Apple announces a new credit card, arcade and streaming subscription service. USA TODAY

STRASBOURG, France — European Union lawmakers approved a copyright directive Tuesday intended to give writers and artists more protection of their creative rights and incomes.

But outspoken critics say the contentious measure could have major implications for U.S. tech companies and could censor anyone who posts on the internet.

The European Parliament voted 348-274 to pass the online copyright bill, with 36 abstentions. Opponents argued the legislation, which had been in the works for three years, would stifle freedom and creativity online. The EU’s member countries gave the measure preliminary approval in February and have final reviews set for