On 12 September 2018, the members of the European Parliament will vote on a revision of European copyright. The new copyright laws have prominent proponents and opponents. Lawyer Stefan Kulk (School of Law) and data specialist Mirko Schäfer (Utrecht Data School) are critical of these new laws: “The proposed reforms contain a number of disturbing elements that can influence the way in which citizens use the World Wide Web,” Schäfer says.
What is it actually about and is the criticism justified, or is it actually good that there will be new copyright laws that are more befitting the digital era that we live in?
News publishers and interest groups for writers and journalists are happy with the new laws, but especially Articles 11 and 13 face much criticism. Politicians, civil-rights groups and internet pioneers spoke out against the Articles, alleging that the Internet is going to be “destroyed”. Schäfer says: “Critics make a convincing case that the proposed revision can lead to censorship, violates privacy, can restrict access to information and smothers technological innovation. Disproportionate measures are being adopted to address copyright violations.”