Wikimedia Foundation Joins Article 11 and Article 13 Opposition

The Wikimedia Foundation is one of the latest organizations to have joined the chorus of opposition towards article 11 and article 13.

Opposition towards the censorship machine and the link tax continues to grow by the day. Yesterday, we reported on the growing trend to sign the petition asking European lawmakers to vote these laws down. More than 625,000 people have signed that petition and that number continues to grow by the minute.

Now, another major organization is joining the overwhelming chorus opposing the copyright legislation.

“The time to speak out is now” writes the Wikimedia Foundation.

The Wikimedia Foundation is known for hosting one of the worlds largest websites, Wikipedia. The non-profit organization explains that their commitment is to the spread of freedom online for the benefit of everyone. They say that their work is more important than ever before thanks to efforts to restrict free speech online.

This is why we strongly oppose the proposed EU Copyright Directives and urge the Members of the European Parliament to reconsider proceeding with the version recently adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee. We are concerned because these flawed proposals hurt everyone’s rights to freedom of expression and Europe’s ability to improve the welfare of its citizens online.

We oppose this EU copyright package because of its detrimental effects on internet freedom, access to knowledge, and collaboration online. We believe that:

– The requirement for platforms to implement upload filters is a serious threat for freedom of expression and privacy. Our foundational vision depends on the free exchange of knowledge across the entirety of the web, and beyond the boundaries of the Wikimedia projects.
– A new exclusive right allowing press publishers to restrict the use of news snippets will make it more difficult to access and share information about current events in the world, making it harder for Wikipedia contributors to find citations for articles online.
– The proposal does not support user rights, is missing strong safeguards for the public domain, and does not create exceptions that would truly empower people to participate in research and culture.

The Foundation concludes by saying that they strongly urge European lawmakers to reject the proposed legislation and look towards creating a balanced approach instead.

Their comments join an increasingly large list of influential people hoping to put a stop to these laws. Last month, innovators and Internet founders submitted a joint letter formally opposing the proposed laws. Like the Wikimedia Foundation, they too see this as a threat to free speech and the future of the Internet as a whole.

With protesters already hitting the streets and digital rights advocates already putting pressure to stop the legislation, one question one might ask is just how big will this movement get? It doesn’t take much to figure that others will also join the International movement to put a stop to this legislation.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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