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On 13 February 2019 the European Parliament and Council agreed on how the EU’s copyright rules should be updated aiming to strengthen the position of the journalists and artists vis-á-vis the large online platforms. According to the agreement, the big online platforms should no longer be able to earn money by using journalists’ and artists’ content without paying them. Crucially, start-ups and smaller online platforms (under 10 million global turnover or not more than 5 million unique monthly visitors) will be subject to less strict obligations than well-known large companies like Facebook or YouTube.

The new rules make online platforms liable for copyright infringing content uploaded to them. If they breach these rules, they have to compensate the authors more fairly for their work. News aggregators can use only snippets of articles provided it is only a very short extract. The memes will be safe since uploading of works for parody, pastiche, criticism or quotation are now specifically protected thanks to this law. The agreement was approved by its Legal Affairs Committee and it will be put to a final vote in plenary in the last week of March 2019.