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Moments ago, negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council concluded the trilogue negotiations with a final text for the new EU Copyright Directive....This law will fundamentally change the internet as we know it – if it is adopted in the upcoming final vote.
Commercial sites and apps where users can post material must make “best efforts” to preemptively buy licences for anything that users may possibly upload – that is: all copyrighted content in the world. An impossible feat.
In addition, all but very few sites (those both tiny and very new) will need to do everything in their power to prevent anything from ever going online that may be an unauthorised copy of a work that a rightsholder has registered with the platform. They will have no choice but to deploy upload filters, which are by their nature both expensive and error-prone.
Should a court ever find their licensing or filtering efforts not fierce enough, sites are directly liable for infringements as if they had committed them themselves. This massive threat will lead platforms to over-comply with these rules to stay on the safe side, further worsening the impact on our freedom of speech.
Reproducing more than “single words or very short extracts” of news stories will require a licence. That will likely cover many of the snippets commonly shown alongside links today in order to give you an idea of what they lead to. We will have to wait and see how courts interpret what “very short” means in practice – until then, hyperlinking (with snippets) will be mired in legal uncertainty.
No exceptions are made even for services run by individuals, small companies or non-profits, which probably includes any monetised blogs or websites.
“Everything echoed throughout this article leads us into a much larger dilemma; the influence of big tech firms is so widespread, that Chinese censorship may only contrast slightly with the modus operandi of these companies otherwise. Western media is centrally controlled by very few overarching firms. Let’s say Google made the decisions noted below in this section independently, and it was not an infiltration of Chinese-oriented censorship to break into their market. The fact that the outcome of censorship points to the exact same ideological traits is horrifying either way.
* On one hand essentially, tech firms are bending over to please the ideals of the Xi Jinping Doctrine, in hopes of courting favor with the party — leading to their eventual approval to begin operations within China.
* On the other hand, tech firms are pleasing the ideals of the Xi Jinping Doctrine — without being told to, simply because they already ideologically align”