GitHub takes aim at EU proposal to filter uploaded code
- A proposal in front of the European Commission is calling for automatic filtering of user-uploaded content on information society service providers. The Article 13 provision is meant to address nefarious activity such as piracy, but many people in the technology community are voicing opposition for the unintended consequences such a requirement might place on the developer community.
- Github pointed out that upload filters would affect code, making it "less reliable ands more expensive" and raising a number of privacy, free speech and ineffectiveness problems. Upload filters could pose many problems for developers, such as false positives and negatives in code with multiple developers, layers or licenses. It could also complicate matters for developers looking to copyright their work or make it open-source, according to the company blog post.
- German MEP Julia Reda posted a list of additional flaws in the proposal she would like redressed, including a requirement for copyright licenses for all platforms with uploaded and published media content, the lack of effective exceptions for some platforms, the inability for content filters to process personal information and what appears to be a violation of "general monitoring" by hosting providers, which is banned by EU law.
Overall, the technology industry has faced relatively light-handed regulatory controls (though decades-old rules have spouted several clashes with modern technologies).
The rapid pace of development and continuing saga of technology adoption means that, moving forward, less is always more for most developers.
The proposal is still from codification, but the implications of regulations made in the EU, such as GDPR, and how they reverberate around the global technology community demand immediate attention in the industry.
Even with the best of intentions, the difficulties separating digital platforms and functions into distinct categories makes targeted legislation tricky at best and impossible at worst.
- EUR-Lex Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on copyright in the Digital Single Market
- GitHub Blog EU wants to require platforms to filter uploaded content (including code)
- Julia Reda, MEP Green light for upload filters: EU Parliament’s copyright rapporteur has learned nothing from year-long debate
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