On 12 September 2018 the EU Parliament will debate and vote on Article 13. Time to fire up your email and social media devices and let yourself be heard again, which is why I’m resurfacing this post about the what and the why.
Yep. They are at it again, those pesky governments. If it ain’t the US trying to destroy net neutrality it’s the EU trying to setup a link tax and an automated content filter/surveillance/censorship machine.
I’m talking about the copyright reform law the EU is trying to get through in a few days.
Article 11 is bad. It tries to setup a link tax, meaning you cant link or post snippets to e.g. news articles on your site. A similar law was passed earlier in Spain and it causes Google news to simply pull back out of Spain. If the same happens to the whole of the EU, that would suck mayor balls.
Article 13 is far worse though. That’s the content filter, which means any site where content can be uploaded e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Imgur etc will be forced to automatically scan your upload and filter it if it isn’t allowed. The claim is that they want to stop terrorists and bad people from spreading illegal content on the internet. The reality will be that those bad guys will find ways around it and the rest of us will be stuck with a filter that’s going to block our uploads because of flawed algorithms and bureaucratic decisions. Internet memes use copyrighted content, but will the filter be able to detect sarcasm? I don’t think so.
To quote Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the WWW:
Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet, from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.
So please help out and email, tweet or call your MEP’s and make it clear Article 11 & 13 have to go. The freedom of the internet depends on you!
Update (15/7): Yay! We won! For now. After the summer break this will surely come back though. They won’t give up this easily.