Press Release

Public Knowledge Strongly Opposes Announced Agreement on EU Copyright Directive

February 13, 2019 , ,

Today, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission reached a political agreement on the proposed Copyright Directive. If enacted as currently reported, this EU-wide legislation will impose draconian copyright obligations on nearly all internet services and companies, requiring content-upload filters, convoluted and uncertain licensing agreements with the entertainment industries, and the payment of a link tax to news incumbents. Public Knowledge strongly opposes the mandates found in Article 13 and Article 11.

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

“Defying common sense, evidence-based policymaking, and the will of millions of Europeans, the European Parliament and Council are making the already-awful Copyright Directive even worse. Articles 11 and 13 of the Directive are reckless giveaways to the legacy entertainment and media industries that will restrict legitimate online expression, entrench the power of dominant internet companies, and make it harder for all of us to share and access trustworthy information.

“Unless this political agreement is rejected or modified by the European Parliament, the Copyright Directive will be a disaster for the basic values and functions of an open internet, and a direct threat to free expression everywhere. Bad ideas can travel fast across the Atlantic, and the entertainment lobbies will surely rush to replicate the Copyright Directive in both the United States and around the world, before the full extent of its damage is apparent.

“We urge the EU not to irreparably harm the present and the future of an open internet to keep old industries happy. And we call on the United States Government to use all available means, including negotiations of the US-EU Free Trade Agreement, to limit the extra-territorial damage from the Copyright Directive.”

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.