European Parliament Votes in Favor of Controversial Copyright Laws

At this time, the new, restrictive copyright law passed yesterday by the European Parliament will only affect countries in the European Union. However, elements of many European Parliament legislation often show up within a few years in the laws of other countries around the world. The latest law should be a warning to genealogists.

The 438 to 226 vote, described as “the worst possible outcome” by some quarters, could have significant repercussions on the way we use the internet.

Quoting from an article on Slashdot:

The most controversial component of the plan mandates that any website that lets users upload text, sounds, images, code, or other copyrighted works for public consumption (read: most of them) would need to employ automated copyright systems that filter these submissions against a database of copyrighted works at the website owner’s expense.”


“Unsurprisingly, these parts of the bill have been met with opposition from digital rights groups, computer scientists, academics, platforms such as Wikipedia and even human rights groups.”

Details may be found at:


If I am reading this correctly, a site like would need to check every photo they upload against every web site in the world to see if there was a copyright? Or is someone going to create a database of copyrighted works for every website to check against?


And since my cousins lifted a whole lot of material, including cropped photos, and not just facts and dates, from my website and put it on, – without asking me – maybe they will have to take it down, or at least ask my for my permission – which I would have given.
Once I publish it, it is copyrighted if it is my original work. Cropped photos and comments about or summaries of people’s lives are original works.
I haven’t had a hit on my near relatives in years, and am in the process of removing a lot of them from my own site, since people I don’t know – and people who don’t know the people I don’t know – have my family in their trees all over the place.

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This restrictive law is still experimental. Other countries will be able to see how it shakes out in the real world before adopting similar laws. Also opposition might increase from additional quarters to stop the spread of this kind of law.


Chinese internet users see a different internet than we do, maybe Europe will also see an alternative internet?


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