Proposed EU Copyright Law Could Drastically Change Internet Sharing and Publishing

I don’t normally get involved in broad societal issues on this site, but I have been reading about an issue that has caught my attention which I think could affect the sharing of information on sites like E-Cat World.

The European Union is in the process of revising copyright laws, and many people are alarmed about the impact that passage of the law as it is drafted at this point could have on the sharing of information online. The main focus of attention is Article 13 of the Copyright proposal of the European Commission which would seemingly drastically curtail fair use, which is the doctrine that certain copyrighted material can be used in limited ways without permission from copyright holders. I haven’t had time to dig deeply into all the legal ramifications, but what many observers are saying is that if the law is implemented it could drastically change the way the internet operates.

Here are some comments from Mozilla on the topic.

Despite several failed attempts in countries across Europe (e.g. in Spain and Germany), the Commission has proposed introducing a new pan-European copyright for press publications, sometimes referred to as “ancillary copyright” or a “neighbouring right”, which would create new copyright for snippets of online content. That would mean anyone sharing a link with text, like a news headline or a short blurb about the article, could be charged a license fee from the publisher responsible for the content.
Worst of all, these restrictions would last for 20 years! What’s the last piece of online content that you looked at that was 20 years old?!


This proposal throws the idea of balanced copyright out the window, as it would make all open platforms liable for the actions of their users, enforce a particular type of business model (e.g. licenses), and impose mandatory filters, all with no safeguards to preserve copyright exceptions, or the rights of users.

These measures would in practice require monitoring and filtering of everything that European citizens upload to content-sharing services from social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook), outlets for creative expression (like YouTube, DeviantArt, SoundCloud, and Tumblr), to informational sites (like Wikipedia and the Internet Archives), to open source software repositories (like GitHub). It would be the responsibility of these services to play judge, jury, and executioner for copyright enforcement — businesses large and small could be held liable for the content their users access and share.

There will be a meeting of MEPs on the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament on June 20/21 where they will vote about their opinion on the law. Whatever they agree on will go forward to negotiations with the European Council.

According to EDRi, a Europeian association of civil and human rights organisations, the JURI committee does not yet have enough members against the proposed changes to block their passage, with some members being still undecided.

Here’s a video that has been recently published that discusses the issue.

There are a number of other sites covering this issue, urging EU citizens to let their Members of the European Parliament what they think about these proposed changes. However, as with many such complex governmental deliberations, most people are unaware of what is happening and what it could mean. While I haven’t looked into the issue in depth, from what I have read, if these changes go into effect, it could mean big changes for the internet, and how information is published online. I just wanted to do my part to let readers know that this is an issue and that there is a little time for people to let their opinions be know.

  • Bob Greenyer

    NOT. GOOD.

    • Warthog

      I don’t see how such a thing can possibly be enforced.

      • not only it will be impossible to enforce practically, but all the companies, will have their attorneys carefully warning the boss to block everything.

        this is selfcensorship at work, more fanatic censorship than the worst attorney general can be.
        Only the most fanatic will dare to publish questionable content, and they will own the internet site, and be protected by politicians (see fakemed in france).

        I’ve seen how people react when an attorney says them “it may be illegal, can you justify”. everybody but powerful organization (politicians, NGO) do remove the content even if they are clearly right.

        But worst than the terrorist attorney, there is the coward boss who simply says “we don’t take the risk, it will be forbidden”.

        At the end the most intolerant wins (Taleb).

        It is the end of Internet in EU.
        Long like to darknet… I have no clear idea to go there, but it seems soon it will be the only place to exchange non consensual subject (technology, science, biotech, nuclear energy, debunking consensus, debunking fakemeds…)

  • ca va mal finir.
    We also are making a law agains fake news that is so general that it would be abused like art13 to shutup dissenters.

    I’ve seen a young youtuber girl, making video about experimental chemistry, having debunked a famous document film by an influential procuser (MMR), that was called by attorney of copyright owner (in fa t it was fair use, just debunking a film full of fakes, errors, manipulations, myths, lies, so yes every minute was recorded as quote of bullshit ).
    in few days the debunking video was out.

    It is the end.
    of course if they kill internet freedom, LENR will not survive, as it is well known that LENr survived because of Internet only.

    “If we draw up a list of all the misdeeds of the Internet one day, we must not forget the one mentioned by Jean-Paul Bibérian in The Fusion in all its states ( 194): “Without this new medium, it is likely that the cold fusion would have disappeared for many years. And that would have been a good thing! That those who have never heard of this cold fusion reassure themselves, they have not missed anything. “

  • georgehants

    We can be certain that the few rich and powerful will end up in full control of free speech, a dictatorship creeping in on carpet slippers, unnoticed by the brainwashing by materialistic and nationalistic crap that has been getting steadily worse since Goebbels taught these manipulators how to control the masses.
    Don’t even talk about caring and sharing or the leader of the free World (joke) standing up at the UN and saying, come on guys lets all work together to improve the World, no power or profit for the few in that.

  • causal observer

    Terms of Service => “posts and uploads by EU citizens are forbidden”

    New (or more active use of) open source licenses for content owners who want to share snippets.

    An online directory of all authors and companies who do and do not agree with snippet sharing licensing.

    Division of the world into those who share and those who cling to secrecy. Who will triumph?

    “The light of freedom was so bright that it broke the glass, burned through the grade 14 lenses and opened their minds.”

    • US_Citizen71

      Blocking of websites being viewed in the EU or hosted in the EU may also come out of this law. I would block the EU from receiving access to my website if this passed. That is the only sure way that the “criminals” in the EU sharing news with the world can be stopped. If the EU wants to fall into a new dark age might as well help them along!

  • Omega Z

    OK. I 100% agree journalists deserve to be paid for their original works. I have no qualms whatsoever about that. BUT-

    WHY would I want to pay money to news publishers for providing links to THEIR news articles. IDIOTS.

    These links with a Small snippet(I want to know it’s topic) drives traffic to their Web Site. Do they not realize that this will reduce traffic and reduce their income accordingly. They might as well go with a paywall. In addition, they can spend money advertising there presence for people to find them or cease to exist.

    A different point of View-
    How about Web sites charge the publishers of the articles for advertising their linked article. I’m directing traffic to them. Shouldn’t I be compensated for my work. Just saying…
    What the heck is ancillary copyright and why do we call it the Link Tax?

    Towards the end of the article it provides a link to a survey-
    The European Commission is soliciting feedback. Internet users have until June 15 to fill out their survey

    You can also Google “link tax” for other links that are fighting this as well.
    As to the video and the edri link here at ECW
    28 May 2018
    EU Member States agree on monitoring & filtering of internet uploads
    While most everyone can agree that there’s a lot of garbage on the internet, Who is to determine that. One mans junk is another mans treasure.

    This is also a very slippery slope. It is in fact censoring by TPTB. Very soon only Government sanctioned content will be available. Knowledge is power and soon they will take away all the peoples power.

    Initially they will say it is for the Good of the people. What they really mean is it will be for the Good of TPTB.

    This is not Conspiracy Think. There is a history that bears this out. Over and over again.

  • gerold.s

    Stronger protection of personal data, yes. But it seems that this Initiative of EU is going to far.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    They must really love us.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      In order to make this comment. I had to check off all the
      boxes. Then after that I went to view this video and my name showed up in the comments.
      Is there any way to undo this?

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