Say No to Online Censorship in Europe!

The EU is finalising a new censorship proposal. If it becomes law, the content you try to upload and share with your friends will be filtered out and banned by bots, all in the name of copyright protection. Send our email to European parliamentarians!

Say No to Online Censorship in Europe!

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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 as a concerned citizen to raise my concerns regarding Article 13 of the proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. I kindly ask you vote against the version of Article 13 that was proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

The heated debate in the Council and the European Parliament shows that a significant proportionate of MEPs and member states are not convinced about Article 13.

I strongly believe that important safeguards are missing from the text. The proposed Article 13 conflicts with several provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, contradicts existing procedures established by EU law for dealing with the removal of copyrighted material and is contrary to existing case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Article 13 would interfere with the right to the protection of personal data (Article 8 of the Charter), because it requires internet service providers to monitor everything uploaded by users. The software that reviews and filters content will be processing personal data without the positive consent of the data subject.

Article 13 would interfere with the right to freedom of expression and information (Article 11 of the Charter) because it requires internet service providers to prevent images, information, videos and other means of expression from being uploaded to the internet. In particular, automated filtering software is notoriously inaccurate and is likely to catch lawful materials that do not breach copyright and that are essential for societal and political debate and comment, such as parody or quotation. A general obligation to monitor everything a user uploads to the internet is likely to cause a chilling effect on free speech.

Article 13 would also interfere with the freedom to conduct a business (Article 16 of the Charter) because it requires internet service providers to install, maintain and operate costly software at their own expense.

The interferences with Articles 8, 11 and 16 of the Charter pursue a legitimate aim: that of protecting intellectual property. However, the scale of these interferences is disproportionate to the legitimate aim. That is because intellectual property can be protected adequately through other means that are less intrusive with regard to all three of the aforementioned rights. And that is because important safeguards to protect fundamental rights are missing from the proposed Directive.

Therefore, I kindly ask you to vote against the version of Article 13 that was proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee. It is important to continue to revise Article 13 in order to implement safeguards to fundamental rights.

Sincerely yours,

On 20 June, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) approved a version of Article 13 of the draft Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market that is deeply harmful to the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom of information.

This is one of those laws that actually does change your day-to-day life. The consequences of Article 13 would be immense and obvious.

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

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, you'll notice Article 13.

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 understand what is at stake? Watch this video.

You need to accept 3rd party cookies to see this content. But it's not too late to stop Article 13. Some of the 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 everyone's free speech.

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

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

Now the battle heads to the plenary, where all MEPs will have a say on Article 13. There are members who fight for a better and more balanced regulation.

Our task is to convince those who are hesitating. We have to convince them that our free speech is non-negotiable.

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

Add your voice to 40,000 others who demand a law that protects everyone's interests.

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

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If the new EU copyright proposal is passed, we will be living in a new era of censorship. YouTube, Facebook and other file-sharing platforms would be forced to implement new algorithms to check whether the content you upload has any copyrighted elements. Bots would judge what you can share – and what can be shared with you. They would filter out and ban anything that might cause a problem. Any problem. It’s about our freedom to speak. It’s about censorship.

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

Copyright protection is important for everyone. But with this proposal, the EU has developed the wrong tool for the job. They want online companies like YouTube and Facebook to check everything that ordinary people put on the internet and filter out any upload that contains copyrighted material.

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How will these companies achieve this? With bots, of course. And because companies would rather be overly cautious than risk a fine, these bots will be so strict that we won’t be able to upload anything that has even the slightest chance of infringing copyright. That video of your friends having at a music festival that you wanted to post to Facebook? Banned because there’s copyrighted music in the background. That hilarious meme you wanted to tweet? Banned because it uses an image from a film.

We can’t rely on bots to draw the line between what’s free speech and what’s genuinely pirated material. And it’s not only your free speech at stake here. Your right to a private life is also under threat, because the only way these companies can filter your uploads is by constantly monitoring you.

It’s not too late to stop this proposal, but your support is crucial. Please take a second to send this email to members of the European Parliament and ask them to vote against this proposal.

Read what has happened so far

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

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

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

Our allies in this battle

Ansol:


ApTI:


BNNRC:


Frënn vun der Ënn:


Index on Censorship:


Associazione Antigone:


Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights:


Rights International Spain:


Estonian Human Rights Centre:


Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights:


Hungarian Civil Liberties Union:


The League of Human Rights (LIGA):


Human Rights Monitoring Institute:


The Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Romania – the Helsinki Committee:


D3 - Defesa dos Direitos Digitais:


Bits of Freedom:


JUMEN e.V. - Legal Human Rights Work in Germany

Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)


Copyright for Creativity C4C

Centrum Cyfrowe

Access Info Europe

Open Media