The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs just voted ‘yes’ on highly controversial parts of the EU’s new Copyright Reform. The controversial articles — 11 and 13 — effectively establish link tax, censorship machines, and ban memes.
There was heavy resistance to the contested articles from internet activists, lobbyists, and members of European Parliament (MEPs), but all was for nought and the articles passed with a 13:12 and 15:10 majority.
Opposers of the link tax and censorship machines argued that it threatened the openness of the internet and made it less free. You can read TNW’s detailed dive into the viewpoints of the articles’ lovers and haters, but the opposition can be shortly summed up like this:
Article 11 (a.k.a. link tax) would force anyone using snippets of journalistic online content to get a license from the publisher first — essentially outlawing current business models of most aggregators and news apps. This can also possibly threaten the hyperlink and give power to publishers at the cost of public good.
Article 13 (a.k.a. censorship machines) will make platforms responsible for monitoring user behavior to stop copyright infringements, but basically means only huge platforms will have the resources to let users comment or share content. People opposed to the proposal worry that this could lead to broader censorship, threatening free speech via parody, satire, and even protest videos.
So is it all over?
The committee’s vote doesn’t automatically make the Copyright reform and its controversial articles law. Instead, it cements the European Parliament’s stance on the issue — which is highly influential — before entering the final stage of the legislation process.
However, there is a way to change that….
It’s been said that you can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they have tried everything else.
We cannot think of a better example than the Trump administration’s policy to forcibly remove children from parents caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally as they are seeking asylum from violence, presumably to deter people from entering the country illegally.
Their children, including babies and toddlers, are then labeled “unaccompanied alien children” (a phrase never intended to be applied to children who could not yet walk) and placed in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
They are then transferred to live with people they do not know, sometimes thousands of miles away from their parent(s), with their parents not even knowing where their children are being taken. Previously, most children had been allowed to stay with their parents in shelter for families while they waited for their deportation proceeding.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated that this policy is intentional and designed to deter border crossings. Although the total number of families affected by this unethical treatment of children is unclear, the Department of Homeland Security recently confirmed that from April through May of this year, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families by the U.S. Border Patrol. As a country, we have entered a new low in the handling of those “tired masses yearning to be free.”…
Words fail me. These people are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. In a way these kids would be worse off if they were already citizens. This is babylon.
A new law banning “material support or resources” for warrantless federal surveillance programs went into effect in Michigan. This is an essential step every state needs to take at a time when the federal government seems unlikely to ever end unconstitutional spying on its own.
Rep. Martin Howrylak (R-Troy) introduced House Bill 4430 (HB4430) last spring. The new law prohibits the state and its political subdivisions from assisting, participating with, or providing “material support or resources, to a federal agency to enable it to collect, or to facilitate in the collection or use of a person’s electronic data” unless one of five conditions apply:
(a) The person has given informed consent.
(b) The action is pursuant to a warrant that is based upon probable cause and particularly describes the person, place, or thing to be searched or seized.
(c) The action is in accordance with a legally recognized exception to warrant requirements.
(d) The action will not infringe on any reasonable expectation of privacy the person may have.
(e) This state or a political subdivision of this state collected the electronic data or metadata legally.