EU approves tougher copyright rules in blow to Google, Facebook

Google will have to pay publishers for news snippets and Facebook filter out protected content under new copyright rules aimed at ensuring fair compensation for the European Union's $1 trillion (Sh100.9 trillion) creative industries.

EU governments today backed the move launched by the European Commission two years ago to protect Europe's creative industries, which employ 11.7 million people in the bloc.

"When it comes to completing Europe's digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle," the Commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement.

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Under the new rules, Google and other online platforms will have to sign licensing agreements with musicians, performers, authors, news publishers and journalists to use their work.

The European Parliament gave a green light last month to a proposal that has pitted Europe's creative industry against tech companies, internet activists and consumer groups.

The change was opposed by Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

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