There's one week to go until an EU committee votes on a plan to "transform the internet into a tool for surveillance and control," that will permanently cement the place of American internet giants like Google and Facebook, freezing out smaller internet companies (and even large nonprofits like Wikipedia) who lack the tens of millions of dollars that complying with the rule will require.
Writing in the New Internationalist, the EFF's Jillian C York talks to the European Alliance for Startups on the costs this proposal will exact from small, European companies trying to gain a local toehold in the EU internet market.
Here's a tool to contact your MEP: with one week to go, there has never been a more pressing need to do so.
But these aren’t the only reasons civil society organizations have come out in force against the proposal. As Reda has pointed out, the filters are also bad for business, as they place a significant burden on small companies and thus hamper competition from European platforms against dominant US ones. Lenard Koschwitz of Allied for Startups writes that by levying fines to companies that don’t comply, the proposal is ‘carpet bombing the entire digital world’.
And, like existing rules, the filtering systems can easily be abused by rightsholders. To understand how, we need only look to abuses enabled by existing mechanisms like YouTube’s Content ID system. Meant to make enforcement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act easier for platforms and protect rightsholders by scanning for infringing content, this automatic tool has resulted in a power imbalance that places the onus on users to prove their innocence, sometimes against multiple claimants.
Will EU copyright law ‘carpet bomb’ the digital world?
[Jillian York/New Internationalist]
Ten days ago, the European Parliament dealt a major blow to a radical proposal that would force online services to deploy copyright bots to examine everything posted by users and block anything that might be a copyright infringement; the proposal would also ban linking to news articles without paid permission from the news sites.
Axel Voss is the German MEP responsible for Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive, which says that it's not good enough for companies to remove infringing material posted by users once they're notified of its existence; instead, Voss wants then to spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing automated filters that prevent anyone […]
Ray Corrigan (previously), a campaigning computer scientist at the UK's Open University, has an excellent explainer on the EU's disastrous copyright directive on the progressive academic group blog Crooked Timber (previously).
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