Update on Save the Link Campaign

21 September 2017 — OpenMedia

Today we have good news for free speech!

A leak from the European Council1 has revealed that Germany, the largest and most powerful member of the EU, is adding its voice to criticism of the controversial mass content filtering proposal we’ve been fighting together.

As you may know, Article 13 of the European Commission’s proposed Copyright Directive would put bots — automated censorship mechanisms — in charge of deciding what gets posted online, and is a serious attack on our fundamental right to free expression.2

If the Commission get their way, all sites where we upload content (think: Github, Tumblr, Reddit, DeviantArt, Flickr) would be required to install expensive mass filtering mechanisms to spy for copyrighted content — scanning, filtering, and blocking uploads. Legitimate content would be censored without any human involvement.

With your support, we’ve been fighting hard against this outrageous proposal — and the selfish publishing conglomerates who support it — as it gets debated by the European Parliament and the European Council.

But this week Germany joined six other countries who are asking fundamental questions about it at the highest level: is the proposed law even legal?3 Is it compatible with human rights? Will it lead to artists being exploited? What damage will it do to our freedom of information and freedom of science?

This feels like an important turning point in our Save the Link campaign, and it would never have happened without your support. This has been a tough fight against powerful opponents, and it’s a real breakthrough to see influential national governments now asking the exact same questions that this community has been raising for years.

There’s now every chance we will win this battle: That’s why we will be following up shortly with our most powerful action yet, a click-to-call tool to connect you directly with MEPs on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee, which will soon be voting on these censorship proposals.

The Commission’s unpopular plans are now causing huge controversy among key decision makers in Europe. And that’s what we want. If we stayed silent these censorship plans could have become law with little resistance. But thanks to your hard work and willingness to speak out, we can make sure that MEPs and EU member states side with citizens instead of powerful industry insiders.

Countless times we’ve asked you to take action, or to chip in to power our work. And countless numbers of you have stepped up. But today I just want to thank each and every one of you for everything you’ve done to get us to this point — and ask you to stay tuned for the next steps as we work together to win this fight.

With sincere gratitude,

Ruth at OpenMedia


[1] Germany joins EU countries considering Article 13 illegal. Source: CopyBuzz
[2] “Notice-and-Staydown” is Really “Filter-Everything”. Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
[3] EU states raise questions about how new copyright law would be at odds with fundamental rights. Source: OpenMedia 

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