The Wall Street Journal: EU approves new copyright law aimed at big tech companies

BRUSSELS — The European Union agreed on a new copyright law aimed at reining in tech giants and throwing a lifeline to news publishers.

The Wednesday deal comes after months of opposition and lobbying from internet giants and open-internet activists that led to a stalemate among EU governments.

Two controversial parts of the draft bill held up negotiations. One, aimed at platforms that allow users to upload content, would make the platforms liable for copyright violations.  The other would allow news publishers to negotiate licenses with aggregators such as Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL, +0.09% GOOG, -0.11%  Google. Any search results that go beyond one word or “very short extracts” of news articles would be subject to such licenses.

The deal was made possible after France and Germany proposed a compromise last week, giving smaller internet companies some exemptions from the rules. The compromise coincided with a separate deal in which France agreed to support Germany on a natural-gas pipeline with Russia, according to officials in Brussels and Berlin.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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