Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The EU is reviewing Copyright Laws and we can help change them!

The European Commission is about to review its stand on EU copyright laws and rules and they're giving us, common citizens, a say in what should be considered as valid changes. This is a big, important step, considering Copyright law is one of the murkiest, muddiest, most vile disruptors of culture and media ownership.

I, personally, think it's important that people go and reply to the questions posed by the Commission. There's 80 questions in their original format that you can answer, but they are not mandatory. That means you can pick and choose which ones are important to you and which ones you don't care about.

Numerous guides and help websites have cropped up to help you with this process, which is a bit clunky in its original form. The one I used was youcan.fixcopyright.eu. It allows you to select the issues you're most passionate about and offers a web interface with explanations written by the authors where you can answer the questions. Then, once you're done, a copy of the questionnaire filled with your answers is emailed to you, which you can easily forward to the Commission. Working in much the same way, you have copywrongs.eu, with the added advantage of replying in German, English, Spanish or Italian. 

Last but not least, if you would rather a less automated and more thought provoking approach, Amelia Andersdotter has compiled a list of model responses and resources.

I urge everyone reading this, especially citizens of the EU, to at least reply to a few of them. It won't take much of your time and it could truly help shape the future of the Internet we all know and love.