A COLLECTION OF people with digital rights in their sights have signed a letter that asks the European Union and Parliament to take a good look at Article 13 of the new proposal on copyright in the digital single market and kick it in the teeth and throw it in the bin.
The letter was kickstarted by Liberties and EDRi, and been signed by as many parties as Heinz makes varieties. The letter has been posted on the Liberties website and paints a bleak future of digital copyright and the machinations that surround it.
"The European Commission tabled a proposal that would force internet companies that share and store user-generated content, such as video or photo-sharing platforms or even creative writing websites, to filter uploads to their services," said the group in a note to interested parties.
"The signatories argue that the proposal would lead to excessive filtering and deletion of content, while at the same time constantly monitoring users' activity online. These conditions would violate freedom of expression, freedom of information and also privacy. Therefore, the organisations are asking Members of the European Parliament to delete Article 13 from the proposal".
Will members of the European Parliament listen? When do they ever when it comes to bad form copyright efforts… rarely, if at all. Hence the full-pressure letter.
"Article 13 of the proposal on Copyright in the Digital Single Market include obligations on internet companies that would be impossible to respect without the imposition of excessive restrictions on citizens' fundamental rights," says that.
"Article 13 introduces new obligations on internet service providers that share and store user-generated content, such as video or photo-sharing platforms or even creative writing websites, including obligations to filter uploads to their services. Article 13 appears to provoke such legal uncertainty that online services will have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens' communications if they are to have any chance of staying in business."
Also highlighted is the fact that service providers will be expected to filter user communications, something that the European gravy eaters have already rejected twice, and is firmly in contradiction of right of expression guidance in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
"If EU legislation conflicts with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, national constitutional courts are likely to be tempted to disapply it and we can expect such a rule to be annulled by the Court of Justice," says the letter in closing.
"This is what happened with the Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC), when EU legislators ignored compatibility problems with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In 2014, the Court of Justice declared the Data Retention Directive invalid because it violated the Charter." µ
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