweep the crime under the carpet

SOFIA: A 21-year-old man was Monday sentenced to 30 years in prison for the brutal rape and murder of a Bulgarian television presenter, avoiding a life term after confessing to the crime.
Severin Krasimirov, also Bulgarian, was arrested in Germany where he had fled after assaulting and killing Viktoria Marinova on October 6.
A court in the northeastern Bulgarian city of Ruse also ordered him to pay 450,000 leva (230,000 euros, $259,000) to Marinova’s family.
Prosecutors said the crime was “linked to sexual motives and had no links to the profession of the victim.” They added that Krasimirov was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the “brutal rape.”
The court said Marinova, 30, was killed “in a particularly brutal manner” after being grabbed while jogging in an alley along the Danube.
She was due to present a new program in which she pledged to unveil serious cases of corruption.
Media watchdog Journalists Without Borders had accused authorities of trying to impede the inquest and sweep the crime under the carpet.