What you need to know about ACTA 2
The Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market has many names on the Internet. Here are some of them: #CopyrightDirective, #SaveYourInternet, #SaveTheInternet, # Article11, # Article13, #UploadFilters, #LinkTax, #Filternet, #CensorshipMachines. We call it “ACTA 2”, because ACTA in the online community is a synonym of an attempt to legalize censorship of the Internet. The directive was supposed to update the copyright protection regulations to help the creators. Unfortunately, the legislators went a different path and prepared legal solutions that would destroy the Internet as we know it. #ACTA2 will force the EU to create an AI super infrastructure that will automatically censor online content before it will be posted. Each portal and application (desktop or mobile) will need to be connected to it avoid the economic risk of being financially liable for a post or comment (even by comming from an anonymous user) of protected content.
Today, this infrastructure will be used to protect copyrights in a radicle way. Unfortunately, ACTA 2 not only enforces the creation of censorship infrastructure, it also introduces a precedent to the European legal system, allowing for preventive censorship of content. Because of this tomorrow, this infrastructure and legal precedent will be used to censor moral content. Already, the European Commission is preparing legal solutions in forms of different directives that will use ACTA2 to censor content about organizations considered to be “radical”. Recently popular topic in the EU is hate speech and “fake news”. Right now there are ideas of “filtering”, and blocking of this type of content aswell.
If ACTA2 comes into force, it can be used to filter and block (censor) any type of content in the EU. From that moment, there will be no way back.
Article 15 – the #linktax is an effort of corporate lobbing. It gives extra copyrights to press, requiring a license from the publisher for anyone who would like to use even the shortest fragment from a press relies or an article – this also refers to link snippets (the title, description and picture in a link). In effect Article 11 will kill all independent media and online polemic.
Article 17 – the #uploadfilters dumps the responsibility for posts & comments from the authors to the owners of the websites. It offers a tool to help the owners of website to filter the content – a filtering IT infrastructure that all website will need to connect to. This filter will censor all content which will consider that violate copyrights before the post or comment will go public.
Why is ACTA 2 so dangerous?
The temptation is great with such power. The infrastructure once operative, can be used to filter and block any kind of content the powers controlling it choose too and there will be no going back. YES! Today’s copyright laws aren’t great. YES! they need a change. But a change for the better and ACTA2 is a change leading to an authoritarian system.
ACTA2 Time table
- 20th June 2018 - Vote of the Legal council JURI of the European Parliament - [passed]
- 5th July 2018 (rejected): Parliament votes on the negotiation mandate
- 12 September 2018 (passed): The Parliament gets a debate and a final vote on the issue before sending the dossier to the individual member states for a final decision. - [passed]
- 13 December 2018: Trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament - [passed]
- 8 February 2019: Vote of the Council of the European Union - [passed]
- 14 February 2019 :Vote of the Legal council JURI of the European Parliament - [passed]
- 23 March 2019: European Wide Action Day - Protests all over Europe against #ACTA2
- 25 March 2019: Final vote on the issue in the European Parliament