The EU Copyright Directive intends to update EU copyright law for the digital age and fairly reward content producers for their work.
Critics see it as a threat to internet freedom and creativity.
The Directive was passed by the European Parliament on Sep. 12, and is expected to be finalised by the EU in early 2019 after dialogue between the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament (EU Parliament, Sept. 12: Minutes; Texts adopted).
Articles 11 and 13 are the most contentious.
Article 11 could create ‘link taxes’ reducing the ability of websites to link to other sources. News aggregators such as Google and Reddit are especially concerned.
Article 13 would place the liability for breach of copyright on intermediaries and require mandatory upload filters, creating a high risk for sites that distribute user generated content and potentially limiting online collaboration. Article 13 has also been called a “meme ban”, on the basis that the filtering technologies will block so-called fair dealing uses of copyrighted content such as parody.
A group of internet pioneers including world wide web creator, Tim Berners-Lee, and Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, signed an open letter in June 2018 stating article 13 would take “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”.
The Directive has received support from publishers, major music labels, mainstream newspapers and some artists, including Paul McCartney.
Publishing trade groups have made claims of a disinformation campaign being orchestrated by organisations such as Wikipedia and Google. The European Newpaper Publishers Association state that Article 11 specifically excludes uses by individuals and hyperlinks. They criticise what they call a “bad-faith attempt to discredit a proposed directive aiming at re-balancing a digital ecosystem dominated by platforms”.
Defending equal access to the free and open internet is core to Reddit’s ideals, and something that redditors have told us time and again they hold dear too, from the SOPA/PIPA battle to the fight for Net Neutrality. This is why even though we are an American compan
Tell European lawmakers to fix the Copyright Directive.
MEPs defy warnings from internet pioneers, civil liberties groups and commercial interests
The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market 2016/0280(COD), also known as the EU Copyright Directive, is a controversial proposed European Union directive intended to ensure “a well-functioning marketplace for the exploitation of works and other subject-matter… taking into account in particular digital and cross-border uses of protected content”.