The EU Parliament recently adopted a new copyright directive which makes a site owner responsible for what the site's users post (Article 17 AKA former Article 13).

As with most legislation nowadays, it must have been initiated by some group which would benefit from it - as opposed to "good" legislation, which would benefit everyone. My guess is that this group is the group of copyright owners.

The implications

  • Small-sized websites have a new burden: they will have a difficult job sifting through user content, making sure none of it infringes copyright.
  • Medium-sized websites will experience chilling effects - and will severely limit media (say, any images like memes, video, or audio), because of being unable to verify what their users upload.
  • Big Tech websites (i.e. Google, Facebook etc), who can afford an automated filter will suffer a burden, but will be the only ones able to keep up with many people uploading to their site. This regulation gives them a competitive advantage.
    • Note: Big Tech can also implement business deals with the copyright owners.
  • Copyright / Intellectual Property ("IP") owners will have more rights to make citizens more copyright-compliant (aka censorship).

What you can do about it

  • Vote at the next EU Parliament election. Check out which Members of Parliament have sold you out, and vote with the other guys.
    • While voting might not do much (since you're just one person), you can share this idea to your friends.
  • Boycott whoever gains from this arrangement:
    • Don't go to/buy movies
    • Don't watch music videos online (such as on YouTube, or Facebook), since they make money from the ads
      • an alternative YouTube client you can use is NewPipe), though it might be against YouTube ToS (and it doesn't cure YouTube addictions)
    • Don't buy music or streaming licenses
    • Listen to free music on Creative Commons, which does not trample on your rights.
    • Only buy books from individuals (which could not have possibly lobbied to the EU); not from "publishers" (such as Google Books, or Amazon/Kindle).
    • While an individual boycotting a huge company does not have much effect, you are being more effective than voting: namely, voting with your money and time, which you can know are not financing this travesty!
    • Become aware and boycott top tech lobbyists in the EU, in the last financial year:
      • Google: over €6M (they sell books, music streaming, and gain from ads on YouTube videos)
      • Microsoft: over €5M (they declared they used some of it "on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content")
      • Facebook: over €3.5M (gains from this by crushing competitor social media sites)
      • Amazon: over €1.75M (they also sell DRM music, video, and other IP)
      • See other big lobbyists to generally boycott here (not just tech).

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