In 2014 the European Commission will (maybe) propose new copyright laws and is allowing everyone with an interest in copyright to submit their views in a public consultation. And when they say everyone they do mean everyone
, even if you're not in the EU or maybe don't even live on this planet. If you have an earthling name, know one of the languages
, and have an email address, then they are willing to hear what you have to say. (No cheating though, they will probably complain that a lot of submissions are the same and just ignore everyone as usual. Don't ruin it for everybody!)
All you need to do is answer about 80 horribly depressing questions which try to lead you towards some horribly bad legislation and email it back to them. (Note: You don't have to answer all questions, just those you care about.) Luckily we people from the internet have some resources that can help us avoid getting tricked into supporting bad legislation and coincidentally those resources are found on the internet.
There is an EFF article
on the subject, a handy tool
to only fill in the answers you care about (thanks to a workshop at the latest Chaos Communication Congress), a guide
to answering these questions by Swedish Pirate Party politician and member of the European Parliament, Amelia Andersdotter, and yet another nice article
on the subject by La Quadrature du Net. And of course Torrent Freak
has an article about it, too!
Note: If you are in the UK and are allowing your ISP to filter/censor your internet connection, you may not be able to reach Torrent Freak because it might give you unauthorized ideas. (A porn blocker blocking non-porn related things? I bet no one ever saw that
It took us hours to get through the document (and did we mention it is horribly depressing?), so we would advise you to use the tool or manually focus on the questions that matter (not that the numbering of the questions is very logical to make that easy).
Hackers didn't get a say when the EU made some seriously bad cyber security laws
in a directive that was passed last July. And now we actually get to give input on something even more important, something that doesn't just affect us but affects everyone and everything on the internet (and also the real world, but that is not as important as the internet). There is only until February 5th, 2014 to submit your views and I bet you that lobbyists are sending in their vision and possibly having a small army of unpaid interns gain some "experience" by filling it in a bunch of times. So it's important that this time, right from the start, the people have a say in this matter and maybe we can have a copyright law that recognizes each individual's cultural rights, something conveniently ignored whenever this stuff comes up.
If you ever have seen ours or others' political news posts, felt powerless, and wondered, "What, if anything, is there that I could do to fix this?", now is your chance. This is our call to arms, and you have the power to actually, realistically affect this world. Help us, and help society make sure this is one law that gets done right.