EU Puts An End To The Open Internet: Link Taxes And Filters Approved By Just 5 Votes

from the a-sad-day-for-the-open-internet dept

Well, it was a nice run while it lasted, but the EU Parliament has just put an end to the open internet. By the incredibly thin margin of just five votes, the Parliament voted against any amendments to the proposal -- which was a necessary step to fixing or deleting Articles 11 and 13. After that, they voted to approve the EU Copyright Directive, including the terrible versions of both Article 11 and 13. This is an inauspicious day and one that the EU will almost certainly come to regret. While we now need to see how each of the member states will implement the actual laws put forth in the Directive (meaning the damage in some states may be more mitigatable than in others), on the whole the EU Copyright Directive requires laws that effectively end the open internet as an open communications medium. Sites that previously allowed content creators to freely publish content will now be forced to make impossible choices: license all content (which is literally impossible), filter all content (expensive and failure-prone), or shut down. Sites that used to send traffic to news sources may now need to reconsider, as doing so will inexplicably require payment.

At best, the EU--for all its complaints about Google and Facebook--has just locked both companies into a dominant position. They can afford this. Others cannot. And, the legacy gatekeepers in the media and entertainment business will quickly pivot to seeking to export this model elsewhere.

The MEPs who voted for this are up for election in two months, and hopefully the EU shows them the door, but in the meantime, today is a sad day for the open internet. I am sure that some will be celebrating on the false belief that this will magically "help artists." It will not. You just handed more power to giant companies, and took it away from creators. In time, one hopes, those who mocked the protesters and activists and actual experts will come to realize just how much they destroyed today.

Filed Under: article 11, article 13, censorship, closed internet, copyright, eu, eu copyright directive, eu parliament, filters, free speech, link tax, open internet

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2019 @ 8:24am

    The village idiot speaks

    I told you guys that your "regulate all the things" are going to back fire on you.

    Except nothing has backfired. Politicians were bribed into voting for it against the wishes of the masses.

    Just keep up the government and regulation worship.

    This is just blatantly false. Proof please.

    I warned you that the power you give government to "save you" from big bad business, will only be used to stab you in the back.

    So regulation bad. I guess we should get rid of all government and go to anarchy then, according to you, since government, by definition, needs to have power to regulate. Grab your torch and pitchforks boys!

    Enjoy folks!

    Well I do enjoy folks. It's good to have friends. Oh you meant something else, sorry, I live in reality where grammar matters.

    It is going to get a little worse

    Wait, I thought this was going to usher in a utopia? If even you are admitting that things will get a little worse, then it's definitely bad and shouldn't have been voted for in the first place.

    I have already told you how that is going to happen as well.

    Really? Do tell, I don't recall any such predictions. All I remember is you saying "Once this passes you PIRATES will FINALLY be SHUTDOWN once and for ALL!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!", followed by much rabid drooling and more maniacal laughter.

    But please, don't let me stop you from smashing your own face into the wall

    But you just said we would make things worse, now you're saying we can't do anything about it. WHICH ONE IS IT!!!

    that would be "mean" and "ignorant" of me to try.

    It really doesn't matter, you're mean and ignorant no matter what you do. So do as you wish, we'll continue on as normal in reality.

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