Since 2003, hundreds of new top-level domains have come onto the market, and there has never been more choice for domain name registrants. But apart from choosing a name that sounds right and is easy to remember, a domain name registrant should also consider the policies of the registry that operates the domain, and those of the registrar that sells it to them.
On 11 July, two Committees in the European Parliament voted on their Opinions on European Commission’s proposal for a Copyright Directive: the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).
CULT decided to abandon all reason and propose measures that contradict existing law on monitoring of online content. They also contradict clear rulings from the highest court in the EU on internet filtering. And for the sake of being consistently bad, the Committee also supported ancillary copyright, a “link tax” that would make linking and quotation almost impossible on social media.
ITRE made a brave effort to fix the unfixable “censorship machine”, the upload filter proposed by the Commission. On the one hand, this demonstrates a willingness in the Parliament to resist the fundamentalism of the Commission’s proposal. On the other, it shows how impossible this task really is. Despite deleting the reference to “content recognition technologies”, ITRE has decided to keep the possibility of measures to prevent the availability of copyrighted works or “other subject matter” which may or may not be understood as supporting preventive filtering.
And there is more bad news in the linked text, below.
The trend of courts applying country-specific social media laws worldwide could radically change what is allowed to be on the internet, setting a troubling precedent. What happens to the global internet when countries with different cultures have sharply diverging definitions of what is acceptable online speech? What happens when one country’s idea of acceptable speech clashes with another’s idea of hate speech? Experts worry the biggest risk is that the whole internet will be forced to comport with the strictest legal limitations.
Even accepting that free speech ends where criminal law begins, that doesn’t justify fining the platforms. If people are posting “illegal” content, go after them for breaking the law. Don’t go after the tools they use. By putting massive liability risks on platforms, those platforms will almost certainly overcompensate and over censor to avoid any risk of liability. That means a tremendous amount of what should be protected speech gets silence, just because these companies don’t want to get fined. Even worse, the big platforms can maybe hire people to handle this. The littler platforms? They basically can’t risk operating in Germany any more. Berlin is a hotbed of startups, but this is going to seriously harm many of them.
“Scottish comedian and YouTuber Markus Meechan, better known as Count Dankula, is facing a year in prison for recording and uploading a video where he taught his girlfriend’s pet dog how to “seig heil” on command. As Heat Street reported earlier this year the viral video did not amuse Scottish police, prompting his arrest.” (…)
“On Wednesday, Meechan posted an update about his case. “Legal aid application was rejected,” he posted on Twitter. ‘I’m fucked.'”
The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government.
Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.
1. Digital access and net neutrality needed
2. Censorship and surveillance: No excuse for states and private actors to breach human rights
3. Freedom of expression must be preserved by states and private sector
A long-running legal battle between Dutch ISPs and the local anti-piracy organization BREIN over blocking The Pirate Bay has concluded with a ruling in favor of BREIN. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said yesterday The Pirate Bay could be blocked because:
“Making available and managing an online platform for sharing copyright-protected works, such as ‘The Pirate Bay’, may constitute an infringement of copyright”
That summary, from the CJEU’s press release, doesn’t capture a key aspect of the case, which is that The Pirate Bay is not storing any copyright-protected works on its site, merely hosting links to torrents.
Furthermore, social media must also “actively propagate core socialist values, and create an ever-more healthy environment for the mainstream public opinion”, states Reuters.
• What role the rights granted by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union plays: in particular, what is the relationship between copyright protection (Article 17(2)) and freedom of the arts (Article 13)?
• (C)can copyright protection be trumped by the need to safeguard freedom of the press and freedom of information? Or can fundamental rights be even directly invoked to prevent enforcement of copyright?
These two – rather fundamental – questions have been sent to the European Court of Justice from Germanys supreme court, undesgerichtshof (BGH).