Creative Commons is against article 13:

It’s an extreme dragnet that will harm creativity and fundamental rights. Delete it.

GitHub, Debian, LibreOffice, SUSE, KDE are against it.

[It] fundamentally undermines the foundations upon which Free and Open Source Software is built.

160 companies (representing startups which generate 9.5% of total European GDP and 2.5% of the labour market) are against it:

we urge you to vote for a public debate on the Directive and, therefore, against the negotiating mandate

Snowden is against it:

If you are from the European Union, get active now, go to pledge2019.eu and ask your representative to #SaveYourInternet

EFF is against it:

News that you're not allowed to discuss

Article 11, which allows news sites to decide who can link to their stories and charge for permission to do so, has also been worsened. The final text clarifies that any link that contains more than "single words or very short extracts" from a news story must be licensed, with no exceptions for noncommercial users, nonprofit projects, or even personal websites with ads or other income sources, no matter how small.

Should Stack Exchange do something about it?

SE is willing to help as long as it doesn't end in them lobbying actively:

Is this worth a blog post? Is it worth a call to action? Anything even remotely political tends to behave in a very volatile way within our community and we're .. well, reluctant to use the company voice for those purposes without some call for it.

But all we can do is remind folks in the EU that they do have a voice, but other organizations are already doing that, would adding one more logo to it really help? (That's not a rhetorical question).

The answer is: You tell us. If it's reasonable and our legal eagles sign off on it, it'll get done.

Should we as individuals do something about it?

European Digital Rights suggests we email the Legislators:

Latest Developments [6 March – 10h15 CET]

On 5 March, S&D Group Chair, MEP Udo Bullmann, tweeted that the S&D wants a thorough debate on the copyright reform and cannot support moving forward the vote. MEP Gabriele Zimmer, Chair of the GUE/NGL Group, also tweeted a similar message, but warned that opposition from the S&D, Greens/EFA and her own group is not sufficient. Therefore, it remains important to maintain pressure on the other political groups.

MEP Manfred Weber, the EPP Group Chair, made a statement claiming that the copyright reform vote will remain scheduled for the Week of 25 March. As a reaction, German MEPs Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) and Tiemo Wölken (S&D) have asked the EPP to formally withdraw its request to move the vote forward from the agenda of the 7 March meeting of the Conference of Presidents. This has yet to happen.

Any other suggestions?

Should we or SE do nothing?

If so please post an answer explaining why we shouldn't.

  • 6
    Don't worry. I've been in my meme generating factory working tirelessly on the MOAM. Once ready, I'll launch it over Brussels and wipe the city clean of bureaucrat filth.
    – user1228
    Mar 6 '19 at 19:52
  • Seeing this question is very poorly perceived I'd like some feedback as to why. Could downvoters leave a commend and explain please?
    – user
    Mar 7 '19 at 4:06
  • 8
    @Fermiparadox I can’t speak for the other downvoters, but I downvoted because I don’t want SE to shove a political position in our faces again (regardless of whether or not I agree with the position).
    – NobodyNada
    Mar 7 '19 at 6:47
  • 2
    You left out a fairly important bullet point in Tim Post's answer you quoted. Namely, "We don't really have a voice here. We are potentially affected, but we're not a constituent. That stinks." Mar 7 '19 at 10:00
  • 3
    @NobodyNada This sounds reasonable, although IMHO in 5-10 years people will miss the days of free speech and regret their inaction.
    – user
    Mar 7 '19 at 11:14
  • 2
    I would agree with @NobodyNada; I agree with this being bad, but I also don't want SE to jam more politics into the site. I also disagree with your stance that inaction or ignoring it will lead to a doomsday scenario. Argue for it if you want, but don't use fear and doom; it's a pretty weak position.
    – fbueckert
    Mar 7 '19 at 14:22
  • @fbueckert Fair point as well. So it's a) no SE and politics and b) i am exaggerating. This probably explains all the downvotes. Regarding exaggeration, for what it's worth titles like this by CC and their tweet "today is a dark day for the web" are a good indication of the severity. This is the second heavy blow of EU on free speech. If people didn't see the previous one, then they (think they) benefit from it and didn't even notice. I can't even discuss it without being labeled a half a dozen insults.
    – user
    Mar 7 '19 at 14:58
  • 4
    Ehh...it seems you're taking this a lot more personally than you should. This is important; nobody is disputing that. But...if your audience isn't receptive, then insulting and berating them isn't going to magically make them listen. People only have so much energy to devote to causes, worthy, personal, or otherwise. Everything has it's place; this doesn't seem to be it for Article 13.
    – fbueckert
    Mar 7 '19 at 16:14
  • @fbueckert Nope, there were no insults. I was being blunt: people are biased and act based on their perceived self-interest. I am no exception to this. That's a fact and I will not censor myself since I despise political correctness and I love long-term happiness of people.
    – user
    Mar 12 '19 at 21:20
  • 1
    Also, I didn't say it in order to attack and somehow change others' opinions. I simply explained what is going on and why.
    – user
    Mar 12 '19 at 21:26
  • 1
    @NobodyNada In this case, the politics are tying to censor the internet! this should not be ignored anywhere!
    – Ben
    Mar 13 '19 at 23:08
  • 1
    This doesn't sound good. youtube.com/watch?v=J4DhecQQjdM
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 26 '19 at 17:57
  • @Mr.Wizard wait what? So one of the main goals was to strengthen main stream media and attack other small media websites?! This doesn't look like a side effect. It was intended! China-tier censorship here we come.
    – user
    Mar 26 '19 at 20:06
  • @Fermi I haven't read the law, I don't know if this is all hype, but I wish I had been paying better attention. Here's another video on this. youtube.com/watch?v=2VHv0Nsajoc
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 27 '19 at 0:11
  • 1
    @Mr.Wizard It was never a secret that this is primarily to strenghten the failing business model of traditional media. They essentially want to recieve a cut anytime anyone disseminates their news online, and this is what they lobbied for to achieve that.
    – Magisch
    Mar 27 '19 at 9:32

This answer is outdated!


On 26 March 2019, all 750 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted an EU copyright reform that forces upload filters onto the Internet, as Article 17 (ex Art. 13) was not deleted. The next step is the final approval of the Council (= EU Member States) at the Ministerial level, which is expected in April. Check here for more information about how your MEPs voted on 26 March.


I will post a new answer as soon as more information is available.

PS: Media in my country are now regularly posting on how "dangerous fake news is". Out of 5 newspapers only 1 has tangentially mentioned Article 13. They are preparing their audience for its implementation. This propaganda is surreal.

(outdated answer below)

If all the companies mentioned above (including Creative Commons whose very license we are currently using) can't convince you of the importance of article 13.. I guess nothing will.

Keep in mind that the social credit score dystopia in China along with its massive surveillance didn't happen in a day.

Sidenote: Interestingly enough similar cases of massive censorship (SOPA, net neutrality) have posts with +500 to +800 upvotes. Yet this question got -10. Is it because Article 13 is outside the US? Was it random (seeing negative votes making it more likely to down-vote)?

One of the actions proposed by Save Your Internet is to email your Members of the European Parliament. You can select your country:

enter image description here

Then you can see the Members that are for or against article 13 along with contact info:

enter image description here

There are also a lot of useful tips, including how to customize your message as to refute the claim that the whole protest comes from "bots".

  • 3
    No need to pull in the issues of another nation to make your point here.
    – Bart
    Mar 6 '19 at 21:18
  • 2
    @Bart you mean China? What is the problem with bringing it up?
    – user
    Mar 7 '19 at 4:05
  • 3
    Re your sidenote: The practicality of organizing political action against legislation that directly affects SE as a constituent probably played a substantial role, but also at that time SE had not offended and disturbed many users with divisive political messages. Now, after Love Overflows and Time to Take a Stand, a lot of folks are a lot less enthusiastic about political activism on SE. Mar 20 '19 at 17:45

I feel that individuals need to just simply make efforts to block all European traffic. In my opinion, this is the perfect way to respond for all parties involved. Not blocking traffic from Europe will affect our online behaviors. In my opinion, this is a "move it or lose" moment in internet history. Moreover, if we pass this test, we could really be in a great position to advance as a culture on the planet.

The European Union has embarked on a process that's not good for anyone, not even it's own organization. To capitulate to them would be to allow them to diminish themselves in a cycle of entropy that might not see a conclusion. We've come too far as a species with an ever growing base of knowledge spread over and touching so many lives to turn around for a few sub-par content providers who happen to be winning a zero sum game of currency collection. Think of the lost diversity of informed decisions from all socio-economic classes. This is what man has been fighting for all along. We've got one of the greatest things of all, now, we must decide if we want to give it back through inaction.

If we try to get along with the EU directives, we'll be looking at an internet that will be worse for all. Certainly, Europe has a responsibility to rid themselves of this cancerous legal framework, but for as long as we judge them from afar, we are just as responsible as they are if we choose to do nothing. Blocking as much European traffic possible will give the internet at least a pocket of freedom of expression that Europeans (and anyone else for that matter) can still enjoy while vacationing outside of Europe or any totalitarian state. Moreover, if the European Union gets away with policing the internet, whose to say they'll stop at article 11 or 13? I feel this in direct response to populism in Europe. Allowing Europe's wealthy class to crush the voice of the lower classes will surely exacerbate inequity among people in Europe born in Europe and elsewhere. Think of all of the untrue things we'll all have to say is true to keep our internet citizenship. Moreover, internet citizens will be tirelessly trying to read and interpret the letter of the laws, when that time could have been spent examining the motivations behind the law. Moreover, examining their motivations might even lead to a clearer understanding of just what the laws are to begin with.

We have the power to transfer information from one corner of the globe to the other in the blink of an eye. The question now is, "What quality do we want that information to be?" Do we want to give quality information or the best we are allowed to give? Constipating the internet would be the biggest mistake mankind has ever made in our history. Imagine any other generation of mankind seeing us give into our worse nature and sacrificing that which could set us all free. Other generations had problems that they couldn't imagine the answers to. Now we have answers to questions that we never knew we should have had.

And lest we forget Aaron Swartz in the middle of all of this. If the European Union or any other government for that matter is allowed to put roadblocks on the internet, I don't want to hear of anyone petitioning them for some power back in some small form. Just look at what happened to Aaron Swartz. We have already sacrificed too much in the name of tolerance for government/corporate gate keeping. Let's keep the internet the terrible and wonderful place it is because anything else will be a great leap backwards.

Lastly, I am seeing many more down votes on my answer than participants in the comments. Everywhere I go, I am expressing this opinion. I am trying to win as many people over to my position as I can. I'm asking everyone with a website to adopt my position (not just this SE). If my position is wrong, you have knowledge as to how it is wrong, and I'm not seeing it, you should bring it to my attention so I give up this position.

  • 1
    "In my opinion, this is the perfect way to respond for all parties involved." Some might argue that cutting website traffic by, say, 30-40% overall is less than "perfect" for that site. Others might point out that the EU citizens that disagreed with the decision, yet still can't access the site, aren't getting a "perfect" experience. "but for as long as we judge them from afar, we are just as responsible as they are if we choose to do nothing." Not so, but far otherwise. Every country is responsible for its own foolishness, nobody else's. Mar 29 '19 at 8:08
  • 4
    We don't block traffic from China, North Korea or Iran... but you want to block traffic from the EU because of a law they democratically passed in their parliament? Way to go to show that you stand for freedom.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 29 '19 at 9:42
  • 7
    This is an excellent way to harm the people who were actively trying to prevent the passing of Article 13, while doing little-to-nothing to impact those that were actually responsible for getting it passed. Also proposing to block traffic in the name of freedom is rather... ironic?
    – CharonX
    Mar 29 '19 at 10:13
  • 1
    nvoigt, China, North Korea and Iran have not sought to reduce or do away with the ability to share links in the free world either. I feel your assumption about China, North Korea, and Iran doing the same thing as Europe is flawed. Those countries might try to limit their citizens access with blockers, but they have not sought to impose their laws on the rest of the world either which SHOULD tell you all you need to know about where the EU stands as a planetary citizen. Mar 29 '19 at 13:35
  • CharonX, Allowing the EU to infringe on the freedom of expression in areas it has no jurisdiction over will hurt everyone including the Europeans who tried to stop it. I feel we need to debate this further if we're not agreeing on this point. Moreover, this is about more choice and freedom not less. Blocking traffic from European countries will in effect create two internet experiences. People can choose from Europe's internet or the world's internet. May the best platform win. Mar 29 '19 at 13:42
  • Nathan, I appreciate your opinion, but reducing the capability of the internet is a bad idea for everyone including people who live in a jurisdiction where the experience would be reduced in order to preserve the freedom of expression for the world. Mar 29 '19 at 14:24
  • 4
    Pardon me, but I think you've got this backward. I believe countries and websites of the free world should continue business as usual, ignoring any EU copyright objections. Let the authoritarians in Brussels overreact and block sites that will not kowtow to their hegemony if they will; that will make the absurdity of their position apparent.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 29 '19 at 15:31
  • Mr. Wizard, I appreciate your perspective. I've considered that too. I believe they will likely use an international trade deal arbiter (that US officials will claim to be subservient to via a prior trade agreement) to go after anyone's assets if they can do that effectively. If you disagree with that assessment please let me know. Like I said in the post, we will confound ourselves trying to understand the letter of the law as opposed to the intentions of the author. If we can understand their intentions, we don't have to wait for them to pass a law, we'll already know what they'll do. Mar 29 '19 at 17:33
  • I am not a lawyer, I am ignorant of the trade agreement angle you bring up. However as I see it that would be the time for governments of ostensibly free people to stand for those people and defend them from foreign attack. To the degree that does not happen the people have their own governmental issues that should be redressed at the ballot box.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 30 '19 at 0:37
  • 1
    Mr. Wizard, Please check out this article about arbiters from the failed TPP. These arbiters already exist under NAFTA according to the article (washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/10/06/…). Aside from the arbiters, if nation states defending their citizenry were a realistic possibility, we wouldn't be wondering what to do about Article 11 and 13. Can we agree on that? Mar 30 '19 at 1:08
  • 1
    @Super-WhyDoYouWantToDoThat-Man: Your comment sounds like you agree with me that the proposed course of action ("reducing the capability of the internet") is a bad plan for SE to engage in, which makes me wonder why this answer seems to recommend it. Mar 31 '19 at 3:53
  • Nathan, My comment doesn't advocate for reducing the capability of the internet. I am advocating just the opposite. My comment isn't just for SE, it's for anyone with a website. Making asterisk sites for Europe or blocking Europe altogether is a great idea. Not blocking traffic from Europe to the broader internet will reduce the capability of the internet for everyone. Am I being clear on this or is there some confusion? – Mar 31 '19 at 18:10
  • 1
    @Super-WhyDoYouWantToDoThat-Man: Cutting off everything from Europe is a large reduction in Internet capability. You might argue that it's temporary (albeit fairly long-lasting) and will tend to sway Europe to reverse the damage, but insisting that it isn't cutting off a piece of the Internet in the first place is nonsense. You're trying to fight fire with fire, but claiming "oh, no, this bright hot thing that spreads is just a new kind of water" is silly. (Also, use @ to ping other users on replies.) Apr 1 '19 at 17:45
  • 1
    @Super-WhyDoYouWantToDoThat-Man: I absolutely agree that Europe's move is ridiculous and awful. The problem is, you seem to be insisting that, because your goal of getting the EU to reverse Article 13 (well, 17 now) is a good one, the measures you suggest taking toward that end can't be called what they are, which is, well, blocking web content based on over-simplified automated filters! You can argue that this plan is warranted and a net positive eventually, probably. But you can't argue that it's not directly and immediately making the Internet much worse. Because it is, and that's a fact. Apr 2 '19 at 2:24
  • 1
    @Super-WhyDoYouWantToDoThat-Man: If a Frenchman can't access SO anymore at all, he is far worse off than if he can only access SO through pre-post filters to block some content (often wrongly). Your plan is, precisely, to have the first instead of the second. If you really believe that there is no difference in value between an Article-13-censored site, and a site that is inaccessible, then you're flat wrong. You could try to argue that the net value, even immediately, is positive across the world. But claiming EU citizens wouldn't be further harmed verges on a lie. Apr 2 '19 at 3:26

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