Opposition to Copyright Directive grows; thousands protest and petition, statements from Snowden, Wikimedia and Google

6 March 2019

A protest against the Copyright Directive took place in Berlin consisting of nearly 5,000 people, and following earlier protests in Cologne amassing approx. 3,500 people. The protests come amidst news that a petition in opposition to the Directive has gathered more signatures “than any petition in human history” (nearly 5 million).

Recent statements of opposition to the Directive have also been issued by Edward Snowden, who sent a tweet urging European members of his nearly 4 million followers to contact their representatives. The Wikimedia Foundation also shared their concerns that “it is better to have no reform at all, than to have one including these toxic provisions”, and urging MEPs to reject the proposal in the plenary vote (scheduled for the end of March).

Google has continued to caution on the “vague, untested requirements” of the articles 11 and 13, in a blog post by SVP of Global Affairs Kent Walker. Whilst recognising that improvements had been made to both texts (and noting that they support the updating of the copyright regime), they “remain concerned about unintended consequences that may hurt Europe’s creative economy for decades to come”.