Reddit, Wikipedia, and PornHub are strong-arming users into protesting against laws that could change the face of the internet in Europe

Wikipedia protestWikipedia's German page, translated by Google Translate.Wikipedia

  • Reddit, Wikipedia, and Pornhub are all protesting against a new EU copyright law due to be put to a vote next week.
  • Wikipedia has blacked out some of its European sites, while Reddit and Pornhub are displaying windows asking users to lobby lawmakers in European Parliament.
  • The proposed copyright reform was already sent back to the drawing board once in July 2018, but received backing from the European Parliament in September.

An unlikely alliance of Reddit, Wikipedia, and PornHub has formed in the face of sweeping new online copyright laws due to be voted on by the EU next week.

European Parliament is due to consider the legislation on March 26. In particular, the sites take issue with Article 13, which would put the onus on tech companies to police content which infringes copyright uploaded to their platforms. When first proposed, it sparked fears that it could essentially kill off memes.

In protest, Reddit is flashing up an error message that reads "copyright not detected" whenever users in the EU try to post. Users can click out the window, but Reddit's goal is to give users a taste of what it believes the new laws will be like for its community.

Reddit protestReddit's giving users a fright.Reddit

Wikipedia's German, Czech, Slovakian, and Danish pages are all denying users access for 24 hours. Instead, users are redirected to a page arguing against Article 13 of the proposed laws, along with Article 11 - otherwise known as the "link tax," which would require companies to hold licenses for linking to publishers.

Read more: YouTube is pushing back against a new EU copyright law, which it says will massively restrict how many videos Europeans can watch

The original version of the new copyright laws was rejected in July 2018 after being criticised for being overly broad. A softened version of the laws was voted through in September.

Nonetheless, Wikipedia argues that the proposed reforms could "considerably constrain the free internet."

Pornhub joined the fray by displaying a banner at the top of its website.

All three linked off to the #SaveYourInternet campaign, which encourages European citizens to lobby their representative in the European Parliament.

The proposed reform has already received considerable pushback. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a Financial Times op-ed that Article 13 could bankrupt YouTube's "creator economy."

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