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The EU's contentious 'Link Tax' rejected again after 11 member states disapprove

By Cal Jeffrey · 9 replies
Jan 18, 2019
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  1. Article 11 and Article 13, nicknamed the “Link Tax,” have been contentious since they were initially proposed back in April of last year. The new rules aimed to give publishers of online content more control by imposing a fee on websites for the right to use quotes in their articles.

    The first draftings of the regulations were defeated in the European Parliament last July due to concerns over increases in platform liability. The rules were rewritten with new provisions and were preliminarily approved in September. Many believed the measures would pass when they came up for a vote.

    However, when EU member states convened on Friday to approve on the legislation, 11 countries stood against the new copyright rules mainly over the same concerns as the previous vote. Italy’s new populist government and others view the regulations as too “strict" and say they would hamper the free exchange of information.

    “This is just ContentID on steroids, for everything,” Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing told The Verge.

    “If you’re a platform, then you are liable for the material which appears on your platform,” said University of Glasgow Professor Martin Kretschmer.

    Kretschmer, who teaches intellectual property law believes the rules present a substantial problem in the sharing of information. “Changing the copyright regime without really understanding where the problem is is foolish,” he continued. “[But] that’s the council position as of May, and that has huge problems.”

    The EU member states in favor of copyright reform have until February 28 to approve a new proposal. However, finding a compromise that will suit opponents of the rules seems to be an uphill battle.

    Permalink to story.

  2. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 164   +106

    Stop calling it a "link tax", because it's neither a "tax" (but a license fee), nor was it supposed to be levied on "links" (but on reproduction of actual content). So, then why do you keep it calling a "link tax"?
  3. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 566   +374

    For the exact same reason people still call anything a "tax" to begin with, instead of just calling it extortion. If you call something vile and horrible what it actually is (you know, vile and horrible?), it's pretty hard to sell it to people. So you make up euphemisms, which go down easier and stay crunchy - even in milk!
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,267   +3,682

    Regardless of what you call it, trying to regulate all those uploads could require substantial staffing they may not have or could afford. The second problem is the same that Amazon suffers; corrupt staff that are easily bribed and allow inappropriate content to slip through (Amazon has the problem of staff that delete negative reviews from their "pet" products) thus giving the appearance of favorable reviews for inferior products .....
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,156   +1,411

    Optics probably.... when things like this are named, they usually try out a bunch of different names on focus groups to see which one tests most favorably. Weird I know, but that's how it's often done.

    I agree it's not really a tax, as it wouldn't be paid to the govt (and only govts are allowed to collect taxes).
    senketsu likes this.
  6. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,500   +515

    So it's ok to cite a article as a source in a college paper but not on a forum? Why don't governments understand they simply need to use the same laws already applied to paper. Protect our emails like regular mail.... etc
    crocography likes this.
  7. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 164   +106

    Except, nobody's extorting here anybody over nothing. All this is about: if you use someone else's stuff, pay for it. But nobody's forcing anybody to use someone else's stuff.

    The case here is actually the opposite: this is not evil, but how things work everywhere else, except the internet. When you take and use someone else's stuff, you've to pay for it. There's nothing evil about this.

    It's Google and the other parasitic entities who built their whole business on taking other people's work without paying for it, who are trying to reframe this as if it would be something bad, by calling it "tax" and making it appear like if it would be levied in "links" - when in fact it only applies to reproduction and use of actual content, but not links per se.
  8. picka

    picka TS Booster Posts: 38   +32

    While I agree to a certain extent, the irony is that massive companies like Google and Facebook will be ok with this. Sure it'll cost them, but they can afford it. But at the same time it'll absolutely kill any competition to them because there's no way smaller startups can afford this. So in essence, the EU are securing Google/Facebook's future.
    TempleOrion and JaredTheDragon like this.
  9. FF222

    FF222 TS Addict Posts: 164   +106

    Google doesn't think so. If they would, they would not oppose this legislation. But they do, and they do it very aggressively. Which tells to me that even they believe that this law will weaken their position against the actual creators of content, and will lessen their (ie. Google's) ability to strongarm everybody on the internet to do and behave like they would want them, because of money and control, of course.
  10. LenovoX

    LenovoX TS Booster Posts: 73   +32

    Why is this in your article: "Italy’s new populist government"... are you a professional in politics or in technology? Or this is a paid article just to criticize one country by your neoliberal agenda?
    TempleOrion and mgwerner like this.

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