Suggestions that Google is running a “cynical” campaign to quash new EU copyrights laws towards streaming music have emerged over the weekend.
The European Commission is aiming to reshape copyright law for the digital era with a new set of rules that would force Google to pay substantially higher fees to music labels for streaming their songs on YouTube.
The global body for the recording industry, the IFPI estimates that Google currently pays record companies $1 per user per year, compared to the $20 paid by Spotify and Apple.
The same body has suggested that Google – along with a host of other US tech giants – are funding lobby groups seeking to spike the proposed reforms.
The new copyright rules would force platforms to negotiate licensing deals with content owners and crate filters to prevent copyrighted material being uploaded illegally.
However, the changes have been criticised by some, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Worldwide Web who has warned that they could damage free and open internet.
Questions have been raised over what the proposed rule change could mean for memes that use images without the owner’s permission. It’s user generated content that has grown a vast number of viral sensations.
The Times reports that among the groups opposed to the copyright overhaul are Digital Europe, whose members include Google and Microsoft and Copyright for Creativity, backed by Facebook, Google and Facebook.
Frances Moore, head of IFPI, said: “We have witnessed a cynical manipulation by big tech masquerading as ‘concerned constituents’ in order to kill manipulation.”