Sweden: Help Save the Internet from the Copyright Directive

On January 18, the EU’s member state governments will decide whether to move forward the Copyright in the Single Digital Market Directive—a set of regulations that would likely crush many small European tech startups, create an even weaker bargaining position for working European artists, and expose half a billion Europeans to mass, unaccountable algorithmic censorship. But you can help stop it.

Please write to the ministers responsible for Sweden's position, and urge them to vote against Article 13 and Article 11.

Remember: supporters of the Directive claim that anyone who opposes it are "bots" -- please customize your letter with who you are, and why you care about Article 13 and 11.

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To: naringsdepartementet.registrator@gov.se, ud.registrator@gov.se, asa.webber@gov.se Subject: Snälla: säg åt våra förhandlare att rösta nej till artiklarna 11 och 13 i direktivet om upphovsrätt på den digitala inre marknaden. Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ms Åsa Webber , Deputy Permanent Representative EU-ordförandeskapet har bett om ett förhandlingsmandat för vårt lands representanter i trilogerna om det nya direktivet om upphovsrätt på den digitala inre marknaden. För vårt lands skull, för dess folk, och för internetanvändare över hela världen som kommer att påverkas av detta direktiv uppmanar jag er att ta följande i beaktande. Artiklarna 11 och 13 hör inte hemma i det här direktivet. De utgör inte bara en risk för yttrandefriheten genom att begränsa hur nyheter får diskuteras och debatteras, och genom att göra alla offentliga kommunikationer föremål för godkännande av ansvarslösa AI-algoritmer. De ger även bort kontrollen över Europas internet till amerikanska IT-jättar, de enda som har de hundratals miljoner euro som det kommer att kosta att följa regelverket som direktivet i sin nuvarande form innebär. Internet är intimt knutet till alla aktiviteter i våra dagliga liv, från utbildning och arbete till familjeliv och sjukvård. När internet regleras för att tjäna intressena hos några få giganter inom underhållningssektorn sätts allt detta på spel. Snälla: säg åt våra förhandlare att vårt land inte kommer att acceptera artiklarna 11 och 13 i det slutgiltiga direktivet.

Negotiators and representatives of Europe’s national governments have returned from months of closed door meetings without removing, or even improving, the notorious “link tax” and “censorship machine” rules, Articles 11 and 13, and we’ve now arrived at the moment of truth—if the Directive receives enough votes on the 18th, it may be impossible to stop. But if people in member states speak out right now, they can protect the global Internet by convincing their Council representatives to vote no.

The Directive has the same problems it’s had from the start:

Article 11 would create a “link tax” by making platforms pay for linking to news sites where those links include more than a word or two from the story or its headline, essentially allowing newspapers to decide who can link to them—and at costs they decide. Small, independent press outlets could be blocked altogether from linking to established news sources -- even for the purposes of criticism and commentary — or they could be charged much more than their counterparts in the mainstream.

Article 13 may be even worse. It would require online platforms to use algorithmic filters to unilaterally determine whether content anyone uploads, from social media posts to videos, infringes copyright, and would penalise companies that allow the content to stand. There would be no penalty for overblocking and censoring users—and as we’ve seen from previous attempts at online filtering, this would inevitably leading to censorship of massive proportions.

But it’s not too late: the European Council — made up of representatives from EU member states like Sweden — will vote on the Directive on January 18. Their decision will shape the future of the Internet, possibly for generations to come. Tell your government to strike a blow for fairness and against market concentration and censorship. Don’t let the EU sell Big Tech a very cheap ticket to a guarantee of continued Internet dominance.

Remember: supporters of the Directive claim that anyone who opposes it are "bots" -- please customize your letter with who you are, and why you care about Article 13 and 11.