You may have heard about the efforts in Europe to reform copyright law. The debate has been ongoing in the European Parliament for months. If approved next week, these new regulations would require us to automatically filter and block content that you upload without meaningful consideration of your right to free expression.
We respect the copyrights and trademarks of others, and we take all reports seriously to ensure that your creative expression is protected. We make this clear in our Community Guidelines. There’s already a legal framework that works and is fair: Today we take down posts and media that contain allegedly infringing content when we receive a valid DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown request. We also provide clear-cut ways for people to fight back if they believe their removed content was not a true violation. These instances are monitored and reported and live in our biannual transparency report.
The suggestion to use automated filters for issues of copyright is short-sighted at best and harmful at worst. Automated filters are unable to determine whether a use should be considered “fair use” under the law and are unable to determine whether a use is authorized by a license agreement. They are unable to distinguish legitimate parody, satire, or even your own personal pictures that could be matched with similar photographs that have been protected by someone else. We don’t believe that technology should replace human judgment.
Tumblr is and always has been a place for creative expression, and these new regulations would only make it harder for you to express yourself with the freedom and clarity you do so now.
If you access Tumblr from Europe and want to act, you can find more information on saveyourinternet.eu.