@Jofiel: Hi, the role of Poland in the copyright debate is extremely important. In July, when the European Parliament rejected the fast-tracking of the upload filters and link tax, all but 3 Polish MEPs voted against. If it had not been for the excellent mobilisation of activists in Poland that led many Polish MEPs to change their minds, we would have already lost the vote in July. wykop has been really instrumental in getting the word out about the problems with the copyright proposal, especially through its website art13.eu Since wykop users are already well informed about the subject, I hope this AMA can help to deepen the discussion and encourage you to keep up the pressure on Polish MEPs to reject upload filters and link tax on September 12!
Why Pirate Party? The Pirates are the only party that makes the protection of digital rights its priority. I think that keeping the Internet free and open and ensuring access to knowledge and culture will be crucial for a free society in the next decades and in any other political party, you may be forced to make compromises on digital rights, because some other topic may be more important. Especially in the European Parliament, where it's possible for a single MEP to really specialise on one particular topic, it makes a lot of sense to have parties like the Pirate Party that concentrate their efforts and expertise on one particular topic.
Although copyright reform is just one of topics that the European Parliament is voting on, as a member of the Pirate Party I have the luxury to concentrate all my efforts on this. So I will continue keeping the public informed and negotiating with my colleagues every day to defeat these proposals.
@Tom_Ja: The worst threat for Wikipedia right now is probably the link tax, because it will require all online services (also a nonprofit like Wikipedia) to pay for linking to news articles. Wikipedia uses thousands upon thousands of links to news articles as references. Even if some of these links would be legal under a copyright exception like quotation, every single one of them would have to be checked and potentially removed. To make things worse, the Parliament version of the link tax does not even require national copyright exceptions to apply to the link tax. So unless the national parliament explicitly decides to introduce a new rules that quotations are allowed under the new neighbouring right, they will be forbidden. Removing links to news articles from Wikipedia will drastically reduce the quality of the information available there.
Even though the Parliamentarians have tried to remove Wikipedia from the obligation to use filters, there is still some danger. The text says that non-commercial online encyclopedias are excluded from the obligation to filter, but this raises two questions: Firstly, most of the multimedia content on Wikipedia is not actually hosted on Wikipedia itself, but on Wikimedia Commons, which is not an encyclopedia. So Wikimedia Commons may still have to install costly filters and face lawsuits from rightsholders. Secondly, it is unclear whether all courts will agree that Wikipedia is really non-commercial, because it does collect donations and it does allow the commercial re-use of all of its content.
@wigr: The link tax was invented by German publisher Axel Springer, and they have been the loudest voice lobbying for it as well. I have written about the reasons why here: https://www.wykop.pl/link/4498527/comment/57947557/#comment-57947557 Recently, news agencies have also started lobbying very heavily for the link tax. This could be because the news agency is usually built on newspapers subscribing to the agency service and then getting very up-to-date short news reports with the basic facts from the agency. Very often, these short reports are not protected by copyright, because they simply report a fact such as "France beats Croatia 4:2". If anybody who is not a subscriber to the news agency copies such a very basic factual sentence, they are not breaking copyright law - but they would be in violation of the new neighbouring right. Of course, even though it may be in the interest of the news agencies to get this new right, I don't think we should allow exclusive rights on facts. The collateral damage to freedom of expression would be huge. To see an example of very questionable lobbying from a news agency, while ignoring the barriers between independent reporting and lobbyism, see what I wrote on twitter this morning: https://twitter.com/Senficon/status/1034336730470658048
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