Crunch time for Europe’s new copyright directive will come sometime between 25 March and 28 March, it was revealed yesterday. That’s because the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has approved the final text of the directive, as agreed by the ‘trilogue’ between the three key European political institutions. That means the draft legislation will now be put to a final vote in the Parliament’s plenary session in late March.

Usually, such a vote would be expected to be a formality, given the preceding trilogue process. However, opponents of the directive (and particularly its articles 11 and 13) are lobbying hard to persuade MEPs to break with tradition and vote the legislation down. Music bodies may thus be jumpy. “We welcome the positive vote in the legal affairs committee. We do, at the same time, appeal to all members of the European Parliament to follow the informed decision of the leading committee,” said GEMA boss Dr Harald Heker, for example. In contrast: “This is insanely fast, clearly they want to push it through ASAP to avoid a public outcry,” tweeted MEP Julia Reda, of the date for the vote. “We will need huge protests on March 23!”

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