Archive | Link wars

European Parliament making a pig’s breakfast of new Copyright regulation package

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.

EDRi » Latest copyright votes: Filtering, blocking & half-baked compromises »


EU’s top court: OK to block links to known copyright infringing content

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.

Glyn Moody @ PNO: EU’s top court says The Pirate Bay can be blocked, because it knowingly links to unauthorized copyright material »


Committee vote on EU Copyright: No to the censorship machine. Yes to link tax.

Today the European Parliaments committee for the internal market (IMCO) has voted on the new EU copyright package.

The »censorship machine« (demanding that net platforms and ISP:s should filter all user uploaded content) fell. This is a victory for a free and open Internet.

(But still, the proposal is not quite dead. It can be re-tabled for the main vote in plenary.)

However, the »link tax« (license fees for linking to mainstream media content) still stands.

This terrible idea must be stopped in plenary!

It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings.

Update » A more detailed report » IMCO Vote on Copyright in the DSM: crying tears of…? »

Update 2 » Pirate MEP Julia Reda » 5 takeaways from the first important copyright reform vote in the European Parliament »


EU to move on the Internet Censorship Machine and Link-tax

Next Thursday, June 8, the European Parliaments Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) will have its main vote on the EU Copyright Package.

Here a proposal will be hammered out for the parliament’s final plenary vote later this summer. So it’s a very important event. And there are dark clouds on the horizon.

Key points are the EU Censorship Machine (forcing internet platforms to control and, in relevant cases, censor content uploaded by its users) and the Link-tax (a license fee for linking to media news articles).

This is the best – and maybe last – opportunity to stop this from becoming EU law.

Take action, spread the word and please contact your elected members of the parliament.

Julia Reda (German Pirate MEP): Just 9 days left to reject the worst version of EU copyright expansion plans yet »

BoingBoing: ACT NOW! In 9 days, the European Parliament could pass a truly terrible copyright expansion »


Is the idea of an EU »link tax« finally dead?

Just in, regarding the EU Copyright package:

It seems as if the rapporteur in the European Parliament has killed off the proposed EU »link tax« (art. 11) and the demand for ISP:s to filter and censor user generated content (art. 13).

Julia Reda: MEP: European Parliament poised to reject EU copyright expansion plans »


Link tax, fake news and alternative media

I don’t get it.

The proposed EU »link tax« (charging people and platforms who are linking to a news site) is a backward idea. It will lead to fewer readers and reduced revenues for Big Media, not more money.

Aside from that, Big Media and politicians are at war with what they call »fake news«. (As it turns out, it might be more of a war against new and alternative media – to stamp out competition.)

But assuming that fake news is a real problem – then it makes the link tax even more incomprehensible.

Alt-right media, troll sites, racist web publications, civil rights activists, oppositional web media, citizen journalists, bloggers, satirists… – all but Big Media will probably opt out from (or not be included in) the link tax, as they want people to visit their sites and publications.

To put it in the simplest possible terms: A link tax will steer the public away from mainstream media – and to the very same alternative media that is accused of providing fake news.

I don’t get the logic, if any.



The latest on EU »link tax«

On 24 February 2017 the Rapporteur of the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), Catherine Stihler MEP, published her draft Opinion on the Copyright Directive. The Opinion sends a strong message against the most extremist parts of the European Commission’s proposal: the “censorship machine” (aka upload filter) proposal in Article 13 and the suggestion to expand the “ancillary copyright ” (aka “link tax”), that failed so miserably in Germany and Spain to every country of the EU.

EDRi: A positive step forward against the “censorship machine” in the Copyright Directive »

Julia Reda, Pirate MEP: New copyright study shows fundamental flaws in EU Commission plans for upload surveillance »


The next EU battle: Link tax

Opponents of the plan, including some small web publishers, worry it could choke traffic to their sites by creating a thicket of regulations that will dissuade Google and other platforms from driving users to them. These critics also argue that a publisher’s right will create a “link tax” (a phrase that supporters liken to a slur) but won’t achieve its backers’ main aim: to save the news sector’s broken business model. (…)

Comodini Cachia will present a report next month, including suggested amendments to the proposal, but it’s unclear whether the hard protections demanded by the publishers will survive. Plan to make Google pay for news hits rocks »