In a vote that will no doubt spell relief to real creators and innovators online, European MEPs have rejected Article 11 and Article 13.
The condemnation was fierce as Europeans overwhelmingly opposed article 11 and article 13. Those laws also became known as the link tax and the censorship machine. With petitions, open letters, social media and phone-in campaigns, it all came down to this vote.
That vote came and MEP’s voted to reject the laws by a margin of 318-278. No doubt, many of the nearly 1 million people who signed a petition against the laws are breathing a sign of relief. Yesterday, we reported that the petition reached 800,000 signatures. Today, that total is currently sitting at 881,444. While it didn’t top 1 million, it appears that the push to save the Internet was sufficient for now.
Digital rights activists are also pleased and hailed this as a victory.
“This positive vote happened because people stood up and demanded better legislation” said Diego Naranjo, Senior Policy Advisor at EDRi. “Despite a huge campaign to discredit the views of citizens as being simply the product of ‘disinformation’, their voice was heard in the end”
On Twitter, the EFF commented, “[the vote] means we’re close to stopping these terrible proposals—and we’re gaining momentum.”
As EFF notes, the battle to save the Internet is far from over, but this is a critical step in the right direction. Saveyourinternet.eu, the website largely at the centre of the fight to save the Internet in Europe, is saying this today, “the battle to defeat the Article 13 Censorship Machine is far from over: it must now be won in the European Parliament plenary in September. The site will be rethought and rebuilt to support you in facing the next stage of the battle. This is not over and your efforts will continue to lead to a balanced & positive outcome!”
Clearly, the fight isn’t over, but a huge relief for supporters of free speech for now.