By Diego Naranjo

The European Commission has proposed a Copyright Directive that could not conceivably be worse. The text that was launched today, on 14 September, includes a proposal to potentially filter all uploads to the Internet in Europe. The draft text would destroy users’ rights and legal certainty for European hosting companies. The new Directive’s proposal for a new 20-year “ancillary copyright” for “news” outlets repeats painful mistakes made in Germany and Spain, which hurt publishers and Internet users alike.

We need a copyright reform to make Europe fit for the 21st century. We now have a proposal that is poison for European’s free speech, poison for European business and poison for creativity,

said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights.

It could not conceivably be worse.

Over the coming months, the European Parliament and Member States will need to propose amendments to the draft Directive -or reject the whole failed project. Citizens need to contact their national parliaments, their national governments, their European Parliamentarians and say STOP! We would hardly expect obligatory filtering of all uploads to the Internet from the world’s worst dictatorship, let alone from the European Union.

Do you want Google to filter and delete your videos if you include a clip of music or video in your creation? Do you want it to become almost impossible for a European web hosting company to survive? Do you want the right to link -the most fundamental aspect of how the Internet works- to be restricted?

The EU’s copyright legislation is more than half as old as the worldwide web itself. It is severely out of date and urgently needs meaningful reform. However, instead of a reform that respects the rights and values of European citizens, the proposed reform panders to a small number of lobbying interests. There is a “values gap” between the Commission and Europe’s citizens.

During our copyfails blogpost series we described how badly the EU copyright regime is broken, and how these failures could be fixed if the political will existed. However, EU policy-makers do not seem to think it is worth the effort to bring copyright to the 21st century. Ignoring the results of the copyright consultation of 2014, and despite not having published the analysis on the results on the public consultation on ancillary copyright and freedom of panorama, the Commission has a plan: Let’s ignore all facts (even those previously identified) and avoid a real reform at all costs.

Read more:

Towards a corporate copyright reform in the EU? (31.08.2016)
https://edri.org/towards-corporate-copyright-reform-eu/

Copyfails: Time to #fixcopyright!
https://edri.org/copyfails/

For additional information, please contact:
Heini Jarvinen
heini.jarvinen@edri.org
Tel: +32 2 274 25 70
https://edri.org
@edri

European Digital Rights (EDRi) is a not-for-profit association of digital civil rights organisations. Our objectives are to promote, protect and uphold civil rights in the field of information and communication technology.

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