Europe’s planned copyright changes are Really Bad for fanfic sites





I mean you’ve probably got that impression already but honestly, they are really, really bad. Especially if you like uploading fanfiction to websites like AO3.

At the moment, the way the law is phrased is likely to mean everything you upload in Europe, to any website that allows user-created content, will need to be automatically scanned for copyright violations.

You know YouTube’s automatic content filter? Imagine having that for the entire internet. We already know that copyright trolls exploit YouTube’s system in a bunch of ways, making money off user content they have no actual rights to, and shutting down legitimate user content.

But here’s where it gets worse: Websites that host user-generated content – including fanfiction – will be responsible for putting those filters in place and maintaining them themselves.

This law would in all likelihood require AO3 to implement a system which monitors every single work uploaded in Europe for copyright violations, before they can be shared on the Archive.

We’re talking full-on “robotic censorship regime”, as the Electronic Frontier Federation puts it. 

Not only would that be that icky and invasive. Not only would it ignore the complexity of copyright exceptions like Fair Dealing. Not only would it be easy to exploit by copyright trolls. It would also be a massive, massive burden on an organisation staffed entirely by volunteers. The sheer volume of work AO3’s coders, wranglers, and policy and abuse staff take on – for free, in their own time – is already staggering.

And while AO3 is a pretty robust archive, and might miraculously be able to find the resources to comply with this ridiculous law, there are many, many smaller websites out there that would seriously struggle. Other non-profits, libraries, and archives, who would all have to either build automatic content filters from the ground up – or more likely, pay for off-the-shelf “solutions” that are overpriced and ineffective.

The OTW are doing their best to fight this change, and this EFF post also has links to a bunch of ways in which you personally can help lobby against this terrible law.

The European Parliament’s legal committee has just voted (in June 2018) to press forward with the law, but we’ve probably still got until at least early 2019 before the whole Parliament votes on it. The timing is about as good as it gets – the next European Parliament election is expected in May 2019, so our MEPs are going to be worrying about re-election right when we need to put pressure on them (that’s now!).

Europe has managed to reject bad legislation in the past. We can do it again this time. Please do what you can to spread the word or get involved!

European followers: please, please sign the petitions, call/write to your MEPs, everythings that’s necessary. Your voice matters.

We should stop this shit!!!

This was submitted to us by a follower. Reblogging for awareness for our fellow EU sinners! 

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