Activists push for positive copyright changes at Mozfest

In Communia Association we are well aware of challenges which copyright reform brought for the whole movement of activists actively engaged in copyright debate. Currently we’re facing the Commission’s proposal that restricts access to information, internet freedoms and threaten digital economy. Moreover, the voice of civil society is not heard in Brussels. Therefore we also believe that one of the biggest challenges for the movement is to motivate everyone, who cares about sharing and creativity. Therefore we took part in Mozfest, the event connecting a global group of people working toward an open, innovative, and censorship-free web.

The most important for us was the opportunity to meet advocates interested in a variety of different areas, including open education, Wikimedians, and those dealing with network neutrality and online censorship. They all have reasons to be interested in the direction of the development of copyright law in Europe, and we did our best to get them them on board with copyright reform actions.

The debate on the ongoing copyright reform in the European Union took place within the “fuel the movement” space. The idea behind this theme was to bring people together to talk about how current copyright laws aren’t equipped for the digital and internet age. We had an opportunity to meet and network with NGOs working with copyright reform and policy advocacy on a daily basis, and Communia also organized two sessions:

  1. #CopyFails and Best-Case Scenarios for Copyright – the session cohosted with EDRI started with presentation of two campaigns which led to a step further and asking participants to “confess their copysins”, namely the copyright infringements they see every day caused by the absence of legislation fit for the digital environment. We hope to develop further great ideas gather during this meeting.
  2. Keep Copyright Out of the Classroom – we encourage participants to develop new ideas on how to communicate the issue of copyright in education. The sessions only confirmed how challenging it is to  use language and narrative beyond copyright activists bubble – but we’ll keep trying!


We were also actively engaged in kick-off session on “Reform EU Copyright: What’s Wrong With It, and What You Can Do”: Alek Tarkowski presented the issue of copyright and education and Timothy Vollmer elaborated on ancillary copyright. These presentations, alongside with other topics raised such as  the censorship machine (upload filter proposal), the lack of harmonised rights across the EU, and the inadequate attempt to facilitate text and data mining gave a broad and in-depth analysis of why we all shall care about the Commission’s proposal.

The variety of sessions created a space for reflection about the direction of the movement, and helped us understand and prioritize our issues within a global perspective. Mozfest was an incredible opportunity to look at our activities from a broader, open-oriented perspective. We encourage everyone to watch the recordings of the speaker series on the festival website.

The Mozfest, a festival organized annually by the Mozilla Foundation. The festival, held from October 28-30, was divided into nine thematic tracks based around broad topics such as digital art and culture, journalism, open science, youth, and advocacy. There were more than 500 sessions, several thousand participants, and three days of countless inspiration.

A satire on the art business in which art experts and dealers who assess paintings are depicted as donkeys. After the drawing by Trémolières in the Hessisches Landes Museum in Darmstadt (cropped).
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