Wikipedia Site Darkens Protesting Copyright Law In European Countries

Interpreters provide live translations in 24 official languages

The European Commission has replied saying that "Wikipedia and other online encyclopaedias would not fall within the scope of the Commission's Copyright proposal".

The online information hub was joined by 70 computer scientists, including creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, 169 academics and 145 human rights, press freedom, and scientific research organizations in a letter of condemnation of the proposed law.

The vote would have given MEPs the mandate to start negotiations with member states for a finalized law which Austria, holder of the EU's 6-month rotating presidency, would like finished by the end of the year.

The EU's planned changes go to a vote in the European Parliament on Thursday.

Article 13 would implement a so-called "upload filter"-or what opponents have called a censorship machine-to screen all material uploaded to the internet for copyright infringement".

Wikipedia "did not take action just to save itself but also to defend the free Web" and to "preserve the Web as a space that is open to less visible realities", Codogno said.

The legislation proposes a "link tax", requiring companies such as Facebook or Google to pay a news source for any stories they link.

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There was mud-slinging from both sides.

Much of the debate revolved around the most contentious article of the bill, article 13, which aims to give fair remuneration to creators vis-a-vis internet platforms. "We can not fast-track such an important legislation".

"We congratulate our members for their hard work, and Julia Reda, Catherine Stihler, EDRi and others who have led the fight in Europe to stop these awful proposals". The law will be revised, and a new vote will occur in September.

This also means that the race is on for lobbyists to convince MEPs that are not necessarily experts on copyright or how the internet works.

Supporters of the legislation were quick to voice their disappointment.

MEP Marc Joulaud denounced "a lobbying campaign of unprecedented violence orchestrated by USA tech giants".

"We are confident that the European Parliament will finally approve what is right for the future of the EU's economy, competitiveness and fundamental values against these global forces", Lassen said.

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