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I don't often get involved in politics, but I do need to speak up and mobilise our community today as the European Parliament is set to vote on new copyright laws that will have a far-reaching effect on content creators, website owners and every citizen of the internet.

The most important one, "Article 13" dictates that websites need to ensure that any uploaded content is free of copyright. Not only is this technically infeasible (it's hard even for the tech-giants, but impossible for small players), it also encourages platforms to 'play it safe' and deny posting of any material that they're not 100% sure about. This would lead to large-scale censorship and is a huge danger to your freedom of speech.

To bring it very close to home: if these laws come into effect it might mean the end of BlenderNation and Blender Artists as I don't have access to the 'copyright scanning' technology that would be required.

I encourage you to:

Make your voice heard! Stop these politicians who have no idea what they're about to do.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Naw. The so called "High" "IQ" people need to learn they are not "High" "IQ". Why the hell would you introduce some BS like this this. Isn't there an internet tax as well. It's going to pass. You can get 4 Billion sigs and that thing will still pass. Europe is filled with these racist progressive anti-christian communists. Let'em rot. Europe has committed so many crimes against people around the world.

    I heard the EU regulated the shape of cucumbers. Seriously? It's like giving a fat kid unlimited cup cakes. Pretty soon that fat kid will eat so many cup cakes he will either die or never want to see another cup cake. Even if you defeat 13 something else is going to pop up. God is going to cut you down...

  2. I really don't think a petition is going to fix anything at all.

    Like, the EU already knows what's wrong with what they're doing

    They've responded by claiming that you and I have been "brainwashed", "deceived" by American "Big tech" companies who just don't want to support the Artists™

    And they're going to go ahead and do it anyway. What are you going to do about it? What can you do about it? Signing a petition is literally the best the European people can do to stop their holy parliament from passing legislation they don't like, and that's what should make you afraid, the next time they do this on something more important than just copyright law.

    • As Bart already mentioned, you could go and join one of the many protests this saturday. For many polititians, it's only serious when we literally take to the street - as in "these 'internet-bots' don't count as legitimate protest". Don't forget there will be elections this May, so people might once again have a chance to stop this nonsense reform.

      Remember TTIP? Guess when that was finally let go.

  3. Bernhard Engstler on

    I would argue that they know exactly what they are doing, but most people can't wrap their head around the fact that politicians, in particular the EU, does not represent the people.

  4. Wow, I'm very impressed how much political frustration is to be found in this comment section. If you're a EU citizen, stop being apathetic. Go protest. Go vote.

    Yes, there are many politicians that don't give a fuck, there is a lot of lobbyism especially on EU level.
    BUT, that might to some extend be due to a relatively low voter participation especially among younger, less conservative people.

    Get up, be loud, be heard.

  5. Even as a US citizen, EU internet laws affect me here too. Like last year's cookie law. Every damn website uses an obtrusive inline popup to say they use cookies. Even the ones that never used a cookie before! ( Now, ironically they use a cookie to track that we agreed to their use of a cookie. ) We could have just had a handful of browsers ask if we want to accept cookies or not. No, EU law dictates that every single website has to have a note. --
    That said, where do I sign?

  6. Bart, I have taken the liberty of reposting this article on the Lightworks forums. It is extremely important that this information gets out there, and that people act.

    I hope that I haven't violated your copyright in this article!

  7. Thank you Bart for the heads up on this upcoming disaster. This Article 13 is so extreme when it comes to protecting copyrights it will literally cripple the internet in Europe if not world-wide. I know of tons of people who create fan art who would be shut out by this. Also, you couldn't possibly share anything online without violating these nonsensical rules. For all intensive purposes, this is another power-grab! I've already signed the petition and shared it via Twitter.

    What the world needs is for the EU to finally collapse and for European nations to take responsibility for their own affairs.

    Good luck with the protest in Amsterdam!

  8. I support your plight but really, we don't live in a world where politicians frankly give a flying fuck what we think or what's good for us or even if a law is physically possible to implement and enforce. They only care about their battles in politics, winning, and doing whatever the people who bribe them tell them to do. Oh sorry did I say bribe? I meant 'political donations'.

    Seriously, we're at the point where if you want to stop the politicians from implementing this law, get 1 million people to surround then storm into the EU parliament, overpowering any security forces in your way, and physically stop the EU politicians by dragging them out into the street, because nothing else short of actual revolution will stop them at this point.

  9. Morten Fjellheim on

    Bart, not that i like or agree with article 13 but arent you taking it abit too far here? Obvioysly if you cant control what is being uploaded, you have to disable the upload before closing the websites right?

    • For BlenderNation I would have to review all 15,500 articles to make sure there are no copyright infringements, and for Blender Artists not being able to upload images would mean the death of the forum anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • The snag is that similar bills are now moving everywhere. Even if the EU succeeds in preventing this, it is only for a while, if the law is passed in the rest of the world.
          Therefore, the question is relevant: what will you do if the protest does not bring victory? If you intend to surrender, then you have already surrendered!
          I am only interested in the technical aspect: if, for example, the data on the site will be presented in an iframe, will it be considered copyright infringement?

  10. Morten Fjellheim on

    There will stil be a need for a main "blender hub". Of course it will push things strongly in a negative direction, but disappear entirely?

  11. David Spector on

    We see the effect already on Wikipedia, which, although based in the USA, has wiki bots that go around deleting image files that Wikipedia editors post when there isn't clear evidence that the editor themself made the drawing or took the photo!

    I posted an obviously public-domain photo (which has appeared in various places) in an article, a really good photo that improved the article, but it was automatically deleted and not allowed back--Wikipedia claimed that someone could have a copyright on it.

  12. To those who say it won't matter if you take action or not, I say to not take action is a guarantee this legislation will pass. Contact your legislators, vote, follow how your legislators vote on laws. If you disagree with them let them know, and give reasons. If they vote against your wishes, let them know that your will vote against them.
    Let other people know and encourage them to be involved, in voting, lawful protests, and public education.
    If any democracy will last it depends on people being educated, and caring enough to show up to vote, protest, and inform others.

  13. This is a precursor to major censorship in the EU. It doesn't matter what side of the political spectrum you identify with, this is not good for any of us. The EU is becoming and authoritarian entity. The move by them goes far beyond copyright. They are attempting to control the flow of information and especially the narrative of information being disseminated. It sounds conspiratorial but unfortunately it's the reality we are living right now. We need to fight it.

  14. Ask yourself,
    what if someone build a bot, stole all your content and publish on her own website ?
    Maybe you'll be happy to get some legal protection ?

    Now think twice about google / fb behaviour, stoling copyrighted contents at industrial level.
    No definitely the point is not EU trying to protect us, but US allowing such deviant behaviour.

  15. Brian Lockett on

    I would implore more fellow North Americans, along with the many others around the world, to back this issue, as much as possible.

    Not to get too political here, but it seems in recent years, be it with the EU or with "Brexit," along with all of the nonsense going on over here in the U.S. these days (internet laws included), there is a troubling trend of general online freedoms, that we as general Western society once enjoyed, truly being assaulted.

    We have to join together to help each other, as much as possible, with efforts like what Bart and others are fighting. It's no exaggeration to say, the future (near-future) of our Internet is at stake. These measures proposed are well beyond the pale of reason.

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