Online content providers including Google, YouTube and Facebook have dodged copyright liabilities running into the billions after Europe voted to reject contentious amendments to copyright law.
Publishers, record labels and artists had been pushing for technology firms to share more of their earnings with content owners and creators, sparking a long-running legal saga which has dragged through the European parliament over the past two years.
Campaigners such as Paul McCartney have long complained that artists earn a pittance for their work when it airs on sites such as Google-owned YouTube, which pays out just 67 cents per user in royalties to artists annually.
On the other side of the debate proponents of an open internet have vehemently opposed the idea with the likes of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and world wide web pioneer Sir Tim Berners Lee, who have been particularly angered by inclusion of a so-called ‘link tax’.
This clause would force big news aggregation and search sites, led by Google, to pay publishers whenever it shared article snippets or linked back to external sites.
Tech firms such as Mozilla have long complained that EU tech laws stifle innovation.