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, 27 Mar 2019 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Huh, that's funny. All the numbers I've seen say something a bit different.

    For instance, I assume the "50% market share" you are talking about is all content, music and video. But Youtube splits revenue with its content creators 45/50. That's not really comparable to XX money per stream and isn't really apples to apples comparison with strict music streaming sites like Spotify or Pandora, but I'd say that's more than what artists get paid per stream.

    Now if you are looking at just music streaming, Spotify has a vastly larger market share than Youtube does. Youtube doesn't even come close.

    Because until now, musicians had no negotiating leverage.

    They still don't. Not really, not unless they are a mega superstar and can throw their weight around to get Youtube to make special rules just for them. Which, isn't really all that fair is it? An open platform that has set the terms of use and compensation for revenue for all users, makes special exemptions for artists if they are "big enough" to demand otherwise? Seems to me they should suck it up and deal with it like the rest of the world instead of having their every whim catered to. They don't have to put their music on Spotify, Youtube, or other streaming platforms if they don't want to.

    Now, if YouTube wants to continue streaming music, they'll have to pay what the MUSICIAN asks for, not whatever pittance they feel like paying.

    No, that's not how this works. Youtube is already paying them, nothing in A11 or A13 requires Youtube to kowtow to their specific price demands. It just says they have to license their content, not at a specific price. And if it were just about licenses, then why do they continually submit DMCA notices to Youtube for content that they have already licensed? Your arguments make no sense.

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