Let’s start with the basics: Happy New Year! Beyond that the most notable
piece of news is that the European Parliament has adopted its position on
the new content moderation rules, a.k.a. Digital Services Act and
“trilogues” are starting today. We will also give you an overview of what
to expect this year from the European Commission in terms of proposals.
Written by Dimi (dimi(a)wikimedia.be) & Anna (anna(a)wikimedia.be). Do get in
Now that we have our own blog, we will try to keep everything in this
letter *a bit shorter & with links*, so you can grab the updates here, but
still enjoy the in-depth reading elsewhere. Let’s go!
Digital Services Act trilogues begin, after the European Parliament has adopted
its position on 20 January
During the committee votes MEPs had already made sure “notices” don’t
automatically oblige the platform to consider something illegal and
included language that distinguishes between service provider rules and
community made rules. We also have a “waiver” that could allow us to not
apply certain obligations on Wikipedia, such as out-of-court dispute
settlement mechanisms. During the plenary vote, solid language was added to
limit user tracking: “dark patterns
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_pattern>”, targeted advertising based
on sensitive data (e.g. political and religious beliefs) and the targeting
of minors are to be banned.
Trilogue Sticking Points: The Council and the Commission have no language
on limiting or banning tracking and targeted advertising, while inside the
Parliament two large groups: EPP and Renew Europe didn’t quite embrace
those. On the other hand, the Council wants to make the European Commission
the authority in charge of overseeing “Very Large Online Platforms”
(Wikipedia is expected to be one), while the Parliament leaves this to
national regulators. We expect these to be the main sticking points. A
thorough comparison of the negotiating positions from a free knowledge
perspective is to be found on our blog:
Three Column Comparison
Amendments that limit user tracking
Commission to continue proposing regulations: The legislative frenzy that
is seeing files being proposed and passing at breakneck speed (by Brussels
standards) is not over. We expect:
1. The Data Act to be proposed on 23 February.
2. To see a new legislation on tackling child sexual abuse material online
on 8 March.
3. A presentation of something called the European Health Data Space on 22
4. the unveiling of a right to repair initiative on 5 July.
5. A European Media Freedom Act on 13 July.
Hold on tight!
The Digital Markets Act is aiming at regulating competition among online
platforms. A quick deal is advertised by all sides, but fundamental
differences . A main issue is who will be designated a “gatekeeper”. The
European Parliament is suggesting tougher obligations on a smaller group of
services, the Council casts its net wider, but with fewer rules. This
tricky question should be discussed and decided first. A more detailed
The Data Act is expected to also reform the “sui generis” database right in
the EU. The results
of the European Commission’s consultation were announced and aren’t very
conclusive. The majority (54%) agree that the ‘sui generis’ right should be
reviewed, in particular in relation to the status of machine-generated data
although almost half of these are unsure of the relation between this type
of data and the Database Directive.The main difficulty reported was
the lack of clarity of the ‘sui generis’ right (11% of
respondents to the section), but 20% also said they “experienced no
The Artificial Intelligence Act has finally found its home in the European
Parliament. The Civil Liberties (LIBE) and the Internal Market (IMCO)
committees will lead jointly, with MEPs Brando Benifei (S&D, IT) and Dragoş
Tudorache (RE, RO) at the helm. Plus, a well know face from the “copyright
wars”, Axel Voss (EPP, DE) will be at the helm of the Legal Affairs
committee (JURI), which got exclusive competence over provisions covering
information to users of high risk AI systems, transparency obligations,
codes of conduct and human oversight. One thing we are trying to figure out
is under which obligations a “anti-vandalism” bot written and maintained by
users on Wikipedia would fall. Expect more from us in the coming months.
Open Source Decision: The European Commission decided
that all software produced by it or on its behalf is to be open source and
Copyright transpositions: While countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Romania,
Portugal and Czechia are still waiting for their parliaments to even start
dealing with the copyright reform, Estonia, Austria and Spain have now
updated their rules. All three implement the public domain safeguard, but
Estonia and Austria include a few more safeguards for making sure uses
under copyright exceptions are protected. Spain transposed the law by
“emergency decree”, so the parliament could still amend it. Follow the DSM
Implementation Contest <https://eurovision.communia-association.org/> here.
Will anyone get the full 12 points?
One year of professional advocacy at Wikimedia France: Our Paris based
colleague Naphsica looks back at her first year at Wikimedia in a
a year of advocacy at Wikimedia France
Bon Wikiversaire! :)