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Poland files a complaint with the EU’s top court over online censorship concerns

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It’s only been a couple of months since the EU approved its highly contested new Copyright Directive, that polarized opinions across the bloc and led critics to declare that might bring about “the death of the internet” as we know it.

Meant to better protect copyright holders and “creative industries”, the directive managed to introduce such controversial features as unreliable and abuse-prone upload filters and the so-called link tax – and turn the whole thing into an internet freedoms issue.

But freedom advocates are not the only ones who have criticized the Directive. They were joined by Big Tech, who will now have to pay publishers for snippets that appear in their search results – something Germany’s newspaper and magazine publishing industry has been trying to make happen for a long time.

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said at the time the legislation was debated that it would introduce automated surveillance and control in what was once the open internet.

Other prominent tech figures have also spoken against the directive, but it has found its supporters among filmmakers, reports said at the time.

Now, after street protests and online petitions, the opposition to what is seen as overly restrictive new rules is moving to EU’s institutions, ahead of the legislation coming into force in early June. Over the next two years, EU’s member states will have to incorporate it into their own legal systems.

The first EU member to make a move and bring a case against the Directive before the Court of Justice of the EU is Poland, whose deputy foreign minister explained they were doing this out of fear of preventive censorship, the Reuters is reporting.

And preventive censorship, Konrad Szymanski recalled, is illegal both under Poland’s national law and in the EU.

The Polish government also described this piece of legislation as a disproportionate measure that fuels censorship and threatens freedom of expression.

Poland’s opposition to the new rules has not been a change of heart, either, because members of the European Parliament from that country voted overwhelmingly against the Directive when it was approved back in April.

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