Who voted for Article 13?

On March 26th Members of the European Parliament voted to pass a new copyright directive. The bill became famous, mainly because of Article 13, which requires online platforms to remove copyrighted material from their websites. Fear of censorship brought thousands of people to the streets protesting to #SaveTheInternet. While the bill was intended to protect the creative rights of writers and artists, it will mostly benefit big publishers – restricting freedom and creativity for everyone else. Here is an overview of who voted for the law and who voted against it.

Small and independent content creators are threatened, especially if they rely on publishing their content on big platforms like YouTube. Since the platforms will be responsible for copyright infringements, they'll likely put pre-filters in place to prevent copyrighted material from being published. Such filters are notoriously hard to devise and prone to failure.

Votes by political group

Vocal supporters of the new copyright directive are copyright collectives, big music and media organisations. Many of them have a strong lobby in Brussels and close ties to the conservative EPP, the driving force behind the new law.

Votes by age

Not surprisingly, it was mostly elderly MEPs who voted in favor of the directive. Only in the age bracket under 40 years, the majority of members voted against the copyright reform. This is striking, because this generation has largely grown up with the Internet and understands the value of having free access to information best. Also because of this, the vote was often referred to as a betrayal of the younger generations.

Nobody questions that it also needs copyright rules for the internet. Most opponents of Article 13 would agree that authors and artists must be able to live off their works. A copyright reform would have been possible even without Article 13. However, the vote is a good example of how a well-intentioned law can miss its original goals through lobbying, partisanship and simply ignoring public debate.


The voting results were scraped from the official protocol (Am 271, page 52). I chose not to include corrections. The seating plan for the Strasbourg parliament is available as a SVG image on their website. The SVG was transformed to a list of XY coordinates for better (re-)usability. The seating plan also provides seat assignments and basic information about the MEPs, like party and country. The MEP's birthdays had to be scraped for another section of the parliament's website.

Further reading