Recordings in Catherine Stihler; Pavel Telička; Axel Voss

European Copyright Directive rejected by European Parliament

Catherine Stihler; Pavel Telička; Axel Voss

On July 5, 2018, the European parliament voted on the EU committee’s proposal for a new European Copyright Bill. The video clip shows the last two speeches before votes were cast: one by German MEP Axel Voss, a member of the European People’s Party Group, in support of the EU committee’s position, and another by British MEP Catherine Stihler of the Socialists & Democrats group against.

The new law, particularly articles 11 and 13, had faced serious opposition by prominent internet personalities such as Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf, digital rights activists, and YouTube content creators alike. Had the law been passed, it would have likely resulted in an even more widespread implementation of automated content filters on platforms for user-generated content. At the same time, article 11 would have led to mandatory licensing fees for preview snippets of linked content. In the worst-case scenario, this would have led to smaller news platforms being forced to shut down for being unable to afford those fees.

In the end, votes against the proposed copyright bill prevailed by a very slight margin of only 40 of a total of 596 votes (and 31 abstentions). 

An English translation of the German parts of the video is available at the bottom of the transcript.

For more information on the Copyright Directive and its potential impact, visit