Maybe I Wasn’t too Pessimistic*

This week started with a terrifying bang, when German and French negotiators announced a deal to revive the worst parts of the new EU Copyright Directive though a compromise on “Article 13,” which requires copyright filters for any online service that allows the public to communicate.

The Franco-German “compromise” was truly awful: German politicians, worried about a backlash at home, had insisted on some cosmetic, useless exemptions for small businesses; French negotiators were unwilling to consider even these symbolic nods towards fairness and consideration for free speech, competition, and privacy.

The deal they brokered narrowed the proposed German exemptions to such a degree that they’d be virtually impossible to use, meaning that every EU-based forum for online communications would have to find millions and millions to pay for filters — and subject their users to arbitrary algorithmic censorship as well as censorship through deliberate abuse of the system — or go out of business.

Now that a few days have passed, European individuals, businesses, lobby groups and governments have weighed in on the proposal and everyone hates it.

(emphasis original)
A partial list of people who hate the deal:

  • Bertelsmann, the largest publisher in the world.
  • The people of Portugal.
  • The recording industry.  (Not a typo)
  • The government of Italy.

Article 13 is shaping up to be a “Douglas Adams” level of legislative insanity, where at each stage, it is replaced by something even more bizarrely  inexplicable.

*In an earlier post, I suggested that I was too pessimistic about the progress of the EU’s disastrous, “Article 13,” proposals.  It appears that my pessimism might have been justified.

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