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Copyright revision in Europe proceeding; upload censorship gone (for now); close calls

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The revision of the copyright monopoly in the European Union continues its way through the European law factory. From Julia Reda, we learn that the Internal Market Committee has now voted, and that some bad things are gone from the proposal, some bad things remain, and some sensible things have entered. Most importantly: the mandatory upload pre-screening censorship is gone, but the profoundly stupid “Google News tax” remains.

Julia Reda, the Member of European Parliament (MEP) from the German Piratenpartei, has summarized the vote in the IMCO committee of the European Parliament, which she calls the “second most important vote” in this copyright revision process, and how this vote changed the bill:

The pre-screening upload mandatory censorship is gone. No “notice-and-staydown” censorship that ignores fair use and exceptions. The ban on sharing news from mainstream media remains – this is the “Google News tax”. It is utterly idiotic if you want mainstream media to survive at all. Paradoxically, lawmakers think they’re helping old media by protecting them from being shared. Text and data mining may remain (legally) unavailable for most people. User-generated content, like memes, are legalized — effectively extending today’s text-only quotation right to audio and video. Outdoor photos (Freedom of Panorama) are legalized across Europe, defeating countries like France and Belgium where you’re not legally allowed to take photos of buildings (like the Eiffel Tower at night – yes, really, current industrial protectionism law is that dumb).

Do note here that what Europe decides is important globally: since the United States tend to always ratchet up industrial protectionism, it’s effectively Europe who decides what of all that the United States lobby firms come up with, that get to have a global effect. In this way, the “first follower” is really important for critical mass, be it for freedom

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