The EU new copyright law is basically a battle between billionaires Axel Springer SE and Google. But it is ordinary internet users who will fall victim to the EU’s new copyright law, which urgently needs modification.

Internet news and freedom of speech are good to share, but the European Parliament clearly doesn’t think so. Its new copyright legislation, passed last week, clamps down quite severely on sharing things on-line.

The dynamism of the internet is at threat. When Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Webwarns us of the dangers the new law poses, we should all sit up straight and pay attention.

For a start, the legislation shifts the responsibility for the uploading of copyright material to the internet platforms themselves. Beforehand it was the job of the companies who thought their copyright was infringed to do this.

Many don’t bother, and are happy to see their material uploaded to sites like YouTube as they know it promotes an artist’s work and boosts sales. But all that is likely to change.

Under Article 13, platforms would have to install “upload filters”.YouTube could be shorn of much of its content. Big sites would probably survive but, as smaller sites could easily be put out of business by “copyright trolls”.

Copyright law needs reform for the digital age. There needs to be an easy way for creators of content to receive payment from those who have stolen their work. The trouble is, the EU has used a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Being able to quote freely from other articles, so long as they are credited, is surely a good thing. It’s essential for instance when you are writing a piece dissecting another.

But under the new legislation all but the very briefest quotes may have to be paid for. Think how much that would restrict quality journalism and hinder the free exchange of knowledge.

The EU legislation, bad as it is in its own right, must be seen as part of a wider attempt to clamp down on free expression and the free exchange of ideas in the West at a time when fewer people than ever before believe establishment narratives.

This month a British MP launchedbill in Parliament entitled the ‘Online Forums Bill’ to ban private Facebook groups which promote “hate”“racism” and “fake news”. But who defines what these terms actually mean?

The authorities will use their powers selectively and hypocritically to silence anyone who poses a threat to those living very comfortable lives inside the castle.

In free societies it should be up to internet users themselves to decide what articles and outlets they read, what Facebook groups they join (closed or otherwise), and what Twitter accounts they follow, and not Big Brother or any other kind of politically correct thought police.

Youth unemployment stood at around 43% in Greece, 33% in Spain and 32% in Italy, the last time I looked.  What help will the Copyright Directive be to the young jobless?

Russia Insider / ABC Flash Point Cyber Police News 2018.

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Shaka Zulu

There goes the Freedom of Speech?