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 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I also never said YT doesn't pay well.

    Then you heavily implied it because you want to shut it down because you think it's just a platform for pirates and thieves.

    The music industry pays more to its workers than corporations pay to theirs.

    [Asserts facts not in evidence.]

    Shutting down all the content providers would logically reduce the supply of content, and Econ 101 says that will cause the price to rise.

    So you're creating artificial scarcity to artificially inflate the price of content. We call that ripping people off by deliberately limiting their access to content and forcing them to pay a price higher than what the content is actually worth.

    I am not a "shill" for anyone.

    Your immediately preceding sentence would suggest otherwise.

    Not that it matters, since Article 13 passed.

    Then you underestimate the massive backlash and fallout that it's passing is going to create.


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