Today, MEPs on the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament were asked to decide: Should your freedom to participate on the web be restricted to serve corporate interests – or should alternative measures be adopted that safeguard fundamental rights?

Despite a massive outpouring of protest from voters during these last few days, the majority voted for both the link tax and upload filters:

Restrict the web Open internet Abstained
Article 11: Link tax 13 ✔ 12 0
Article 13: Censorship machines 15 ✔ 10 0
Approve the overall Committee position 14 ✔ 9 2

This is an unacceptable outcome that I will challenge in the next plenary session, asking all 750 MEPs to vote on whether to accept the Committee’s result or open it up for debate in that larger forum, which would then give us a final chance to make changes.

This vote will likely happen on July 4. Let’s make this the independence day of the internet, the day we #SaveYourInternet from censorship machines and a link tax. Are you in?

Who voted to restrict your internet

Who voted which way was not officially recorded. But according to my team’s observations, these are the MEPs who voted for restricting your freedoms online:

MEP Voted for
Axel Voss
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, Germany
Article 11Article 13
Pavel Svoboda
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, Czech Republic
Article 13
Rosa Estaras Ferragut
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, Spain
Article 11Article 13
Tadeusz Zwiefka
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, Poland
Article 11Article 13
József Szájer
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, Hungary
Article 11Article 13
Francis Zammit Dimech
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, Malta
Article 11Article 13
Geoffroy Didier
EPP (Conservatives) EPP, France
Article 11Article 13
Enrico Gasbarra
S&D (Social Democrats) S&D, Italy
Article 11Article 13
Mary Honeyball
S&D (Social Democrats) S&D, United Kingdom
Article 11Article 13
Jean-Marie Cavada
ALDE (Liberals) ALDE, France
Article 11Article 13
Marinho e Pinto
ALDE (Liberals) ALDE, Portugal
Article 11Article 13
Sajjad Karim
ECR (Eurosceptic Conservatives) ECR, United Kingdom
Article 13
Joëlle Bergeron
EFDD (Eurosceptic Populists) EFDD, France
Article 11Article 13
Marie-Christine Boutonnet
ENF (Far Right) ENF, France
Article 11Article 13
Gilles Lebreton
ENF (Far Right) ENF, France
Article 11Article 13

Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter so I can keep you updated on the campaign over the next 14 days!

To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

My name is Julia, I'm the Pirate in the European Parliament.

I'm fighting to make copyright in the EU unified, progressive and fit for the future. Will you join me?

51 comments

  1. 1

    Pavel Svoboda is actually from Czechia.
    Where can we see who voted against it?

    • Christopher Clay

      The other members listed here ;)

      • Thank you. However, here I counted 14+9+2=25 votes but at the link I see 49 members.

        • The other 25 are substitutes for the official board

        • TiredJoe

          Yes, there are too many members at your link, c3o. So, does that mean that only half of the ppl in the committee were voting and the other half had something better to do, or something else entirely?

          • Christopher Clay

            The other half are substitute members, who generally only jump in if someone from the first half is absent.

  2. 2

    Pavel Svoboda is from Czechia/Czech Republic, not Poland

    • Christopher Clay

      Thank you, fixed – sorry for that mistake

  3. 3
    Antoon Frehe

    A very unfortunate turn of events. Difficult to understand how MEP’s can vote in favor of such articles unless they don’t understand exactly what they are voting for.

    • elvisisdead

      I guarantee you they know exactly what they are doing

  4. 4
    Isabelle Sandow

    This could break the EU

  5. 5

    Could some upload the current proposal document from the committee? I recall that amendments for today’s meeting are here: https://www.politico.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Copyright-compromise-amendments-V6.pdf

    It would be nice to see the final document before July 4th.

  6. 6
    Daniel I

    One wonders if these people knew what they voted for. And if they did, how much they let their personal interests dictate this obvious blow to free speech.

    • Christopher Clay

      Julia went into detail about why some MEPs support these laws here: https://juliareda.eu/2018/06/saveyourinternet/#why

      • So is this version of the © directive https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/voss.pdf the one going to a vote in parliament? Are the people in the committee who were against the initial proposal OK with this version? I find it to be a lot more balanced, if it’s the actual one

        • Christopher Clay

          This is the text on articles 11 & 13 that the Committee adopted, yes. It is a bit better, yes – but it’s tricky: It sounds a lot better, but much of that is just window dressing.

          The exception for “acts of hyperlinking” means just plain links, it does not allow snippets. The exception for private, non-commercial use sounds good, but in practice most people share their links with their friends using commercial platforms, so they will be affected. The text says member states may apply copyright exceptions to the neighboring right – but that’s a MAY, not a MUST.

          The Article 13 text does not call for filters as explicitly, but if you read it closely it’s clear that it will still result in them. It creates a huge burden of liability for user uploads on platforms (much worse than the Commission proposal!) and will force them to do anything possible to reduce that – meaning filters. It claims that platforms should not be required to do “general monitoring” (because requiring them to do so would be illegal according to prior EU law), but they will nevertheless have no choice but to do so.

          The Parliament’s position is going to be the best possible outcome for this law – remember, negotiations with the Council are still to follow. We need Parliament to take a strong position in defense of a free and open internet – not just a not-entirely-as-terrible one. The outcome is likely to be somewhere in the middle between both institutions’ positions!

  7. 7

    The problem also is that a lot of online magazines/newspaper websites report about these changes in a very “positive” way because they actually see it as an advantage for themselves. So it is hard for people to find a more “objective” article about this topic … :-/

  8. 8

    Hey! What did the Swedish vote? Did they ALL vote no?

    • Christopher Clay

      This was a Committee vote, with only 25 MEPs voting (out of all 751). The only Swedish MEP was Max Andersson (Greens/EFA), and he voted with Julia.
      On July 4 all Swedish MEPs will vote, so reach out to them all!

  9. 9

    Ask for the commission internal (jrc) literature review on auxiliary rights.

  10. 10
    A. Jokiel

    Why is the U.K. voting exactly? I thought the Brexit means that the U.K. wanted to leave the EU! Then why do they have 2 votes on things that revolve around the EU?

    It’s kinda sad to see this happening, especially in a time that NEEDS the free speech and free access to media. I know how hard it can be to protect your art / music / property in general, but an upload filter like this isn’t the right way, seeing how many videos are falsely flagged on youtube, facebook and so on because of a filter like this.

  11. 11

    Cannot really understand how you could vote for this, pro censoring the net. Thanks for all of your work, keep it up. Hope this is overturned!

  12. 12
    Internet

    I can’t comprehend how one can be so not attached in reality to think this is a good idea.

  13. 13

    …ah, and that I forgot:

    thought there’s another way of making those laws moving towards becoming meaningless. Starting try to only support, share, remix…etc. content that is under creative commons or similiar licence.
    And help others to move towards creative commons, which also means supporting creators on an economic basis.

  14. 14

    Fun facts: Pavel Svoboda (EPP) was a lawyer at OSA (a collective society like GEMA in Germany, SABAM in Belgium, SGAE in Spain, etc.) and leading a copyright department at Supraphon, a Czech label company.

  15. 15
    Fábio Barros

    I’m ashamed my country MEP voted to restrict the internet. I’m not surprised. I tweeted him last week through Save the internet website and 1 hour later my tweet got deleted.

  16. 16
    Arrassi Ali

    I really think we need more young people in the politics. Thanks for the clear meaning of the subject.

  17. 17

    Wow! I didn’t even know this excited. I’m currently living in Finland now and I suppose this will also affect here as well?
    I see no Finnish people in the parliament so how can I help?

    • On July 4th, the whole European parliament will vote. This will include 13 Finnish MEPs:
      Liisa Jaakonsaari, SDP
      Petri Sarvamaa, Kokoomus
      Jussi Halla-Aho, Perussuomalaiset
      Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Perussuomalaiset
      Paavo Väyrynen, Keskusta
      Henna Virkkunen Kokoomus
      Heidi Hautala, Vihreät
      Anneli Jäätteenmäen, Keskusta
      Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, SDP
      Hannu Takkula, Keskusta
      Sirpa Pietikäinen, Kokoomus
      Nils Torvalds, RKP
      Merja Kyllönen, Vasemmistoliitto

      You can contact them on this site:
      saveyourinternet.eu

  18. 18
    Mattias Persson

    Nice to see some fighting spirit, is it possible that we can get an update with the people who voted against restricting the internet. I want to know who is fighting for the good guys ;)

  19. 19

    So a differing view is not allowed?

    Seems to me that you are the ones that can’t handle majority based democratic systems.

    Shame on you.

    • Christopher Clay

      Democracy is about transparency and accountability. Of course differing views are allowed, but elected representatives need to stand by their decisions and be able to explain them.

      • Who says they can’t explain it?

        • Look at their faces. Do they look more like well paid lobbyists or like IT nerds that understand the technology and concepts of the internet?
          Of course all of them know that illegal upload of the latest charts hit or cinema blockbuster should be prohibited… but this is where it ends for most of them. You think they ever cared for this kind of upload filtering in the hands of big companies is also censorship and violates freedom of speech? Who knows if Trump won’t sign a decree tomorrow declaring facebook has to block all videos or images of democratic European parties and just allow those of populist’s parties tearing at the existence of the EU? You think they really unterstand how stupid it is to pay for linking to other’s web content? This cracks the idea of the internet completely. Imagine you would recommend your best hairdresser to your friend. And then you would have to pay your haidresser because you recommended him. That’s what those guys are up to decide!
          All the news platforms could already block search machines or provide their content only to registered (paying) users. Nobody needs a link tax for that. But they want the best of both, they want to get indexed and linked to, and want money for that (instead of paying Google) for attracting visitors.
          If Link tax comes, there is a perfect solution for those news/content providers that still allow free linking to their pages. Add a small html attribute to any content/article you like to share, e.g. “free-linking=’allowed'” and all content that does not have this attribute should be dropped from all search engine results at once. Happy silent dying, greedy press/news corp!

  20. 20
    Gwydion

    How exactly has this been determined, if there is no official voting record (which I find appalling btw)? I saw tallies that put both ECR votes as Abstain, not In Favour.

    • Christopher Clay

      ECR abstained at the final vote about the text – see the last row in the table at the top of this post.

      Our information was gathered by looking at the MEP’s voting machines during the vote, which light up in different colors depending on the vote. These votes are not “secret”, they’re just not recorded.

  21. 21

    Thx for your information Julia. We need to stop this copyright madness.

  22. 22

    Is there a webside where we can see what lobbist where meeting with them in the last year or so? I am very courius who paid them.

  23. 23
    vlennstrand

    According to this reddit thread multiple demonstrations are planned in Poland.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/europe/comments/8t4eqb/polish_citizens_start_organising_protests_against/

    Kraków (29.06), 18:00
    Katowice (29.06), 18:00
    Lublin (29.06), 18:00
    Wrocław (30.06), 13:00
    Poznań (29.06), 17:00
    Nowy Sącz (30.06), 16:00

    Also
    Berlin 24/6 11:45
    Stuttgart 24/6 14:00
    (se same thread)

    and Stockholm 1 July
    https://www.reddit.com/r/svenskpolitik/comments/8t1065/demonstration_i_stockholm_1_juli_saveyourinternet/

  24. 24
    Andreas

    Can you list the names of those who voted against the proposal? We should praise them on Twitter or something.

  25. 25
    Patrick

    Why aren’t these votes officially recorded by the EU? This gives these people plausible deniability. So much for transparency.

  26. 26
    Someone

    So if that goes through and someone gets “caught” distributing protected links in large amounts it could lead to prison scentences? Did I get this right?

  27. 27

    Please consider cross posting on free social media platforms like gnu-social or diaspora. Also you probably want to put social media links somewhere accessible on this site if you’re going to use them for outreach.
    Thanks for keeping us updated on these crucial topics the media seems to keep ignoring, great job as always.

  28. 28

    I’m very concerned about this. I’ve tweeted, and contacted my MEP through the site saveyourinternet.eu, I’ve spammed my friends and co-workers (no one cares!!!) but I can’t seem to find the vote or the opinion of Belgium? Does anyone know? Saveyourinternet.eu guided me towards Alex Voss, but he’s from Germany.

  29. 29
    Emma Gilchrist

    So does this count for the UK once were out of the EU ? I understand that there were British MPs who voted for, but is this only to do with the EU or Europe in general ? Thank you.

    • Christopher Clay

      If the UK leaves, it will not directly apply to them. But of course once internet platforms put filters in place, they may enable them for other countries as well (there’s no law saying NOT to filter in the UK)… and you can be sure the publisher/music industry lobby in other countries will start pushing for similar laws there as well.