Europe's biggest sports leagues and movie studios disavow #Article13, say it will give #BigTech even more control

In an open letter to the EU and European national officials who are negotiating the final form of the new Copyright Directive (by all accounts, a hot mess), some of the largest rightsholder groups and corporations in Europe -- sports leagues and movie studios -- have condemned the direction negotiations have gone in and asked to have their content removed from the scope of the Directive. Read the rest

Poland rejects the EU's copyright censorship plans, calls it #ACTA2

In 2011, Europeans rose up over ACTA, the misleadingly named "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement," which created broad surveillance and censorship regimes for the internet. They were successful in large part thanks to the Polish activists who thronged the streets to reject the plan, which had been hatched and exported by the US Trade Representative. Read the rest

The EU could give every European the #RightToRepair, but lobbyists will kill it unless we take action!

The European Union is at risk of missing a historic opportunity to bring the right to repair into legislation for the first time. Read the rest

Spiegel claims ties between Germany's neofascist movement and secretive billionaire

High ranking German government officials were outed this year for secretly supplying advice and assistance to the xenophobic, violent, far-right extremist Alternative For Germany (AfD) party. Read the rest

The EU took the word "filters" out of the Copyright Directive, but it's still all about filters

Some drafts of Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive no longer contain the word "filters" -- because the world's leading technical, legal and human rights experts all say these will lead to widespread censorship of legitimate, noninfringing materials. Read the rest

EU antitrust enforcers investigate Amazon's predatory private-label products

Amazon's best selling wholesales have long accused the company of mining their sales data to discover which products are most profitable; then Amazon clones the product and offers it for sale at a lower price than the wholesales can afford (because Amazon doesn't have to worry about a wholesale-retail markup when it's both wholesaler and retailer at once) and tweaks its search and recommendation system to drive sales to its private-label versions of its partners' products. Read the rest

The EU can #fixcopyright, but they're not

The European Union's new Copyright Directive contains two hugely controversial, poorly drafted and dangerous clauses: Article 11, which limits who can link to news articles and under which circumstances (and also bans Creative Commons licenses); and Article 13, which mandates that all platforms for public communications surveil all user posts and censor anything that matches (or partially matches) a crowdsourced, unaccountable database of allegedly copyrighted works. Read the rest

Yanis Varoufakis on capitalism's incompatibility with democracy

It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (previously) shows, the feeling is mutual. Read the rest

Youtube CEO: it will be impossible to comply with the EU's new Copyright Directive (adios, Despacito!)

Under Article 13 of the new EU Copyright Directive, it will no longer be enough for online platforms to remove materials if someone claims they infringe copyright; instead, the platforms will have to prevent the display of any copyrighted material that has not been explicitly licensed for distribution. Read the rest

Europe's collision course with copyright censorship: where we stand today

I've just published a comprehensive explainer on Medium about the EU's new Copyright Directive, which was sabotaged at the last minute, when MEP Axel Voss snuck in the long-discredited ideas of automatically censoring anything a bot thinks infringes copyright and banning unpaid links to news articles. Read the rest

The EU's new Link Tax bans the use of Creative Commons and open access for news

One of the most controversial elements of the EU's new Copyright Directive is Article 11, the "link tax," which requires paid licenses for links to news stories that contain "excerpts" (more than a single word from the story or its headline, depending on which draft you're reading). Read the rest

Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis announce Progressives International, to counter rising ultra-nationalism

Bernie Sanders and Yanis Varoufakis (previously) (the "libertarian Marxist" former Greek finance minister who split with his party and resigned over their embrace of austerity) have announced the formation of a new global organizations called "Progressives International," designed to serve as a check to the rising cult of ultra-nationalist authoritarian groups. Read the rest

EU Parliament demands Facebook audit after breach hits 87 million users

MEPs in European Parliament want Facebook to submit to a full audit by European Union bodies to determine whether the U.S. based social media company adequately protects users’ personal data. The demand made in the form of an EU resolution adopted Thursday, October 25, 2018, follows the company's recent breach scandal, in which data belonging to 87 million Facebook users around the world were improperly obtained and misused. Read the rest

Italy may kill the EU's copyright filter plans

When the EU voted for mandatory copyright censorship of the internet in September, Italy had a different government; the ensuing Italian elections empowered a new government, who oppose the filters. Read the rest

Google to charge hardware makers up to $40 per device for Android mobile apps

Google [Alphabet Inc.] will soon charge hardware companies up to $40 per device to use Google apps, under a new licensing plan that will replace one struck down by the EU earlier this year as anti-competitive, reports Reuters. Read the rest

GDPR: Good for privacy, even better for Google's dominance

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation is a gnarly hairball of regulation; on the one hand, it makes it virtually impossible to collect mountains of data and buy/sell/trade/mine it to a corporation's heart's content; on the other hand, it imposes a ton of expensive compliance steps on its targets like high-cost record-keeping, and it apportions liability to website operators whose advertisers are out of compliance with the regulation. Read the rest

Not just Europe: EU Copyright Directive will censor the world's internet

The EU's catastrophic new Copyright Directive is steamrollering towards completion, and that should worry every internet user, not just those in the EU. Read the rest

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