By Diego Naranjo

The discussions on the Censorship Machine proposal (a.k.a. upload filters) in the EU has suddenly speeded up. The next meeting of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COREPER) and the Bulgarian Council Presidency is on 27 April. The Presidency published a set of very biased questions to guide the discussions. On 13 April their latest consolidated, and predictably dreadful, compromise proposal were made available.

In an unusual move in EU politics, the Bulgarian Presidency plans to push the EU Council to adopt its negotiating position (“general approach”) before the European Parliament (EP) adopts its position. The intention of such a manoeuvre cannot be understood in any other way than as an attempt to pressure the EP (where the debate on upload filters and ancillary copyright are progressing very fast) to adopt a position that is anti-citizen, to the benefit of the few large internet companies that could cope with the onerous new obligations.

Despite it being well known that there is no consensus in the Council, and following a series of letter from dozens of organisations to improve the texts (this one signed by over 80 organisations, this one signed by us and other 49 NGOs, and another one signed by 56 respected academics), it seems that the Bulgarian Presidency has no time to listen to anyone, but there is no good reason for this to happen in this way.

In order to achieve the best outcome in the copyright reform, EU Member States need to stand against this unnecessary pressure from the Council Presidency, and the European Parliament needs to stand firm and keep debating the proposal before the vote on 20-21 June in the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee. There are enough copyfails in the EU to get this reform wrong as well.

Stop the #CensorshipMachine! (10.04.2018)
https://edri.org/stop-the-censorship-machine/

#CensorshipMachine – How will the decision be taken? (19.03.2018)
https://edri.org/censorshipmachine-how-will-the-decision-be-taken/

Proposed internet filter will strip citizens of their rights: Your action is needed! (28.03.2018)
https://edri.org/proposed-internet-filter-will-strip-citizens-of-their-rights/

Copyright reform: Document pool
https://edri.org/copyright-reform-document-pool/

EU Member States Are Getting Steamrolled on © by the Bulgarian Presidency
http://copybuzz.com/copyright/eu-member-states-are-getting-steamrolled-on-by-the-bulgarian-presidency/

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