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EU plan for internet chaos delayed … for now

copyright

A controversial copyright plan proposed in the European Union that critics charged would result in internet chaos has been sent back to the drawing board.

The suggestions would have demanded a “link tax,” a payment from companies like Facebook, Google, and anyone else to a news source before a report could be linked.

The proposals also would have required a filter on anything uploaded to the web, to check all content for any alleged copyright infringement first.

A Verge report said the European Parliament vote was 318-278 to return the ideas to the drawing board, so they are not yet going away.

A second vote is likely in September, the report said.

“The draft law, known as the Copyright Directive, was intended as a simple update to copyright for the internet age. But it attracted substantial criticism for the inclusion of two key provisions: Articles 11 and 13. The first, Article 11, was a ‘link tax’ that would force online platforms like Facebook and Google to pay news organizations before linking to their stories; while the second, Article 13, proposed an ‘upload filter’ that would have required all content uploaded online to be checked for copyright infringement,” the report said.

WND had reported in advance of the vote that the EU’s committee on legal affairs had supported the plan.

Contributor Mar Masson Maack at The Next Web warned of the “huge implications” of the proposal changes.

“It’s certain that it’ll greatly affect the future of the internet in the EU and beyond,” he wrote.

The Verge earlier said the legislation was described by critics as being able to “tear the internet apart.”

Similar legislation already has failed in Spain and Germany, but Raegan MacDonald, EU principal at Mozilla, which has a browser presence online, said there remains a ton of confusion.

“I think there’ll probably be a lot of negative implications that we haven’t even thought of right now because the system is so confusing and so ill thought out. There’s no upside to it. I think we’ll see a lot of damaging effects there,” she said in the Next Web article.

Explained the new Verge report, “The rejection of the Copyright Directive will be a relief to U.S. tech giants, who would have incurred serious costs to adapt to the ruling. Individual users would also have likely been adversely affected by the law, with some campaigners claiming the proposed ‘upload filter’ would have meant [an end to] sharing memes, which frequently use copyrighted material.”

A statement released by Mozilla said, “The European Parliament has today heard the voice of European citizens and voted against proposals that would have dealt a hammer blow to the open internet in Europe. The future of an open internet and creativity in Europe depends on it.”

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