European Parliament Changing the Internet Forever

So, European Parliament has passed the EU Copyright Directive, which gives more power to rich tech businesses and can generally break the internet. How important is a free and open internet to you?

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Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

The European Parliament has voted to approve a wide-ranging improvement of the EU’s copyright laws, including two very controversial articles that can potentially threaten to hand over more power to wealthy tech companies. But also, it could break the internet in general.

According to Gizmodo, MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) voted in favor of the EU Copyright Directive with a strong majority of 438 to 226. That doesn’t mean that the process is over, however. Other parliamentary procedures still need to go through and the countries themselves must decide how to carry out the rules.

Articles 11 and 13 are the ones that bring on the major issues with this legislation. They have come to be acknowledged as the “link tax” and “upload filter” requirements.

What is the link tax? It is intended to take power back from huge platforms such as Google and Facebook by requiring them to pay news outlets for the privilege of linking or quoting articles. Critics argue that this will generally harm smaller websites that can’t afford to pay the tax, and the tech giants will easily pay up or just decide not link to news. Not to mention, the link tax could also make it all but impossible for Wikipedia and other non-profit educational sources to do their work because of their reliance on links, quotes, and citation.

Next, the upload filter requirements demand that all platforms use a use a content ID system of some sort to avoid any copyrighted works from being uploaded. This does not include small and micro enterprises.

Gizmodo reveals that, “remixing, meme-making, sharing of works in the public domain, and other fair use practices would likely all fall victim to platforms that would rather play it safe, just say no to flagged content, and avoid legal battles.”

Confusion about these two articles has been prevalent lately. There are concerns about the European Parliament members and their understanding of the rules. Joe McNamee, executive director of digital rights association EDRi, recently told The Verge, “The system is so complicated that last Friday the [European Parliament] legal affairs committee tweeted an incorrect assessment of what’s happening. If they don’t understand the rules, what hope the rest of us?”

One member of European Parliament, Julia Reda bluntly stated that, “Today’s decision is a severe blow to the free and open internet. By endorsing new legal and technical limits on what we can post and share online, the European Parliament is putting corporate profits over freedom of speech and abandoning long-standing principles that made the internet what it is today.” January calls for another vote and Reda thinks that the decision will be made in the spring of 2019.

So, European Parliament has passed the EU Copyright Directive, which gives more power to rich tech businesses and can generally break the internet. How important is a free and open internet to you? Read more about this story on Gizmodo here.


Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Following the EU Copyright Directive, how significant is a free and open internet to you?

Totals
83% Everything!
12% Doesn’t really matter
Males
83% Everything!
12% Doesn’t really matter
Females
83% Everything!
12% Doesn’t really matter

Everything!

Doesn’t really matter


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