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A highly disputed European copyright law that could force online platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay for links to news content passed a key hurdle in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
Major publishers have pushed for the reform, seeing it as an urgently needed solution against a backdrop of free online news that has decimated earnings for traditional media companies.
Parliament - Legal - Affairs - Committee - Reform
The parliament's powerful Legal Affairs Committee narrowly passed the reform, with 13 votes in favour and 11 against in a ballot that was kept secret given the bitter divisions on the issue.
"An important step for the future of the creative industries in Europe!" said German MEP Christian Ehler, from the right-of-centre EPP group.
Problem - Diversity - Europe - Life - Work
"There is a big problem if all those who bring our cultural diversity in Europe to life... can no longer live from their work because online platforms are not prepared to involve them properly," he said in a statement.
But several MEPs were against the idea, saying it would help only the most widely known news providers to the detriment of independent and start-up companies,...
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