When the EU Parliament voted in favor of Articles 11 (the link tax) and 13 (the meme ban/upload filter) of the EU Copyright Directive, it was a dark day for internet freedom. However, the member states can still stop this Directive being passed by voting against it in a final EU Council vote.
This final vote has now been scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2019 and the member states’ Ministers of Agriculture will be voting on whether to approve or reject the Directive.
If the EU Copyright Directive is approved during this final vote, members states will have to craft EU Directives which make Articles 11 and 13 part of their national law by 2021. However, if the Council rejects Articles 11 and 13, there will be further negotiations after the EU elections in May and the Directive could be amended.
According to MEP Julia Reda, having a big member state such as Germany, the UK, or Sweden vote against the Directive is the most likely way it could be rejected.
Currently, Germany is on course to agree (Google Translate link) to the EU Copyright Directive with the provision that upload filters should only affect “powerful market” platforms such as Facebook. However, planned protests could help to swing Germany’s final vote in the EU Council to fully reject the Directive.
Sweden is also attempting to force its government (Google Translate link) to vote against Articles 11 and 13. While Sweden’s vote alone is not enough to stop the Directive being passed, it could help to block the Directive if other member states also decide to oppose it.