Thursday 7 March 2019
Greetings citizens of Europe. The biggest threat to the internet is at our doorsteps, and we need you to fight against it. On the 25-28 of March, the European Parliament will most likely vote the European Copyright Directive.
Under the final text, any online community, platform or service is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that infringes copyright, even momentarily. This is impossible, and the closest any service can come to it is spending hundreds of millions of euros to develop automated copyright filters. Those filters will subject all internet traffic of every European citizen to interception and arbitrary censorship if a black-box algorithm decides their text, pictures, sounds or videos are a match for a known copyrighted work.
Under article 13 of the copyright directive every online community, service or platform is required to make "best efforts" to license anything their users might conceivably upload, meaning that they have to buy virtually anything any copyright holder offers to sell them, at any price, on pain of being liable for infringement if a user later uploads that work.
Article 11, which allows news sites to decide who can link to their stories and charge for permission to do so, is also a huge threat to our internet freedom. The final text clarifies that any link that contains more than "single words or very short extracts" from a news story must be licensed, with no exceptions for noncommercial users, nonprofit projects, or even personal websites with ads or other income sources, no matter how small.
Join us by getting informed about the European Copyright directive and by contacting your representatives via the link we provided in the description of this video. To let our voices be heard, we will be leaving our keyboards and we will take to the streets throughout Europe on the 23rd of March. Our peaceful protest will send a clear message to the European Parliament that we want them to represent European citizens, not industry lobbyists.
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