Civil Liberties Committee joins the opposition against automated censorship machines

Good news in the latest chapter of the fight over whether the EU should mandate the installation of “censorship machines” on internet platforms as part of the upcoming copyright reform:

The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament today threw its weight behind a more sensible way forward than the one demanded by media conglomerates and proposed […]

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New EU law prescribes website blocking in the name of “consumer protection”

Today, the European Parliament passed the Consumer Protection Cooperation regulation. Unfortunately, it contains an overreaching general website blocking provision. Additionally, consumer protection improvements were watered down or removed completely in last-minute trilogue negotiations with the Council.

According to the new rules, national consumer protection authorities can order any unspecified third party to block access to websites without requiring judicial […]

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Leaked: These 3 EU governments want to give record labels control over what we can and can’t post online

The Internet is our greatest and most egalitarian public sphere: Never before was it possible for everyone to publish their creative works worldwide, at no cost, without seeking anyone’s approval. But some want to change that.

The open and participatory internet was made possible by laws that protect internet providers and online platforms from liability: […]

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EU study finds even publishers oppose the ‘link tax’ – and some journalists are afraid to speak out

A new study conducted upon request of the European Parliament finds that the planned extra copyright for news sites is a terrible idea. But MEPs may not learn about it until after they have voted on the controversial proposal.

The study concludes:

“There are real concerns surrounding the rather uncertain effects of the right. […] We [advise] that the press publishers’ […]

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When filters fail: These cases show we can’t trust algorithms to clean up the internet

Today, the European Commission announced its silver-bullet solution to illegal content online: Automated upload filters!

It has already been pushing filters to try to prevent copyright infringement – in its communication on ‘tackling illegal content online’, it is going ever further.

The Commission now officially “strongly encourages online platforms to […] step up investment in, and use of, […]

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What the Commission found out about copyright infringement but ‘forgot’ to tell us

Does copyright infringement negatively affect legal sales? This is a fundamental question with profound implications on the way copyright and copyright enforcement policy should work.

In January 2014, the European Commission awarded the Dutch company Ecorys a contract worth €360.000 to conduct a study on the question.

The 300-page study was delivered to the Commission […]

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State of the Cyber: 10 proposals for improving IT security in the EU

Without much fanfare, the European Commission has published a new cybersecurity strategy. Although Commission President Juncker briefly touched on the issue in his State of the Union Speech, the document was published in the EU’s document database without a news release or press conference. It’s unclear at this point whether the document was published prematurely and an […]

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European Parliament calls for Space Elevator

When I ran for the European Parliament in 2014, one of my 13 campaign issues was that the European space policy needs to be filled with new life and that a space elevator would be the perfect project to unite Europeans behind a common cause:

Reaching for the Stars Together
If we work […]

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New leak: Estonian Presidency ignored doubts by 6 Member States about the legality of censorship machine plans

Last week we learned that the Estonian Council Presidency endorses the European Commission’s plans for censorship machines – a planned law that would force online platforms to surveil all user uploads in search of copyrighted content.

Six EU member states expressed doubts about the legality of this proposal, we learn today in a new leak. Statewatch made […]

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Estonian Council presidency questions extra copyright for news snippets, but endorses censorship machines

The Estonian Council Presidency has doubts about introducing an extra copyright for news sites in the EU, but generally supports turning internet platforms into censorship machines to try to prevent copyright infringement, leaks reveal.

Estonia currently heads the Council, which represents the Member States’ interests in the EU lawmaking process, and which needs to come […]

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