Prepare for a Reshuffling of the Internet Deck

In my last post I wrote about the house of cards called today’s Internet, and new rules that could shake things up. The European Directive threatens to force social media platforms and others to pay a link tax to copyright holders and guard against uploading of such content.

There was an outcry from many quarters when the idea was proposed, and the first attempt did not pass. In July it was sent back to the rulemakers for further discussion and fine tuning. Many viewed the effort as government overreaching and a threat to big tech; others saw it as a win for media. Curiously, consumers seemed chiefly concerned about losing out on their precious memes.

As I said in my last post, it might not be a bad thing, if the European Directive were adopted. The free Internet has left journalism reeling and savaged creative fields like writing, music and photography.

Yesterday, TheVerge reported that the EU Copyright Directive has passed, with most controversial provisions intact. It still needs to survive a final vote in January 2019, but the article said that this will likely happen.

I am quite honestly surprised there hasn’t been more noise and reporting about this.

It seems to be a big deal. OK, the rules won’t take effect immediately – and they are in Europe – but a similar clamping down on tech called GDPR (which holds businesses’ feet to the fire regarding personal info) – took years to unfold and is now coming to the US.

Prepare for a slow walk to a new Internet, and score one for the media. And now would be a good time to invest in companies that database and scan content for copyrights.

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