Tomorrow, European Parliament Must Reject Automated Filtering

4 July 2018 - Tomorrow, the whole European Parliament will vote on the new Copyright Directive. Two weeks ago, Parliament's "Legal Affairs" Committee has adopted a first text, forcing commercial platforms to actively block copyright-protected contents uploaded by their users. Tomorrow, Parliament must reject this text.

On 20 June, the "Legal Affairs" Committee, gathering 25 Members of the European Parliament, was in charge of adopting a first draft on the Copyright Directive. The majority of its members adopted an Article 13 which would impose automatic filtering measures on commercial platforms that publish and "optimize" the displaying of user-provided contents. YouTube or Facebook have already implemented such measures for a very long time: they would be legitimized by this Article 13.

Our public communications should never be regulated through automatic means, be it for "protecting copyrights" or fighting hatespeech or 'fake news'. Only humans should be able to regulate humans' conducts, especially when it relates to fundamental rights like freedom of expression.

Tomorrow, at noon, the whole 750 Members of the European Parliament will be able to and should reject such a technological solutionism that may only reinforce already overpowered Internet giants. Once rejected, the current text would be renegotiated in Parliament.

Call Members of the European Parliament today: ask them to renegotiate the Copyright Directive!

La Quadrature du Net welcomes the idea that non-neutral commercial platforms may no longer be subject to the same rules that regulate neutral and/or nonprofit services. But such a distinction should never legitimize the ongoing general censorship imposed by few tech companies on large parts of the Web. The future negotiation on the Copyright Directive should ban automatic filtering measures rather than imposing them.