Copyright directive a threat to online freedom of speech

“The Charter of Fundamental Rights (of the European Union - PAP) guarantees freedom of speech,” Czaputowicz told a press conference in Warsaw. /PAP/EPA

Poland has charged the EU's copyright directive to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) on grounds of its threats to freedom of speech on the internet, Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz informed on Friday.

The complaint especially addresses a mechanism obliging online services to run preventive checks on user content even without suspicion of copyright infringement. According to Poland, this solution shows signs of censorship, which is constitutionally forbidden in Poland and is in violation of EU laws.

"True, Poland has charged the copyright directive to the CJEU, because in our opinion it creates a fundamental threat to freedom of speech on the internet. Such censorship is forbidden both by the Polish constitution and EU law. The Charter of Fundamental Rights (of the European Union - PAP) guarantees freedom of speech," Czaputowicz told a press conference in Warsaw.

The directive is to change the way online content is published and monitored. EU members have two years to introduce the new regulations. Against the directive are Poland, Holland, Italy, Finland and Luxembourg.