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. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2019 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: The end of the Internet as we know it...or not.

    "Except they haven't. All those platforms that artists are using today to make money, will now either shutdown in the EU altogether (except for maybe the big players like Youtube) or they will not allow any more user uploads because it's impossible to get licenses for all the content from the millions of creators out there to cover what their users upload. This will kill any and all sites that allow any kind of user uploads or comments/forums."

    This will make quality content extremely valuable, and those who create that content can market it directly, through e-mail, PRINT advertising, TV advertising, etc. Those avenues have become so decimated that many will run the ad for a cut of the revenue. Without the UGC thieves and pirates as competition, the artists will thrive, though big tech will not.


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