New copyright legislation, a severe blow to freedom of expression on the Internet

European Legislators have approved a strict review of current copyright standards, a situation which, according to ethical hacking training experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), has generated uneasiness among the world’s leading technology companies, which consider that changing copyright standards would be costly and detrimental to freedom of expression on the Internet.

This Tuesday, the European Parliament voted to approve some significant changes. With this, platforms like YouTube or Facebook would have to take responsibility for copyright infringements that their users could commit. In addition, sites like Google News would have to pay publishers for the use of a portion of their content.

According to the ethical hacking training experts, the main technology companies have opposed these proposals, highlighting that, if the changes were approved, they would have to implement very expensive content filters, as well as stop linking publications. On the other hand, Internet activists consider these changes to be considered a form of censorship.

In favor of these changes are artists, their record labels and media companies. These groups consider that the reforms are necessary to protect their copyright in the current technological context and to ensure the fair remuneration for their work.

European legislators have implemented much more stringent measures (such as GDPR) in terms of data protection and information security that authorities in other parts of the world, the U.S., for example. This has generated constant conflicts between European legislation and technological enterprises.

Those who oppose these proposals consider the provisions to be too broad, so that non-copyrighted material could be affected; quotes or parodies, even memes could be subject to censorship.

According to the ethical hacking training experts, advocates of the bill consider that concerns about censorship or freedom of expression are excessive, although this is a reflection of the unclearness of the European Parliament’s explanation about the objectives and scope of this law.  Google, for example, believes that the law could be detrimental to the digital economy and the promotion of creativity in Europe.