How not to regulate big tech

Kenan Malik in Pandaemonium:

The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is a bland name for a dreadful piece of law likely to reshape our use of the internet. “The transformation of the internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users,” was how Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the worldwide web, and 70 other technology pioneers described it in a letter to the president of the European parliament last year. And they’re right.

The two most controversial parts of the new directive are articles 11 and 13 (though, just to complicate matters, in the final law, these have become articles 15 and 17). Article 11, dubbed a “link tax”, obliges search engines and news aggregate platforms to pay for use of snippets from publishers. Article 13 holds platforms, such as Google and YouTube, responsible for material posted without copyright permission and enforces penalties for failure to block infringing content.

Online platforms, the EU argues, make huge profits by either hosting or linking to creative content without funnelling that cash back to the creators. As a writer, I love to be paid for my work and anything to squeeze more money out of every word I write, the better. The trouble is that the EU directive will do little for “content creators” like me. What it will do is constrain my use of the internet.

More here.

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