The European Parliament took its first step Wednesday in passing a law that would, as a digital rights coalition says, “destroy the the Internet as we know it.”
The vote is likely to be the European Parliament’s official position unless the general assembly forces another vote on the legislation next month, Reuters reports.
Article 13 of the legislation — the European Union’s Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Market — effectively makes it impossible, and in some cases illegal, to create memes and parodies, as it forces content creators to upload their content through a filter that would automatically block anything that might be similar to copyrighted material.
“[Article 13] requires sites to filter all submissions against a database of copyrighted works—creating a
#CensorshipMachine that puts thousands of daily activities and millions of Internet users at the mercy of algorithmic filters,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights organization, wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
Article 11 of the same legislation forces content creators — which includes Facebook, Google, and YouTube — to pay a tax for simply linking to other websites on their platform.
“[Article 11’s] #LinkTax
#LinkTax will hurt those who use the Internet for sharing, punish projects like Wikipedia, and ‘poses a significant threat to an informed and literate society,’ according to the research community,” EFF wrote in another tweet Wednesday.
Julia Reda, a German lawmaker, opposed the EU’s proposal, saying it would be an everyday inconvenience and infringes upon internet freedom. (RELATED: EU Law Would ‘Destroy The Internet As We Know It,’ Digital Rights Campaign Says)
“People will run into trouble doing everyday things like discussing the news and expressing themselves online. Locking down our freedom to participate to serve the special interests of large media companies is unacceptable,” Reda said in a statement. She added that she will “challenge this outcome and request a vote in the European Parliament next month.”
Save Your Internet — a digital rights coalition that’s managed by Copyright 4 Creativity and is made up of the EFF, Creative Commons, and the Civil Liberties Union for Europe — is a vocal opponent to the legislation and stated that the law if enacted would effect everyone on the internet.
“Whether a creator or a consumer, everyone who uses the internet will be affected by this law — which is why we all need to speak out against it,” Save Your Internet stated on its website.
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