Public Knowledge Opposes EU Parliament’s Adoption of Copyright Directive Harming Free Expression Online

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Today, the European Parliament voted to amend the Copyright Directive to force platform companies to create content-upload filters and pay media organizations a link tax. Public Knowledge specifically opposes policies like Article 13 and Article 11. Once adopted by Europe, there is a substantial danger that this idea might be adopted around the world.

Public Knowledge believes that content filtering systems tend to unfairly and unnecessarily restrict fair use and chill speech online. Public Knowledge also takes issue with large publishers demanding a link tax from websites and platform companies that link to their materials because the approach harms free speech and penalizes startups, making it more difficult for new online services to enter the market.

The following can be attributed to Gus Rossi, Global Policy Director at Public Knowledge:

“The Copyright Directive is likely to limit the sharing of online information. Web services large and small might decide to implement the directive globally, which would diminish American users’ capacity to share memes, political satire, or news articles online. Bad ideas travel fast across the Atlantic, and it’s only a matter of time before the American entertainment industry tries to enshrine these misguided reforms in U.S. law. The Copyright Directive threatens freedom of expression, creativity, and the ability of voters to access trustworthy information around the globe.

“Copyright is an often neglected but integral part of internet governance. This is why Public Knowledge defends a balanced approach to intellectual property to shield the rights of consumers and creators. Anyone who cares about the Open Internet -- no matter where they live -- should urge policymakers to consider the rights of creators, entrepreneurs, and an informed public when drafting copyright reforms -- or one day we might wake up and realize it’s too late.”

You can read our latest blog post, “The Five Worst Things About the Proposed EU Copyright Directive,” for more information as well as our recent letter urging the EU to preserve free expression online.

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