Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Pirate protest says EU copyright directive censors Internet

ČTK |
2 July 2018

Prague, July 1 (CTK) - More than one hundred people on Sunday supported the protest against the proposed EU directive on copyright which according to the Czech Pirates censors the Internet and is a concession made to lobbyists from publishing houses.

The protesters who gathered in one of the squares in Prague's centre carried banners saying Save your Internet or Sharing is an act of love.

The European Parliament is to deal with the proposed EU directive next week.

The advocates of the copyright directive say it backs publishers at the cost of big Internet companies like Facebook or Google which may freely share the works of other people now.

Its opponents say it reintroduces censorship. They are against the fee for citing and against the duty to monitor and filter contents uploaded by the users.

They also mind that contents that algorithms will classify as harmful will be automatically deleted, including Internet memes, parodic videos or remixes that do not violate law.

Pirate leader Ivan Bartos said big publishing houses naturally welcome the copyright directive. "They try to cut off a piece from the business model of Google and Facebook," he told CTK at the protest.

Bartos said other instruments, such as law to protect consumers or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), than the copyright directive should be used to fight against monopolies or data misuse.

He said the copyright directive would most strongly affect small search engines and small news servers. "These will be disadvantaged and it may happen that you will not find their reports at all," Bartos said.

The article 13, which introduces obligatory monitoring and filtering may lead to a similar Internet reduction as one knows from China or Turkey, he said. "When a piece of information disappears, one is not told that it was filtered," he added.

The promoters of the directive, including the Czech Association of Publishers, say big Internet players make money on quality texts of publishing houses without sharing their profits.

On the other hand, the Seznam.cz portal is against the directive, arguing that it would limit people's access to the news and slow down or stop services for uploading by users.

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