Last month, members of the EU Parliament voted to advance a controversial copyright directive that contains provisions forcing tech giants to install content filters, while also setting in place a potential tax on hyperlinking.
The bill, known as Article 13, would filter everything anyone posts online and match it to a crowdsourced database of “copyrighted works” which anyone can add or change.
Another portion of the directive, Article 11, is a “link tax” that would ban a quoting more than one word from an article which links to another publication – unless you are using a platform which has paid for a linking license. The link tax does however allow member states to create limitations and exceptions in order to protect online speech.
What comes next?
Now that the directive has passed through Parliament, the next step, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is the “trilogues,” which are closed-door meetings between European government officials, the European commission and the European Parliament – which will be the last time that the Directive’s language can be substantially changed without a second debate in Parliament.
That said, one woman is committed to shining light on the secret discussions:
Normally the trilogues are completely opaque. But Julia Reda, the German MEP who has led the principled opposition to Articles 11 and 13, has committed to publishing all of the negotiating documents from the Trilogues as they take place (Reda is relying on a recent European Court of Justice ruling that upheld the right of the public) to know what’s going on in the trilogues).
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