New European Copyright Directive Might Force Internet Censorship

NordVPN comments on the Copyright Directive that will be voted on today

September 12, 2018. Today European lawmakers will face a major vote on proposals for a digital copyright reform.

According to the proposals, user-generated platforms, such as YouTube, should be made responsible for their users’ copyright infringements. Basically, it would force websites to pre-scan all content that is being uploaded – to YouTube and elsewhere – and automatically block anything that might infringe copyright. Even though YouTube already uses Content ID to identify and block copyrighted content, when these rights are put into the hands of publishers the censorship might become much more severe.


Currently, it is generally accepted that copyright owners are responsible to monitor whether content violates their rights and to report such violations.


In addition, theCopyright Directive may extend the rights of publishers to charge for the snippets of news articles that appear under search results- for example, for the article headline and photo that appears on Facebook news feed or Google news.


In July, the Spanish and Italian versions of Wikipediablacked out in protest of the new proposal, saying the Copyright Directive would severely restrict the internet freedom.


“If YouTube and other platforms feel pressure to censor their users’ content, they will be seen as free speech blockers,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN. “Also, if the Copyright Directive extends the rights of publishers to charge for the snippets of news articles that appear under search results or social media feeds, it will stop the free flow of information and ideas. Often, people share and discuss news on social media. If this is limited, free discussion would also be limited.  It might even become illegal to share news articles on social media. We believe that such restrictions may bevery harmful to the very idea of the internet, where people freely share information.”

NordVPN stands for freedom of speech and offers a service that allows accessing the unrestricted internet from anywhere in the world through asecure encrypted connection.

To find out more about NordVPN, visit the company’s website.