The EU's terrible copyright proposal will "carpet bomb" the whole world's internet with censorship and surveillance

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Can we just start a new internet and not invite Europe or the FCC?


It’s odd that the EU is doing something that will benefit Google since they’ve been so fierce about trying to squeeze Google in any way it can.

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Since I’m an American (sigh) all I can do is sit back and wait to see what happens.

Now I know how it must have felt to everyone else in the world as we – as a country – elevated the tiny-handed, big-mouthed, orange, shit-gibbon to his current position of too-much-power.



Telling your MEP this will probably make them more likely to vote for it.

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Eurocrats care even more about having more censorship and government power than they do about screwing Google, so it’s a net win.

I’d be morbidly curious to know if they haven’t thought it through properly or if they are carrying water for some set of Rights holder/collecting society outfits who aren’t interested in the bigger picture if something promises to make it easier to chisel a slightly larger cut out of certain situations.

Among other things there is yet another stab at the “come hell or high water Google will pay to display headlines on Google news” concept; which proximately seems anti-google/pro publisher; but ignores the problems that have doomed the various prior takes on the idea: Google isn’t a terrifying foe because of its willingness to engage in copyright infringement or circumvent any anti-scraping mechanism it can(they might not like to talk about YouTube’s early days; but getting caught infringing at this point would get expensive fast; and to the best of my knowledge they’ve honored robots.txt in past vs.-the-newspapers cases); but because it’s a hegemonic behemoth that has most of your audience.

The copyright maximalist/protectionist types keep trying to square the circle on this one; attempting to devise an arrangement that will be tough enough, despite the fact that the people they are ostensibly protecting aren’t willing to just add the robots.txt entry because they can’t handle the loss of traffic. Shockingly enough, “find a way to make them pay for something that publishers don’t have enough leverage to do more than frantically give away” never seems to work.

What is less clear is why they think this is a good plan. For the short-sighted or fatalistic I suppose that the prospects of possible future competition just don’t matter much compared to reasonably high odds of gouging out some mandatory licenses and/or penalties in the short term.

For entities with sufficiently local material there may be a “better to rule in hell” incentive; where cementing the position of the incumbents is fine, so long as operating costs for foreign entities are also increased, because they are placed to become the big fish in the resulting small pond(a locally dominant media entity with some solid soccer broadcast rights, say, might think that “become the Baidu of Portugal” or the like would be preferable).

Aside from that, though, it just seems like a terrible plan. For pretty much any regulation short of a straight “expropriate Google” proposal; there are two groups best able to handle compliance with your copyright scheme: incumbents that already have contentID-type tech ready to use and the market power to obtain licenses on favorable terms; and pirates who don’t need to deal with your shit.

Neither party is much of a win for local copyright holders. The pirates aren’t going to pay more just because you tighten the rules; that’s what makes them piratical; and the incumbents have the control over distribution such that, however tightly assured your rights, you’ll cut a favorable deal for them for fear that someone else will.


Thanks for the reminder. It was about time i fired off an email to all my MEPs about this cesspit of a proposal.

One wonders if this is an EU attempt to do essentially the reverse:

As team China has demonstrated you can, to a substantial degree, run a very, very, insular chunk of internet without architecturally going full intranet or wandering off into the weeds and doing your own weird protocols and stuff.

All it takes is the willingness to do the necessary repressing and the assistance of the indigenous incumbents who know that they can reap the rewards of the mercantilist side of your isolationist bent if, and only if, they are…duly patriotic…when it comes to their cooperation in the technical aspects.

I don’t think that this would be a good idea; but there are so very many bad ideas that are nevertheless within the realm of the possible.

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