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First off today, Foo Yun Chee has said that the EU Parliament will hold its final Plenary vote on the controversial new copyright directive tomorrow. This copyright directive includes articles that would both require hosts to prevent the re-uploading of infringing material and require search engines to strike deals with news sources in order to reuse headlines and snippets from their content.
The directive is a broad and sweeping copyright reform in the EU though it has been Articles 11 and 13 that have drawn the most attention. They have been the subject of protests over the past weekend, including online protests and in-person ones, however, it’s unclear what impact those protests are having.
The articles involved have already passes nearly every stage of the EU legislative process including a previous plenary vote and approval from The European Council. If the directive does pass its final vote, it will become EU law and it appears it will happen before a possible Brexit, meaning it will be part of UK law, even after the split (unless the UK changes/removes it after the fact).
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the major music companies (Sony, Universal and Warner Bros.) have filed a lawsuit against Bright House Networks, a major ISP that was acquired by Charter three years ago.
According to the lawsuit, before its acquisition, Bright House failed to disconnect repeat infringers and knowingly profited from piracy that it failed to do anything to stop.
The lawsuit follows similar ones against Cox Communications and Grande Communications, both of which have enjoyed at least some success in the courts. According to the music companies, several subscribers of Bright House had received hundreds of notices of copyright infringement with no action being taken by the ISP. However, the lawsuit only covers 2013-2016, which is before it was purchased by Charter.
Finally today, Rocio Sanchez at Music Ally reports that internet tracking company and anti-piracy firm MUSO has released its annual piracy report and it shows a 37% decrease in the number of piracy visits compared to the previous year.
The report, which looks at the 2018 year, found that there had been an estimated 189 billion visits to piracy websites. While still a very large number of visits, the 2017 year report found that there had been more than 300 billion visits in that year.
Music seems to have done the best with an estimated 30 billion visits in 2018, less than half of the estimate 73.9 billion music piracy visits in 2017. The report also found that 60% of all piracy visits are to unlicensed streaming sites and that legitimate services such as Spotify and Netflix are eating into piracy’s numbers.