What's next after tomorrow's EU internet regulation vote?

Tomorrow's the day: the EU will vote on the text of the new Copyright Directive, including the most sweeping and invasive internet regulations in European history: Article 11, letting news sites decide who can link to them and charge for the privilege; and Article 13, creating vast, unaccountable databases of "copyrighted works" and censoring anything that appears to be a match.

It's hard to count noses ahead of the vote. Most of the amendments on offer would leave some version of these rules intact, though a couple of options delete them entirely (these are the best options; contact your MEP and tell them so).

Assuming Articles 11 and 13 survive in some form, there's a long road ahead for the implementation of these rules, as James Vincent describes in his excellent explainer at The Verge. The clauses would then go to "trilogues" (secret negotiations between the European parliaments and representatives of the member states' national governments) to be revised further; whatever emerges from that process will go to the European Parliament for another vote in January (it's a near-certainty that the Copyright Directive will pass this vote -- as a piece of omnibus legislation with many clauses that many different groups are hoping for, the Copyright Directive is definitely too big to fail). Then all 28 member-states will have to enact national legislation to comply with it. Then it will be challenged in national courts and then in the Europe-wide courts. So yeah.

In the meantime, if the EU does go through with Articles 11 and 13, they'll trigger a mass consolidation in the European tech sector, with the field firmly tilted towards the US tech giants, as Mitch Wagner writes in Light Reading, a journal for the telcoms industry. After all, the EU isn't going to make a rule that Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Twitter can't afford to comply with, but small European companies (who have been roundly ignored by the European Parliament) don't have hundreds of millions of dollars (or euros) lying around to pay for these filters.

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