María Sefidari Huici, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, writes: “Next week, the European Parliament will decide how information online is shared in a vote that will significantly affect how we interact in our increasingly connected, digital world. We are in the last few moments of what could be our last opportunity to define what the Internet looks like in the future.
“The next wave of proposed rules under consideration by the European Parliament will either permit more innovation and growth, or stifle the vibrant free web that has allowed creativity, innovation, and collaboration to thrive. This is significant because copyright does not only affect books and music, it profoundly shapes how people communicate and create on the internet for years to come.”
Articles in question:
- Article 11; which proposes a neighboring copyright for snippets of journalistic content — requiring news aggregators such as Google News to gain a license from the publisher to use this type of content (branded a ‘link tax’ by critics);
- Article 13; which seeks to shift liability for platform users’ copyright infringements onto the platforms themselves — and which critics contend will therefore push them towards creating upload filters to monitor all content before it’s posted, having a chilling effect on Internet expression. Critics sometimes dub this component ‘censorship machines’.