To filter or not to filter? The controversial German approach to implementing Article 17 DSM Directive

Article 17 of the DSM Directive has sparked a passionate and still ongoing debate about copyright protection online. Internet activists have warned of mandatory upload filters as 'censorship machines' and 'the end of the free Internet', and in the same vein, platform providers have objected to proposals for mandatory implementation of content recognition technologies.


German lawmakers have now presented their proposal for adopting Article 17 into German copyright law. In a rather creative attempt, they have tried to find a way to make upload filters "widely expendable". With this commendable approach, they however may have shot over the mark – since the German draft bill is at risk of being incompatible with EU law.

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