The European Parliament yesterday rejected a highly controversial EU copyright law proposal that has pitted Beatles legend Paul McCartney against internet giants and the creators of Wikipedia.
Lawmakers are now expected to return in September to the plans, which are aimed at ensuring creators of creative content -- whether music, movies or news -- are paid fairly in a digital world.
The draft law was firmly resisted by major US tech giants as well as advocates of internet freedom, with some campaigners warning it could even spell the end of viral "memes" or jokes.
Members of European Parliament meeting in the eastern French city of Strasbourg voted 318 against the measure, 278 in favour, with 31 abstentions.
The two most disputed aspects of the reform are an effort to boost revenue for hard-up news publishers and a crackdown on non-copyrighted material on tech platforms such as Google-owned Youtube or Facebook.
Major publishers, including AFP, have pushed for the news media reform -- known as article 11 -- seeing it as an urgently needed solution against a backdrop of free online news that has decimated earnings for traditional media companies.
Resistance has been especially heated to Article 13: the proposal to make online platforms legally liable for copyrighted material put on the web by users. Music legend McCartney as well as major music labels and film studios had lobbied politicians urging them to back the changes.
Wikipedia went down in at least three countries on Wednesday in a protest at the upcoming European Parliament vote.