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

We've got a front-row seat for Europe's internet censorship plan

The EU's wide-ranging plan for indiscriminate internet censorship has progressed from a vote in the European Parliament and now reps from the EU will meet with reps from the 28 countries that make up the EU to hammer out the final text that will be put to the Parliament for what might be the final vote before it becomes law. Read the rest

Podcast: Today, Europe Lost The Internet. Now, We Fight Back.

Here's my reading (MP3) of Today, Europe Lost The Internet. Now, We Fight Back, written for EFF Deeplinks on the morning of the EU's catastrophic decision to vote in the new Copyright Directive with all its worst clauses intact.

MP3 Read the rest

Father of the catastrophic Copyright Directive reveals he didn't know what he was voting for

In the years during which the new EU Copyright Directive was being drafted, a variety of proposals were considered and rejected by the EU's own experts, and purged from the draft text, but two of these proposals were reintroduced, slipped back into the Directive on the day the GDPR came into effect, while everyone's attention was elsewhere. Read the rest

Sony: OK, OK, we don't own Bach

When pianist James Rhodes uploaded a recording of his own performance of a Bach composition to Facebook, it was immediately blocked thanks to a match with a recording that Sony had claimed copyright in; Facebook uses an automated filter of the sort that the EU voted to make mandatory for all content types and services yesterday and it can't distinguish any competent rendition of Bach from any other competent rendition. Read the rest

Europe just voted to wreck the internet, spying on everything and censoring vast swathes of our communications

Lobbyists for "creators" threw their lot in with the giant entertainment companies and the newspaper proprietors and managed to pass the new EU Copyright Directive by a hair's-breadth this morning, in an act of colossal malpractice to harm to working artists will only be exceeded by the harm to everyone who uses the internet for everything else. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

The EU's copyright plans will let anyone mass-censor the internet

Tomorrow's EU vote on a new copyright directive will determine whether the EU internet will be governed by algorithmic censorship filters whose blacklist anyone can add anything to. (Visit Save Your Internet to tell your MEP to vote against this) Read the rest

Wanting It Badly Is Not Enough: Real Problems For Creators Deserve Real Solutions

As the European Parliament prepares for tomorrow's vote on the new Copyright Directive with its provisions requiring mass-scale filtering of all public communications to check for copyright infringement (Article 13) and its provisions requiring paid permission to link to the news if you include as little as two words from the headline in your link text (Article 11), a dismaying number of "creators groups" are supporting it, telling their members that this will be good for them and their flagging financial fortunes. Read the rest

What developers need to do to save the internet from the EU's looming copyright disaster

On Wednesday, the EU will vote on whether to force all online platforms to filter user-generated content against massive databases of copyrighted works (anyone can add anything to these databases, without penalties for abuse); not only is this a catastrophe for everyone who writes software that will have to comply with this bonkers idea, it's also a catastrophe for anyone who writes software, period. Read the rest

Big Tech is losing the public's trust in just the same way that Big Finance has

Writing in the New York Times, Nathaniel Popper notes a new current running through our discourse: the idea that Big Tech is not to be trusted, and should be broken up. Read the rest

Not in our name: Why European creators must oppose the EU's proposal to limit linking and censor the internet

The European Copyright Directive vote is in three days and it will be a doozy: what was once a largely uncontroversial grab bag of fixes to copyright is now a political firestorm, thanks to the actions of Axel Voss, the German MEP who changed the Directive at the last minute, sneaking in two widely rejected proposals on the same day the GDPR came into effect, forming a perfect distraction (you can contact your MEP about these at Save Your Internet). Read the rest

The amendments for the EU's catastrophic copyright proposals don't fix a goddamned thing

Next Wednesday, the EU will vote on a potentially internet-destroying regulation that will ban linking to the news unless you're using a service that has paid for a "linking license" from the news site you're linking to; and that will force all user-submitted content (text, audio, video, code, stills) through copyright filters that will censor anything that matches a database of works that anyone can put anything in, whether or not it is in copyright. Read the rest

Creative Commons: next week's EU vote could cost us the internet

In just five days, a key EU vote could visit untold harm on the whole world's internet by subjecting all public communications to algorithmic censorship: the proposed Article 13 of the new Copyright Directive will force sites to build vast databases of known copyrighted works, and then block any user submissions (text, audio, video, code, stills) that seems to match a copyrighted work, and anyone can add anything to the blacklist of unpublishable works, without any proof of copyright and without any regard to fair dealing and other vital protections for free expression. Read the rest

Don't just fine Big Tech for abuses; instead, cut them down to size

My latest Locus Magazine column is Big Tech: We Can Do Better Than Constitutional Monarchies, and it's a warning that the techlash is turning into a devil's bargain, where we make Big Tech pay for a few cosmetic changes that do little to improve bullying, harassment, and disinformation campaigns, and because only Big Tech can afford these useless fripperies, they no longer have to fear being displaced by new challengers with better ways of doing things. Read the rest

6 days until the EU votes on an extinction-level event for the internet: here's what they'll debate

In six days, the EU will debate and vote on a pair of copyright regulations that constitute an extinction-level event for the internet: "censorship machines" (Article 13, forcing all user-generated text, video, photos, code, etc through copyright filters that anyone can add anything to; anything judged to be a copyrighted work is automatically censored) and "the link tax" (users are banned from linking to news stories unless the site they're linking to has sold a "linking license" to the platform the users are on). Read the rest

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