On March 23 – 28, the European Parliament will vote on the new copyright law and the international wave of protests against the project is growing. In particular article 11 and 13 are being criticized to change the use of the Internet as we know it. The authors of the German Wikipedia will take a stand against the reform by organizing a total blackout of the German-speaking encyclopedia on March 21st.
With article 13, Internet hosting providers and content platforms will be held responsible that no copyrighted work will be republished after they have become aware of it. This effectively forces them to set up upload filters, which by their nature both will be expensive and error-prone. Publication of creative content will be severely restricted because even the smallest detail of a photo or video, for example on a poster in the background, could violate copyright law. These restrictions would seriously restrict the freedom of expression, making satire and parody videos, gameplay or reviews, as well as the publication of memes very difficult to impossible.
Article 11 would introduce a “Link tax”, where reproducing more than “single words or very short extracts” of news stories will be subject to license and fee. No exceptions will be made even for services run by individuals, small companies or non-profits, which could result in a further concentration on a few large media publishers.
To protest against these controversial points, Wikipedia authors call for political resistance against the controversial reform of the copyright law: On March 21st, the German-language edition of Wikipedia will be completely switched off.
Wikimedia CH is actively supporting the Swiss initiative “Allianz faires Urheberrecht” for a just copyright. Please take a minute to visit the website and support the campaign: www.Faires-Urheberrecht.ch.