We’ve got a front-row seat for Europe’s internet censorship plan


The EU’s wide-ranging plan for indiscriminate internet censorship has progressed from a vote in the European Parliament and now reps from the EU will meet with reps from the 28 countries that make up the EU to hammer out the final text that will be put to the Parliament for what might be the final vote before it becomes law.


Normally this next phase — the “trilogues” — would be completely secret. But a European Court of Justice recently ruled that the public has a right to know what happens behind the trilogues’ closed doors, and Julia Reda, the German Pirate Party MEP who led the fight over censorship in the new Copyright Directive, has promised to publish all the documents from the trilogues. It’s a European first.


On EFF’s Deeplinks, I describe the bare minimum work the trilogues should do make the the Copyright Directive coherent (it will still be terrible, but at least we’ll know what it actually means).


As MEP Reda publishes the trilogue documents, we’ll be able to see whether any of the people behind this proposal have any intention of limiting the damage these terrible proposals will do to the internet.


Ultimately, this is unlikely to survive contact with the European Court of Justice: mass surveillance and mass censorship are just not legal under the EU’s constitutional framework, but that won’t stop the rules from being imposed and wreaking havoc while we wait for the court to act.


The trilogues have it in their power to expand on the Directive’s hollow feints toward due process and proportionality and produce real, concrete protections that will minimise the damage this terrible law wreaks while we work to have it invalidated by the courts.


Existing copyright filters (like YouTube’s ContentID system) are set up to block people who attract too many copyright complaints, but what about people who make false copyright claims? The platforms must be allowed to terminate access to the copyright filter system for those who repeatedly make false or inaccurate claims about which copyright works are theirs.


A public record of which rightsholders demanded which takedowns would be vital for transparency and oversight, but could only work if implemented at a mandatory, EU-level.



What’s Next For Europe’s Internet Censorship Plan?
[Cory Doctorow/EFF Deeplinks]

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Cory Doctorow

I write books. My latest are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book about the arts and the Internet called Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it’s the sequel to Little Brother). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

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