56 Groups Call For Deletion Of Internet Filtering Provision In EU Copyright Proposal 16/10/2017 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Today a range of civil society organisations sent an open letter to European Union policymakers calling for the removal of a provision they say would violate citizens’ rights by forcing monitoring and filtering of copyrighted materials. The release from the Copyright for Creativity coalition is available here. The full press release from the European Digital Rights initiative is reprinted below: Today, 16 October, European Digital Rights (EDRi), together with 56 other civil society organisations, sent an open letter to EU decision makers. The letter calls for the deletion of the Article 13 of the Copyright Directive proposal, pointing out that monitoring and filtering of internet content that it proposes breach citizens’ fundamental rights. The proposals in the Copyright Directive would relegate the European Union from a digital rights defender in global internet policy discussions to the leader in dismantling fundamental rights, to the detriment of internet users around the world, said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of EDRi. The censorship filter proposal would apply to all online platforms hosting any type of user-uploaded content such as YouTube, WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Pinterest or Wikipedia. It would coerce platforms into installing filters that prevent users from uploading copyrighted materials. Such a filter would require the monitoring of all uploads and would be unable to differentiate between copyright infringements and legitimate uses of content authorised by law. It undermines legal certainty for European businesses, as it creates legal chaos and offers censorship filters as a solution. The letter points out that the censorship filter proposal of the Article 13: would violate the right to freedom of expression set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights; provoke such legal uncertainty that online services would have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens’ communications; and includes obligations on internet companies that would be impossible to respect without imposing excessive restrictions on citizens’ fundamental rights. Read the letter below. In September 2016, The European Commission published its proposal for a new Copyright Directive that aims at modernising EU copyright rules. The proposal has received mixed responses so far in the European Parliament and is awaiting a vote in the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament. —————————– Article 13 – Monitoring and Filtering of Internet Content is Unacceptable Open letter Dear President Juncker, Dear President Tajani, Dear President Tusk, Dear Prime Minister Ratas, Dear Prime Minister Borissov, Dear Ministers, Dear MEP Voss, Dear MEP Boni, The undersigned stakeholders represent fundamental rights organisations. Fundamental rights, justice and the rule of law are intrinsically linked and constitute core values on which the EU is founded. Any attempt to disregard these values undermines the mutual trust between member states required for the EU to function. Any such attempt would also undermine the commitments made by the European Union and national governments to their citizens. Article 13 of the proposal on Copyright in the Digital Single Market include obligations on internet companies that would be impossible to respect without the imposition of excessive restrictions on citizens’ fundamental rights. Article 13 introduces new obligations on internet service providers that share and store user-generated content, such as video or photo-sharing platforms or even creative writing websites, including obligations to filter uploads to their services. Article 13 appears to provoke such legal uncertainty that online services will have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens’ communications if they are to have any chance of staying in business. Article 13 contradicts existing rules and the case law of the Court of Justice. The Directive of Electronic Commerce (2000/31/EC) regulates the liability for those internet companies that host content on behalf of their users. According to the existing rules, there is an obligation to remove any content that breaches copyright rules, once this has been notified to the provider. Article 13 would force these companies to actively monitor their users‘ content, which contradicts the ‘no general obligation to monitor‘ rules in the Electronic Commerce Directive. The requirement to install a system for filtering electronic communications has twice been rejected by the Court of Justice, in the cases Scarlet Extended (C 70/10) and Netlog/Sabam (C 360/10). Therefore, a legislative provision that requires internet companies to install a filtering system would almost certainly be rejected by the Court of Justice because it would contravene the requirement that a fair balance be struck between the right to intellectual property on the one hand, and the freedom to conduct business and the right to freedom of expression, such as to receive or impart information, on the other. In particular, the requirement to filter content in this way would violate the freedom of expression set out in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. If internet companies are required to apply filtering mechanisms in order to avoid possible liability, they will. This will lead to excessive filtering and deletion of content and limit the freedom to impart information on the one hand, and the freedom to receive information on the other. If EU legislation conflicts with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, national constitutional courts are likely to be tempted to disapply it and we can expect such a rule to be annulled by the Court of Justice. This is what happened with the Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC), when EU legislators ignored compatibility problems with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In 2014, the Court of Justice declared the Data Retention Directive invalid because it violated the Charter. Taking into consideration these arguments, we ask the relevant policy-makers to delete Article 13. Signatories: Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) European Digital Rights (EDRi) Access Info ActiveWatch Article 19 Associação D3 – Defesa dos Direitos Digitais Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL) Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI) Association of the Defence of Human Rights in Romania (APADOR) Associazione Antigone Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) Bits of Freedom (BoF) BlueLink Foundation Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) Centre for Peace Studies Centrum Cyfrowe Coalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti Civili (CILD) Code for Croatia COMMUNIA Culture Action Europe Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) epicenter.works Estonian Human Rights Centre Freedom of the Press Foundation Frënn vun der Ënn Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights Human Rights Monitoring Institute Human Rights Watch Human Rights Without Frontiers Hungarian Civil Liberties Union Index on Censorship International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Internautas JUMEN – Human Rights Work in Germany Justice & Peace La Quadrature du Net Media Development Centre Miklos Haraszti (Former OSCE Media Representative) Modern Poland Foundation Netherlands Helsinki Committee One World Platform Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) Open Rights Group (ORG) OpenMedia Panoptykon Plataforma en Defensa de la Libertad de Información (PDLI) Reporters without Borders (RSF) Rights International Spain South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM) Statewatch The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia (RTKNS) Xnet CC: Permanent and Deputy Permanent Representatives of the Members States to the EU CC: Chairs of the JURI and LIBE Committees in the European Parliament CC: Shadow Rapporteurs and MEPs in the JURI and LIBE Committees in the European Parliament CC: Secretariats of the JURI and LIBE Committees in the European Parliament CC: Secretariat of the Council Working Party on Intellectual Property (Copyright) CC: Secretariat of the Council Working on Competition CC: Secretariat of the Council Research Working Party Read more: Article 13 Open letter – Monitoring and Filtering of Internet Content is Unacceptable (16.10.2017) https://www.liberties.eu/en/news/delete-article-thirteen-open-letter/13194 Over 50 Human Rights & Media Freedom NGOs ask EU to Delete Censorship Filter & to Stop Copyright Madness (16.10.2017) http://copybuzz.com/copyright/50-human-rights-media-freedom-ngos-ask-eu-delete-censorship-filter-stop-madness/ Deconstructing the Article 13 of the Copyright proposal of the European Commission, revision 2 https://edri.org/files/copyright/copyright_proposal_article13.pdf The Copyright Reform: a guide for the perplexed https://edri.org/files/copyright/Copyright_guide_for_the_perplexed.pdf Copyright reform: Document pool https://edri.org/copyright-reform-document-pool/ Six states raise concerns about legality of Copyright Directive (05.09.2017) https://edri.org/six-states-raise-concerns-about-legality-of-copyright-directive/ Proposed Copyright Directive – Commissioner confirms it is illegal (28.06.2017) https://edri.org/proposed-copyright-directive-commissioner-confirms-it-is-illegal/ Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "56 Groups Call For Deletion Of Internet Filtering Provision In EU Copyright Proposal" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.