Multiple media outlets have reported that lawmakers are attempting to cram several controversial changes to copyright law in the must-pass spending bill that will likely be voted on this week to avert a government shutdown ahead of a December 18th deadline.
Digital rights group Fight for the Future, known for their role in the massive ‘Internet Blackout’ protests that defeated SOPA/PIPA, has launched a new campaign calling on House and Senate leadership to remove these dangerous and unnecessary provisions from the Continuing Resolution. More than 15,000 people have already signed the petition.
Fight for the Future Deputy Director Evan Greer (she/her) issued the following statement:
We’ve seen time and time again that changes to copyright law have profound implications for online freedom of expression and human rights. These types of decisions should never be made in closed-door negotiations between politicians and industry or rushed through as part of some must-pass spending package. Artists and musicians especially are suffering immensely during the pandemic. Congress should be working quickly to provide immediate relief, not cramming controversial, poison-pill legislation into budget bills to appease special interests. We call on House and Senate leadership to remove the copyright provisions from the Continuing Resolution and move them through regular order so we can have transparent and open debate about the right balance. DMCA abuse and frivolous copyright takedowns are already a huge problem for the next generation of artists and creators, streamers, gamers, and activists. Lawmakers should be working to address these issues and create a fair system that protects human rights and ensures artists are fairly compensated instead of ramming through poorly crafted legislation that could punish ordinary Internet users for engaging in everyday activities like sharing memes and downloading images online."