June 22, 2018

GitHub: Changes to EU Copyright Law Could Derail Open Source Distribution

A proposed European law would mandate that content providers utilize some kind of content filter to make sure rights holders get their royalties. But for a public open source code repository, such a contraption could be a nuisance, or it could be catastrophic.

The E.U. Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee voted 14-9-2 Wednesday, Brussels time, to approve the latest draft of a directive to impose sweeping changes to the continent's copyright protections. Ostensibly, the purpose of this Parliamentary Directive would be to ensure the accessibility of all forms of content to "cultural heritage institutions" (mainly libraries and museums). Tucked into that draft is a mandate for a method for artists and rights holders to negotiate, perhaps electronically, to negotiate for and receive royalties from the distribution of their work.

But despite a flurry of proposed amendments (some of which may not have been fully circulated among members prior to being voted down, according to one member's objections), the Directive as it stands may fail to distinguish between a multimedia site like YouTube or Spotify, and a source code repository like GitHub or GitLab.

Read more at ZDNet

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