The EU's plan to censor the internet with algorithms that block anything that might be a copyright infringement has only days to go before it will be too late for a vote before the upcoming elections, and so far, progress has been stalled thanks to France's unwillingness to accept tiny, meaningless concessions that Germany feels they must win to retain political credibility.
Now, at the very last minute, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in talks with French President Emmanuel Macron to try to rescue the Copyright Directive.
But even if they strike a deal, the likelihood that this will get through Parliament is dwindling by the hour. Earlier this week, Europe's research libraries called for the deletion of the extremist clauses from the Directive, and now the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA, representing virtually every library in the world) has called for the deletion of Articles 11 and 13 as a condition of any future work on the Directive.
It's impossible to overstate the opposition to the Directive: the world's top technical and legal experts; the movie studios and sports leagues hate it; so do investigative and independent journalists, and the petition opposing it is the largest in European history, with more than 4.5 million signatures.
With insurgent parties gaining ground across Europe, the upcoming EU elections are a kind of poll on the legitimacy of the EU itself: does the EU serve its people, or deep-pocketed corporate lobbyists? If Merkel and Macron sell out the broad, deep coalition of opponents to this Directive, they risk the future of the EU itself.
Germans: here's where to contact the relevant officials in your government to head this off!
IFLA joins the call for deletion of articles 11 and 13 in the EU copyright reform [IFLA]
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During the bitter debate over the EU's Copyright Directive, with its mandate for copyright filters that would automatically censor anything that anyone claimed to be infringing, opponents repeatedly warned that these filters would be trivial to abuse.
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