Wikipedia shuts their Italian and Spanish versions to block readers from the online encyclopedia in protest of EU copyright Law on Tuesday. Last month, EU parliament’s legal affairs committee voted to pass two new controversial copyright laws. First is Article 13, which makes social media sites held accountable for copyright violation by their users which ultimately pushes the websites to do filtration of all the content before uploading.
Second is Article 11, which requires the online platform to pay publishers a sum of the amount if they link to their news content, critics have labeled it as a link tax. The purpose is to drive traffic to home pages of new sites when link content with huge companies like Google or Facebook, On contrary critics said that it is not good for small start-ups.
Users of Europe who opens a Wikipedia site spotted a banner which encourages them to join the protest act against EU parliament committee by clicking on the button call your MEP which links you to Anti-article campaign website where you can send email to show your support in condemnation of the EU act. Few digital and civil rights groups take this initiative including, The center for democracy and technology, EFF, and the open rights group.
The wikipedia community writes, “If the proposal were approved in its current version, actions such as sharing a news item on social networks or accessing it through a search engine would become more complicated on the Internet; Wikipedia itself would be at risk.”
The Spanish and Italian version will remain dark in protest with the EU parliament Vote throughout 5th of July.
“We want to continue offering an open, free, collaborative and free work with verifiable content. We call on all members of the European Parliament to vote against the current text, to open it up for discussion and to consider the numerous proposals of the Wikimedia movement to protect access to knowledge; among them, the elimination of articles 11 and 13, the extension of the freedom of panorama to the whole EU and the preservation of the public domain,” community writes.
Jimmy Wales the Founder of Wikipedia was very unhappy about passing Article 13, therefore, he had openly criticized European Commission on Twitter’s feed yesterday when they said in a tweet that online encyclopedias will not get affected by the proposals.
In response Wales said in a Tweet, “deeply inappropriate for the European Commission to be lobbying publiclyandmisleading the public in this way”. In the same twitter thread he writes, “The Wikipedia community is not so narrow minded as to let the rest of the Internet suffer just because we are big enough that they try to throw us a bone. Justice matters.”
Critics argue differently they said this new Copyright law is wrong, a demonstrative approach to show the power of law because it could damage the access of information online. The EU parliament vote tomorrow where we will find whether the committee influenced by this new #SaveYourInternet campaign or not or does the web processed under rules and regulations or it acts as a free platform, Till then Fingers crossed.