Tuesday 26 May 2020

New EU legislation on internet copyright ‘a disgrace’ says Dutch lobby group

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch digital rights lobby group Bits of Freedom said on Tuesday that new copyright legislation backed by the European parliament earlier in the day ‘will have a huge negative impact on the range and quality of public discourse and entrench the existing tech monopolies.’

The legislation, which includes the highly controversial Article 11 and Article 13, was backed by 348 to 274 MEPs and there were no votes on amendments, despite the best efforts of campaigners.

The law must now be incorporated into national legislation, a move which is expected to take several years.

‘Article 13 favors well-established tech monoliths over innovative startups, and will stifle creativity and innovation,’ said the lobby group’s executive director Hans de Zwart.

‘Today the European parliament has further normalised a situation in which our public discourse is held captive by a handful of North-American multinationals. It’s a disgrace.’


Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake, who has campaigned against the new law, said the legislation will lead to a lot of work for lawyers specialising in intellectual property.

The new legislation holds technology companies responsible for material posted on their website which breaks other people’s copyright. Many musicians and others say the rules will make sure artists get proper compensation for their work.

Others say it will destroy user-generated content such as memes.

Article 11 states that search engines and news aggregate platforms like Google News should pay to use links from news websites – which would benefit a site such as DutchNews.nl, whose material is often used by other websites without payment.

Article 13 holds larger technology companies responsible for material posted without a copyright licence and means they would have to filter all content before it goes online.

This means DutchNews.nl may have to stop with its Best of the Web service, which highlights interesting stories about the Netherlands from other sources.

Read the Verve’s article on the legislation

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