EU Parliamentary Committee Votes To Put American Internet Giants In Charge Of What Speech Is Allowed Online

from the bad-news dept

As we’ve been writing over the past few weeks, the EU Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted earlier today on the EU’s new Copyright Directive. Within that directive were two absolutely horrible ideas that are dangerous to an open internet — a link tax and a mandatory copyright filtering requrement (i.e., the “censorship machines” proposal). While there was a big fight about it, and we heard that some in the EU Parliament were getting nervous about it, this morning they still voted in favor of both proposals and to move the entire Copyright Directive forward. The vote was close, but still went the wrong way:

Somewhat incredibly, no official rollcall tally was kept. MEP Julia Reda, however, has posted an unofficial roll call of who voted against internet freedom, showing (graphically) whether they voted for the link tax and/or censorship machines:

In case you can’t see that here’s who voted according to Reda’s list — most voted for both of the bad proposals, but for the few who didn’t vote for the link tax, I’ve noted that separately. These politicians deserve to (1) be called out for trying to destroy an open internet and give in to legacy industries who want to censor the internet and (2) voted out of office next election:

  • Axel Voss, Germany (who was in charge of this entire thing and who has regularly played dumb whenever people point out just how bad these proposals are. He appears completely beholden to legacy industry interests). Voss’s name should become synonymous with the destruction of a free and open internet.
  • Pavel Svoboda, Czech Republic (voted for censorship machines, but not the link tax)
  • Rosa Estaras Ferragut, Spain
  • Tadeusz Zwiefka, Poland,
  • Jozsef Szajer, Hungary
  • Francis Zammit Dimech, Malta
  • Luis de Grandes Pascual, Spain
  • Enrico Gasbarra, Italy
  • Mary Honeyball, UK
  • Jean-Marie Cavada, France
  • Marinho e Pinto, Portugal
  • Sajjad Karim, UK (voted for censorship machines, but not the link tax)
  • Joelle Bergeron, France
  • Marie-Christine Boutonnet, France
  • Gilles Libreton, France

Note those last two votes from France, as Lebreton and Boutonnet are both members of the French National Front party, the same party whose leader, Marine Le Pen, has been out and about screaming about how unfair it is that the party’s YouTube channel was deleted by automatic copyright filters — the same filters that her own party just voted to make mandatory for all platforms. Incredible.

This is a hugely unfortunate series of events. Having the proposal approved by the JURI Committee makes it much, much harder to stop this Directive from becoming official. But it is not the end of the road. Reda will be forcing a vote from the entire EU Parliament on the issue:

This is an unacceptable outcome that I will challenge in the next plenary session, asking all 750 MEPs to vote on whether to accept the Committee?s result or open it up for debate in that larger forum, which would then give us a final chance to make changes.

This vote will likely happen on July 4. Let?s make this the independence day of the internet, the day we #SaveYourInternet from censorship machines and a link tax. Are you in?

The digital freedom group EDRi has also detailed the next steps in this process and created an infographic showing what still needs to happen:

It will be difficult to stop this freight train after this morning’s vote, but not impossible. If you want to see the internet remain viable as a communications platform, rather than seeing it locked down as the new broadcast television, in which giant American companies have the final say in what you’re allowed to say online, you should probably let the EU Parliament know sooner, rather than later.

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Comments on “EU Parliamentary Committee Votes To Put American Internet Giants In Charge Of What Speech Is Allowed Online”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That is almost everyone here. By the time real knowledge shows up, there has been so much dogmatic fighting that the truth will be snuffed out in agreement by BOTH sides because neither wants their lies exposed.

This entire problem has been two sides of the same coin of ignorance and stupidity being played like harps from hell by the businesses.

The easiest way to win is to trick a couple of idiots into fighting each other and when they are both weak from the fighting… take them both out!

This is why businesses are winning, both parties has been duped into seeing each other a nothing other than enemies rather than two well meaning groups of people trying to solve the same problem.

TD is usually only filled with one group though so I am constantly being placed in that group because of it. And there are of course the ones that “say” they are independent while completely espousing the near “exact” principles and talking points of just one side, but hey… as long they think they are something else they can just keep believing that!

The results of your actions is how you should be judged… not the words you spew before, during, or after them! A wisdom most people regardless of party just simply do not understand.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I can’t believe I’m posting today- I thought this was supposed to break the internet

Reading comprehension failure — or willful obfuscation?

  1. This was just one vote in the process as explained in the article above. Nothing goes into effect for a while.
  2. The "break the internet" language does not mean that the internet ceases to function entirely, but rather that it changes in significant ways.
  3. Pretending that it means otherwise suggests either intellectual dishonesty or ignorance. So which is it?
Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

  1. Just because a thing doesn’t happen immediately doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen at any point in the future.

    By our trollish friend’s logic, the fact that he hasn’t died yet today must mean that he is immortal.

    If he sincerely believed the argument he is making, he would prove it by walking in front of a car.

    He hasn’t walked in front of a car; therefore he doesn’t really believe the stupid shit he’s saying.

ECA (profile) says:


How does this add up with “Right to be forgotten”

GOOGLE AND FB, and other independent sites CUT ALL politics off the net..
CUT all those persons access..would be nice also..

NO FAVORS, just walk out and Cut the lines to all their access..

Then the newspapers..

Funny thing about all this..
MOST news is handled by larger companies..Like AP..Associated press.. If google went STRAIGHT there, and posted That information, And paid the yearly fee’s..NO ONE COULD HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY.. as there would no longer be any links..

Anonymous Coward says:

There could be another reason why Le Pen’s French National Front party decided to support measures seemingly antagonistic to their own interests. Perhaps they might feel that appointing American Internet Giants as speech police would be better than the likely alternative, the French Government.

And a hat tip to Mike for not calling them “far right.” Although it’s probably safe to say that the National Front party could legitimately be called far right if ever there was one, it’s a label that’s all too often slapped indiscriminately on various people and groups whose ideas tend to be outside of the mainstream (and could be anywhere throughout the political spectrum) solely because of their stance or perceived stance on one or two hot-button issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Dear members of parliament,

with huge displeasure I took note of your vote to bring forward the extremist measures pushed forward first and foremost by Axel Voss seemingly on behalf of his drinking buddies. A reform of copyright is greatly needed, but what Voss and you voted for today strikes as an attack on democratic values. It is a display of your neoliberal craziness, as any advice independent of the drinking buddies was ignored. Your actions contribute to the mental teardown of the European Union, and your names will always be remembered as the perpetrators. Especially “Voss” which is the new name for “destruction of the free and open internet”. Hopefully you will go sailing out of the door soon in 2019.

Thanks for nothing”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: PaulT, where is PaulT?

Gary, have you considered seeking an education? Or maybe you have not found God and have no moral problem with lying repeatedly, either way… find a new religion will ya?

Free-Market was destroyed long ago by your regulations therefore it cannot provide a solution to the problem currently.

I also never say No-regulations either, I just don’t agree with YOUR regulations and want different ones instead… big fucking difference, and you would be able to understand that if you went out and just got that education you are in such need of! Please consider it, it “might” make the world a better place by 1 more person. Only a few billion to go now!

You and PaulT must be idiot buddies!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: PaulT, where is PaulT?

Hey chip all that lead based paint must be eroding you’re long term memory. You have said several times you are against all regulations. In fact the last time you posted this shit Mike came out and handed you your ass. So run away like you do, before someone with more patience for your drivel comes out and does it again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: PaulT, where is PaulT?

I just don’t agree with YOUR regulations

And we don’t agree with yours in return.

Especially considering that your regulations are just regulations saying there are no regulations. So yes, you’re technically in favor of some regulations, as long as they abolish regulations.

Congratulations, you’ve discovered circular reasoning.

Anonymous Coward says:

i must admit i was shocked that the EU has voted this in. what is really disastrous is that it all stems from the ridiculous legal rulings from USA courts that gave the entertainment industries everything they ever ask for! has sense have prevailed by judges instead of their need to line their own pockets, backing the destruction of the internet as it was meant to be, turning it into what those industries want it to be ( and all the bad things the industries have ever said about the Internet will suddenly become the best things ever!), ie, nothing more than a world wide distribution platform but for their stuff only and with their explicit permission! the charges and the restrictions will begin in a very short time now, wait and see!!

sumgai (profile) says:

I’d like to contribute two things, if I may:

1) Why isn’t Anonymous doxing these clods, especially their financial records? We know that these Neanderthal-thinking freaks of nature are taking money from the special interests, but we can’t prove it without some help from those that can do the dirty work of exposing the money flow. (Apologies for the insult to our ancestors.)

2) I’m pretty sure that the answer here is obvious – Those who ordinarily link to news-sites need only present a bill to the appropriate source for each link, detailing that the link, and the attendant traffic therefrom, was not free. Indeed, the link was put in place, free of charge, by a private party who is authorized in all ways and means to conduct business in a profitable manner. Failure to pay the bill within a reasonable timespan will automatically (via an AI agent) remove such further linkage from that private party’s site until remuneration in full, and a contract signed to the effect that there are no, and will never be any, license fees to be paid in either direction.

In my opinion, the word ‘license’ is rapidly coming to mean "to take money from someone legally but unethically". That’s sad.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

1) Sadly current Anonymous isn’t a hacking force. Or even a ‘show up to protest Scientology masked’ force. They’ve been taken over by ‘alt right’ scum. And even if they did it is disturbingly questionable what they can get away with. It is up to EU citizens to take to the street and call their MP to pull the plug. No matter how abhorrent just getting the message out isn’t enough if people don’t hold them accountable in response. The Ohio National Guard committed a goddamn school shooting decades before it was trend at Kent State and people barely remember it.

2) The more radical figures would argue it has always been that way – and historically there are two types of license. Those for making money and those for sake of control with situational overlap with things like say driver’s licenses. Granted ‘control’ can be benevolent in the sense of not allowing running an unsafe fertilizer factory downtown in a major city next to a school and hospital. As opposed to having a license to own a printing press.

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