Poland is the first country to officialy challenge the EU's Orewellian internet censoship law which was passed just a few months ago.
The government of Poland has filed a complaint with the European Court of Justice, arguing that the recently passed Copyright Directive amounts of a form of censorship, "forbidden not only in the Polish constitution but also in the EU treaties."
Previously Poland along with Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Finland and Sweden have voted against the copyright directive and have even issued a joint statement denouncing it. However they were not able to stop the EU from implementing it as law.
The EU has approved the directive in April, and it goes into force on June 7th, 2019. Following that action, EU member states will have until June 7th, 2021 to produce their own laws to implement it.
Should EU countries fail to implemente the EU's Copyright Directive, the European Union can initiate infringement against those countries, which may lead to judicial hearings within the Court of Justice of the European Union, and potentially financial penalties as determined from these cases.
The main target in the Polish complaint is the Directive’s Article 17 (formerly Article 13).
In essence, this article states that content-sharing online platforms, such as YouTube, are required to obtain licences from rights holders to broadcast copyrighted works. If they do not hold such a licence, they will be liable for copyright infringement – unless they can demonstrate that they have made best efforts to obtain one, and – crucially – that they have also made best efforts to “ensure the unavailability” of specific works on the platform, if rights holders requested their removal, and “to prevent their future uploads”.
Article 17 will also require FB, Google, Twitter and all other social medias and major websites to install systems, or "upload filters", that will censor, delete and remove any material which is deemed to have “copyright issues”, this of course refers to internet memes, but also videos, gifs etc... etc...
Earlier in June 2018, an open letter signed by 70 of the biggest names of the internet, including the creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, and the Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, stated that the EU's "copyright" law would take
“an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users”.
The EU says the memes and parody/satire content will be protected, but that's of course utter bullshit, because the algorithm in the upload filters will determine what content to take down, and algorithms don't have a sense of humor.
A short insightful and satirical video about the EU's copyright directive.
Cryptographer and security specialist Bruce Schneier, one of the letter's signatories, had this to say about it:
"Article 13 effectively deputizes social media and other Internet companies as copyright police, forcing them to implement a highly invasive surveillance infrastructure across their entire service offerings. Aside from the harm from the provisions of Article 13, this infrastructure can be easily repurposed by government and corporations – and further entrenches ubiquitous surveillance into the fabric of the Internet."
Essentially, the results of the EU "copyright" law will change the web forever by opening a backdoor for large corporations, governments and politcal bodies like the EU to start censoring online material that they don't like or approve by using the justification that they're "breaking copyright laws".