Once more for the Copyright Resolution

We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served humanity, as  it was supposed to have done, and failed in many places.
— Sir Tim Berners-Lee

This March, the World Wide Web made 30 years from its establishment, and it ain't seem to be as Sir Tim Berners-Lee wished: universal, decentralized, free and open to everyone. “What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms [...] This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared [...] We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served humanity, as  it was supposed to have done, and failed in many places”, argued Berners-Lee in an early interview. The commercialization of content, the raise of surveillance, fake news emissions, and electoral interventions from and in countries like USA and Russia, make World Wide Web a dystopian place caused by big corporations, and unsafe for humans.

On the other hand — as so far problems aren't enough — European Parliament is serving the censorship as the ultimate solution. On Tuesday 12 March, MEPs voted in a 348-274 vote in favour of the cybersecurity act which aims to improve the European response to the increasing number of  cyber threats by strengthening the role of the European Agency for Network and Information Security (Enisa) and establishing a common cybersecurity certification framework, is written. Meanwhile, hundred thousands European activists and citizens filled the streets of EU countries, protesting against the Copyright Directive, and asking their local MEPs to vote against the directive. Although the Copyright Directive is voted in European Parliament, they are encouraged to stop this resolution in every possible democratic method, in coming sessions.

But, what does this resolution mean?

Long story, short:

According to the Article 11 of this resolution, the member states of EU have to establish a whole new law for intellectual property; where of  for any link you use in the website, will have to get a license. This is  non-sense for any sort of wiki, and entirely inconsistent with the  principle of open knowledge.

According to the Article 13, the  websites are directly liable for the content what they are sharing, punishes any site that fails to block copyright infraction. In other words, this article makes companies directly liable for the content of their users. Therefore, this resolution will push the companies to censure their users, otherwise the companies will be fined. The instruction of this article for prevention of the copyright is obviously absurd: an intelligent machine which can select the material before it is uploaded(!) The implementation of this article will have catastrophic consequences for small businesses and startups [like us] around the  Europe, and it will empower the big corporations like Google and Facebook [since only them have the resources to build] to make “better  their own duty”: surveillance of a limitless amount of personal data.

We are only one of millions subjects against Article 11 & 13, and one of 240 businesses who have joined the initiative of Nextcloud to sign an open letter against this spiteful resolution. Article 11 & 13 are extremely problematic by design. They cannot improve the environment of WWW; in contrary, they will be the last nails on the WWW's coffin. Also, there are a lot of preventative measures for a better WWW, but Article 11 and Article 13 of Copyright Directive aren't ones. The fight for an open web for companies like yours and ours continues!

What's next?

On 15 April, the text of Copyright Directive (Now Articles 11 and 13 are Articles 15 and 17) — will be voted by the Council in Ministerial level. Also, for EU voters, it's the moment to penalise by popular vote on 23−26 May those parties who signed the destruction of internet freedom. If it this directive is not objected by the vote of the Council, then, we will have to protest, agitate, raise awareness and fight with every democratic instrument to abrogate the Copyright Directive for two years, until it will take the power of an official law. Obviously, a hard long struggle for a World Wide Web as Sir Tim Berners-Lee predicted, awaits us ahead.

Cover image: Christian Wiediger on Unsplash  / CC BY-SA 4.0 License.

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