Are you a digital SME or Start-up in the business of staying in business after the end of March? If so, then start urgently paying attention to the current EU tech policy development imposing (amongst other goodies) obligatory impossible to get copyright licenses for all your content in addition to costs significant enough to totally disrupt the idea of “level playing field” or “zero marginal costs”. In the IT industry it is all about the disruption, how about disrupting the disruption as an ultimate game changer with you out of the picture – on this one you can find platforms affected by article 13, and that is pretty much every Unicorn in the Universe. While everyone is super busy minding their own business, freedom to conduct a business seems to be nobody’s business.
But that is to mind the value gap and help poor starving artists, right? Wrong. Those measures are not going to help individual creators because it is not them but the middleman who is the owner of the copyright in the most cases as you can see from very active creators campaign. At least, those filters will do a great job to prevent copyright infringement, right? Dead wrong again, those filters are not functional enough to distinguish a purring cat from a copyrighted song or hate speech against debate in the European Parliament. Artists who are doing their work legally also had their content taken down, and there has been a problem with NASA landing on the moon copyright infringement. It is simple #filterfail, don’t let your online business fail.
This is a breathtaking attack not only on the freedom to conduct a business but also on freedom of speech, access to knowledge and rule of law, raising major concern amongst civil society, academic, open science, and open source community. In addition to being against provisions of Digital Single Market, European Court of Justice declared mandatory filters as a breach of fundamental rights in two verdicts.
European policymakers are working on the largest internet filter we’ve ever seen. That might sound a tad dramatic, but it’s really not an overstatement. If the proposal is accepted, websites such as Soundcloud, eBay, Facebook, and Flickr will be forced to filter everything you want to upload. An algorithm will be the boss over which of your uploads will be seen by the rest of the world and which won’t. Any ideas how to reach your markets in such circumstances?
Europe is on its way towards big China firewall, there will be (as they already exist) magic mesh, P2P, blockchain or other technical solutions bypassing law imposing censorship but it doesn’t mean that technicians or dissidents won’t be arrested in Europe, where even a purring cat will not be allowed into cyberspace. Law is a law, letting is pass thinking how to later bypass it claiming that you are not a criminal is not the smartest business strategy. The solution is simple just say no to censorship in Europe!
So, everyone is a loser, it doesn’t make sense? Remember those old-fashioned analog businesses, big publishing industry you make fun of thinking they lost the market game in the digital age? Oh well, it seems that you can lobby your way from becoming obsolete, and they are doing so in this epic game them vs everyone else breaking the Net, not required for their business model. It is bold and so outrageous that is freezing people into passivity, passing easily steps of legislative procedure needed to become an EU law.
If are you a coder; a food blogger, a blogger, a game developer, a journalist, a writer, a musician, a DJ, a photographer, a dancer or an academic take a look at those short videos explaining this major disruption for your business.
If your MEP is backing Internet kill bill, killing your business, wouldn’t you like to kill his or her political career on forthcoming EP elections? Let’s go after them, now:
The following weeks are crucial. Tweet or e-mail your representatives that are part of the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). On 23-24 March they will be deciding on the upload filter. Use the hashtag #CensorshipMachine or #filterfail and let your representatives know you’re against the internet filter (Article 13)! You can find the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) relevant to you here.
- .@MEP Stand up for our freedom of expression online. Please oppose the #censorshipmachine in the #copyright Directive proposal.
- .@MEP Stand up for our privacy online. Please oppose the #censorshipmachine in the #copyright Directive proposal.”
- .@MEP Show that you care about culture and free speech: oppose the #censorshipmachine in the #copyright Directive proposal.”
- .@MEP Internet filters don’t work. Please delete article 13 of the #copyright Directive proposal! #filterfail
Time to stop the #CensorshipMachine: NOW! – Members of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI)
Contact your representatives in the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament
Or call your MEP with Mozilla easy to use campaign: https://www.changecopyright.org/en-US/
Let’s stand together to protect digital jobs and businesses in Europe. This cause is too big to be left on handful digital rights activists.