Swiss join protests against EU copyright reform

The EU copyright reform has been surrounded by controversy, particularly over Article 13, which imposes obligations on internet service providers to obtain licences from rightholders to publish content. Keystone

Tens of thousands of people across Europe, including in the Swiss city of Zurich, staged protests on Saturday against the European Union's planned copyright reform bill.

This content was published on March 24, 2019 - 10:30

More than 1,000 demonstrators marched in Switzerland's biggest city against the copyright reforms which critics fear threaten freedom of speech, according to the Keystone-SDA news agency.

The copyright directive, which is due for a final vote at the European Parliament next Tuesday, aims to modernize copyright laws so they are fit for the digital era.

In future, platforms such as Youtube will have to check whether uploaded contents contain copyright material.

Critics say this is only possible via costly automated filters, which would amount to censorship, and which smaller platforms cannot be expected to afford. Backers of the reform believe such fears are unfounded. 

The Swiss senate is holding off on amending the copyright regime of the Alpine nation until there is a clear outcome from the European Union.

The largest of Saturday’s protest took place in Germany with more than 150,000 people taking to the streets under the slogan “Save your Internet.”

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