After the EU Copyright Directive was passed by the EU Parliament last month (see our original blog post for further details), it was formally approved by the Council of the European Union on April 15, 2019. Nineteen EU member states, including Germany, France and the UK, voted in favor. Six member states – namely Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden – voted against the Directive, while three countries abstained from the vote.
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On 26 March 2019, following a lengthy process, the European Parliament has given final approval to the Copyright Directive, aimed at the modernization of the EU copyright regime. Members of parliament voted 348 in favor of the law and 274 against. Before voting on the reform proposal, a vote was held on whether or not to address proposed amendments – notably the exclusion of the law’s most debated clause, Article 13 or the “upload filter.” Members of parliament opposed a decision on the proposed amendments, in a close vote with 312 in favor but 317 against addressing any amendments.
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On 15 December 2015, the European Council and representatives of the European Parliament reached a consensus on the European Commission’s proposed Directive on “the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.” The Commission’s original proposal 
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The final draft of the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was agreed on 15 December 2015 and, once it has been approved by the European Parliament in early 2016, is expected to take effect by early 2018. This reform aims to update data protection law to address the challenges of the digital age while simultaneously protecting the rights of individuals and enabling businesses to utilise personal data in a more consistent manner across the European Union. The GDPR will be directly applicable in the same form in all EU Member States with the intention of reducing the burden on international organisations that, up until now, have had to vary their compliance to satisfy the particular data protection requirements of each Member State.
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On 16 June 2015, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee adopted a report reviewing the EU’s legislative framework in the area of copyright law. The original draft of the report, authored by German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, has been subject to various amendments. One amendment that has spawned considerable debate concerns the so called freedom of panorama exception.
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