EU resolution aims to comprehensively limit "planned obsolescence"

The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the European Commission (the EU's civil service) to craft rules that will severely limit planned obsolescence in electronics by forcing manufacturers to design products to facilitate repair by third parties, extend first-part warranties, warrant and support software, label products with an estimate of their overall life-expectancy, and publicly track and disclose how long products last in the field before breaking down. Read the rest

Europe fines four electronics companies $130,000,000 for price-fixing

Margrethe Vestager (previously), the EU's fire-breathing antitrust regulator, has hit Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer with $130,000,000 (€111,000,000) in fines for fixing minimum prices at which their goods could be sold online. Read the rest

More than a million Europeans spoke out to stop internet-destroying censorship rules, but the fight's not over

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. Read the rest

The MEP behind Europe's proposed copyright censorship proposal can't explain all the copyrighted images in his social media

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 from posting copyrighted material in the first place (even if they have the right to do so under fair dealing, and even if that means that a lot of legitimate material gets accidentally blocked). Read the rest

European Parliament rejects copyright bill

In a 318 to 278 vote, the European Parliament today shot down proposals that would have made online publishers liable for users' copyright infringement and made even linking to other websites fraught with legal risk. The bill, widely reviled for its service to legacy media interests and general ignorance of the internet itself, now goes back to committee.

Julia Reda, a Pirate Party MEP who had campaigned against the legislation tweeted: "Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board."

BPI Music, which represents UK record labels, had supported the bill and tweeted: "We respect the decision... we will work with MEPs over the next weeks to explain how the proposed directive will benefit not just European creativity, but also internet users and the technology sector." ...

The Copyright Directive is intended to bring rules around content in line with the digital age. The two most controversial parts of it are Article 11 and Article 13. The first of these is intended to provide fair remuneration for publishers and prevent online content-sharing platforms and news aggregators sharing links without paying for them. But it has been called the "link tax" by opponents and raised questions about who will have to pay and how much. Article 13 puts more onus on websites to enforce copyright laws and could mean that any online platform that allows users to post text, images, sounds or code will need a way to assess and filter content.

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The EU's looming copyright disaster, explained by a progressive computer scientist

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). Read the rest

Hours before a critical EU vote on mass internet censorship, European Wikipedia projects go dark

Tomorrow, July 5, the European Parliament will vote on whether to conduct a debate and review of the new copyright directive that was approved by the legislative committee last month. Read the rest

What's next in the fight to save the internet from the EU's catastrophic copyright plan?

When the EU's legislative committee voted last month to advance a bizarre copyright proposal that would mandate mass commercial surveillance and censorship of the internet, it was the beginning of the fight, not the end. Read the rest

After London builders' bid to remove a complaint from Mumsnet failed, a mysterious Pakistani-American copyright claim did the job

Annabelle Narey hired a London construction firm called BuildTeam to do some work, which she found very unsatisfactory (she blames them for a potentially lethal roof collapse in a bedroom); so she did what many of us do when we're unhappy with a business: she wrote an online complaint, and it was joined by other people who said that they had hired BuildTeam and been unhappy with the work. Read the rest

This Wednesday, an EU committee voted to break the Internet: this Sunday, Berliners take to the streets to say NO!

On Wednesday, the Legislative Committee of the European Union narrowly voted to keep the two most controversial internet censorship and surveillance proposals in European history in the upcoming revision to the Copyright Directive -- as soon as July Fourth, the whole European Parliament could vote to make this the law of 28 EU member-states. Read the rest

The EU's new copyright filters will be catastrophic for the web, but they're going to be even worse for your favourite game

Wednesday's vote to press ahead with mandatory copyright filters for the European internet is catastrophic for the web: starting a new business just got $60-100 million more expensive, because building filters for every kind of copyrighted work ain't cheap. Read the rest

Today, an EU committee voted to destroy the internet. Now what?

This morning, the EU's legislative affairs committee (JURI) narrowly voted to include two controversial proposals in upcoming, must-pass copyright reforms: both Article 11 (no linking to news stories without permission and a paid license) and Article 13 (all material posted by Europeans must first be evaluated by a copyright filter and blocked if they appear to match a copyrighted work) passed by a single vote. Read the rest

The EU is about to "end everything that's good and pure about the internet"

On Gizmodo, Rhett Jones pulls no punches about Article 13 and Article 11 -- a pair of copyright proposals that go up for a committee vote in the EU in mere hours. Read the rest

Public Domain Hulk explains the EU's catastrophic copyright filtering proposal

"WHAT YOU THINKING EUROPE? WANT BORING STUPID INTERNET? WANT MUSIC INDUSTRY INTERNET? WANT COPYRIGHT INTERNET? HULK SMASH CENSORSHIP. HULK SMASH SURVEILLANCE. HULK SMASH ARTICLE 13. #HULK #SMASH #ARTICLE13 #SAVEYOURINTERNET" - @PUBDOMAINHULK Read the rest

The EU's Link Tax will be voted on in TWO DAYS: if passed, you won't be able to link to the news except on Big Tech's licensed platforms

Article 11 is the EU's bizarre proposal for transferring money from Google and Facebook to newspapers: it creates a special copyright over links to news stories and bans services from linking to the news unless they pay for a license to link. Read the rest

In two days, an EU committee will vote to crown Google and Facebook permanent lords of internet censorship

On June 20, the EU's legislative committee will vote on the new Copyright directive, and decide whether it will include the controversial "Article 13" (automated censorship of anything an algorithm identifies as a copyright violation) and "Article 11" (no linking to news stories without paid permission from the site). Read the rest

France's Front National (who support the EU's mandatory copyright filters) furious when Youtube's copyright filters kill their channel

On June 20, an EU committee will vote on mandatory copyright filters -- the idea that everything that gets posted to an EU service should be checked for copyright violations by a machine learning system that will decide what gets published and what gets censored. Read the rest

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