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European Citizen Initiative „Freedom to Share“ has launched collection of Signatures


11 Dec 2020



The European Citizen Initiative (ECI) „Freedom to Share“ is launching today the platform for collection of support signatures for its call on the EU Commission to adopt copyright rules so that they are fair to creators and users. The goal is to legalize private, non-commercial filesharing – that is, for citizens to be allowed to share files directly via peer-to-peer networks without being punished for this. EU legislation that would allow filesharing would be perfectly compatible with international regulations if creators were given fair compensation.

“The question is: is it fair for copyright, related rights, and sui generis database rights to prevent the sharing of works and other material?” So Marco Ciurcina, Italian attorney from Turin and ECI‘s spokesperson - “The current regulations, that bans the sharing of files containing works subjected to copyright seriously curtails the freedom of access to science and culture enshrined in the Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

To be successful, the ECI needs to collect one million signatures across Europe and meet a certain quota in at least seven Member States. The European Commission would have to organize a public hearing and could introduce new legislation that would fulfill the demands of the Citizen Initiative. The EU Commission could also choose to dismiss the demands, but it would need to make a substantial public statement.

“Our goal is to tell the public, that the way of the Upload Filters is not the only way possible. The EU Copyright Directive needs to be changed, especially the Article 17 must go!“ says Gregory Engels, ECI organizer from Germany - “The EU needs a fair balance between the interests of the users and creators – and not implementing technical measures that will lead to censorship in the long run.“

The Freedom to Share ECI is registered by a group of activists and is supported by organizations from eight European countries. Many supporters come from the surrounding of Pirate Parties, but also from organizations promoting free access to information like the Italian Wikimedia foundation. The ECI organizers are inviting other organizations to join in the coming months.



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