Your Memes are Safe (for Now): EU Rejects Internet Censorship Bill

in news •  9 months ago


In an unexpected move, this week the European Parliament rejected a highly controversial bill that critics claimed would stifle free speech and creativity on the internet.

The EU Copyright Directive was heavily criticized over two elements in particular.

Article 11 would have established a “link tax,” which would have required online publishes to pay a fee for the right to link to news organizations. Critics argued the vague language did not adequately define what constitutes a link and said the rule could easily become a tool for political abuse.

According to many opponents, Article 13 would have further stifled free expression in the digital age by tightening copyright rules and requiring platforms to police users’ content. As a letter signed by 70 prominent members of the tech industry asserted:

“By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.”

“Article 13 is that it makes no exceptions for fair use, a foundation of the internet an essential caveat in the law that allows people to remix copyrighted works,” Gizmodo noted.

Though proponents of the bill rejected the widespread suggestions that the bill could potentially even make many memes illegal because they often include copyrighted content, the outlet forcefully argued that “Memes, news, Wikipedia, art, privacy, and the creative side of fandom are all at risk of being destroyed or kneecapped.”

The legislation, which was backed by media companies, publishers, and members of the music industry, including Paul McCartney, was ultimately accused of attempting to codify censorship.

Further, the open letter from tech leaders also warned that the costs of implementing such a system would burden smaller companies.

Nevertheless, EU Copyright Directive was expected to pass following two years of debate. Last month, the European Parliament’s legislative committee voted to approve it, making this week’s rejection surprising. Politico reported that after over 75 lawmakers called for a vote, a special procedure was implemented:

“The procedure, known as 69c, rarely succeeds, as it requires a simple majority in Parliament to overturn the mandate. In this case, after feverish lobbying and some last-minute about-faces — notably among German conservatives — the attempt succeeded, sending the bill back to the drawing board.”

Though the directive in its current form has been rejected, it will now go back to the drawing board where members of parliament can propose changes. It will be put to another vote in September.

Even so, opponents of the legislation are considering the current vote a victory. As Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, which campaigned against the bill, said:

“Round one of the Robo-Copyright wars is over. The EU Parliament has recognized that machine censorship of copyright material is not an easy and simple fix. They’ve heard the massive opposition, including Internet blackouts and 750,000 people petitioning them against these proposals.

He continued to urge action to protect the internet as we have come to know it, adding that “Everyone across Europe who wants this fixed will have to work hard to make sure that Parliament comes up with a sensible way forward by September.”

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If this law passed, I would likely have to read it carefully, and possibly block the EU from my websites. That would possibly be easier than trying to comply with it if I even wanted to.

Plus, displaying a notice that your country is blocked because of a stupid law can have a profound effect if enough websites start to display such notices.


Why would you want to comply or block though? If you are yourself in the EU or the corporation your websites run under have offices in the EU, obviously, buuuut guess what? If a 14 year old drinks beer in germany, nobody is prosecuted just becouse the law in the US states theyd have to be 21.
Believe it or not, i barely care about wether this is passed or not and im in the EU. It would simply strengthen alternatives to corporate social media and unless i use those which have offices here, such as youtube, facebook, twitter or google, im not affected.


International law when dealing with websites is more complicated than that. Technically when you are a website you are required to comply with the law from where the server is located, where the owner is located, and where the user is located. This is why I would have to read the law if it had passed.

If you are in Germany, you probably don't care if one of the people drinking there is from the US, but technically, even though they are in Germany, they are required to comply with US law. Now, some kid drinking likely wouldn't be prosecuted, of course. However, if a tourist from America went to another country and picked up a hooker, and they happened to be under 18, even if it was legal there to sleep with a 16-year-old or whatever, they could still be charged, because it's illegal in the US.

Even if the chances of prosecution were low, I might still consider at least having a popup, because fuck this law.


I dont think you are correct there at all. There ARE some laws which involve border crossings - for instance, we have laws here regarding visiting another country with the intend to have sex with or marry children. The crime is still commited on german soil as its about planning to do such things while still here.
Whats relativly common, actualy, is crossing into other countries to take drugs which are legal there. Travel companies organise an exceptional amount of trips to the netherlands for that reason and purpose.

Round one of the Robo-Copyright wars is over. The EU Parliament has recognized that machine censorship of copyright material is not an easy and simple fix. They’ve heard the massive opposition, including Internet blackouts and 750,000 people petitioning them against these proposals.

                                              Round1 ?

This is really not good. Will this affect us at different countries?


This is really not
Good. Will this affect us at
Different countries?

                 - ranahussnainali

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.


It only affects you if you use plattforms (such as youtube, google, facebook, twitter and the like) which have offices in and/or do business within the EU. If your plattform doesnt, you dont have to care nor do you if you live in the EU and use plattforms which arent tied to the EU.

This was indeed surprising. Even German socialist voted against This.


I guess even socialists realize that outlawing memes is ridiculous.


No i just they need links against conservatives and capitalists.

Just recently german government announced the opening of a "democratic meme factory" #nokidding

We see soon if they not make more moves .

Yay my

Sadiq khan baby trump blimp.png cartoons too

Good thing they realized that law would have been stupid and unenforceable.

I'm linking to this article in my new post about Alex Jones where I talk about how Microsoft and Apple and others are trying to remove and purge files off our computers.