18 Sep 2017

I was inspired by a call to write members of the European Parliament about upcoming legislation. Christian Engström writes in this post that self-written emails have the greatest effect, so I picked the two topics still being discussed and wrote about those.

Here is the text of my email:

Dear delegate of the JURI committee,

I am writing to you from The Netherlands as a citizen who is very concerned about internet legislation. As a computer programmer and father of two, I am following the current debate about the future of copyright with great interest.

I want to focus on two articles which I find so troubling that I am writing you today. These are the topic I discuss among my peers and which I raise awareness of: Article 3 (copyright exception for the modern research method Text and Data Mining) Article 13 (Automatic upload filtering).

Article 3:

I urge you to not only give the right to mine data to "researchers".

* We need journalists to have this opportunity, as well. In "big data" the important revelations can be found which we direly need.

* Also, big companies will find their data troves or already made their own. It stifles innovation if small, young companies are not allowed to find value in large amounts of data.

Article 13:

I urge you not to mandate that we hand over to machines to decide what can be uploaded or not. Machines cannot do this task, because they do not understand the context (e.g. satire) and uses covered by exceptions. But even more, this is

1) a censorship-like scenario, in which companies will rather block too much than being accused of not blocking forceful enough.

2) working towards centralisation of publishers, since implementation of such blocking behaviour is expensive and thus favoures the bug players. It will create even more of an oligopoly than we already have now.


Nicolas Höning

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