Article 13's threat to free speech online

On 5 July 2018 MEPs will vote on the Legal Affairs Committee’s latest version of the EU Copyright Directive. It currently contains Article 13 which would introduce upload filters to major Internet platforms.

Automated filters tend to overblock because they struggle to understand context. That means the legitimate use of copyrighted material such as in parodies, remixes, journalistic research and more will be in constant jeopardy. This is a huge threat to creativity and free expression online.

This could change our experience of the Internet from free and creative sharing to one where anything can be removed without warning, by computers.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of Article 13 click here.

MEPs need to hear directly from their constituents exactly why upload filters would be a catastrophe for free speech. Please call your MEPs now, phone calls are the most effective tactic at this late hour. You can use the points below to construct your own unique message. FIND YOUR MEPS IN THE LIST AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.


• Say if you are part of a tech business, or a creator, like a musician, photographer, video editor or a writer.

• Creativity and free speech will be harmed by Article 13 because algorithms struggle to tell the difference between infringement and the legal use of copyrighted material vital to research, commentary, parodies and more.

• It is a bad idea to make Internet companies responsible for enforcing copyright law. To ensure compliance and avoid penalty, platforms are sure to err on the side of caution and overblock.

• To ease compliance platforms will adjust their terms of service to be able to delete any content or account for any reason. That will leave victims of wrongful deletion with no right to complain – even if their content was perfectly legal.

• No filter can possibly review every form of content covered in Article 13’s mandate including text, audio, video, images and software. Article 13 is technically infeasible.

• You can email these two briefings to MEPs after your call.

Briefing 1

Briefing 2


Dear (insert MEP handle), as your constituent and in the name of protecting free speech online I urge you to oppose #Article13 in the #CopyrightDirective. #SaveYourInternet #DeleteArt13 #CensorshipMachine


The MEPs listed below have not yet decided how they will vote, so if one is in your area please be sure to reach out to them. Your message could tip them in the right direction. IF YOU'RE OUTSIDE THE UK, USE THIS TOOL INSTEAD:


Seb Dance MEP

Tel: +33(0)3 88 1 75833

Twitter: @SebDance

Claude Moraes MEP

Tel: +33(0)3 88 1 75553

Twitter: @Claude_Moraes

West Midlands (Birmingham)

Siôn Simon MEP

Tel: +33(0)3 88 1 75505

Twitter: @sionsimon

East Midlands (Nottingham & Leicester)

Rory Palmer MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75459

Twitter: @Rory_Palmer

Rupert Matthews MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75598

Twitter: @RMatthewsMEP

Yorks & Humber (Sheffield & Leeds)

Amjad Bashir MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75319

Twitter: @AmjadBashirMEP

John Procter MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75321

Twitter: Not available

Northwest (Manchester)

Wajid Khan MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75437


Jacqueline Foster MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75674


Sajjad Karim MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75640


Eastern (Cambridge & Norwich)

Alex Mayer MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75477

Twitter: @alexlmayer

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75332

Twitter: @GVOMEP

David Campbell Bannerman MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75733

Twitter: @DCBMEP

South East (Brighton & Oxford)

Nirj Deva MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75245

Twitter: @NirjDeva


David Martin MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75539

Twitter: @davidmartinmep

Nosheena Mobarik MEP

Tel:  +33(0)3 88 1 75249

Twitter: @NosheenaMobarik