Basically, you can use the Post Crimes app from Mozilla to create a sort of selfie postcard to protest outdated EU copyright laws. How outdated? It is illegal to take a selfie or picture in front of the Eiffel Tower at night or in front of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. Truly. Truly? No wonder England wanted to leave the EU with outdated laws like that. In reality many copyright laws in the EU are not only outdated but some are simply downright ridiculous. To help numerous people protest these laws, should they wish to, Mozilla release this new Post Crimes web app. All you need to do is to simply upload a picture and the app will superimpose it onto a photo of a copyright-protected European landmark. The beauty of this daring is that, technically, you already broke the law twice). Post Crimes will then send the result as a postcard to a member of the EU Parliament.
Actually, the EU has announced that it is starting to make changes to many parts of its copyright laws. However, one area that seems to remain unchanged are old laws pertaining to selfies and pictures in European landmarks and making many popular creative expressions on the internet illegal. Mozilla hopes that this missed opportunity is ample reason to provoke the EU to update or simply get rid of these laws. According to Mozilla in its blog post published last Monday, “We’re not advocating plagiarism or piracy. Mozilla simply wants to improve copyright for everyone, so individuals are not discouraged from creating and innovating.” In this connection, Post Crimes is trying to get 1,000 post cards sent to Parliament. So far, only 954 to go to reach that number. So far, no one has yet been sent to jail taking selfies and pictures at European landmarks, well, not yet anyway. But it’s only a matter of time before an unwitting tourist maybe from Eastern Europe or Japan is suddenly arrested by an overzealous policeman who is familiar with these copyright laws. How embarrassing that would be, for the EU!
What baffles the normal mind is that the technical illegality of such a basic online act underscores the grave shortcomings in the EU’s copyright reforms. These so-called “reforms” thoroughly misses the point to deliver truly modern reforms based on the advancement of technology and the internet in order to unlock creativity and innovation. For instance, these outdated copyright laws still make it illegal to publish memes, gifs, and other stuff for panorama, parody, remixing, and mashups on the internet, at least on sites exposed to European clickers. And that’s not all. Data mining, according to these outdated laws again, is limited only to public institutions. That means private startup businesses are prevented to research into online data either to view what the competition is up to or to build innovative businesses. Perhaps EU lawmakers can take lessons from Spain – itself an EU member – when it repealed its unpopular “neighboring right” copyright law that failed miserably.