The EU plan to mandate censoring filters for online speech to catch copyright infringement could be finalised as early as next week, and our best hope for halting it is to get the national governments of key EU member states to reject the proposal at that "trilogue" committee meeting.
In particular, it's important for netizens from Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland to contact their governments and urge them to block Articles 11 and 13 of the new Copyright Directive.
These proposals are meant to improve the lot of creators, but at best they will move a few euros off the balance sheets of US Big Tech and onto the balance sheets of multinational entertainment corporations, with no guarantee that a penny will go to artists or journalists. Meanwhile, the compliance costs will snuff out all EU competitors of US Big Tech, eliminating any alternate venues for creators and cementing the internet dominance of American companies and their power to squeeze their supply chains even harder, causing more long-term pain for creators.
Meanwhile, the deployment of mandatory filters that hunt for a category as nebulous as "copyright infringement" will make all online expression liable to arbitrary censorship driven by blunt and unaccountable algorithms -- and this will be true for the whole world, not just the EU.
This is a key juncture in the history of the internet, a moment in which the willful ignorance of lawmakers and the depraved indifference of entertainment executives could enshrine permanent, oligarchic control over the system used by billions of people for education, family life, employment, romance, political engagement and civic participation. As all that hangs in the balance, it falls to the shoulders of the principled people of a few European nations to take action.
Please, tell your friends in Belgium, Poland, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden to take action today.
I'm a volunteer on the board of The Metabrainz Foundation, the nonprofit that maintains the Metabrainz service that produces accurate metadata on music that helps listeners locate the music they love and musicians and services accurately allocate revenues from online services. Metabrainz's material is strictly Creative Commons, including the art its users include in their […]
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