Reloaded: Say No to Online Censorship in Europe!

September is just around the corner, and we have an important task to do before the 12th: tell European Parliamentarians to protect our free speech!

Reloaded: Say No to Online Censorship in Europe!

5441 signatures of 10,000 goal

A new era of censorship is threatening online free speech in Europe. YouTube, Facebook and other file-sharing platforms could soon be forced to apply algorithms to check if your upload has any copyrighted elements. They would filter out and ban anything that might cause a problem. Don’t let this happen! Stand up for free speech and protest against this proposal by sending an email to European parliamentarians now!

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

I’m writing to you to raise my concerns regarding the amendments to Article 13 of the proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. As a citizen of the EU and one of your constituents, I kindly ask you to keep in mind my fundamental rights. Our core European values should be taken into account when you consider the best possible regulation on copyright.

As you will discuss the amendments submitted by members of the Parliament to the proposed Article 13 I strongly believe that important safeguards are needed in order to protect fundamental rights. It is my hope that you will support a new version of Article 13 that is in line with the right to the protection of personal data (Article 8 of the Charter) and the right to freedom of expression and information (Article 11 of the Charter). Freedom of expression is vital for creating an informed decision-making process and ensuring the existence of spirited political debate, which is at the heart of true democratic participation.

Copyright protection is important for copyright holders and for the economy, but it does not need to come at the expense of people’s rights – we can have a single copyright regulation that both protects the rights of copyright holders and safeguards people’s fundamental rights, and allows emerging industries that rely on content-sharing to grow.

Therefore I kindly ask you not to support the new version of Article 13 submitted by JURI Rapporteur Axel Voss, because it does not address the fundamental rights problems posed by the original version of Article 13. I kindly ask you to pay attention to fundamental rights and ensure that safeguards are included in the proposed amendments you vote for. You can find further guidance on how Article 13 could be reformulated to comply with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights here.

Yours sincerely,

Update: The European Parliament voted to pass the Voss version of the Copyright Directive. Stay tuned to our channels for updates and future action.

We did it once…

Maybe you've heard about the new Copyright Directive, and especially Article 13, the part of the directive that would limit our free speech.

Maybe you were one of the 43,000 who sent our letter, made a phone call, protested or raised your voice in any other way against Article 13 when the European Parliament held its vote in July.

As a result of people coming together and making their concerns heard, the European Parliament voted against a version of Article 13 that would have imposed content filtering and monitoring obligations on internet services, severely limiting our free speech and privacy.

…now let’s do it again.

Until 5 September, members of the European Parliament are able to suggest new versions of Article 13. The whole Parliament will then vote on the new proposals on 12 September.

That means it’s time to raise your voice again and ask your elected representatives to include safeguards into Article 13 in order to protect our fundamental rights.

We all know that copyright protects important interests. But citizens' fundamental rights must be respected, too, and a fair balance must be struck between protecting the rights of copyright holders and protecting the rights of the people.

Join our campaign and demand a copyright law that safeguards your online free speech!

What comes next?

5 September - Deadline for the members of the European Parliament to table amendments. As soon as we learn exactly what is in the new proposals, we will update you.

12 September - The European Parliament will vote on a new version of the Copyright Directive to move forward on.

End of September - After the new version is approved by the EP, negotiations will take place between the Parliament, the European Commission and the Council to reach an agreement on a final, unified Copyright Directive.

There is no time limit for this phase, called the trialogue, but it is very likely that they agree by the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019, because there are elections in May 2019.

Are you affected by Article 13?

If you make home videos or memes, if you record yourself playing video games, if you have a gift for karaoke that you want to share with the world – in all of these examples and so many more, the new copyright regulation could have a dramatic impact on your life.

That's because all of these materials could be censored by bots and blocked from being uploaded, severely restricting your ability to share – and see – so many things on the internet. Do you want to better understand what is at stake? Watch this video.

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But it's not too late to reshape Article 13 to include proper safeguards. Some members of the European Parliament want to side with big copyright holders and spare themselves from putting in the effort to get it right and come up with a bill that protects both copyright holders and people’s free speech. Others are working for a better regulation.

Copyright and free speech are not mutually exclusive – we can protect both at the same time.

By including these six safeguards into Article 13, members of the European Parliament could successfully protect the interests of everyone.

Join our campaign now and send our email to all members of the European Parliament with a single click.

Here is the email you can send to EU representatives with just a single click →

Read what has happened so far

EP Votes Against Copyright Reform With Built-in Censorship Machine

Free-Speech Pitfall Avoided in EU Copyright Reform
Monitoring and Filtering of Internet Content is Unacceptable

Want to learn more about what makes the draft copyright law so bad? Here are some articles

Copyright: 6 Safeguards to Protect Free Speech

What’s Wrong With the EU’s Filtering Solutions?
Our Freedom of Speech Is Threatened by the European Copyright Proposal
Estonian EU Presidency calls for massive internet filtering

Copyright Reform Interview With Liberties Expert

Do you want to do more? Call your MEP for free and share your concerns