Not just Europe: EU Copyright Directive will censor the world's internet

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I guess we’re all Europeans now. So where’s my six weeks of vacation and free health care?


Or companies just decide not to do business in the EU. The cost is too great. If Twitter, FB, IG, etc. opt out, surely it will end this stupid legislation.


So if you’re Twitter and one of your US users posts something that has to be censored in Europe, you can either censor that just for EU users, or for the whole world.

…or make Twitter unavailable in Europe. And Google and YouTube and Facebook. Europe doesn’t like that answer? Elections have consequences.


I don’t really want to find out empirically; but I’d be fascinated to know more about the competing incentives (and the shape and slope of various parties spines and supply curves) that control whether a set of regional restrictions is more likely to migrate outward or turn inward on itself.

The Chinese case certainly seems to be largely the latter, I suspect in no small part by design; with periodic attempts to press outward by leaning on entities with interests both in China and abroad(as in the delightful Yahoo dissident sellout case, or the push on airlines to be… suitably patriotic…in their labelling of Taiwan on in flight maps); and use of the privilege of entry as a means of extracting concessions (partnerships with local firms, self censorship, etc.)

For broader denizens of the internet, though, Chinese internet policy seems to have a rather surprisingly small scale given the sheer size of the Chinese internet and the volume of their internet-widget production. WeChat isn’t exactly taking the world by storm.

Since we have no examples on the same scale it makes one wonder how the EU giving into it’s most depraved impulses on copyright law would go: spread outward because the EU is far too much to give up and it’s easier to provide one censored version? Collapse inward into a system of mixed local hegemons and some cut down foreign offerings, with a fringe of VPN kiddies treated as not really worth the trouble to extirpate, so long as emulating them requires effort greater than the general public is willing to spare?

I don’t think any of the outcomes would be positive; but I’m curious what it is that makes ‘add more restrictions’ potentially a strategy that just leads to insularity in some cases; but spreads and infects broader norms in others.

Given the amount of effort periodically devoted to ‘harmonizing’ IP law toward the lowest common denominator it isn’t clear that the copy cops are confident that draconian policy will expand on its own, without considerable support; but that could also just reflect a demand that the outcome be delivered faster, hard to know.


RE: Balkanization. I do wonder what would happen if all the major companies decided the only way to guarantee compliance was to not let Europeans and non-Europeans talk on their platforms, or something like that. Would that be enough to convince governments of the insanity and inanity of these kinds of laws?

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just post kittens until the internet dies of boredom…?

While not false, this is a pretty profoundly dickish way to talk about things. Minorities are being prevented from voting in the US? Well, elections have consequences. The worst person the Republican could find has been wedged on the Supreme Court to help cement the new authoritarian regime? Golly gee that’s a shame, but elections have consequences!

Now give me the bad news.

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Yes, well, I may be a dick, but it’s a pretty damn good reason to vote, isn’t it?

True enough.

Can they enforce this if you and your servers are not in the EU? I could see how this is an issue for a company like Facebook, who have data centers and business offices all over the place. But if you are running a website in the US with servers in the US, can they do anything except shake their fist at you?

Not all kittens…?


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