EU copyright directive

The European Parliament voted in favour of the EU copyright directive, which taxes links and requires sites with user submitted material to have a program to filter copyrighted content. Taxing links will make it more difficult to comment on news. It will drive traffic away from news sites. And a filter for copyrighted material won’t be able to distinguish between using material for commentary and ripping it off wholesale. In addition, once content filters are in wide use politicians will want to use them to suppress content they dislike. An article on this disaster ends with the sentence:

Exactly how the legislation will be interpreted will be up to individual nations, but the shift in the balance of power is clear: the web’s biggest tech companies are losing their grip on the internet.

This claim is wrong. Implementing filters for copyrighted content and paying taxes for links will be a massive expense. A large company may be able to eat the cost of developing the necessary programs and paying the link tax. In general, a small company will not be able to pay such costs. Many small companies won’t be started at all because the EU just massively increased the capital requirements for starting any online business. Increasing regulation favours large businesses over small businesses.

About conjecturesandrefutations
My name is Alan Forrester. I am interested in science and philosophy: especially David Deutsch, Ayn Rand, Karl Popper and William Godwin.

3 Responses to EU copyright directive

  1. do you get taxed for posting a link or for receiving a link? if i post a link in blog comments, do i get taxed or the blog owner? also: WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF WTF

    • The article sez that “sites like Google” will have to pay for links to news sites. In practice this will mean sites the EU doesn’t like. And the news sites will be sites the EU does like. I don’t know who’ll get taxed exactly. My guess is that the people who’ll get taxed are those the EU can most conveniently shake down.

    • Some sites get exemptions like Github and Wikipedia. So in practice that bans competition with Github and Wikipedia in the EU.

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