Letter to MEPs re Article 13

I have sent the following letter to all MEPs of the Ireland South constituency. I also sent it to the party email address of Liadh Ni Riada, as I feel she might be most receptive and would not want to risk the email being lost.

Anyone else please feel free to use in whole or in part.

Dear [NAME],

I am writing to you as one of your constituents. I am an Irish citizen, naturalized in 2013, permanently living in [REDACTED], county Limerick. I have voted in every poll since I got my Irish citizenship, and I will be voting in the 2019 European elections.

I am writing because I am extremely concerned about the prospect of the European Parliament approving the proposed Article 13 of the Copyright Directive. This article removes the previously existing “safe havens” for online platforms, requiring them to take proactive steps to remove “licensed” works in cooperation with holders of rights.

This article would create a restrictive censorship regime where any work would be at risk for removal because some “measure” believes it to infringe a copyright. No due process rights would be afforded to independent creators.

It would have an especially strong chilling effect on derivative art, such as song covers, amateur dance videos, amateur music videos, mashups, and critiques. And derivative art is, in the current context, one of the primary ways in which new content creators come into their professions. People start out as singers, dancers, animators, show hosts, and in other creative endeavours while making derivative works, relying on traditional fair use exceptions to copyright.

Article 13 runs roughshod over such exceptions. It would strongly discourage beginning creators and, therefore, significantly deplete the pool of upcoming creative talent throughout the European Union. People do not face such tight restrictions in Japan, Korea, Russia, the United States, Canada, and for all I know even China, so the article would place EU countries – including Ireland – at a disadvantage in the emerging cultural landscape.

Therefore, I would entreat you to oppose the article and to demand that the “mere conduit” approach to media hosting platforms remains in place, or, at the very least, that any new measures prioritize protections of derivative and other independent art.


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