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Call to Action: Save Free Software this September

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Par George Brooke-Smith

Free Software is at risk! On the 12th of September the EU is getting ready to vote on a "Copyright Reform" package, which undermines the foundations upon which Free Software is built. The proposed Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive targets every online service that allows its users to upload and share content with each other, including code hosting platforms.

Let’s call upon European policy makers to delete the threat posed against Free Software in the Copyright Directive.

The widespread reuse of Free Software is a foundation of the Internet, as code can be used, studied, shared and improved by each user. It would be wrong to take this freedom for granted. Since most of the internet medium is compiled and reused as Free Software, the ruling would dismantle the media ecosystem.

We are getting ready for the EU’s vote on a "Copyright Reform" package, in order to remove a section of its terms and conditions that looks to hamper Free Software development and code-sharing. Every Internet user, who shares information, media, and code with the public, has been targeted in the proposed directive. The idea in Article 13 is that Free Software is a cause for copyright violations and that, therefore, upload-filters should be created by internet platforms.

Share graphics hand-made by Save Your Internet

There are even a variety of types of governmental organisations, facilitated and powered by Free Software. In fact, on just one of the major code hosting platforms, over 128 government organisations from over 17 European governments have, in total, licensed 4594 instances of Free Software, at the time of writing. They are, as follows: Open Government initiatives, Cultural heritage directories, Ecology research departments and agencies, Digitalisation projects, Emergency Services, Information Systems, Election Services, Transport networks, Education institutions, Energy services, Mapping and Geographical research institutes, Statistical bureaus, Business departments, Law courts, Security groups, and Departments of Finance.

So, for those inside the EU, now’s the time to do your bit and to communicate with an MEP, who represents your country, in order to notify your support for Free Software in the face of Article 13 in the Copyright Directive.

Do that at saveyourinternet.eu, where there are tips on who and how to address and send your message. When you’re ready, you can even use a tool, created by EDRi and Open Media, to directly call and e-mail your MEP.

Let’s call upon European policy makers to delete the threat posed against Free and Open Source Software in the Copyright Directive.