On Wednesday, the EU will vote on whether to force all online platforms to filter user-generated content against massive databases of copyrighted works (anyone can add anything to these databases, without penalties for abuse); not only is this a catastrophe for everyone who writes software that will have to comply with this bonkers idea, it's also a catastrophe for anyone who writes software, period.
That's because the rules will include copyright filtering for shared code in online repositories. Algorithmically determining whether a code fragment infringes copyright is, of course, impossible, but it will nevertheless be mandatory.
We kicked off the event with our own Julio Avalos giving a big-picture look at where this proposal fits into the tech policy landscape. We explained that the copyright proposal would affect developers by requiring upload filters (Article 13), imposing a "link tax" (Article 11), and leaving text and data mining restricted (Article 3). Mårten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne, emphasized the proposal's impacts on open source software for HackerOne and in the EU. Then, we moderated a panel with Wikimedia Foundation's Senior Public Policy Manager, Jan Gerlach, Reddit's Director of Policy, Jessica Ashooh, and EFF's International Director, Danny O'Brien covering their communities' involvement in advocacy and their thoughts on future implications of the proposal.
How developers can defend open source from the EU copyright proposal [Vollmera/Github]