Content filtering, bots scanning for copyrighted content and then blocking what they find, will seriously harm creativity in Europe. That’s why artists are joining together to speak out against it.

Continuing our coverage of the European Parliament’s heinous proposition for filtering uploaded content, Ruth Coustick-Deal consults with the artistic community. Republished from

Ruth Coustick-Deal: Last week we asked our community to let us know how people in their profession will be harmed by content filtering (Article 13) and the link tax (Article 11).[1]We’ve heard from more than 1000 people already, and more responses are still coming in every day.

Now it’s time to take the message to the person at the front of this decision. Axel Voss MEP is both in charge of the key committee and a leader in his party.

Axel Voss MEP today published his “compromise” (in name only) today. Essentially he kept Oettinger’s original flawed proposal. Despite public voices. Despite tens of thousands of people speaking up against. Despite robust academic critique. We are still faced with unaccountable censorship machines.

Axel Voss MEP needs to directly hear why the public are so opposed to automated censorship machines. He has the most influence on this law. He has all this power, and is still clinging on to broken, unpopular proposals.[2]

If MEPs like Voss want to the web to work for artists, they need to start listening to the individuals, not just the big industry groups.

They try to tell us that automated content filtering, bots scanning for copyrighted content and then blocking what they find, will help creativity flourish. We know that it won’t. Consider Adam Neely.[3] A YouTube-based jazz teacher couldn’t play short snippets of music to analyse them. Because the music was owned by Universal Music Group; they got it blocked and taken down. We will see more and more of this kind of censorship, which will take place across Europe, if these filters are legally demanded.

That’s why we are working with the Create/Refresh coalition.[4] They are a network of artists from across Europe who are opposed to Article 13. These creators produced a video which illustrates all of their talents, and their unity against these rules. Watch the video to find out more.

We need Axel Voss to see this! Let’s make sure he can’t ignore it, and knows that the very people he claims to be speaking for, oppose him.

This is just a small sample of art made possible because we don’t have these excessive restrictions that do nothing for creators.

Please give them a voice. Share the video with Axel Voss on Facebook and Twitter demanding he rejects content blocking and the link tax.

We know that tweeting at MEPs can be hugely effective if we raise a chorus too loud to ignore – MEPs pay attention to what people are saying on social media. Lets show Axel Voss that artists are not asking for his “protection”, what they want is freedom to create.


[1] Help our censorship impact research AND speak to your MEPs. Source: OpenMedia
[2] Green light for upload filters: EU Parliament’s copyright rapporteur has learned nothing from year-long debate. Source: Julia Reda
[3] When I want to teach but can’t, thanks to Universal Music Group. Source: Adam Neely
[4] Create Refresh Coalition website.

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