European Citizens: You Stopped ACTA, But The New Copyright Directive Is Much, Much Worse: Speak Up
from the protect-the-internet dept
It’s understandable that people are getting fatigued from all the various attacks on the internet, but as I’ve noted recently, one of the biggest threats to our open internet is the incredibly bad Copyright Directive that is on the verge of being voted on by the EU Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee. The Directive is horrible on many fronts, and we’ve been highlighting two key ones. First, the dangerous link tax and, second, the mandatory upload censorship filters. Each of these could have major ramifications for how the internet will function.
Incredibly, both are driven mainly by industry animus towards Google from legacy industries that feel left behind. The link tax is the brainchild of various news publishers, while the upload filters are mainly driven by the recording industry. But, of course, what should be quite obvious at this point is that both of these ideas will only make Google stronger while severely limiting smaller competitors. Google can pay the link tax. Google has already built perhaps the most sophisticated content filtering system (which still sucks). Nearly everyone else cannot. So, these moves don’t hurt Google. They hurt all of Google’s possible competitors (including many European companies).
Six years ago, there was another threat in the EU for a horrible copyright plan, which was the ACTA “anti-counterfeiting trade agreement” being pushed (note a pattern here) by legacy copyright industries, looking to expand copyright law in a misguided attack on Google. Like this time, the horrible plan was being mainly pushed by the EU Commission. But with ACTA, the EU Parliament stepped up and rejected ACTA. However, that only happened after citizens hit the streets all over Europe to protest ACTA.
It is impossible to expect that every time politicians are about to do something bad on the internet or with copyright law that everyone can take to the streets. That’s not going to happen. But the new Copyright Directive is significantly worse than anything that was in ACTA, and if the EU Parliament doesn’t realize that by next week, the internet we know and love may be fundamentally changed in a way that we will all come to regret. I mentioned these already, but check out SaveYourInternet.eu, ChangeCopyright.org and SaveTheLink.org.
You can (and should) also follow MEP Julia Reda who has been leading the charge against these awful proposals and who has been posting how to help stop it on her website and on her Twitter feed. You can also listen to Reda discuss all of this on our podcast.