The Save Our Internet campaign delivered over four million signatures opposing the EU’s controversial Article 13 of the new Copyright in the Single Market Directive on Monday. The directive is currently in the “trilogue” phase where member state governments and the EU negotiate the text behind closed doors before sending it to MEPs to vote on. According to the EFF, it seems as though the vote in parliament could be rushed through around Christmas to give it a better chance.
Article 13 is troubling because it could lead to the creation of “algorithmic copyright filters” which brings up two problems. First of all, only big tech firms will be able to afford these filters, cutting out smaller players. Secondly, such filters would censor lots of legitimate content caused by errors in, or abuse of the algorithms.
In a vote held in September, Article 13 was approved by a majority of 69 by the EU Parliament to head into the trilogue stage. Originally it was thought that the upcoming vote could take place next year but there’s every chance it will be held this month in order to give it a better chance of success. Whenever the vote is, it will be presented to Members of the European Parliament who will give it their blessing or reject it; those four million people who signed the petition are hoping that their outcry over the Article will cause MEPs to reject it.
Article 13 has been criticised widely by famous internet personalities including Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Jimmy Wales, Mitchell Baker, and Bruce Schneier. A coalition of Europe’s largest film companies and sports leagues also penned an open letter voicing their opposition to Article 13.