From Warsaw to London: United to #fixcopyright
At the end of October 2016 two major events related to internet freedoms took place: Copycamp and MozFest. EDRi participated in both conferences, engaging with activists to build the resistance against attacks on our digital freedoms.
Copycamp, an event organised in Warsaw by EDRi member Modern Poland Foundation, is one of the main events in Europe for copyright experts and activists. Gathering a wide range of speakers from library associations to public policy advocates, this year’s Copycamp addressed pressing issues, given the copyright proposal published in September 2016 by the European Commission. We presented our copyfails campaign, in connection with the threats that are present in the proposal, while calling for a broad alliance to work on the reform. Other participants such as BEUC, Wikimedia and COMMUNIA explored different issues from geo-blocking to best cases scenarios for copyright and provided their views on the proposal and where to act together to improve the text in the parliamentary phase.
We were also present in MozFest in London. The conference, organised by Mozilla, is a mandatory stop for those interested in the openness of the web, privacy and copyright. The two-day event hosted numerous workshops, lightning talks and technical presentations. EDRi was present in the “fuel the movement” track where we facilitated three different sessions. The first one, co-organised by Mozilla and the Copyright for Creativity coalition (C4C), described the key aspects of the copyright proposal: the censorship machine (upload filter proposal), the lack of harmonised rights across the EU, and the inadequate attempt to facilitate text and data mining.
During our second session, co-hosted with COMMUNIA, we explored the respective campaigns from both organisations to provide a positive agenda: “best case scenarios” and “copyfails”. We went a step further and asked participants to “confess their copysins”, namely the copyright infringements they see every day caused by the absence of legislation fit for the digital environment. These confessions genereated great ideas that we will explore in the near future.
Finally, during our last session at MozFest we did a role play where participants engaged in the EU decision making procedure, representing different groups: Council of the EU, European Parliament, lobbyists, and civil rights groups. They followed the procedure on a proposal for a “snippet levy”, starting from the proposal by the “Commission”, until reaching an agreement. The text, which included a last minute amendment to tax newstands for benefiting from the free offer of the headlines (or “offline snippets”), was passed and celebrated by both lobbyists and EU member states. The role play made participants aware of the EU law making processes and the need to build strong alliances to bring civil society voices to the debate.
The analysis is done, the network is stronger, the challenge is clear. Now, all we need to do is get active and, finally, fix copyright!
EDRi: Press Release: New copyright directive fails at every level (14.09.2016)
Best Case Scenarios for Copyright (06.06.2016)
EDRi: Copyfails: Time to #fixcopyright! (23.05.2016)
(Contribution by Diego Naranjo, EDRi)