Estonian, Latvian Wikipedia protest against EU digital copyright directive

The Estonian and Latvian versions of the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia have been closed by the communities as they voice their opposition to European Union’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports on Wednesday, July 4, that the virtual protest of Estonia’s Wikipedia authors and editors started in the early morning of 4 July following a similar move in Italy. The protest is also held by Latvian and Spanish Wikipedia portals and will last until the vote in the European Parliament on July 5.

«Instead of a strong defence of the freedom of panorama and public property, we are getting a censorship machine and linking fees. We are expressing our protest in solidarity with the Wikipedia movement, all the issues of Wikipedia that are participating in this blockade, and with all Internet users around the world,» head of of Wikipedia Estonia, Eva Lepik reasoned.

The EU’s planned amendments to the new directive, make, for example, linking directly to media sources such as newspaper articles and the like in many cases impossible. Internet search engines would be required to to omit from search results websites and also Wikipedia articles that illegally refer to such content.

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