Poland Fights Back Against EU Internet Copyright Directive

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JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
LUCAS NOLAN

Poland has officially filed a complaint against the European Union’s recent copyright directive, claiming that it will cause unwanted censorship.

Reuters reports that Poland has taken a stand against the controversial copyright directive recently approved by the European Union, filing a complaint this week with the Court of Justice of the European Union. According to Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski, the “system may result in adopting regulations that are analogous to preventive censorship, which is forbidden not only in the Polish constitution but also in the EU treaties.”

When the copyright directive was voted on in Poland, Polish MPs mostly rejected the measure with a vote of two abstentions, eight for the motion, 33 against, and six no-votes and two missing.  The copyright directive was approved by the Council of the European Union in April and will go into effect on June 7, 2019. E.U. member states have until June 7, 2021, to develop their own laws to implement the directive. Many have pointed out issues with the new directive which is designed to update current copyright laws.

One main issue with the directive is Article 11, referred to as a “link tax,” which will allow publishers to charge platforms such as Google and Facebook to display news stories. Article 13 also holds platforms liable for content that infringes on other individuals copyright. As a result, websites such as Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube are worried that the copyright directive could directly affect how these sites operate.

These sites would have to actively develop a system to constantly search for and remove any copyrighted content posted to their platforms. The issue with this is that these systems are often open to abuse from copyright trolls, this is already an issue on YouTube where many videos are unfairly removed over false copyright claims.

Reporters for the Verge,  James Vincent, and Russell Brandom, stated in an article discussing the copyright laws last year that implementing such a feature “would be ripe for abuse by copyright trolls and would make millions of mistakes. The technology simply doesn’t exist to scan the internet’s content in this way.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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