‘Save the Internet’: 1,000-strong rallies against EU copyright bill hit European cities (VIDEO)
Europe saw massive rallies on Saturday with countless protesters united by a motto ‘Save our Internet’. In Germany alone, as many as forty demonstrations took place. Munich and Berlin were the venues for the largest protests, with 40,000 and 30,000 people taking part.
Many were seen holding hand-made banners that read “We are not bots,” “Make art not articles” or “Yes to copyright, not to censorship.”
The rallies took place as the European Parliament is set to vote for the EU Copyright Directive. The bill brings existing copyright legislation up-to-date with the demands of the digital age but features clauses that courted controversy among users.
One clause, Article 13, in the directive demands that various online platforms be legally responsible for users that upload copyright-infringing content. Critics argue that the only way to do so is to scrutinize content before it is uploaded, leading to installing filters that will likely be prone to errors.
The rallies specifically targeted Article 13 and addressed fears that filtering content will eventually lead to censorship.
Taking a stand by marching in Gothenburg today to protect the internet as we know it from Article 17.❤️ I love you, Internet. For shaping me into the person I am today. I will always fight for a free Internet. #SaveTheInternet#article17#göteborgpic.twitter.com/Nc0gHOMms4— Maral (@_Maral) March 23, 2019
Other European cities have also hosted similar rallies with people uploading photos under a #SaveTheInternet hashtag.
The #Piraten Party is a www of Political Parties with deep roots in EU. https://t.co/ymnevwENMe : Pirates are for Freedom of Speech, Transparent Government and Privacy to the People. Today we have our Act Together. We #SavetheInternet !https://t.co/wnJ2p0qokqpic.twitter.com/Uq9sqH5RyZ— Delete MassSurveillance (@falsel_net) March 23, 2019
Frequently-visited websites and online services followed suit earlier this week protesting the controversial changes. German, Czech, Danish, and Slovak Wikipedias went dark for one day to take a stand on the kind of issue that “may impact Wikipedia and the broader free and open internet.”
Do you know about Article 13? It's a proposed EU copyright rule that forces platforms to police all uploads just to be safe. You can help stop this from becoming reality. Find out how at https://t.co/Ta17UuBzw4pic.twitter.com/Wb5ZHUIRnV— Wikipedia (@Wikipedia) March 21, 2019
Meanwhile, any users uploading content on Reddit are shown the following notice.
From now till 3/23, EU redditors will get a glimpse of what's in store if the new EU Copyright Directive passes. TL;DR: It sucks.Learn more about how to contact your MEP and what else you can do to #saveyourinternet: https://t.co/rAk40t5WdNpic.twitter.com/P5mV1XBgqC— Reddit (@reddit) March 20, 2019
Adding to the website blackouts and the demonstrations, more than five million netizens have signed a Change.org petition calling to withdraw Article 13.
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