Mozilla starts petition to reform copyright laws

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Mozilla has started a petition to reform the European copyright laws because the company believes they undermine innovation a creativity. Even worse, European copyright laws haven’t caught up with the internet, according to the browser developer.

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“The current copyright legal framework is outdated. It stifles opportunity and prevents — and in many cases, legally prohibits — artists, coders and everyone else from creating and innovating online”, according to Mozilla’s Chief Innovation Officer,  Katharina Borchert.

It’s currently e.g copyright infringement to share a picture of the illuminated Eiffel Tower because it is copyrighted and tourists don’t have the artist’s’ permission. Also internet memes that contain  e.g brands or movie characters can be illegal in some countries and in some countries it’s not possible to screen films or share teaching materials in classrooms due to restrictive copyright laws.

Therefore Mozilla has started a petition for European citizens that should bring the European copyright laws to the 21st century. The company focusses on three big reforms. The first is updating and harmonising the rules so it’s no longer illegal to tinker, create, share, and learn on the internet. “Education, parody, panorama, remix and analysis shouldn’t be unlawful”, Mozilla writes.

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Because technology advances quickly, the new copyright laws should be future-proof, they must designed so they are still relevant after 15 years. Mozilla writes about that, “We need to build into the law flexibility — through 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.”

The last big reform should make sure the laws “don’t break the internet”. There should be no license fees or restrictions on creating hyperlinks or uploading content and there should be no laws that mandate monitoring and filtering the internet.

Mozilla concludes it’s blog post outlining the need for the petition with a call to action, “At Mozilla, we’re committed to an exceptional internet. That means fighting for laws that make sense in the 21st century. Are you with us? Voice your support for modern copyright law in the EU and sign the petition today.”

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