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EU Copyright Reform: Winter is Coming

Those involved in EU copyright reform discussions are likely to be feeling rather ‘chilly’ in view of recent developments. The original Commission proposal for a Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive was already highly problematic, but with the unexpected change of leadership of the dossier in the European Parliament last month, our initial concerns have escalated.

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Help Us Protect an Open Internet

On July 12, a diverse coalition of civil society organizations, businesses, and internet users will unite in a day of action to preserve the open internet. While the FCC approved the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to repeal net neutrality protections for internet users in May, this was only the first step in the repeal process. The proposal still must go through another vote before the FCC, and then survive a potential court challenge. If you support a free and open internet, you still have until July 17 to make your voice heard through the FCC comment process.

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German Social Media Law Creates Strong Incentives for Censorship

Social media companies and other hosts of third-party content will soon face potential fines of €50 million in Germany if they fail to promptly censor speech that may violate German law. Last week, the German parliament approved the NetzDG legislation, which goes into effect 1 October and will require social media sites and other hosts of user-generated content to remove “obviously illegal” speech within 24 hours of being notified of it. This is one of the most extreme online censorship bills that we have seen from a liberal democracy to date. CDT was critical of this bill when it was first introduced, and we’re deeply concerned that the German parliament has now adopted it.

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Celebrating Twenty Years of Free Speech Online

Twenty years ago today, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Reno v ACLU, the first case in which the Court considered the relationship between the First Amendment and the untested medium of the Internet. This was a pivotal case that required the Court to grapple with the technical characteristics of this new communications medium and to consider how decades of First Amendment doctrine should apply to a technology beyond the Founders’ wildest dreams.

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A Look Back at the First Big Fight for Free Expression on the Internet

The Center for Democracy & Technology was part of a broad coalition fighting back against the CDA when it was a draft bill and challenging it in court. Today, we take a look back at the fiery public debate that went on as the case made its way to the Supreme Court, and how lawmakers and corporations alike had a stake in this landmark case declaring that speech on the internet was protected under the First Amendment.

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Packingham v. North Carolina: A Win for Free Expression Online

Yesterday, in Packingham v. North Carolina the Supreme Court decided that a law that bars sex offenders from using sites like Facebook and Twitter was unconstitutional. In its decision, the Court recognized the fundamental nature of the internet and social media to exercising one’s First Amendment rights, and found North Carolina’s law to be far too broad. This is an important decision for the protection of free expression online.

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Holding Platforms Liable for Terrorist Tweets Would Open Door to Mass Censorship

When online content hosts face a risk of litigation over user-generated content, they will respond with overbroad censorship measures that limit individuals’ rights to post and access lawful, constitutionally protected speech.  This is true whether the litigation risk comes from the government (as it would under the proposed online censorship bill we’re fighting in Germany)…

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Tech Talk: Media Outlets in the Trust Economy; the Latest on Section 702

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. In this episode, we talk with the Associate Publisher of the Christian Science Monitor about how media outlets must find new ways to succeed in the trust economy. We also bring you the latest on reform efforts around Section 702 of FISA.

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Paywall to Georgia's State Legal Code a Broad Misapplication of Copyright Protections

CDT joined the ACLU Foundation, the ACLU Foundation of Georgia, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda on an amicus brief in Code Revision Commission v. Public.Resource.Org. The brief calls on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to preserve equal access to justice by upholding established precedent that bars the state from copyrighting its laws.

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