GitHub, the popular code repository platform now owned by Microsoft, is opposing new legislation proposed by the European Parliament. At issue is Article 13, paragraph 1, of the proposed E-commerce Directive, which would require “information society service providers” to take steps to protect copyright holders. The law might require GitHub to install filters that would check for copyright violations, something the service said would be devastating to the open source movement.
Mike Linksvayer, GitHub policy director, stated, “Automated upload filtering of code would require entirely new technology and would result in either vast numbers of false positives — causing software to become much more fragile, literally breaking builds — or vast numbers of false negatives — because most software, including proprietary software, includes some open source components.” He added, “It is both feasible and imperative to exclude software development platforms from the Directive. Upload filters for software would be disastrous for software development, and thus the future of the European economy.”