A majority of Members of the European Parliament have just voted against the free internet. The Greens/EFA group had joined the protests of millions of people and received a petition of over 5 million people against this law. The agreement adopted today will make upload filters the norm and restrict possibilities of expression due to licencing obligations that are impossible to fulfil.
Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and lead candidate of the European Green Party for the European elections, comments:
"This is a lose-lose deal. This agreement is bad for artists, authors and small publishers and bad for internet users. The deal will end up further entrenching the dominant tech and media giants and lead to less diversity online. We strongly support the goal of fair remuneration for artists and creators of culture, but this deal helps neither creators nor internet users. Now it is up to the governments of the European Union Member States to take into consideration the millions of people who stood up against this law and vote against the agreement in Council.
Julia Reda, Vice-President of the Greens/EFA Group and member of the Pirate Party, added:
"The new copyright law as it stands threatens a free internet as we know it: Algorithms cannot distinguish between actual copyright infringements and the perfectly legal re-use of content for purposes such as parody. Obliging platforms to use upload filters will lead to more frequent blocking of legal uploads and make life difficult for smaller platforms that cannot afford expensive filter software. The Christian Democrat rapporteur Axel Voss and the majority of MEPs today missed the opportunity to give the European Union a modern copyright law that protects both artists and users. We will continue to fight against upload filters and against this new European law."
The Greens/EFA and other political groups had repeatedly presented alternatives to Articles 13 on upload filters and Article 11 on ancillary copyright for press publishers, but Christian Democrats and rapporteur Axel Voss had rejected all mediation attempts and, against the previous position of the European Parliament, had also pushed through upload filters for small companies. The prospect for authors, artists and media professionals of proportionate remuneration is low. Protections against the complete sell-out of rights for a flat fee ("total buy-out contracts"), which the Parliament had demanded, were removed in the adopted deal.