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 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The end of the Internet as we know it...or n

    In a world with a "shut down" internet, other media can be used to replace its advertising, and direct file transfers of one's own content still ensure distribution.

    At the cost of being more expensive, harder to use, less efficient, and all around worse than doing it through the internet. Congratulations, you are advocating throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Without all those big content companies offering content, those who do it the old-fashioned way would thrive (not that it'd ever get to that).

    Possibly, but the amount of people thriving doing it the NEW-fashioned way VASTLY outnumber the people still trying to do it the old way. Welcome to progress.

    Very good money was made this way before big tech inserted itself as a middleman btw. Shut them down and we return to that era. Fine with me.

    Old man yells at damn kids to get off his lawn. News at 11. I'm sorry you hate change and progress but that old way of doing things is just that, old and outdated. The internet allowed way more people to make way more money and market their content on a global scale than was ever possible before it. By your own admission, you want to strip the ability of those creators to make money, just because you're a grumpy old man who doesn't like change.

    I'm sorry but you can shove it and the majority of the world's population disagrees with you.


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