Brief support from an unexpected quarter

THE COMMISSION - the EU's Civil Service - posted an article on the Medium website that strangely echoed the Freelance's analysis of the row about the Copyright Directive. This was rapidly removed on the grounds that "it has been understood in a way that doesn't reflect the Commission's position" - but not before it had been archived.

Entitled "The Copyright Directive: how the mob was told to save the dragon and slay the knight", it noted that the Directive "supports a free press and could enable journalists to get some money when their articles are shared online". It noted that "there is ample evidence from respected sources [giving links]that 'Big Technology' has even 'created' grassroots campaigns against the Copyright Directive in order to make it look and sound as if the EU is acting against the 'will of the people'." That phrasing might have had something to do with its removal.

It concluded: "So next time, when you get a sponsored message on your timeline, which says something like 'the EU will kill the world wide web as we know it', stop, pause and consider for a moment. Ask yourself: Cui Bono? Who really benefits from this message or this wider negative campaign?" Anti-copyright lobbyists seized on this - or, rather, its over-exciting headline - as they did journalists' unions' statements.