This week started with a terrifying bang, when German and French negotiators announced a deal to revive the worst parts of the new EU Copyright Directive though a compromise on "Article 13," which requires copyright filters for any online service that allows the public to communicate.
The Franco-German "compromise" was truly awful: German politicians, worried about a backlash at home, had insisted on some cosmetic, useless exemptions for small businesses; French negotiators were unwilling to consider even these symbolic nods towards fairness and consideration for free speech, competition, and privacy.
The deal they brokered narrowed the proposed German exemptions to such a degree that they'd be virtually impossible to use, meaning that every EU-based forum for online communications would have to find millions and millions to pay for filters — and subject their users to arbitrary algorithmic censorship as well as censorship through deliberate abuse of the system — or go out of business.
Now that a few days have passed, European individuals, businesses, lobby groups and governments have weighed in on the proposal and everyone hates it.
That German uprising that German politicians feared? It's arrived, in force.
Bitkom, representing more than 2600 German businesses, from startups to small and medium enterprises, has completely rejected the proposal
, calling it "an attack on the freedom of expression";Eco, lobbying for more than 1,100 businesses across Europe, said that Germany had "become weak" in its negotiating position
, putting "the smallest, small, and medium-sized companies" at risk;Deutschestartups tweeted their condemnation
of the proposal, saying it put "stones in the way" of any European tech company hoping to grow;The Berlin think tank iRights.Lab called for an "immediate and total stop"
to the negotiations, so alarmed were they by their direction; while C-Netz, another think tank that serves as a kind of arms-length expert body to Germany's mainstream political parties also denounced the deal
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