Petition update

The Internet is saved? Guess again!

Save The Internet

Feb 10, 2019 — 

Dear supporters,

The discussion about the upcoming copyright reform is on the finish line, but the latest developments are simply scandalous.

    1. Let the people responsible know on Twitter what you think! Make sure to mention them!
    2. Share our call on WhatsApp

To begin with, we recommend that anyone who has not yet studied the subject in detail, read the full summary of events to date on our website!

Earlier this week, France and Germany reached a compromise on the question of who should be obliged to use upload filters. This question had caused the negotiations to stall two weeks ago. [1] Their compromise can hardly be described as such, since it is almost exclusively based on France's demands and provides for the most far-reaching filter obligations for platforms that the reform has ever seen. Should the "compromise" be implemented, the impact on all European companies, however small, would be insurmountable and financially destructive!

The Franco-German compromise stipulates that profit-oriented platforms must meet all three of the following conditions in order to be exempt from a general filter obligation:
1. the platform must be less than 3 years old
2. the annual turnover must be less than  10 million Euro
3. the platform must have less than 5 million users per month

If even one of these three conditions is not met, a platform would be forced to implement upload filters. In particular, the first criterion would mean that, within a maximum of three years, all existing platforms available in the EU, regardless of their size or whether they are addressed to the public or not, would be subject to filtering. Profit-oriented in this context spans both Youtube and Facebook, as well as small Wordpress blogs with an upload function, which try to recover their hosting costs through advertising.

In addition, all platforms, whether they meet the criteria or not, must prove that they have "made their biggest efforts" to obtain licences from all right holders whose content their users might be able to upload. In short, platform operators would have to license any copyrighted content ever created. Negotiation is out of the question, as "biggest efforts" means nothing more than rights holders being able to name any price - platform operators cannot refuse. The only way out would be extensive self-censorship with upload filters, which in turn would be expensive, technically flawed and an attack on freedom of information and opinion. Both options destroy the Internet as we know it.  [2]

The following detail deserves special mention:
The compromise is the result of a telephone conversation between France's President of the republic Macron and Chancellor Merkel. The CDU-led Chancellor's Office then actively intervened in the negotiations on the copyright reform, despite the rejection of all forms of upload filters, which CDU/CSU promised only in March 2018 in its coalition agreement with the SPD. [3] What is striking is that the German position was worked out by the SPD-led Ministry of Justice until it came to a standstill two weeks ago and was certainly Internet-friendly. In short, who betrayed us? The Christian Democrats.

We therefore hope all the more that Ms Barley, the current SPD top candidate for the European elections and Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, as well as the entire German and European SPD, will oppose the introduction of upload filters in view of the coalition agreement. The consequences for the Internet culture and our associated human rights, the economy, and also the election results of the SPD can hardly be imagined.

What you can do:
At the moment it is important to increase public pressure even more and to remind the responsible politicians of their responsibility not only towards the coalition agreement but also towards the will of the people. If you want to support us, you can do so through various social media channels

    1. Let the people responsible know on Twitter what you think! Make sure to mention them!
    2. Share our call on WhatsApp:

[1] Again no agreement on copyright reform:
[2] Taken over by: Julia Reda on the unification of Germany and France:
[3] Coalition agreement rejects upload filter: (lines 2212-2214): "We reject as disproportionate an obligation of platforms to use upload filters in order to "filter" content uploaded by users for copyright infringing content."


You can always get the latest updates on the reform on Twitter at or (Julia Reda, Member of the EU Parliament)

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