Free Software and the Copyright Directive - Trialogue started
---------- Forwarded message --------- From: Alexander Sander<[hidden email]>
One of the most controversial policy topics in the European Union 2018 was, and still is, the harmonisation of copyright with a new copyright directive. After two years of intense debates, the copyright reform is getting close to the final straight. For the well-being of software freedom, one of the most important debates was around Article 13.
Article 13 of the European Union's current copyright directive proposal can seriously hamper collaborative software development, and especially Free Software, by imposing the use of mandatory upload filters and monitoring of their users. As a result of this proposal, Free Software code-hosting platforms and public code repositories can be arbitrarily removed online. After a long and intense debate that we accompanied with your help and the Save Code Share campaign, and after collecting more than 14.000 signatories for our open letter to avoid any negative impact for Free Software, we obtained some limited exclusion for Free Software in the text of the European Parliament's directive at the beginning of September. With the adoption of amendment 143 and 150 of the current copyright reform proposal in the European Parliament, we now have at least an exclusion for “open source software developing platforms (..) within the meaning of this Directive”. However, the council proposed this exclusion to only be valid for “non-for-profit open source software developing platforms”. Since the beginning of October, the European Parliament and the Council have been in the Trialogue to debate the final text. We keep raising our voices and demanding for an appropriate exception of commercial as well as non-commercial Free Software in the upcoming Copyright Reform package. Most likely, this debate will continue until the beginning of next year.
We would also draw your attention to an event organized by GitHub, Open Forum Europe, and Red Hat at Le Grand Central on 16 October: an evening on the importance of open source software to software development and to Europe.
We will explain what open source software is, and talk about the fundamental role it plays in Europe's digital transformation and industrial competitiveness. We will also explain how open source software fits in with copyright law, and how policymakers can help protect the EU's software industry, including SMEs, in the Copyright Directive. The public and private sectors of Member States and the EU rely heavily on open source software and code-sharing platforms to innovate and compete globally, so this topic has broad relevance to policymakers and developers alike.
We hope you'll join us for this discussion and chance to ask questions about open source and the Copyright Directive. Details here.
With best regards,
-- Alexander Sander - EU Public Policy Programme Manager Free Software Foundation Europe Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030 | (fsfe.org/join)