European Parliament votes on Internet copyright

The European Parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of allowing people to copy digital content, such as music and films on CDs or from the Internet, as long as the copying is not for commercial purposes.

A huge majority of 471 parliamentarians supported an amendment to the copyright directive that grants personal copying an exception; 53 members of parliament opposed the amendment and 23 abstained, said parliament spokeswoman Marjory Van den Broeke.

Liberals who were expected to fight the amendment were in fact glad, Van den Broeke said. "The Liberals are happy with this. They agreed that the nine amendments adopted are favorable to artists. The notion of fair compensation is stressed in the agreed text, " she said.

Wednesday's vote followed the European Parliament's second reading of a directive on copyright and related rights in the information society. The text, including the parliaments' amendments, will go before government ministers. If they agree to the parliament's amendments, the directive will be passed and referred to the 15 member states of the European Union to be transposed into national law.