Shortly before the supposedly last trialogue on the copyright reform of the EU, many „stakeholders“ once again took a stand—or at least, a virtual stand largely through websites such as saveyourinternet.eu whose owners and participants remain deliberately cloaked. While the saveyourinternet.eu site was originally registered by a Belgian Google lobby company in spring 2018, it is now hidden in the registration data of EURID, without a legally valid legal notice, only with the note that it is „managed“ by the organization EDRi. According to the E-Commerce Directive this is not sufficient.
As in the summer of 2018, e-mails to members of parliament are organized there – to whom these are to be written becomes obvious, the „bad“ MEPs are all marked red and so that it is really a pain they listed with telephone numbers (Strasbourg and Brussels). This is public shaming deluxe again.
There are also text suggestions for the mails and, as usual, the creatives, who are the subject of the directive, are not mentioned themselves. The mails can then be sent in blocks of 20 in the bcc directly to all those who, in the opinion of saveyourinternet.eu, are for or against Article 13.
We have already made it clear on WebSchauder that saveyourinternet.eu is directly or indirectly backed by the Tech Giants associations.
But this new mail wave is something like barking up the wrong tree. Because so far there is only a position of the parliament with corresponding changes, a position of the council (the countries of the EU) and the position of the EU commission. Bringing these together is the task of the trialogue and very few Members of Parliament take part in it. However, if the outcome of the trialogue is not known, it is basically a waste of effort to e-mail the MEPs.
But it can also be a warm-up for the time after the end of the trialogue, because only a few dozen mails of the same name have been received so far.
Call for help from US industry
The US Tech Giants, or their associations, no longer rely only on supposed activists of the civilian population, but now seek help from the US government.
The CCIA, which represents global technology companies such as Cloudflare, Amazon, Google and Facebook, warned the US government last week about „annoying“ copyright laws that other countries are considering. According to their letter, foreign countries are proposing laws which have led, or will lead to, increased liability for US companies and created an increasingly hostile environment for them.
The letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) proudly presents the EU Copyright Directive. According to CCIA, Article 13 would make Internet platforms directly liable for the actions of Internet users, thus requiring „impracticable filter mandates“ and automated „notice-and-stay-down“ procedures.
„Should the Directive be adopted, it would drastically weaken these long-term liability guarantees and exclude many modern service providers from their protection,“ warns the CCIA.
The US government is therefore called upon to intervene in an EU legislative process. One can therefore be curious as to whether the EU institutions will put up with this attack on their sovereignty—an attack made by CCIA even more explicitly in their submission to USTR on a proposed US-E.U. trade agreement as described by Neil Turkewitz Neil Turkewitz in this recent piece:
“CCIA and its members believe that the EU is effectively foreclosed from legislating responsibilities of internet platforms because they made investments in “reliance” on existing norms of internet governance. Just let that sink in. It is in fact consistent with their more general, if unstated, view that global communications companies operate in a sovereign space untouched, and untouchable, by mere Nation-states. I also note, somewhat amusingly, that CCIA openly acknowledges that Article 13 will “benefit rightholders.” I think they forgot that their messaging in the EU is that Article 13 will hurt creators. I hope that the EU Commission, Parliament and Council will pay close attention to this. According to CCIA, you must not take action that would help your rightholders.”