New EU copyright law could make online blocking commonplace

Mozilla has called out the EU on a new copyright law which is due to be first voted on in October and later in December. The new law, which could see website blocking become commonplace, has been called “dysfunctional and borderline absurd” by Mozilla’s Senior EU Policy Manager. The browser giant is asking EU citizens to phone their representatives to demand better reforms.

Raegan MacDonald, Mozilla’s Senior EU Policy Manager, said:

“Many aspects of the proposal and some amendments put forward in the Parliament are dysfunctional and borderline absurd. The proposal would make filtering and blocking of online content the norm, effectively undermining innovation, competition and freedom of expression.”

Mozilla believes that if the ‘Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ law does pass, everything you put online could be subjected to filtering – even if the content isn’t commercial. Under the law, copyright would cover news snippets which could make sharing and accessing news online more difficult.

Additionally, intermediaries would lose crucial protections which would force them to monitor the content you post – some websites which would have to monitor users include, for example, Wikipedia, eBay, Github, or DeviantArt. The law would make it impossible, for anyone not part of a scientific research institute, to mine text and datasets; Mozilla argues this would put the EU at a competitive disadvantage in the world.

If you want to contact a Member of European Parliament (MEP) about the issue, Mozilla has made the Change Copyright website which lets you enter your phone number in order to be connected to an appropriate MEP automatically. Helpfully, Mozilla has provided a script which anyone can follow in order to succinctly convey their disagreement with the proposed copyright reforms before 10th October.

Source: Mozilla | European Flags via Shutterstock

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