At the end of March, the European Parliament will sit down to vote on the new Copyright Directive, an unparalleled disaster in the history of internet regulation with the power to wipe out the EU's tech sector, handing permanent control of the internet over to US Big Tech, all in the name of protecting copyright (while simultaneously gutting protection for artists).
Right after that key vote, MEPs will fan out across Europe, returning to their home countries to start campaigning for the May elections. This timing is crucial, because it means that MEPs are really interested in whether their actions will cost them support from voters.
Voters hate the Copyright Directive and its internet-destroying Article 13. The petition to kill Article 13 has drawn more signatures than any other in EU history, and at this rate, a few days from now this petition will become the most popular petition in the history of the human race.
If you live in Europe, you can let your MEP know that your vote depends on their vote: the 2019 Pledge, brought to you by Epicenter Works, calls on MEPs to publicly pledge to reject Article 13. 44 MEPs have signed it so far, and work has just begun.
The pledge's website lets you enter your country and your phone number and it will connect you with MEPs who have not yet taken the pledge and let you talk to them about why it's important that they do.
This is a key juncture, a moment when the fate of the internet itself hangs in the balance (and not just in Europe). It's also a moment when your voice really counts. Not one of these MEPs is going to campaign for re-election on the basis of their work to pass the Copyright Directive, but they know that their opponents will be out their campaigning to unseat any MEP who voted to destroy the internet.
Upload filters will break the internet:
Bad for users: Censorship machines
Anything we want to post will first need to be approved by error-prone upload filters
Fewer things to do online
Millions of sites, apps, channels, videos and more will be blocked in the EU
Bad for creators: Creativity blocked
Parodies, movie reviews, Let's Play videos, memes and anything else that builds on copyrighted material will be caught up in the filters
Guilty until proven innocent: creators will need to put up constant fights to appeal filter errors
Bad for innovation: Big players made bigger
Giant internet platforms will be the only ones who can afford to comply
Less innovation: Fewer new apps and sites will be launched in the EU because it's too risky
Pledge 2019 [Epicenter Works]