I’ve posted before about The Electronic Frontier Foundation – the non-profit organisation that defends “digital privacy, free speech, and innovation”.
Today they posted some details about the upcoming vote on the EU’s proposed Copyright Directive. The EFF uses some pretty fierce language in relation to articles 11 and 13 of the proposal. They describe it as an “extinction-level event for the Internet as we know it”1.
Under Article 11 — the “link tax” — online services are banned from allowing links to news services on their platforms unless they get a license to make links to the news; the rule does not define “news service” or “link,” leaving 28 member states to make up their own definitions and leaving it to everyone else to comply with 28 different rules.
Under Article 13 — the “censorship machines” — anyone who allows users to communicate in public by posting audio, video, stills, code, or anything that might be copyrighted — must send those posts to a copyright enforcement algorithm. The algorithm will compare it to all the known copyrighted works (anyone can add anything to the algorithm’s database) and censor it if it seems to be a match.
And the (inevitable) Star Wars simile: “using mandatory algorithmic censors and new intellectual property rights to restore balance is like Darth Vader bringing balance to the Force”2
The EFF take action page is at https://supporters.eff.org/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=9327