On September 12, the European Parliament voted to adopt new rules that entrench outdated copyright policies and impose even greater barriers to access to knowledge online. Despite an outpouring of support from European citizens, including the Wikimedia community of volunteers, Parliament voted for amendments that would require pre-filtering of uploads to most internet platforms. Although the approved text included a carve-out for online encyclopedias like Wikipedia, Wikipedia doesn’t exist in a vacuum and pre-filtering will harm the internet ecosystem that Wikipedia thrives in. Parliament also failed to include broad exceptions or limitations to copyright such as freedom of panorama or a user-generated content exception. Though an exception for text and data mining and a public domain safeguard were included in the text, these do not go far enough to fully empower European citizens to meaningfully participate in knowledge online.
We are disappointed by this outcome and the missed opportunity to modernize copyright for the digital age. Wikimedia remains firmly committed and will continue to advocate for an open, balanced vision for copyright which enables everyone to learn and create online.
Thank you to everyone who emailed, called, or tweeted their MEPs. Your voice was an important part of spreading awareness about how the Wikimedia Community, and European citizens in general, envision a digital future for Europe.