Mozilla calls for EU copyright reform

August 26, 2016 | 13:36

Tags: #copyright #law #petition

Companies: #eu #european-union #mozilla

Mozilla has hit out at European-wide copyright law, launching a petition calling for immediate reform of what it claims is a legal framework badly lagging behind the progress of technology.

In a blog post published this week Katharina Borchert, Mozilla's chief innovation officer and former chief executive of Spiegel Online, launched a call for immediate reform of EU copyright law. 'In the EU, certain laws haven’t caught up with the internet. The current copyright legal framework is outdated. It stifles opportunity and prevents — and in many cases, legally prohibits — artists, coders and everyone else from creating and innovating online,' claimed Borchert. 'This framework was enacted before the internet changed the way we live. As a result, these laws clash with life in the 21st century.'

Cited examples included laws that technically make the creation of a meme - in this particular definition a derivative work made by placing a text overlay on an existing image for the purposes of humour - illegal, the artist's copyrights preventing photography of the Eiffel Tower at night, and restrictions on the use of copyright material in education.

Ahead of a planned review of the EU copyright framework, Borchert and her colleagues at Mozilla have called for signatures on a petition which makes three primary requests: an update for EU copyright law better suited to the 21st century and the technology, like social media, we enjoy; reviewing the laws with a view to building in openness as a means of fostering innovation and creativity; and 'don't break the internet,' defined as 'the principle of innovation without permission.'

The petition is live now.
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