OPEN SOURCE FIRM Mozilla has taken an interesting approach to fighting back against the EU's recently outed copyright reform proposals: memes.
Mozilla has already hit back at the EU's "outdated" proposals, but the firm now hopes that memes, GIFs and selfies will help get more people on its side.
The firm explained in a blog post that, if accepted, the current proposals could make memes and GIFs illegal, as it does not include necessary exceptions for "panorama, parody, or remixing, nor does it include a clause that would allow non-commercial transformations of works (like remixes or mashups) or a flexible user clause like an open norm, or fair dealing".
To illustrate this, Mozilla has released a series of spoof videos (below) that shows the ridiculousness of potentially prohibiting the use of memes.
As part of the initiative, Mozilla has also launched the website Post Crimes, encouraging people to "rebel" against the proposed reforms by taking a selfie in front of prohibited landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris at night or the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, and sharing it with a Member of the European Parliament.
"Show European policymakers how outdated copyright laws are, and encourage them to forge a more future-looking and innovation-friendly copyright reform," Mozilla said in a blog post.
Naturally, memes and selfies aren't the firm's only problems with the proposals. Mozilla also claimed that startups looking to use online memes could suffer as the proposals' exceptions for text and data mining are limited to public institutions.
The 'neighbouring right’ would also allow online publishers to copyright ‘press publications’ for up to 20 years, with retrospective effect, similar to controversial ancillary copyright laws in Spain and Germany.
If you don't fancy sharing a selfie to show your support, Mozilla has launched a petition called Change Copyright that you can sign here. To date, over 500,000 people have already done so.
"We have our work cut out for us. As the European Parliament revises the proposals this fall, we need a movement, a collection of passionate internet users who demand better, modern laws," said Mozilla.
"Today, Mozilla is launching a public education campaign to support that movement." µ
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