Despite a lot of pushback from internet activists and proponents of free speech, the EU has now voted in favor of a new copyright law that would automatically remove content from the internet.
The new law requires media companies and internet platforms like Google and Microsoft to install filters that check uploaded content against a database of copyright protected materials. Material that is found to be problematic will not be uploaded to the web.
Yesterday the parliament of legal affairs voted in favor of the law–and while plans still have to be agreed with representatives of the EU’s 28 governments before becoming law, the vote indicates that there will be no significant future changes.
Before the law comes into a final vote, opponents like Julia Reda and various other members of the European Parliament plan to stand in fierce opposition to the law. Reda has explained that “I will challenge this outcome and request a vote in the European parliament next month. We can still overturn this result and preserve the free internet.”
Critics of the law fear that by automatically censoring uploaded content, freedom of expression will have a major impact in the EU. Content such as satire, parody, or memes could be automatically flagged and never seen the light of day.
For more information on this EU copyright law, see our previous blog post.