The European Parliament voted against a copyright bill Thursday that would have required big tech companies to pay for content that they distribute and make them responsible for enforcing copyrights on that content. The idea was to make sure that creators are paid fairly for their work.
While this particular case centered around a legal dispute between musician Paul McCartney and Wikipedia creators, it has much larger ramifications for big tech and can be notched as a victory for companies like Facebook and Google that help distribute content. The two companies like to argue that they are on the side of the media industry, helping them gain views and revenue. They also argued that this particular case was an issue of internet freedom. But they ultimately wield a significant amount of power over those companies as gatekeepers, and the media industry said they need protection for their work. This bill would have been a step to reel in that power, something the EU has been trying to do in a variety of different ways. Big tech may have won this round, but it’s likely a fight that’s far from over.