Paul McCartney, James Blunt Back New European Copyright Law

Paul McCartney - One on One Tour Performance - Getty - H 2017
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The European Parliament votes Thursday on the law that would force platforms like Google and Facebook to introduce upload filters to block copyright-protected content from being illegally posted online.

Paul McCartney, James Blunt and opera star Placido Domingo are among more than 1,300 recording artists who have signed an open letter to the European Parliament in support of a controversial new copyright law.

The musicians are calling on members of the European Parliament to vote in favor of the EU Copyright Directive on Thursday. The legislation will overhaul copyright law in the European Union by forcing online platforms, such as Google and Facebook, to use upload filters to block copyright-protected material and requiring sites to pay publishers for snippets or links to news stories. Opponents of the legislation warn the law could "end the internet as we know it."

But the Copyright Directive has broad support among Europe's creative community, who see it as a necessary step in protecting creative works from piracy and exploitation and “restoring fairness” to Europe's online marketplace.

In his letter to the parliament, McCartney wrote that, at the moment, there is a "value gap" between the revenue online platforms derive from the use of copyright-protected music and the revenue they pass on to the creators of that music. The Copyright Directive, the ex-Beatle wrote, would "address the value gap and help assure a sustainable future for the music ecosystem and its creators, fans and digital music services alike."

International recording industry group IFPI organized the campaign, Fix the #Value Gap, which hopes to convince EU politicians to back the new law.

The European Parliament will vote on the measure at noon, local time, in Strasbourg, France, on Thursday.