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 @ 7:40am

    best see how much they were paid would be a better option! corruption in the EU is more rife than even here in the USA! may just as well shut the Internet down now because those who started this ball rolling, the entertainment industries, who couldn't bear to lose a single penny in revenue, who wanted to charge the same for downloads as buying from High Street shops, who wanted to ensure that what was bought, anywhere, was never owned and couldn't be format shifted or transferred to other devices (even in prison!) and those who instigated the ridiculous 'Right To Be Forgotten' law already in place in the EU (and being considered in the USA now) just so as to be able to do and say whatever they want without being called out over it, have it all now! i sincerely hope that all the MEPs who voted this in are made to suffer significantly by the loss of their positions at the new vote in a few weeks time! i also hope that there are some serious consequences come out of it and that the loss of the Internet as we know it causes all sorts of companies to fold up leading to massive revenue losses to all EU countries and serious increases in unemployment!! all these companies and industries lost just to please a greedy, self-important bunch of cunts in places like Hollywood, simply because they refuse to adapt and join the digital and Internet age!! and the best of it? artists will be worse off and the industries responsible will screw things up even more, just like they did when the MP3 player and home video recorder came out!!


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