Germany will end copyright liability for open wifi operators

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Germany's ruling coalition is modifying the country's legal "Störerhaftung" theory, which currently makes people liable for copyright infringement if they operate an open wifi network that someone else uses for copyright infringement, even if the operator didn't and couldn't know about it. Read the rest

Greenpeace dumps TTIP documents that show USA arm-twisting the EU

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Greenpeace has handed newspapers 240 pages of current negotiating documents from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a secretly conducted trade deal between the USA and the EU, which has run in parallel with the notorious Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read the rest

Three pieces of statistical "bullshit" about the UK EU referendum

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Economist Tim Harford attacks three of the statistics being widely cited in the campaigns over the upcoming referendum on the UK remaining in the EU, two from the "leave" camp and one from the "stay" camp. Read the rest

Cycle and Recycle: gorgeous photos of the European recycling process

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Paul Bulteel's forthcoming art book, Cycle & Recycle, collects the Belgian photographer's series of images from Europe's massive, advanced recycling program, which captures 43% of the region's waste (the EU is shooting for 65% of municipal waste by 2030). Read the rest

French Parliament votes to imprison tech execs for refusal to decrypt

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Amendment 90 to France's penal reform bill provides for five year prison sentences and €350,000 fines for companies that refuse to accede to law enforcement demands to decrypt devices. Read the rest

Coming in November: Pirate Utopia, a novella by Bruce Sterling with an intro by Warren Ellis

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Pre-orders now being taken, ships Nov 2016. Sterling sez, "A new novella of mine set in an alternate Europe just after the Great War." I know what I'm doing next Nov. What. A. Cover. Read the rest

Association of German judges slams US-EU trade deal for its special corporate courts

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Trade agreements like TPP and the US-EU TTIP are notorious for their Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses, which let corporations sue governments in secret proceedings, in order to force them to get rid of environmental, safety and labor laws that reduce profits. Read the rest

EU plans to class volunteers who rescue drowning Syrian refugees as "traffickers"

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An exceptionally broad proposal before the Council of the EU lumps the traffickers who cram refugees into unsafe boats with the volunteers and NGOs who rescue drowning refugees when those boats sink. Read the rest

Revealed: the hidden web of big-business money backing Europe and America's pro-TTIP "think tanks"

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is an EU-US "trade agreement" that will allow corporations to sue governments in secret tribunals to force them to repeal their safety, environmental and labor laws. Read the rest

Anne Frank's diary is in the public domain; editors aren't co-authors

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Anne Frank's father, Otto, edited Frank's diary before publishing it. He also endowed two foundations -- one Swiss, one Dutch -- to administer her legacy. Read the rest

New EU rules would ban under-16s from social media

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A last-minute change to pending EU data-protection rules will ban under-16s from using social media without explicit parental consent -- the rules are up for a vote on Tuesday. Read the rest

ACT! Step-by-step guide to filling in the EU's vital, terrible survey

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The European Commission is considering new Internet regulations that would make online services legally liable for their users' bad actions, meaning that services like Youtube, Facebook, and the comments section of your favorite website would have to somehow review everything that users post before making it public, assessing all user-submitted material for its legal compliance with a bewildering array of international guidelines. Read the rest

European Commission resurrects an unkillable stupid: the link tax

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Meghan writes, "You've probably never been kept awake at night worrying about a European Commission communication. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be. Today the Commission published its roadmap for EU copyright reform, and despite the fanfare around portability of Netflix, it's clear that the bad idea known as 'ancillary copyright' has come back -- from the dead! -- to haunt us." Read the rest

EU wants to require permission to make a link on the Web

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Digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (CDU – EPP) is joining with European Parliament president Martin Schulz (SPD – S&D) in pressing the European Commission to create a copyright interest in links, meaning that making a link to a Web-page that contains infringing material would expose you to liability for copyright infringement yourself. Read the rest

EU Parliament votes to drop criminal charges and grant asylum to Snowden

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The 285-281 vote was nonbinding and thus "largely symbolic" but it's a hell of a symbol. Read the rest

EU, worn down by telcoms lobbyists, pass brutal net discrimination rules

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The European Parliament has voted to allow the telcos who supply European Internet access to hold their customers to ransom. When Europeans request data from Web sites and services that didn't pay the ransom, EU rules will let telcos slow down the reply, while traffic between bribe-paying customers and Europeans will flow at normal speeds. Read the rest

The EU's impending Net Neutrality rules are terrible, but they can be fixed

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Barbara van Schewick from the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society sums up the problems with Europe's impending Net Neutrality rules, which are anything but neutral, and have loopholes in them you could squeeze a continent through -- and then, she suggests some simple, sensible amendments that would fix them. Read the rest

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