Poland Challenges European Union’s Controversial Copyright Directive

Recently, Poland approved a copyright directive, controversial in the amount of censorship, which some people are saying is unwanted.

The legislation’s purpose is to update copyright law.

It also has numerous controversial clauses, such as Article 11, nicknamed the “link tax.” Under Article 11, publishers will be able to charge platforms such as Google to display news stories.

Another much-talked-about article is Article 13, which holds platforms accountable for content that infringes on someone else’s copyright.

Many users of social media platforms — such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and others — are worried about how the directive maybe be detrimental to how they can use the site.

Post-directive, sites would have to proactively ensure that copyrighted content isn’t being uploaded to their sites, which may hinder platform use.

That opens up its own set of problems, with the potential for copyright trolls to report uploads unfairly, resulting in people being penalized without proper investigation.

Currently, technology to accurately scan for copyright infringement doesn’t exist and usually only comes to attention if reported.

According to Reuters, Poland officially filed a complaint with the Court of Justice of the European Union against the European Union.

As Konrad Syzmanski, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, notes, “the system may result in adopting regulations that are analogous to preventative censorship, which is forbidden not only in the Polish constitution but also the EU treaties.”

When the copyright directive measure was voted on, Polish MPs mostly rejected the measure, with two abstentions, eight for, 33 against, six no-votes and two missing.

Regardless, the Council of the European Union officially passed the directive. It will go into effect on June 7th, 2019.

EU member states, including Poland, will have until June 7th to produce their own laws to implement the directive.