EU countries back copyright reforms aimed at Google, Facebook

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union countries on Wednesday endorsed an overhaul of the bloc’s copyright rules which would force Google and Facebook Inc to pay publishers for news snippets and filter out copyright-protected content on YouTube or Instagram.

A majority of EU diplomats agreed to the revamp while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland refused to back the deal and two other EU countries abstained.

Negotiators from the EU countries, the European Parliament and the European Commission sealed a deal last week, two years after the EU executive proposed changes to protect the bloc’s cultural heritage and ensure that publishers, broadcasters and artists are remunerated fairly.

Romania, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said in a tweet that the copyright agreement had been approved by the EU Council.