1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

European Parliament votes in favor of controversial internet-changing copyright proposal

By Polycount ยท 15 replies
Sep 12, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. If you thought the FCC's decision to end net neutrality was problematic, the European Parliament's latest vote will probably worry you even more.

    The organization has decided to make sweeping changes to European copyright law, with the alleged goal of "properly compensating" publishers, journalists, musicians, and artists for the work they do.

    At first, this may seem like a pretty good deal. After all, few people really want to hurt the livelihoods of passionate content creators and artists. However, as is often the case with proposed copyright law changes, the execution of this ruling is starting to look pretty worrisome.

    For starters, content published on platforms like YouTube or Facebook would need to be even more heavily policed by tech companies, as they would need to scan their websites for anything that matches copyrighted work. Why? Because Article 13 of the copyright overhaul would reportedly make them liable for the content their users upload.

    Critics of this bill worry that the legislation is too heavy-handed, and may unfairly target memes and other satirical or transformative works.

    "Anything you want to publish will need to first be approved by these filters," One of the bill's most outspoken critics and German lawmaker Julia Reda said in a statement (via PC Gamer). "Perfectly legal content like parodies and memes will be caught in the crosshairs."

    Of course, the potential destruction of meme culture isn't the only thing people are concerned about - it would take a lot more than that to get prominent lawmakers like Reda up in arms. The other point of contention many have with this copyright bill is Article 11, which allegedly introduces something called a "link tax."

    Link taxes would reportedly force platforms like Google or Twitter to pay news sites for linking to their articles if "more than a single word" from the article's headline is used, Boing Boing says.

    If Article 11 goes unchallenged, the tech giants in question would almost certainly block users from sharing these links to begin with, since it's unlikely that they'll be willing to shell out cash every time a user tries to share an article on their platforms. In other words, tech giants may simply opt to take their ball and go home.

    It should be noted that despite the inflammatory articles you might see hovering around the internet on this issue, this matter is not set in stone just yet. Yes, Parliament has voted in favor of the changes, but that's only a single stage of a much lengthier process.

    Moving forward, European Union lawmakers and various Commission members will sit down and discuss the proceedings in more detail. With that in mind, whether you agree with this bill or not, now is the time to make your voice heard.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,481   +1,676

    Lol. The EU is simply doing what it does best, legislating itself to oblivion.

    Remember when spain tried this with google, google simply blocked any mention of Spanish news sources, and spain caved after massive economic catastrophe was wrought upon Spanish news sources? If the EU tries this, companies like google and facebook will simply begin to block these links and pull their HQs out of Europe. YouTube will just simply host all EU videos in another country and tell brussels to screw themselves. And after 6 months, with internet companies increasingly leaving and taking their money with them, the EU will beg them to come back and remove parts of the policy.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,653   +2,973

    This only targets the big guys like YouTube and Facebook but even still, I'm not a fan of making them liable for all user content. It's impossible to catch everything and no system is perfect. It would work better if the rules were simply: You shall not actively abet piracy and you must comply with any take down request from a copyright holder that provides proof of their ownership of the IP in question.
    Reachable and Reehahs like this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    "Link taxes would reportedly force platforms like Google or Twitter to pay news sites for linking to their articles if "more than a single word" from the article's headline is used"

    Let me know which sites start charging the link-tax. I will blacklist them and never link to their site.
    Reehahs and dms96960 like this.
  5. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,399   +431

    So this will result in the suppression of real news and memes. Win for fake news?
    Clamyboy74 and dms96960 like this.
  6. dms96960

    dms96960 TS Guru Posts: 317   +73

    What these buffoons SHOULD do is simply enact legislation like the U.S. did -- when it amended, by adding on Section 512(b)(2)(E) to the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act with the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act. Very simply put, if Google (or some other service provider) puts up copyrighted material, the alleged owner of the material can request that Google take it down. After Google takes it down, the party that put it up can request that Google put it back up. It's a little more complicated than this, but you catch the drift.
    Reehahs and TomSEA like this.
  7. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 355   +353

    This is what happens when old out of touch farts are in charge of governing modern technology. The sooner they're 6ft under the better.

    This will never work.
    Will they ever learn?
    (Spoiler alert) Nope.
    ypsylon, Girus and Dimitrios like this.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,380   +939

    Ah, when the old legislate for new technology that they don't understand.
    Reehahs and ForgottenLegion like this.
  9. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    It doesnt matter if they have a global headquarters in Nigeria they still have to follow US and EU law. I dont think you have considered how many billion in revenue they would lose by blocking YouTube etc in the EU. The best example.is the legislation the EU brought in that required companies operating in the EU to disclose more information in the user agreements. Rather than stop business In the EU, basically every website now makes everyone around the world agree to an agreement that fits with EU law.
    Reehahs likes this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    Which likely fueled their arrogance with this topic.
    Sometimes the expense is worth it, especially in the long run.
    Those are likely businesses that can not afford to pressure EU. Google is way large enough to gamble on that front.
  11. maddogmcgee

    maddogmcgee TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +43

    I'm not saying I like the law, in fact I hate copyright and patent law as it stands today. I was, however, a fan of the EU's make companies be a bit more explicit about how they used peoples data.

    As far as I am aware, every major company changed its privacy statement and made people click on it including Google, Apple, EA, Facebook etc

    Google recently caved and announced it will censor the internet if it is allowed to compete in China (it got out about ten years ago because it initially adhered to its "do no evil" policy) so I really can't see them pulling out of the entire EU for something so small.
  12. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,643   +304

    I think that the solution to the 'link tax' is simple: to be compliant with the law every news site demanding compensation for user posted links or search links will be summarily dropped from any search results.
    cliffordcooley, Polycount and Reehahs like this.
  13. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,269   +1,722

    It's unlikely that it will pass in this form.
  14. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 723   +460

    That will work nicely. It is called world wide web for a reason!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  15. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,542   +348

    This is the thing I don't understand. Google and social media platforms have all the power here - they are what drives traffic to these websites (including TechSpot, might I add) in the first place.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 809   +424

    "Link taxes would reportedly force platforms like Google or Twitter to pay news sites for linking to their articles if "more than a single word" from the article's headline is used"
    Every article I write will have the entire dictionary in the article headline -- good luck Google!

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...