March 23 Named As Europe-Wide Day of Action Against Article 13

Protesters have already flooded the streets of Europe to protest against Article 13. That may be just a preview if organizers are successful.

Things continue to heat up between European’s and European lawmakers. Earlier this month, Article 11 and Article 13 was finalized. The outcome was universally slammed by people, businesses, and organizations alike. Digital rights advocacy blasted the legislation as the worst one yet.

A point of contention for a lot of people is article 13. Known as the censorship machine, it would require websites and platforms to implement highly expensive censorship filtering technology that many point out are ineffective. The technology is supposed to block out copyrighted material, but is unable to determine the differences between an infringing work and a work that qualifies under exceptions to copyright law. This includes satire, journalism, education, and criticism.

The legislation alone is causing a rift between lawmakers and the people who voted them in in the first place. Two days after the laws were finalized, European’s took to the streets in spontaneous protests. Lanes were shut down and squares were filled with people who didn’t need to be told twice that the laws are not in their interest. In response, the European commission published an attack piece against citizens. They accuse their citizens of fake activism, being a mob, and being part of a disturbing political culture. That attack piece was since retracted under the explanation that people read it in a way that does not reflect the European commissions position.

Now, organizers are coming together. They are calling on European’s to come together in a collective day of action. March 23rd is the date being set. A map of Europe is being set up at Organizers are asking that people formally set up a protest so that authorities can be prepared before they include it on the map. So far, well over a dozen protests have been organized in a number of countries across Europe. Countries like The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Austria, and Belgium have demonstrations planned. Given how contentious these issues are, it only stands to reason that more protests are going to start popping up on that map sooner or later.

One thing is for sure, a lot is riding on this: the very future of the Internet in Europe. So, it really is no surprise that there is so much interest in participating in these protests in the first place.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Europe for any other developments that arise.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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