I have decided to open a thread for the upcoming EU copyright guideline because it is immensely important for the internet that we fight against it.
What is this about?
Link to the draft: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/35373/st09134-en18.pdf
The Directive is intended to modernise the copyright laws so that they are better adapted to the Internet.
Two articles are the focus of criticism:
Any platform that commercially uses the content of another author must pay to this author. For example, if you use Google to search for news, Google must pay to this news page so that it can display text snippets in the search results.
You could compare it like this: A car manufacturer wants money from fuel manufacturers, because these fuel manufacturers profit from the fact that cars of the car manufacturer need their fuel.
This is nonsense, because news sites benefit massively from being found on search engines themselves. There would only be losers with such a law.
Any commercial platform where users can upload things (texts, music, pictures, videos) is directly liable if one of these things violates the copyright. Until now, the user was responsible. Article 13 requires the platform to actively prevent such content from being uploaded. This is called an upload filter.
Platforms can acquire licenses from the authors, which will allow the users of this platform to upload the contents of the author. But you can bet not even Facebook will buy like all possible licenses
This is disastrous for the Internet, since platforms prefer to engage “overblocking” rather than being legally vulnerable. And from YouTube filters we already know these filters have flaws. Algorithms will be like “Guilty until proven innocent”.
Why should non-Europeans care? Why should Hitmanforum care?
The Internet is getting a little darker without Europe. Europeans who upload their Hitman stuff need to use non-EU websites, excluding big US sites like YouTube as they are too big to not be affected by EU laws.
Neither Jar as the forum owner nor the forum itself is european, so the effects on Hitmanforum will be little. If it was different, HMF has to check every post Europeans make before making it readable for others. Luckily this is not the case. Still if you are an European you will be affected as explained above, especially if you are using Social Media like Facebook. Maybe also with Twitter and Reddit.
What to do?
Contact your EU MEPs. Find out which of your national parties have which position. Inform other people, maybe use your YouTube channel if you have one. Stick to the subject. Organize demonstrations. As a reminder, ACTA was also prevented at EU level in 2012 thanks to mass protests in winter. (Hands up who was there ) And the guideline is way more dramatic in its effects than ACTA was.
Follow your local digital rights group. Every country has atleast one of them. Internationally there is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which comes from the USA but also invests a lot of energy in the topic.
I try to keep you updated here but I can only focus on Germany. Be nice and inform from your country as well. Maybe you can connect yourself with other hmf members in your country? Where do you live? (meet other HMF members in person)
In two weeks, around the 4th of July, the whole European Parliament will vote if the draft has to be changed. So it is already time to write to your MEP to object the two articles. We might have a better draft then at the year’s end without upload filters and link tax.