Petition Against Article 11 and Article 13 Nears 4 Million Signatures

A petition against Europe’s Article 11 and Article 13 is continuing to grow. It has now reached nearly 4 million signatures.

Back in July, we reported on a petition reaching 800,000 signatures. In the months since then, it seems that the petition is only growing.

A lot of European’s are definitely upset over the proposed copyright laws.

Article 11 is dubbed the link tax. It would compel sources to charge a licensing fee for the privilege of linking to them. A recent examination of the law says that this could kill Creative Commons news. This is because Creative Commons licensing depends on the sharing of content online. The proposed law would override the license and compel the source to collect licensing fees anyway, contrary to the wishes of the creator. All this over top of the fact that linking is a critical part of the Internets infrastructure.

Article 13 is dubbed the censorship machine. The law would force social media platforms to install automated copyright filters to automatically block copyrighted material. The problem is that such technology doesn’t exist. Instead, there is faulty technology that is known to both underblock and overblock the content. It doesn’t respect exceptions to copyright law such as educational purposes and critique.

As if to further prove the point that automated filters do not work, Tumblr recently experimented with an automatic porn filter. The results were borderline comical as the site found itself flagging clean pictures such as Garfield the cat and abstract blurry pictures. At the same time, the filter wound up missing other potentially adult oriented material. It is also worth pointing out that this is far from the first failure of automated filtering systems.

So, it is understandable that so many would be upset that the continent is now considering link taxes and censorship machines. In droves, they have been signing a petition saying that the people disagree with the laws. As of right now, the petition has garnered 3,980,000 signatures. This is close to the massive 4 million signature milestone. It also doesn’t look like the petition is slowing down either as more and more people find themselves signing the petition.

It’s unclear how much of an impact this will have on Europe’s copyright debate at large, but opposition has been credited for delaying the legislation earlier this year. As of now, the law is expected to leave the Trilogue meetings largely unchanged. It will then head into another round of debate which will be more open to the public. That round won’t be the last either, but it appears that the step after may be the last one before it becomes unstoppable by the public. So, time is ticking on putting a stop to all of this.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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