Hello everyone, TL;DR. We are writing to you today to share some updates about Wikimedia’s involvement in the European Union’s current Copyright Reform. After the European Parliament voted to reject a specific proposal in July, the Parliament will vote on a final version of the proposal on September 12. Many Wikimedia chapters, user groups, and community organized around the last vote so we have provided resources this time around to help with messaging, including a website (fixcopyright.wikimedia.org) where people in Europe can contact their representatives in the European Parliament.
Some background. In 2016, the European Commission released a proposal to update and harmonize copyright across the European Union (EU). Instead of modernizing copyright law, the proposal added greater inhibitions to participation online and failed to include a few key exceptions that would legalize the many valid uses of copyright- protected content that European citizens engage in every day. Since the initial proposal, the Commission proposal has gone through a few revisions, the most recent of which was by a subcommittee of Parliament called the JURI Committee. This version included a provision, Article 13, which would have mandated that nearly all platforms which host user-generated content pre-filter any uploads, creating a system which would result in overbroad copyright takedowns and create a potential mechanism for future government censorship of content. Because of the important consequences this would have on free expression on the internet, many voices from both the digital rights and human rights communities spoke out against this proposal. As a result of this pressure, the European Parliament voted to reject this version of the text on July 5, and to leave the original Commission proposal open for amendments to be proposed and voted on in early September. This leads us to where we are now -- new amendments were proposed on September 5 (we are still gathering and analyzing these currently) and a vote on which amendment to adopt will take place on September 12. Wikimedia’s position. Wikimedia’s stance on the direction of copyright reform is simple: reform must acknowledge and embrace the many ways that EU citizens use the internet already, instead of trying to entrench outdated copyright norms. What this means practically is that no regulations should be passed that would force platforms to pre-filter user uploads. We also support the inclusion of safeguards and exceptions for public domain works, freedom of panorama, user-generated content, and text and data mining which protect ordinary uses of the internet like sharing photographs of public spaces, conducting research, and creating and sharing educational content. Even when these provisions may not impact Wikipedia directly, Wikipedia exists as a part of a greater internet ecosystem which would benefit greatly from a positive direction for EU copyright. Wikimedia’s involvement. In the weeks leading up to the vote on July 5, the Wikimedia Foundation and European chapters published several statements warning of the dangers that pre-filtering content posed to the collection and sharing of knowledge on the internet. These efforts culminated in the independent decision of several European-language Wikipedias to black out their sites for a day to show their commitment to an internet where everyone can find and share knowledge. After the European Parliament rejected the JURI version of the text, we regrouped, reaching out to community leaders to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what resources would be needed for communities that want to speak out about European copyright. Based on these consultations, we have created a landing page, available at fixcopyright.wikimedia.org which includes a short introduction and call to action as well as a feature to allow users to search for and contact their MEPs via email, phone, or Twitter. The landing page is currently available in 4 languages, and allows users to contact almost all 751 MEPs. We're working right now on getting it translated in more languages. While some campaign pages have focused on targeting specific undecided or opposition MEPs, we felt it was important for the Wikimedia community in particular to feel fully represented in this campaign. There is also a secondary informational page on Meta where we have gathered some information and resources for the community to use in their messaging. In turn, we are asking community members to add any new blog posts, chapter statements, or resources that they have created to this secondary page as well so it can truly encapsulate the Wikimedia movement’s work on this subject. What you can do. Our main goal over the next week is to publicize this page and our position as widely as possible -- this is a grassroots mobilization campaign, and therefore we need to see a large amount of engagement with the “Contact Your MEP” tool for this to be effective. If you are an EU citizen, please use the tool! If you feel so obliged, you can also support by engaging in our #fixcopyright social media campaign and linking to the page, or by sharing as statement by Wikimedia Foundation Board Chair María Sefidari Huici statement which also includes the link to our landing page. Questions? If you have any questions about this campaign, or would like to get involved in the translation of our resources, please contact me directly at jgerl...@wikimedia.org or subscribe to the public policy mailing list to discuss. Best, Jan  http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-593-EN-F1-1.PDF  https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/09/13/european-commission-copyright-leaks/  https://www.liberties.eu/en/news/delete-article-thirteen-open-letter/13194  https://edri.org/press-release-meps-ignore-expert-advice-and-vote-for-mass-internet-censorship/  https://blog.wikimedia.org/2018/07/05/european-parliament-votes-against-copyright-proposal/  https://blog.wikimedia.org/2018/06/25/time-is-running-out-to-defend-user-rights-online/  https://blog.wikimedia.de/2017/11/20/nofilter-bedrohen-geplante-upload-filter-die-wikipedia/  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_vote_in_2018  https://fixcopyright.wikimedia.org/  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fix_copyright  https://wikimediafoundation.org/2018/09/04/internet-under-threat-european-copyright-reform/  https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/publicpolicy == Jan Gerlach Sr. Public Policy Manager Wikimedia Foundation 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600 San Francisco, CA 94104 jgerl...@wikimedia.org @pd_w <https://twitter.com/pd_w> @wikimediapolicy <https://twitter.com/wikimediapolicy> _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>