The European Parliament is furiously debating the pros and cons of a landmark copyright bill one last time before the legislature will vote on it later.

Tuesday's debate brings to an end three years of impassioned debate which has pitted the internet giants against creative writers and artists who want to see better protection of their rights and income.

The most controversial section would require companies such as YouTube and Facebook to take responsibility for copyrighted material that's uploaded to their platforms.

Opponents claim they could restrict freedom of speech, hamper online creativity and force websites to install filters.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in cities across Germany to protest the planned copyright reforms that they fear will lead to online censorship.