Image for The new EU Copyright Directive is almost upon us and here’s what you can do to stop Articles 11 and 13
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The new EU Copyright Directive is almost upon us and here’s what you can do to stop Articles 11 and 13

We are only a few days from the finalized text of the EU Copyright Directive and this is our last chance to make some noise to stop the toxic Link Tax and Censorship Machines. Join us!

UPDATE January 18, 2019: Today, national governments in the EU failed to find common ground on the controversial Articles 11 and 13 of the EU Copyright Directive. While this doesn't mean the end of the Link Tax and Censorship machines, it does make the adoption of the EU's Copyright Directive before the European elections in May less likely. This also comes to show that our pressure is working! And that we must keep it up in the coming weeks. Learn more on MEP Julia Reda's latest blog post.

The new EU Copyright Directive is only days away from being finalized. Yet some of its most toxic proposals — the Link Tax and Censorship Machines — are still alive. And if passed, will turn the Internet into a censored pay-to-play ghost town.

The good news is that we still have one last chance to stop these toxic proposals. We need to make as much noise as possible, and let decision-makers know that we will not accept a Copyright Directive characterized by censorship, surveillance, and corporate interests.

If you live in one of the countries listed below or know someone who does, our friends at EFF have set up action pages so you can reach the right people. So please contact your ministers to share your concerns about Article 13 and 11 as soon as possible.

If you are not in these countries please share this blog with your friends and family and help us with the final push against Articles 11 and 13.


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Over 750,000 people have already voiced their opposition to these proposals via the Save the Link and Save Your Internet campaigns. Even the UN rapporteur for Free Expression has condemned Article 13 as a disaster for free expression that would violate the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights. The fact that these proposals are still on the table is outrageous and unacceptable.

Also note the important deadlines as indicated in MEP Julia Reda’s website:

January 21: Trilogue negotiations between Parliament and Council: Attempt to finalise the text

March/April: Final vote in the Council

March 25-28, or possibly March 11-14, April 4 or April 15-18 (tbd): Final vote in the European Parliament

What’s at stake?

The Link Tax (Article 11) would charge a copyright fee for the snippets of texts that usually accompany links and help users find content online by providing small previews. It would require online platforms to pay to link to news sites, which will harm content creators by reducing the discoverability of their content. It also entrenches the largest content aggregators, such as Facebook and Google – who are the only ones with deep-enough pockets to foot the cost of the Link Tax.

Censorship Machines (Article 13) would introduce content filtering requirements, turning online platforms into the copyright police and make them liable for user generated content. This would require all content platforms to implement expensive filtering systems, similar to YouTube’s multi-million dollar Content ID system.

Even these expensive systems result in large volumes of false positives, which will lead to the takedown of legitimate content, silencing of voices, and again, entrench the largest corporations – the only ones who are able to afford these technologies.

If you think this is not as serious as it sounds, just see for yourself what Google would look like post-EU Copyright Directive. It is very different from the Internet that you are experiencing today isn’t it? With no article titles, images or news summaries, Google search would be more like an online ghost town with incomplete and missing street signs.

Is that the Internet that you want? If the the answer is NO: please share this blog now— time is ticking and this is may be our last best chance of stopping the Link Tax and Censorship Machines before they become law.


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