Tech Law

Mozilla shines a light on outdated EU copyright law restricting memes, GIFs and photo-sharing

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

August 29, 2016 | 3 min read

Internet company Mozilla is campaigning against EU copyright laws with the company’s chief innovation officer Katharina Borchert claiming the laws are suppressing innovation in the region.

Mozilla, which is currently undergoing a full rebrand as it moves beyond the services offered by its web browser Firefox, has attacked such aspects of copyright law, claiming that it isn’t fit for purpose in the age of the internet.

Mozilla

Mozilla is targeting EU copyright law

Borchert said: "The internet brings new ideas to life every day, and helps make existing ideas better. As a result, we need laws that protect and enshrine the internet as an open and collaborative platform.”

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“But in the EU, certain laws haven't caught up with the internet. The current copyright legal framework is outdated. It stifles opportunity and prevents, and in many cases legally prohibits, artists, coders and everyone else creating and innovating online.”

She underlined the fact that under the current laws it is actually illegal for tourists to share pictures of the Eiffel Tower night light show, due to them not having the express permission of the artist. In some areas the creation of a meme is unlawful as there isn’t a continent wide fair use rule.

The group have also created a petition calling for an update to the copyright law to allow space for “education, parody, panorama, remix, and analysis” of existing works.

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