Will Copyright Directive Destroy the Open Internet?


The international conference "Will Copyright Directive Destroy the Open Internet?" will be held in Tallinn, in Nordic Hotel Forum, on March 22nd.

The participants are founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, Executive Director of Estonian Human Rights Centre Kari Käsper, member of Czech Pirate Party Marcel Kolaja, Google Public Policy and Government Relations Manager Milan Zubíček, UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye and MEP Yana Toom. Moderator is Ahto Lobjakas, political analyst, columnist and radio host.

The internet is a platform for information: it does not differentiate between “good” and “bad” and both spread at an equally fast rate. Recently there have been more calls to control content online. To ensure that creators are paid for their content online and stop exploitation by big tech companies the use of technologies is proposed. This is at stake in the Copyright Directive, a controversial law which soon will be voted in the European Parliament.

Ahead of the vote, MEP Yana Toom is organizing a conference with experts and stakeholders to discuss what the implications of this law are. As the Directive promises to pay creators more, but there are concerns about the impact on freedom of speech. Furthermore, many claim that the law will destroy the open internet as we know it: banning memes, snippets of news and create obstacles for online creativity through upload filtering.

Join us for a discussion about what the Copyright Directive means for the online world and the way we share information. There will be opportunity to present questions to our panellists.

Our panelists

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

Jimmy is an Internet and technology entrepreneur and founder of the online non-profit encyclopaedia Wikipedia and co-founder of the privately owned Wikia, Inc. including its entertainment media brand, Fandom powered by Wikia. Wales serves on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit charitable organisation he established to operate Wikipedia. In April 2017, Jimmy launched WikiTribune - a news website involving volunteers to curate fact checked and reliable articles. In 2006 Jimmy was named in Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ for his role in creating Wikipedia.

Kari Käsper, Executive Director of Estonian Human Rights Centre

Kari is one of the founders of the Estonian Human Rights Centre and manages its activities. Estonian Human Rights Centre is an independent non-governmental human rights advocacy organisation that repeatedly turned to European Parliament and heads of the member states with concern for Copyright Directive. For Kari the troubling questions are whether the Directive is balanced enough and whether human rights are abused.

Marcel Kolaja, member of Czech Pirate Party

Marcel is a leading candidate of the Czech Pirate Party for the 2019 European elections. He is an information technology expert focusing on Free Software. In the past, he acted as a co-chairman of Pirate Parties International and a vice-chairman of the Czech Pirate Party. Before joining the Pirate Party in 2010, he fought as an activist against the introduction of software patents in the EU from 2003 through 2005.

Milan Zubíček, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager, Google

Milan works as the public policy and government relations manager at Google in Brussels, where he covers topics related to disinformation and controversial content online. Before moving to Brussels in September 2018, he worked for two years at Google's Central and Eastern European public policy team, coordinating data governance in the CEE region and being responsible for government relations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Previously he was the program manager at the Aspen Institute Central Europe and a public affairs consultant at an international agency.

David Kaye, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

David has been appointed UN Special Rapporteur in August 2014. He is clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. He teaches international human rights law and international humanitarian law and directs a clinic in international justice. His research and writing focus on accountability for serious human rights abuses and the law governing use of force. He has collaborated with local and national governments, major international NGOs as well as those at the grassroots, international organizations, and academic institutions around the world.

Yana Toom, Member of European Parliament

Moderator: Ahto Lobjakas, political analyst, columnist and radio host.

Conference schedule:

15.30-16.00 Registration and coffee/snacks

16.00-16.10 Yana's opening words

16.10-16.45 First panel: Copyright Directive impact on platforms: Jimmy Wales (via Skype), Milan Zubíček, Yana Toom

16.45-17.15 Questions

17.15-17.45 Second panel: Impact on fundamental rights: David Kaye (via Skype), Marcel Kolaja, Kari Käsper, Yana Toom

17.45-18.15 Questions

18.15  Closing remarks

The working languages are English and Estonian. Participation is free. Registration: copyright@yanatoom.ee

The conference is funded by European Parliament ALDE faction.