Mozilla breathes petition-of-fire at EU copyright laws

A plague on artists using pre-internet IP laws to ruin your holiday snaps, and the Internet

Eiffel Tower at night with lightshow <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-308986p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Brian Kinney</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>
The Eiffel Tower. Brian Kinney / Shutterstock.

The Mozilla Foundation has decided the time is right to scorch the European Union's copyright law, which it says “undermines innovation and creativity on the internet.”

Mozilla's beef includes a lamentation of the EU's lack of a universal fair use law, which it says means “In some parts of the EU, making a meme is technically unlawful.” It also says “It’s illegal to share a picture of the Eiffel Tower light display at night” and feels the copyright on the light display, and the fact that tourists don’t have the artists’ express permission to reproduce it, is absurd.

The organisation's desired remedies suggest it may be aiming at matters beyond copyright, as it says reasons EU laws need to change include the following:

“Some people are calling for licensing fees and restrictions on internet companies for basic things like creating hyperlinks or uploading content. Others are calling for new laws that would mandate monitoring and filtering online. These changes would establish gatekeepers and barriers to entry online, and would risk undermining the internet as a platform for economic growth and free expression.

Other changes the group hopes to bring about include “a User Generated Content (UGC) exception and a clause like an open norm, fair dealing, or fair use — to empower everyday people to shape and improve the internet. ” In Mozilla's ideal world EU laws would also change so that “Education, parody, panorama, remix and analysis shouldn’t be unlawful.”

Feeling outraged enough to click on something now? The petition is here. ®


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