MEPs from all major political groups in the European Parliament joined me for a campaign video warning of negative consequences of a provision of the planned EU copyright reform.

We are sending a message to today’s meeting of the Council’s working group on intellectual property, in which the EU member state governments are seeking consensus on the European Commission’s controversial proposal: Upload filters as foreseen by Article 13 would function as “censorship machines”.

Our message:

Imagine if every time you opened your mouth, computers controlled by big companies would check what you were about to say, and have the power to prevent you from saying it.

A new legal proposal would make this a reality  when it comes to expressing yourself online: Every clip and every photo would have to be pre-screened by some automated “robocop” before it could be uploaded and seen online.

In the European Parliament, we’ve been fighting against upload filters.
Fighting against the establishment of such censorship machines.
Fighting to defend your freedom of speech.

We want to have the internet as a free, open public space.

Upload filters are completely disproportionate!
And we know that these automated systems are not perfect.
There will be probably many unintended consequences.

We’ve seen filters fail again and again. They’ve deleted everything from documentation of human rights abusesperfectly legal educational content, and, in one case, even a video of a purring cat!

When I uploaded a political speech here in the European Parliament, YouTube took it down – and I still don’t know why or on what grounds.

Filters can’t tell the difference whether you’re breaking the law or actually exercising your human rights.
They will block first and ask questions later. You’ll be guilty until proven innocent. Big companies will hold all of the power.

Only the biggest platforms can afford them – European competitiors and small businesses will struggle.

They will not help artists get paid.

The good news is: We can still stop these plans!

The most important vote is still to come. We need you to raise your voice now!

Speak out …while you can still do so unfiltered!

The MEPs


The European Commission’s proposal to obligate internet platforms to implement content recognition technologies has proven highly controversial, with NGOs including Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders warning of excessive restrictions on citizens’ fundamental rights.

In both the Parliament and Council, opinions are widely split. As Bulgaria takes over the Council Presidency, it is trying to build a consensus for the introduction of upload filters, despite fundamental doubts expressed by many member states.

The crucial vote in the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee is currently scheduled for March 26/27, 2018.

What you can do

  1. Share the video with your friends
  2. Tell people who will be affected, such as YouTube content creators
  3. Call your MEP using the ChangeCopyright or SaveTheMeme tools – this is most effective!
  4. Email your MEP using the SaveTheLink tool
  5. Ask your local media why this is not in the news – starting with technology and political media
  6. Reach out to your local digital rights defenders and offer your help to campaign against this nationally

To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

One comment

  1. 1

    What you are fighting for is incredibly important. I truly hope that enough of the EU parliamentary members have enough intelligence to join you to defeat this insanity!