Wikipedia across Italy, Spain, Estonia, and Latvia were closed and inaccessible for the 4th July. Potential Wikipedia visitors were instead taken to a statement page which explained that due to the EU’s proposed Copyright Directive, the Wikipedia community has decided to shut the site a block access to all pages. The site is to remain shut before and during the vote on the Directive, on the 5th July.
The statement argues that the “Directive will weaken online freedom … Instead of promoting the participation of all citizens in the information society.”
The Directive, also known across the internet as “Article 13”, will impose sweeping barriers, filters and restrictions on the content people can publish online. Crucially this may very well spell the end of the Meme era. Crucially for Wikipedia, the new law will also put “Wikipedia itself in danger”.
Edit: Despite expectations that the bill would be successful today, MEPs voted to reject the bill as it is. Instead, MEPs will return to the issue in September allowing for more debate on the issue.
Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, tweeted the success of today’s rejection, who has been a long time opponent to the bill.
Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board. All MEPs will get to vote on #uploadfilters and the #linktax September 10–13. Now let’s keep up the pressure to make sure we #SaveYourInternet! pic.twitter.com/VwqAgH0Xs5
— Julia Reda (@Senficon) 5 July 2018
But for now, enjoy some poor Memes on the issue …