A new EU law could end the web as we know it
Laws concerning copyright filters (Article 13) and link tax (Article 11) have been passed the committee stage and are about to be voted on by the entire European Parliament. While some results of EU legislation, such as GDPR, are largely to the good, these new laws are a disaster. They could end the web as we know it.
Below is what I wrote to my MEPs. If you are an EU citizen, you should write too; WriteToThem makes it easy.
Dear Nosheena Mobarik, Alyn Smith, Ian Hudghton, Catherine Stihler, David Martin, and David Coburn,
I write to you greatly disturbed by the new proposals for copyright. These would require any service provider to maintain large, expensive, and ineffective filters. While YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook will have no problems funding these, they will prevent the next innovative service from getting off the ground. Experience with such filters show that they ban all sort of material which should be in the public domain or which is fair use.
I am also concerned by the resurrection of the "link tax". Previous experience with adding a link tax in Germany and Spain showed that the newspapers that requested it soon stopped using it. It is particularly worrying that the legal formulation chosen will invalidate Creative Commons licenses. Many academic journals (including the one which I edit) depend crucially on Creative Commons, and passing a law that invalidates it is against the public interest.
An excellent one-page summary of the issues, with further links, can be found here:
The web has been a huge boon to innovation, creativity, cooperation, and scientific progress. Please don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Professor of Theoretical Computer Science
University of Edinburgh