Access and Feeds

Copyright Law: Code Hosting Sites like GitHub Protest Europe’s Proposed Copyright Regulations

By Dick Weisinger

In order to police copyright infringement, the EU is considering harsh new requirements for managing the content hosted by online code repositories.  Article 13 of a proposed copyright directive is primarily an attempt to protect the creators of music and video from not being adequately compensated for their work under the premise that sites that host their material profit significantly from making the content available while creators receive little, creating a “value gap.”

But some sites, like GitHub are worried about the language and implications of the proposed regulations.  The law would require them to censor uploaded content.  The burden of properly policing content would be placed on the hosting site and to avoid possible liability the incentive would be to remove content even if there is a slight but unproven possibility of a copyright issue.

The OpenForum Europe website savecodeshare comments that “under this proposal code-hosting platforms will be compelled to prevent any possible copyright infringement by developing fundamentally flawed filtering technologies. These filtering algorithms will ultimately decide what material software developers should be allowed to share.”

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