It appears that the EU are quietly trying to sneak in a law that would cripple the internet within Europe by forcing content filtering, particularly around the problems of copyright infringement. I knew nothing about the law until today, but already 15 MEPs have voted for the article to go before the European Parliament.

You can find out more about what’s going on from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and (where you can also take action).

After the fold is a copy of the email I have sent the MEPs in the UK through the site.

Dear MEPs

Apologies for emailing you all at once, but I’m not 100% sure how this works and whether one of you is supposed to directly represent me as a constituent. That’s one of those things I’ll have to find out.

I have just found out about the vote today (20th June) on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market which could cause irreparable damage to the way the Internet currently works. The same rules could also negatively impact the fundamental rights and freedoms that our countries were built on and the entire EU economy, whilst creating legal uncertainty for decades to come.

It crucial that you all vote against the Article 13 compromise amendment from Rapporteur MEP Axel Voss and for the deletion of Article 13.

The current proposal is unbalanced and I need you to stand up against it. As with many others asking you to vote against it, I would like to refer you to the some of the numerous letters and analyses sent previously by various experts, which set out why Article 13 is bad for:

The Internet as a whole: Over 70 Internet pioneers and experts have rallied behind Sir Tim Berners-Lee to address an open letter [1], on 12 June 2018, to the European Parliament wherein they urge you to vote for the deletion of Article 13 for the sake of the Internet’s future, as it “would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks”.

Fundamental rights: Over 50 NGOs representing human rights and media freedom addressed an open letter [2], on 16 October 2017, to the European Parliament asking you to delete Article 13, as it “would violate the freedom of expression set out in (…) the Charter of Fundamental Rights” and “provoke such legal uncertainty that online services will have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens’ communications”.

Legal certainty in the EU: Academics from 25 leading Intellectual Property research centres in Europe have published an open letter [3], on 26 April 2018, pointing out that there is scientific consensus on the fact that Article 13 “threaten[s] the user participation benefits of the e-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC)”. On 17 October 2017, 56 respected academics co-signed a recommendation [4] warning that Article 13 “contains imbalanced, undefined legal concepts that make it incompatible with the existing acquis”.

The European economy: European innovative media publishers have expressed [5] their concerns around Article 13, who consider that “these rules are bad news for publishers who rely on an open and competitive internet to source, create and disseminate stories to their readers”. Allied for Startups explains [6] that “the suggested filtering technology will raise the cost of launching a startup in Europe and drive talent away”.

Thank you so much!

David Lumm







Photo credit: François Grimonprez from Quidos via