Last spring, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation, sending ripples through the Internet as every business — from cottage to multinational — that collects data online from customers in Europe scrambled to meet compliance. The EU is preparing to send more seismic ripples through the internet landscape as the European Parliament has approved a controversial Copyright Directive, a set of positions regarding copyright rules which purportedly will protect freedom of expression while ensuring fair pay for artists and journalists. There are high profile voices on both sides. Authors, musicians, and others object to the disregard of their rights, as their work is shared freely on social platforms (admit it: you’ve listened to a song someone uploaded without copyright clearance to YouTube). Tech leaders, including the web’s inventor Tim Berners-Lee, warn that the measures will transform the internet from “an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.”
The Copyright Directive will have a final vote in January 2019. If it passes (which is likely), EU member states will have two years to implement the new rules.
- What you need to know ahead of the EU copyright vote (TechCrunch) “With such violently opposed and motivated interest groups attached to the copyright reform issue there hasn’t really been much in the way of considered debate or nuanced consideration on show publicly. But being exposed to endless DEATH OF THE INTERNET memes does tend to have that effect.”
- European Parliament Passes Copyright Directive Giving Artists Greater Share of Revenue [Variety] “The new legislation affects copyright fees for music streamers and user-generated platforms such as YouTube, and is expected to force large tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to start using filtering systems to block copyrighted content.”
- EU approves controversial Copyright Directive, including internet ‘link tax’ and ‘upload filter’ [The Verge] “Exactly how the legislation will be interpreted will be up to individual nations, but the shift in the balance of power is clear: the web’s biggest tech companies are losing their grip on the internet.”
- An EU copyright bill could force YouTube-style filtering across the Web [ArsTechnica] “What’s clear, however, is that both proposals would create chaos in the Internet economy. While the legislation is clearly targeted at Google, the biggest impact could be on smaller sites that suddenly have to negotiate new licenses and set up new filtering systems.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- “EU ‘Could End Memes’.” Times, the (United Kingdom), 09 June 2018, p. 10.
- Kramer, Otis and Heather Newton. “Counterpoint: The Ease of Digital Reproduction Can Help Authors.” Points of View: Intellectual Property Rights, 30 Mar. 2018, p. 3.
- Vaidhyanathan, Siva. Intellectual Property, A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, Mar. 2017.