Dear SE23 community. It’s rare we appeal to you like this - but in this case it’s very important:
On June 20th, the EU will begin voting on a new law that will radically affect websites on the open web (like the one you are currently enjoying)
Update: Alarmingly, this law has now passed the committee stage on June 20th and will go to a parliamentary vote.
The law aims to enforce copyright online, which is a laudable aim.
However, the EU’s proposed solution has serious issues which would threaten the survival of non-profit / loss-making websites like SE23.life
Under EU proposals, all websites accepting content from users would be required to implement “upload filters” that check user-submitted photos/videos/comments etc against a database of copyrighted works and automatically block any posts deemed to infringe copyright.
From a technical point of view, this is unrealistic and unreliable, as detailed in the article below.
As you can imagine, for a loss-making website like SE23.life to build (or buy) a database of all possible copyrighted work in Europe would be prohibitively difficult. Checking all uploaded photos (including “near matches”) against the whole database in real-time would be unworkable, even with the best artificial intelligence available in 2018.
Only commercial websites like Google, Facebook and Twitter could attempt to implement filters like this.
The impact on all other websites, and in particular, non-profit websites like Wikipedia would be immediate and crippling.
Crucially, the EU would impose legal liability for copyright infringement on website owners rather than users uploading copyrighted material.
Few non-profit websites can accept such a legal risk
We’re all used to clicking links to freely navigate around the Internet. This is fundamental to an open, free and democratic World Wide Web.
However, the EU proposes that websites are charged a fee for linking to some other websites:
This would be a crippling burden on small and non-profit websites, and it also threatens the web that we all rely on every day for news, communication and the free sharing of information.
What can you do?
You may not have spoken to your London MEPs before (you’re able to approach any or all of them). Now would be a great time to introduce yourself and share your opinion on this major new law before the first crucial vote on 20th June:
Please use the following handy tool to contact our London MEPs:
Alternatively, direct contact information can be found here:
The London MEPs are:
Claude Moraes, MEP (Labour)
65 Barnsbury Street,
London N1 1EJ
Tel: 0207 609 5005
Committee: Chair: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home
Dr Syed Kamall, MEP (Conservative)
161 Brigstock Road
Tel: 0207 041 9025
Mary Honeyball, MEP (Labour)
4G Shirland Mews,
London W9 3DY
Tel: 0208 964 9815
Committee: Legal Affairs, Women’s Rights and Gender
Gerard Batten, MEP (UK Independence Party)
P O Box 2959
Tel: 0207 403 7174/7175
Committee: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Lucy Anderson MEP (Labour)
20 Hanson Street,
London W1W 6UF
Tel: 07880 191336
Committee: Transport and Tourism
Dr Charles Tannock, MEP (Conservative)
44a Southern Row
London W10 5AN
Tel: 0208 962 1286
Committee: Foreign Affairs
Seb Dance, MEP (Labour)
149-151 Jamaica Road
London SE16 4SH
Tel: 00 322 283 7833
Committee: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Jean Lambert, MEP (Greens)
Office of the Green MEPs
CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road
London N1 6AH
Tel: 0207 250 8416
Committee: Employment and Social Affairs