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Open internet lives to fight on through summer

News item

Friday 6 Jul 2018

 

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, hailed the vote in the European Parliament to bring a new directive governing online copyright back to the drawing board, a success.

Ms. Childers had tabled amendments in the specific committee, in opposition to provisions known as the ‘link tax’ and the ‘internet filter’, and was one of the members who tabled the request to halt the current procedure and allow the proposal to be further amended.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the positive vote on that request, Ms. Childers said:

“We voted to put this draft law on hold and allow for further scrutiny and amendments rather than green-lighting it in its current form and taking it to the negotiating table with the Council of EU Member States.

“I am relieved to see that a majority of colleagues heeded the call of those of us who see great danger in arts. 11 and 13 for the internet as we know it.

“This piece of legislation has been the object of an extraordinary lobby battle on both sides, and, while I understand the legitimate demand that creators be properly remunerated for their work, this is a wrongheaded expedient.

“Big media conglomerates have been pushing for neighbouring rights of dubious benefit to the journalists who toil for them, at the expense of the ways we share information with each other online.

“Also, we would be effectively compelling online platforms to pre-emptively screen all user uploaded content on pain of being held liable for individuals’ copyrights infringements.  Platforms would be forced to police and censor individual uploads and, if in doubt, block them to stay on the right side of the law.

“I have often been a lonely voice among Irish MEPs on matters that affect Big Tech’s bottom line, such as corporate taxation, but there is much more at stake here than the fact that major technology firms see the dangers in this proposal.

“That is why I took the advice of experts such as Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, and countless academics, and took a step to help reverse the course of this law.

“I hope we will now get the chance to turn it around after summer.”

ENDS