European parliament vote on copyright alarms internet activists
A European parliament committee has voted for legislation that internet pioneers fear will turn the web into “a tool for surveillance and control”, reports the Guardian. “In a key vote on a draft law to overhaul EU copyright rules, the parliament’s legal affairs committee voted for measures that would require the likes of Google and Microsoft to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials [under article 13]. The MEPs voted narrowly for the provision, despite warnings from some of the biggest names in the internet, and civil liberties campaigners, that the law would damage freedom of expression, while entrenching the power of the biggest companies and loading costs on to European startups.” The plans still have to be agreed with representatives from the EU’s 28 governments before becoming law, but the vote reduces the chances of serious changes. First proposed by the European Commission in 2016, the law attempts to update EU copyright laws for the age of Facebook and Google, with the aim of ensuring that authors, artists and journalists are “paid fairly” for their work. Earlier in June, an open letter signed by 70 of the biggest names of the internet, including the creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, and the Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, argued that article 13 would take “an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users”. Read more and Open letter here.
- Monday, 25 June 2018