The Internet is in danger and you can save it!

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The Internet is safe - it won't be.

So what happened?

On July 5, 2018, the plenary session of the European Parliament voted on the reform of copyright in the digital internal market. These two articles, as proposed, would have paved the way for comprehensive censorship of the Internet. For this reason we have created a fortunately very successful petition, which, thanks to the personal invitation of MEP Julia Reda, we were able to present to MEPs immediately before the vote, together with the at that time 736,000 signatures. The untiring efforts of our Members and the enormous number of signatures enabled us to make Members aware of the considerable risk of this reform and thus prevent it from being adopted in plenary.

The reform proposal on copyright (especially Articles 11 and 13) was rejected by 318 (53%) to 278 (47%)!

However, the threat has not yet completely disappeared! The rejection in plenary simply means that the reform proposal will have to be revised and resubmitted. We expect another vote on a revised version in September.

What were we able to prevent?

The dictatorship of error-prone algorithms

Upload filters on sites like YouTube, Facebook and Co. all have one thing in common: They never act as exactly as a human could. As a result, content is often also removed that violates copyright but is protected by citation law. This "vulnerability" can be used as an excuse to filter out content that does not correspond to one's own values and ideas.

Paid Links

Press publishers should be obliged to charge for all links that someone places on their content. News portals would have lost reach and readership. The resulting loss of revenue would have been offset by the additional costs incurred by a license system to be administered. For many portals and publishers this would have meant economic ruin.

Hear the voices of others

Censorship could very soon turn the cultural norms of the web as we know them upside down. Upload locks in combination with error-prone algorithms ensure that even the posting of links will pose a massive problem in the future. This will be particularly evident on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, 9GAG and Co. In fact, most likely all of your favorite websites. Articles 11 and 13 would ensure that links and direct quotes are blacked out or even prevented entirely from uploading.

What’s been safed?

The voice of each one of us

The rejection of the proposal ensures everyone's freedom to speak out on the Internet. Freedom and neutrality have always been the cornerstones of the Internet as we know it and these pillars will remain with us for the time being. Every user retains the right to share what he likes with his friends without fear of copyright lawsuit. This will give us an Internet that we can shape ourselves without fear of government intervention. Just as it has always been in the sense of a worldwide connection of all people.

The free and unrestricted flow of information

Never before has information and news been distributed around the globe as quickly as today. Everyone has the same access to all this information and messages at all times. This can work because this information is distributed from person to person - through sharing and linking on various platforms. This flow would have been severely curbed by Article 11 - with consequences both for the providers of such information and for the consumer. By rejecting the reform proposal, we were able to maintain free access to information.

The freedom of the image

A picture says more than a thousand words. This means that an image not only consists of its obvious content but also conveys a message. This message, made by humans and intended for humans, could never have been recognized, let alone understood, by an automated content recognition technology. Upload filters such as those created under Article 13 would therefore never have been able to fulfil their task.

What's the next move?

The rejected reform proposal must be revised and will then be submitted again. This means that Articles 11 and 13 will no longer come in this form, but it also means that they can come again in another format. MEPs will then have the opportunity to vote on the modified proposal from 10-13 September. The freedom that we have now successfully upheld must continue to be preserved and actively protected by all of us. That is why we must pay close attention to which laws we want to live with, also in the future. And we must not be afraid to raise our voices and participate in our own future.

What can you do?

We still need to send a clear signal against upload filters and the like, which is why we will not stop the petition on for the time being. Especially since the next vote is not planned until September, we must not let up now.

The activities of the European Parliament are publicly accessible on its website: On this page you will find all information about European legislation as well as PDF files of all submitted documents, proposals and similar. Take the opportunity to look at the work of the deputies and dare to say if something doesn't suit you. After all, it's also about your future!

I don't like a proposal or article! - What to do?

contact your MEP! You can contact your MEP directly to show him/her your dissatisfaction with what you don't like. Personal e-mails often have a very high effect. Because people with whom you are in direct contact are more willing to be convinced. You can find a list with e-mail addresses of the respective delegates here: [Link]

A tip to get the best possible effect from your complaint: Be objective and polite. With insulting words or threats you only achieve rejection, so stay pragmatic and explain your displeasure with the matter, not with the MEPs.

Contact your MEP

Article 13 in detail

Article 13 would have demanded in actual practice that almost all Internet platforms install content recognition techniques, with the task of automatically checking uploaded content for potential copyright infringements. Freedom of expression would have been considerably restricted in this way, since the opinion would have fallen victim to deletion even before it had been expressed. Decisions about actually published content and thus its censorship would have been taken over by error-prone and hypersensitive algorithms (programmed in such a way that they "play it safe" and delete everything that poses a risk to the platform in case of doubt). Since the programming of these algorithms would be in the hands of a few, it could not have been ruled out that these algorithms would also have been used to sort out unpleasant opinions in advance.

Article 11 in detail

The ancillary copyright would have stipulated that the future content of certain information providers is subject to a more concrete press law. The inalienability of these press rights to the respective authors would have made it inevitable that a fee-based licensing system for news would have been created. This licensing could have meant that even quoting texts could have been declared a copyright infringement. However, this would make a complex exchange of views or a more in-depth debate on the Internet almost impossible.

Article 11 not only affects the internet

Research and progress are also suffering from Article 11. In the future, users, such as independent researchers, journalists, individuals and various companies, will be denied text and data mining. This has a slowing effect on various discoveries of public interest.

A mutual triumph!

The successful prevention of this reform could only be achieved through the work and hard work of every single member of our group and many other supporters. But not only the untiring commitment of our members but also the voice of each individual under our petition were decisive for this success. This victory is not only our victory but the victory of each individual, who has signed a sign against the censorship of the Internet. To illustrate this victory once again, you can find enough pictures of the petition in our gallery and hand it over to Parliament: Gallery

Censorship? Without me!

Support us with your voice! Only together we are strong! That's why we've made a petition to tackle Articles 11 and 13!

We at distance ourselves from any illegal activities! We neither support illegal activities, nor do we commission them.