Di Maio blasts EP copyright directive OK

'Disgrace, ready to fight' says deputy PM

(ANSA) - Rome, September 12 - Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio on Wednesday blasted the European Parliament's approval of a controversial overhaul of copyright law that could force tech giants to install filters that prevent copyright-protected content from being uploaded.
    "An all-European disgrace," said the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).
    "The European Parliament has introduced the censorship of content of Internet users. We are officially entering a scenario worthy of Orwell's Big Brother".
    He said the M5S would fight "in the negotiations between governments, at the European parliament and on the European Commission" against the controversial directive.
    He vowed that "at the next vote in the assembly the directive will be blocked again".
    Lawmakers in Strasbourg voted on Wednesday in favor of the European Union's revamped directive, which is aimed at bringing the bloc's rules on copyright into the 21st century.
    The copyright reform was passed with 438 votes in favour, 226 against and 39 abstentions.
    Critics say such a law would normalize censorship and restrict Internet freedom, preventing users from being able to post content ranging from memes to links to articles from news outlets.
    The EU copyright battle pits media companies and musicians against tech giants over the widespread availability of their content online. Supporters of the law argue that people and companies in the creative industries are being starved of revenues lost to the sharing of their intellectual property on digital platforms.
    It could particularly impact platforms like Facebook and Google's YouTube, which rely on user-generated content. Google has been accused of lobbying aggressively to prevent the directive from being passed into law.
    The issue has drawn attention from notable figures in both the tech and media worlds, including internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, former Beatles star Paul McCartney and French DJ David Guetta.