Sci-fi writer suggests Poland may block ‘ACTA2’

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In the opinion of Cory Doctorow, a Canadian sci-fi writer, journalist, blogger and a special adviser of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Poland may help to block the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, commonly called “ACTA2.”

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Mr Doctorow referred to an open letter, “representing more than 15,000 online creators, watched and followed by more than 20 million Polish viewers,” who are against the current version of the Copyright Directive, especially its 13th article.

“The variant of article 13, proposed by the European Parliament, across the whole union may deprive independent creators of their fees worth in total up to EUR 800 mln, without which they would not be able to continue their activities,” the letter reads. In the opinion of its authors, the new regulations may have “catastrophic consequences” for audiences of the creators’ works.

They also posted a video on YouTube, presenting why they are protesting against Article 13 of the Copyright Directive. It is in Polish, but there are English subtitles.

Mr Doctorow also stressed that the Polish ruling Law and Justice party voted against the directive in the European Parliament. Despite this, the majority of MEPs voted for further implementation of the directive.

The writer also emphasised the role of Polish protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) in 2012 in preventing implementation of this regulation. “Poland saved Europe from ACTA,” the headline of the text reads.

The whole of Mr Doctorow’s text can be found on the website of the EFF.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation states on its website that this is a non-profit organisation defending civil liberties in the digital world.

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Protest against Article 13

Google, the owner of the YouTube video platform, is protesting against Article 13. In November, YouTube wrote on its website, “We support the goals of Article 13, but the version written by the European Parliament could have large unintended consequences that would change the web as we know it,”. The platform also started the hashtag #SaveYourInternet.

The “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” is a proposed EU measure intended to harmonise aspects of the EU copyright law and move towards a digital single market. The directive was approved by the EP on 12 September, and will now be discussed with the European Council. If formalised, each of the EU's member countries would then be required to enact laws to support the Directive.

The draft of the Directive can be found at this address.