We were surprised by a tweet from the official European Commission account on Thursday, pointing to its own blog post about the European copyright directive. “If you were taken in by slogans like ‘meme ban’ or ‘hyperlink tax,’ here is our blog post with fewer myths and more facts on copyright,” it explained.
The piece itself – ‘The copyright directive: how the mob was told to save the dragon and slay the knight’ – argued that the “largest search and video platforms” (no prizes for guessing the target here) had whipped up seemingly-grassroots campaigns against the proposed legislation. “Do Google, Facebook or others really need to pay to persuade? Are we in a world where ordinary people side with the fire breathing dragon against the knight with a blue and yellow shield?”
You can’t read the full piece in its original location now though: after complaints from campaigners against the legislation, it’s been taken down. “We have removed this article as it has been understood in a way that doesn’t reflect the Commission’s position,” as the EC put it. (The blog post can be read via this archived version).
Meanwhile, as we await the next votes on the final text of the legislation, some spirited arguments are continuing on Twitter. Crispin Hunt, the chair of UK songwriters body BASCA, has been going at it with tech-site Techdirt’s founder Mike Masnick over internet filters in this thread, for example.