The infosphere is aflame with a new battle in an old war: how copyright should be handled on the Internet.
The Guardian has background:
It is an argument that has drawn in the likes of Paul McCartney, Plácido Domingo and the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as pioneers of the internet from Tim Berners-Lee to the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales.
Fought with hashtags, mailshots, open letters and celebrity endorsements, the battle over the European Union’s draft directive on copyright heads for a showdown this week.
After two years of debate, members of the European parliament will vote on Wednesday on the legislation, which could change the balance of power between producers of music, news and film and the dominant websites that host their work.
Critics claim the proposal will destroy the internet, spelling the end of sharing holiday snaps or memes on Facebook. Proponents are exasperated by such claims, described by German Christian Democrat Axel Voss as “totally wrong” and “fake news”.
Two sections in particular are controversial: Articles 11 and 13. Both sides (both sides!) are being very hyperbolic about these. The gist is that groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and people like Cory Doctorow say these are “internet-destroying regulations,” and the proponents’ response (from what I’ve seen on Twitter) is to paint all opponents as paid industry shills who hate artists. I’ve attempted here to come up with what I hope is an even-handed summary. I Am Not A Lawyer, so please tell me what I’ve gotten wrong.
This is a bit long, so click through if you’re interested. Note of course that these are EU laws, but so is the GDPR, and we’ve all experienced the effects of that. Continue reading