Dear Online Media Creator,
Thank you for your visit and interest in the Internet freedom cause!
Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, what you do and where you place yourself on the political spectrum, the Internet is our common platform and common treasure, which we all have to care for and make sure it is not taken away from us.
WHY ARE WE ADDRESSING YOU?
Because the Internet freedom is in a great danger. The EU politicians and corporate lobbyists are currently working on the new Copyright Directive (especially article 11 and article 13), commonly known as ACTA2. The matter is very urgent, as the legislative procedure for the proposal is soon about to reach its final stage, whereupon it will be written into law. We hope we can count on your help to avoid such an undesirable outcome.
WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of activists who believe in free exchange of information and fair use of content on the Internet and oppose all attempts to censor and control the Internet in Europe. We may all have different nationality, age, job, gender, skin colour or political views, but we are all Europeans who are united to defend the freedom of the Internet.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED?
The Copyright Directive is a great threat to your online activity, because if it’s passed, you will NOT be able to:
- publish ANY content deemed by automated filters as copyright protected, NOT EVEN a quote, a parody, a meme etc.
- freely promote your own work and creation, as the market will be taken over by the “copyright mafia” – recording labels, largest publishing corporations, collecting societies etc. (as stated by YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki: “It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content”)
- share with your viewers or reuse in your work any audio or video samples of other authors’ tracks, or create your own cover versions of them
- provide links to press and other media release materials, including thumbnails and snippets (headlines, descriptions, pictures, etc. commonly used to attract the viewer).
WHAT MAY HAPPEN THEN?
- Any of your videos could be removed with AI “thinking” it includes copyrighted content. Then your channel or account, on which you spent a lot of time and effort to grow, will receive strikes, be demonetized, suspended or outright deleted.
- The tech giants operating content sharing platforms will have even more incentive to elevate establishment backed and incumbent stars, mainstream contents and subdued narratives, colluding with politicians and special interests on free market and free speech limitations, political correctness and other user-malicious grounds, while growing risk aversion and reluctance to cooperate with small, indie or highly experimental creators. Innovation (artistic, scientific and entrepreneurial alike) and creativity will thus be stifled.
- Upload filters will be scanning all users’ activities to decide if the works include seemingly illegal, copyrighted content.
Are you willing to be subjected to mass surveillance of your online activity by bureaucrats, as well as European and global media syndicates, since they would gain even stronger domination over the market, along with the means and legal mandates?
Please note that it would also affect you as a regular Internet user and consumer – same as all of us.
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT BASED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION?
Well, your viewers ARE. Otherwise we would not have heard about you and have never reached out to you.
Your work and content may be subject to the same regulations and be restricted within the EU territory. Moreover, people from other continents may soon face a similar problem with their local governments following suit if ACTA2 is successfully passed in Europe.
WHAT DO WE DO?
The people of Europe are currently uniting under #StopACTA2 and we are determined to protect the Internet’s promise of a universal free speech platform and to stop the most threatful legislation ever proposed by the European institutions. We wish that the Internet remains the collaborative medium as we know it since its beginnings and that it is not transformed into a one-way traffic broadcast by politicians, lobbyists and special interest groups. We have already organized and we are going to organize further street protests throughout Europe to make sure our voice is heard and the public becomes aware of this problem.
The mainstream media are not covering this issue and the politicians are not talking about it either – let’s force them to do so, so that every European is aware of the looming danger! All details regarding the planned demonstrations will be available at the following link: http://www.stopacta2.org/stopacta2-events/.
The general protest action across the whole Europe is planned for 23rd March 2019.
Everyone can join the #StopACTA2 movement, everyone can help the Internet to remain independent and to protect it from destruction. Our ultimate goal is to pressure the Members of the European Parliament to reject the ACTA2 directive in their final vote (which is about to be scheduled shortly).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Please join us in spreading this information by recording a video, publishing an article or using any means to inform as many people as possible about it. We refrain from requesting specific forms, please use your imagination – surely as a creator you are much more creative than us!
Please also follow media releases and have your say in the public debate. Finally, please feel free to use the stopacta2.org website as a reference and the #StopACTA2 hashtag, and do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance on this matter.
We ask you to treat this issue as a priority and to help us spread the word among your viewers, followers, friends and everyone who cares and wishes to continue using the Internet and mutually benefit from it in the same ways. This is the last call to unite and act, as only together we can prevent the disaster.
CAN WE STILL STOP ACTA2?
Yes, we can! Good news is that we are not alone, our mission is supported by many organisations, academic and technological circles, professionals and artists who also oppose the menacing ACTA2 and have joined us in our battle. The number of ordinary people of Europe who enjoy the freedom of Internet and are consciously on our side is also constantly growing.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND OUT MORE?
Please see our repository where we have gathered all essential information and references in one place: https://www.stopacta2.org/repository/. You will find source texts, petitions, statements and expert analyses there.
CAN I SUPPORT YOU FINANCIALLY?
We highly appreciate your commitment, but we at #StopACTA2 are nothing but a group of volunteers, working in our private time and free of charge, only united around a good cause. We also do not keep any official structures, do not run any financial budget and therefore we DO NOT ACCEPT any donations from anyone. This policy is also necessary to keep the independence and transparency of our movement and protect it from outside influence.
We ask for your time – not money.
If you are eager to support the cause financially, we ask you to come and meet us at a demonstration, bring a banner, buy a commercial service (e.g. a #StopACTA2 billboard or online advert), etc.
We truly appreciate your engagement to achieve our common goal and we are convinced that together we can succeed and protect the Internet from authoritarian regulations.
With best regards,
The StopACTA2 Team