Yana Toom: Fight for Copyright Is Splitting Europe

Before the vote on the Copyright Directive, MEP Yana Toom sent a letter to her colleagues in the European Parliament, warning them against irresponsible and superficial take on this rather ambiguous document.

The letter reads as follows: “I’m very sorry to see that the discussion surrounding the copyright directive has been reduced to the level of a primitive street campaign. Of course, the message becomes more convincing if you offer the audience a glass of wine and a leaflet. But this legislative file is not a leaflet. Our duty is to get into the essence of the proposed directives, and to bear political responsibility for the decisions made. Responsible politicians should not divide the debate between “us who know what is necessary” and “them who are foolish”. Especially if those who are considered foolish are our own colleagues in the European Parliament as well as over 160 organizations and over 200 academics.

What is now called within the walls of the European Parliament “the fight for copyright” is splitting up the European society, and one must be blind not to see it. And if we let ourselves be convinced in the comfort of the MEPs Lounge that the voter is naive and does not understand what is better for him, we will prepare the ground for future Brexit situations: they begin this way. As a journalist with many years of experience, I know for sure that if the text cannot be understood unambiguously, it is a bad text. It must be rewritten. No matter how strong the desire is to report on the victory “in the struggle for the rights of creators”.

I will definitely vote against … and I call on colleagues to do the same.”

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