The EU is advancing their censorship directive to become law in all of its 28 member-states. The directive will end up censoring the Internet for everyone, not just for Europeans.
Under Article 13 of the new Directive, anyone who operates a platform where people can post works that might be copyrighted will have to crowdsource a database of “copyrighted works” so users aren’t allowed to post anything that seems to match one of the database entries.
These blacklist databases will be open to anyone who wants to make a copyright claim. The Directive does not specify any punishment for false claims to a copyright. If for example, a person doesn’t like a post for any reason, they could make a false claim that the post had violated a copyright. The blacklist database would be open to this false claim abuse and vast censorship from it.
The major targets of this censorship plan are social media platforms. Any platform with EU users will have to address this problem. In order to conform to the new EU rules these platforms will have to pick and choose what information is available to which users. Censoring conversations and news stories if someone wants to claim they are copyrighted materials.
With Article 13, the EU would create a system where copyright complainants are empowered to censor the internet and people who abuse this power face no penalties, and where platforms that err on the side of free speech will be punished.
Image: "Free the Internet - Stop online censorship!" by Filip Triner is licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0