UK government to reject divisive EU copyright reforms

A new directive from the European Union designed to compel tech giants to pay content creators more for their material will not be adopted into British law, according to the government.


Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said there are “no plans” for the directive to be implemented in the UK. The British government would not be required to do so, as EU nations have until 7 June 2021 to implement it, while the post-Brexit implementation period ends on 31 December 2020.


The UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020, one week from today.


The Copyright Directive will force major tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google – which owns YouTube – to take greater responsibility over the copyright status of their users’ published content.


Musicians like Paul McCartney have spoken in favour of the changes, which would result in artists and other creators earning more for their content.


YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki previously cautioned against the new law, saying it could result in EU viewers being cut off from accessing content.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised the law in March last year, saying it was “terrible for the internet”.