NEWS FROM OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
EU COPYRIGHT VOTE A ‘MASSIVE BLOW’ FOR INTERNET USERS
MEPs have today voted to press ahead with a controversial copyright crackdown in a ‘massive blow’ for all internet users. Despite a petition with over 5million signatures and scores of protests across Europe attended by tens of thousands of people, MEPs voted by 348 to 274 in favour of the changes. It is expected to lead to the introduction of ‘filters’ on sites such as YouTube, which will automatically remove content that could be copyrighted. While entertainment footage is most likely to be affected, academics fear it could also restrict the sharing of knowledge, and critics argue it will have a negative impact on freedom of speech and expression online. EU member states will have two years to implement the law, and the regulations are still expected to affect the UK despite Brexit.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “This vote is a massive blow for every internet user in Europe. “MEPs have rejected pleas from millions of EU citizens to save the internet, and chose instead to restrict freedom of speech and expression online. “We now risk the creation of a more closed society at the very time we should be using digital advances to build a more open world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few. “But while this result is deeply disappointing, the forthcoming European elections provide an opportunity for candidates to stand on a platform to seek a fresh mandate to reject this censorship.”
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ABOUT OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
The Open Knowledge Foundation helps governments, universities, and civil society organisations reach their full potential by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use, and understand data. We are the experts in opening up knowledge: we created the Open Definition in 2005, the gold standard for open data, and have over ten years of experience in addressing technological, legal and social challenges around open data. We believe in a world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few.
We deliver technology solutions, enhance data literacy, provide cutting-edge research and mobilise communities to provide value for a wide range of international clients. Our track record includes the development of pioneering databases for fiscal and medical transparency, world leading open data benchmarks such as the Global Open Data Index, and data training programs with key non-profit organisations such as Global Witness. We work with a range of international NGOs, such as Transparency International, as well as governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, United States, Panama, and Sweden.
Read more here: https://okfn.org
The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. It is incorporated in England & Wales as a company limited by guarantee, with company number 05133759. Registered office address: 86 - 90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE, UK.