EU's Departing Internet Commissioner Leaves Behind Copyright Plan That Will Outlaw Basic Internet Functions

from the crazy-uncle dept

We’ve written quite a few times about EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, a bigoted luddite, who bizarrely was put in charge of internet regulations for no clear reason at all. His main focus seemed to be on putting in place policies whose sole goal was to harm the internet because many key internet companies are American. Oettinger, who seems to be magnetically connected to all sorts of scandals has failed upward to a new job as the EU’s budget chief, but as EU Parliament Member Julia Reda notes, he’s still leaving a trail of internet destruction in his wake. In particular, she highlights ten everyday internet activities that would be outlawed if Oettinger’s copyright and internet proposals become law. It’s a pretty eye-opening list, and should raise serious questions about why Oettinger was ever put in charge of anything having to do with the internet.

Among the list of things: sharing a snippet of a news article, retweeting a “creative” new headline, posting a blog post to Facebook, posting unmoderated comments to many platforms, or uploading content to Wikipedia. There’s more in the list, but the crux of Oettinger’s proposals were basically written by big legacy publishers and Hollywood — looking to hamstring any competition from the internet at all, and requiring all sorts of new regulations, payments and monitoring requirements for any internet platform that let’s users actually do stuff online. Reda points out the true irony here, in that the bills wouldn’t actually impact actual cyberlockers — which the industry often claims are pits of infringement, but rather seem uniquely targeted at big, established successful internet companies by industries who have failed to adapt to a changing internet.

It’s good that Oettinger is leaving that role overseeing internet regulations, but these proposals still exist and may still move forward. Hopefully, the EU’s next internet regulations czar actually has a bit more of a clue.

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Comments on “EU's Departing Internet Commissioner Leaves Behind Copyright Plan That Will Outlaw Basic Internet Functions”

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Anonymous Coward says:

the first question to ask is who put Oettinger’s name forward for the position and then ask what the reward was for doing so? whoever that was, he/she needs to be closely examined in all activities that involve the entertainment industries gaining something more that keeps them from adapting to the digital age and able to punish any and everyone who downloads media for personal use, a far different thing than those organised gangs who do it for profit. but hold on, i forgot,those people, the gangs, would have power, money and muscle to both withstand and fight back, us ordinary people have nothing to help us, so in true bully-boy fashion, the industries only go after the weaker, smaller ‘offender’!

trollificus (profile) says:

This ^ x1,000. Corruption in a European bureaucracy? Say it ain’t so!

And it also explains why some of us are always, intuitively and without knowing all the specifics, distrustful of “bigger, better, (and always more powerful) government”. No matter if the urge to produce such a governing force begins with moral high ground, best intentions and people of good will…it always ends up with people rationalizing a sell-out. When they bother with rationalization at all.

Given that technology is finally bringing into focus the Holy Grail of totalitarians everywhere: the ability to know what everyone is doing, all the time; people need to understand the starkness of our choices. Total top-down control (“Don’t worry citizen. We’ll have top men in charge. Top. Men.”) or a messy chaotic freedom that will have its’ own failures and casualties.

And while I can’t advocate anyone else search for wisdom in the ouvre of a middlebrow movie director, I’ll admit to being inspired by, and adopting, Capt. Mal Reynolds’ declaration in Firefly: “I aim to misbehave.”

Choose wisely.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Thanks for the link; the bit about the District Court of Hamburg was very amusing, in a disturbing kind of way.

Julia Reda is very smart and capable, I wish there were more like her in politics. I find it ironic that an EU Parliament Member, for the Pirate Party [Piratenpartei Deutschland] no less, is helping to bring respectability and honesty back into politics. Gunther Oettinger, on the other hand, is a racist buffoon of the first order.

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