Electronic Frontiers Foundation writes to EU Institutions negotiating final draft of Copyright Directive

EFF’s letter details the EFF’s “grave misgivings” about the structural inadequacies and potential for abuse in Article 11 (the so called “link tax”) and Article 13 (the requirement on communications providers to remove copyright infringing material), which the EFF describes as “ill-considered and should not be EU law”.

The EFF says that Articles 11 and 13 contain “significant deficiencies that will subvert their stated purpose while endangering the fundamental human rights of Europeans to free expression, due process, and privacy”.

In the EFF’s view, Article 13 will result in false copyright claims if there are no “clear evidentiary standards or consequences for inaccurate claims”.

The text needs to resolve that ambiguity by “carving out a clear safe-harbor for users”, and there must be a consistent set of Europe-wide exceptions and limitations. Additionally, the EFF says, “the text should safeguard against dominant players (Google, Facebook, the news giants) creating licensing agreements that exclude everyone else”.

In conclusion, the EFF says that overall, Articles 11 and 13 are “bad ideas that have no place in the Directive”. Instead of trying to solve the most glaring problems, the Trilogue should “take a simpler approach, and cut them from the Directive altogether”. To read the EFF’s letter in full, click here.