This is a friendly message from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

ACT NOW! In six days, the EU will decide whether to sell Europe's Internet to US tech giants.

On Wednesday, 12 September, the European Parliament will debate and vote on the new Copyright Directive, including two proposals that are so badly thought-out that they constitute an extinction-level event for the Internet as we know it. You can make a difference!

Under discussion are “censorship machines” (Article 13, forcing all user-generated text, video, photos, code, etc through copyright filters that anyone can add anything to; anything on the list is automatically censored) and “the link tax” (platforms can’t generate preview snippets for news links without a license; proponents want this to extend even to the title — which might be in the link itself).

Both proposals are ripe for abuse, and both will cost hundreds of millions of euros to comply with — money that is only available to the largest tech companies in the world, mostly based in the USA. Companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

These companies already enjoy a near-monopoly over the Internet. Articles 11 and 13 amount to a legally backed license to continue those monopolies forever, in exchange for a paltry few millions tossed at the largest European entertainment companies and newspaper proprietors.

Link taxes and censorship machines have been rejected by the EU’s own technical experts, by the Internet’s inventors, by the UN special rapporteur on human rights — even the recently retired, 26-year CEO of Universal Music France has publicly denounced them.

American Big Tech may have a monopoly over the Internet, but they don’t have a monopoly over good ideas for improving it. Call, tweet and email your MEP today, and then sit down with at least two European friends and get them to participate, too.

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Thank you,

Cory Doctorow
Electronic Frontier Foundation

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