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Fwd: [Until 21 August] Your comment about legislative changes for code sharing platforms

I wasn't sure if this was to be forwarded but now I have clarification,
here it is.  It is related to the thread "Debian infrastructure in the
EU / copyright challenges"

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [Until 21 August] Your comment about legislative changes for
code sharing platforms
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:53:03 +0000
From: Matthias Kirschner <mk@fsfe.org>
To: associates@lists.fsfe.org

Dear associates,

We are contacting you because the EU is currently updating its copyright
law and the proposed changes can have strong negative implications for
collaborative software development. As you might be affected from those
changes, we would highly appreciate your comments, which might be
helpful for the research paper we are currently working on.

# What is this about?

The European Union works on regulation which will be very hard for
online code sharing platforms to comply with, and will increase the risk
for users to loose their code hosted on those platforms. The proposed
Article 13 of the Copyright Directive and its recital 38 are directly
relevant for the software development platforms. Several committees of
the European Parliament have already proposed amendments, and some of
them go even further than the Proposal of the Commission.

These legislative proposals can extensively hinder collaborative
software development, and especially Free and Open Source Software. New
rules proposed by the EU will create legal uncertainty for developers
using online tools when contributing to the Free and Open Source
projects through online code sharing platforms. The newly proposed
obligations on code sharing platforms will threaten their existence, and
effective online co-development by:

* Imposing on code sharing platforms the use of costly filtering
  technologies to prevent any possible copyright infringement;

* Imposing illegal monitoring obligation to track their every user.

As a result, every user, of a code sharing platform: an individual,
company, or a public body is treated as a potential copyright infringer
whose content, including the whole code repositories, can be taken down
and disabled at any time.

The vote in the parliamentary lead committee is scheduled for October.
More details on the proposed changes of the EU law are to be found at
the end of this e-mail.

# What OFE and the FSFE are doing

We are drafting a research paper, accompanied by an online engagement
tool to be launched in early September, to inform policy-makers of the
dangerous consequences of the proposed EU copyright rules for
collaborative software development.
For that we are gathering figures and comments about FOSS development
and how collaborative software development platforms are used (i.e.
GitLab, GitHub, GNU Savannah, etc., or even self run services with a
large user base). That is where you come in.

# How you can help

We hope you can give us your input on the importance of code sharing
platforms, deriving from your experience with them. Your feedback is
extremely important, in order to bring your voices to the policy makers
and highlight the barriers they might impose on Free Software

For your comment the following questions might help you:
* Were you aware of the proposed changes of the Copyright Directive
  (Article 13 and its related recital 38)?
* Which web-based version control repositories, either provided by a
  third party or hosted by yourself, do you use?
* For which kind of activities do you use any of the web-based version
  control repositories?
* To what extent do you use any of the web-based version control
  repositories for your own code and software project management?
* do you have any other feedback/comments on the directive?

# Contact Details
Please give send your feedback before **21 August** to Polina Malaja
<polina@fsfe.org> and Matthias Kirschner <mk@fsfe.org> so that your
input is included in the research paper.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Best Regards,

# Reference with detailed background information

* Commission's proposal
* IMCO Opinion
* ITRE Opinion (amendments 25, 49 and 52)
* JURI draft Opinion   *

Matthias Kirschner - President - Free Software Foundation Europe
Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany | t +49-30-27595290
Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030  |   (fsfe.org/join)
Contact (fsfe.org/about/kirschner)  -  Weblog (k7r.eu/blog.html)
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