Citizens, NGOs: Oppose EU Commission's Plans Against our Freedoms Online!
The European Commission has begun a process to modify its copyright, patent and trademark enforcement laws with the revision of the IPRED “anti-sharing” directive. By stepping up enforcement in the spirit of the ACTA agreement, the Commission wants to turn Internet companies into a copyright police. This would have disastrous consequences on online free speech, the right to privacy and the right to a fair trial. Every EU citizen and NGO is invited to participate to the consultation process to defend fundamental rights and express their views on alternatives to blind and dangerous enforcement. La Quadrature has published its *draft* answer and a wiki guide to help everyone participate.
The IPRED revision process was biased from the start, relying on false figures and ideological stance propagated by the entertainment industries. In the preliminary documents, the Commission – without any detailed impact assessment of existing law – paves the way for waging a full-on war on sharing and against the Internet. After years of trying to sue and criminalize users, the EU Commission now plans to step up enforcement that circumvents the judiciary, in line with the ACTA agreement.
The objective is to turn Web service providers (search engines, content hosting services, etc.) as well as Internet access providers into a private copyright police. Putting legal pressure on these companies would inevitably lead them to automatically filter and remove online content, even though sharing has a neutral or positive effects on the creative sector, according to a number of independent studies. The Commission's plan is a coarse attempt at legitimizing censorship measures that may serve the narrow interest of obsolete industries, but which will inevitably undermine European citizens' fundamental rights as well as the very architecture of the Internet.
It is essential that a high number of citizens and NGOs take the opportunity to answer the consultation by sending submissions to the Commission before March 31st. A guide is available to help them in that purpose. La Quadrature has released its own draft answer, open for comments, in order to help everyone participate in this decisive consultation.