c3o (Christopher Clay), who works in the EU Parliament according to his profile, posted several informative comments including one explaining the backstory behind the proposed legislation:
> The back story of the law may shed some light.
> First, it's no secret that the intent is to prop up the business model of struggling publishers by getting internet platforms to pay them for spreading (links to/tiny snippets of) their content.
> After a "link tax" law was introduced in Germany, some publishers decided to waive it. Google reacted by removing snippets from those who didn't in Google News, making their links less likely to be clicked on. Afraid of losing traffic, these publishers then granted Google a free license.
> The government of Spain looked at this result and decided to implement the idea as an inalienable right, to make sure some publishers couldn't opt out, and Google would have to pay up. In response, Google shut down Google News altogether in Spain.
> This is the version that the Parliament's chief negotiator now wants the EU to implement. He believes that Google (and Facebook and Twitter, which have been added as targets) wouldn't dare shut down a service across all of Europe.
And then the EU can try to escalate by blocking non-EU news sites. Boy is that going to be an interesting day.
This law won't change the structure of the internet, it will just change the players. People want free news aggregators and other countries will not enforce this silly law (see also: cookie notices).
Is anybody here using it? What for?
In this case the subject is Google News: https://news.google.com
Personally, I use Google News because it's better at finding news I want to read than other aggregators (including other feeds from Google itself, at least for a while). The options to customize the topics I'm interested in and to block/prefer certain news sources are tremendously useful, while at same time it also brings up news from sources I haven't heard of before so I'm not limited to a handpicked selection.
Google News is also good for browsing articles from many different sources about a single news story. Most news cards show at least two, and you can expand the card and click "view full coverage" to bring up all the related articles. Makes it easy to peruse all the coverage.
But I’m worried that, by filtering it out, we create tribal echo chambers. Personally, I hold my nose, read at least some of the articles, and try to argue against them.
It seems like a reasonable alternative. I wonder how sites will react if it gets as big as Google.
Often can't do a normal google search coz then it mostly shows reference and history rather than latest news story.
I suspect you can, to both of these and are using hyperbole to make some point? What is it?
I hope Google shut downs Youtube France
"...that news publishers cannot waive even if they choose to."
This is horrendous.
I generally favor: "Do not ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence."
However this seems like a blatant attempt to shut down any interpretive or third party news sites in favor of centralized media control.
The EU is worried about publishers both big and small. Currently, investing half a year's worth of a journalist's work into investigations is a rather bad business decision, because everyone can freely reuse the facts you uncovered: spend a year finding corruption, write it up in a day, 10 minutes later it's on AP.
Ther 'inalienable' is to ensure you're not pressured into giving those rights away by a stronger actor such as Google. The principle is the same that makes it impossible for you to agree to buy something new without warranty.
Your idea also doesn't make much sense because the current crisis of journalism has hit smaller publishers hardest. The New York Times will survive. The Bodunken Tribune is probably long dead already. And the major players for centralization are obviously Google and Facebook, the two largest targets of this legislation.
All this DOES NOT mean I believe this proposal to be a good idea! I think it's too much beaurocracy for too little effect, plus probably unintended consequences.
But it's hard to completely disregard the true motivation and ascribe malice.
There is nothing good about link taxes. And sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
Meanwhile, this cannot help even responsibly-run small news organizations, because it will just direct all the large aggregators and large news companies to make deals with each other, and the small news companies will get zero links and collect zero "link tax", and small/new aggregators will not be able to afford to operate. Result: large organizations stay large, small ones continue going out of business.
Someone on Twitter earlier was saying journalism has a history of relying on rich people who don't mind losing money (the modern example being Bezos and the Washington Post), and that we're trending back that way. Anyone who can't find a patron is probably going to go out of business no matter what.
(unless you'd like to have news organizations be funded by government, which can work but has its own set of problems)
I'm not sure it can (or should) be any other way. If you try to run journalism as a for-profit business, you end up with ads and clickbait. Good journalism is like medicine - very important, and very unable to bring in profit.
How will this effect google or facebook at all?
Anyone with a blog looking to quote a news outlet and provide commentary is now mandatorily taxed? How do you NOT see this as bad? What good can come of it at all?
Google and Facebook show titles and quotes of linked articles. This legislation is specifically aimed at them. Noncommercial actors (bloggers etc) are supposed to be exempt.
> How do you NOT see this as bad?
It is extremely frustrating how people on HN apparently have no ability to acknowledge a valid argument for a position they oppose. Read the last two paragraphs of my post again. It clearly states, in rule-braking all-caps even, that I do not support this legislation.
> What good can come of it at all?
It will shift (as you note) money from those reprinting news to those producing original content. The former is cheap, commoditized, and in no danger. The latter is fundamental for a functioning democracy.
Looking at EU's history of jurisdiction in these matters, this usually means almost no one is considered "noncommercial". You better believe this is going to hit small bloggers hard. C&D-happy lawyers are going to have a field day.
Despite your condescending rebuttal I actually am disagreeing with your position. I don't think this is good for democracy in that having the cash to produce original content imposes no responsibility and this legislation would stifle third party analysis and criticism of their reporting. Making these arguments and then adding a "but yeah in general I'm not in favor" doesn't shield you from criticism.
Nobody forced them to chase clickbait or spend their days sourcing stories from Twitter and Tumblr. That's all on them.
And before you think that's an exaggeration, I'm talking about one of my (European) country's major national papers whose daily front page now consists of breathless American political drama, hashtags and gender politics. It's ridiculous, the children are running the show, the writing is atrocious, and their world view is about as sophisticated as a first year pol-sci major who's never held a real job.
Get those people to shut up and we'll be far better off. I look forward to their tears. If their content was worth it, they wouldn't be struggling.
But if distributors have to pay to link to such content, then such content will not contribute to a functioning democracy because nobody will be able to discover this content.
And, it's funny you mention "functioning democracy" -- tell me how Brussels is part of a functioning democracy? The European Commission President and commissioners aren't elected are they? The Commission has the sole right to propose EU legislation -- which is binding on all member states.
So a Commission that isn't elected gets to force it's will on otherwise democratic countries?
How is that "functioning democracy?" A bit ironic that an undemocratic institution's actions are being defended as protecting something fundamental to a functioning democracy.
It's funny to me as an American living in Europe that many people criticize the US Electoral College system to elect the US president, yet see no problem with accepting the regime of the European Commission, despite not getting a vote on the the Commission President or Commissioners.
The Commission is staffed by elected politicians, one for every country of the EU. The Commission's President is elected by members of the European Parliament, themselves elected directly by the people of the EU member states in the European Elections, held every 4 years.
The Commission is a legislative body; it makes legislation, but legislation must be passed into law by voting in the European Parliament by MEPs.
A lot has been made into the eurosceptic press about the "non-democratic" nature of the EU. These news items overlook the difference between an elected politician and an official appointed by elected politicians. For example, US Supreme Court Justices are nominated by the US President and confirmed by the Senate and they are the final arbiters of fedral law, not to mention their appointment is lifelong.
The pain and trouble that this legislation would generate to Europe and to the whole world is much worse than say Google's monopoly.
I believe if the EU had an honest intention of only undermining monopolies from countries outside the EU (mainly the US), then it should find another way to go with it without disrupting the whole open knowledge concept. Otherwise, it will be truly disasterous.
That's not exactly an internet related phenomenon.
The same EU that regulated the shape of cucumbers? They regulated shapes of bananas. The EU also launched a kettle and toaster crackdown after the Brexit vote.  -- but hid those plans until after the vote.
This is also the EU that hid plans to ban high powered kettles and toasters until after the Brexit vote so they wouldn't fuel the Leave campaign. So the EU says, "Let's keep this unpopular stuff a secret so we don't piss off the British and cause the vote to swing to Leave."
The same EU that banned effective, powerful vacuum cleaners because of climate change?  The EU that would have people living in straw huts if it meant a 0.001% decline in CO2?
This manipulative, vindictive EU that hid their intentions from the British public because they knew those intentions would be unpopular?
To assume "good faith" on the part of the EU for any reason, is, itself, an act of faith and more likely, an act of delusion.
Only... that‘s not true. The EU defined quality classes for all kinds of products. And in the case of bananas these included curvature.
Producers could still sell whatever curved bananas they liked. At whatever price they liked. They just couldn‘t claim it conformed to this specific quality class.
Because free trade includes regulations like that. Traders want to establish a baseline what‘s acceptable to most of them and not specify every product detail in every shipment.
People seem to be so desperate to believe the government is this big, incompetent force of evil that they'll uncritically accept any story that confirms that belief.
Regulators are not enemies. Regulators are the enemies of established companies, and operate in favour of civil society as civil servants: they are subject to oversight, and are imposed to create oversight over entities who are not equilibriating in favour of wider society. They are anti monopolist.
Your response is really strange in this regard. Freedom of information is not an absolute. You have a right to privacy as an individual. If you hold certain digital assets like domain names, you are losing some of that privacy to have a WHOIS record, and GDPR is restoring some of it. If you browse web pages and entities hold onto your cookies and create value by integrating over sets of cookies at different websites GDPR is returning to you, the individual, some control over that.
To use an analogy: if you love to travel the world but keep getting sick from preventable infectious diseases, the solution is to buy bottled water, mosquito repellent, and vaccinations, not stop traveling all together.
Subject to oversight? Have you EVER heard of a French civil servant being fired? It's as rare as a baseball game in Paris.
A bumpy ride from early agriculture, where people died of sickness and war all the time, to the relatively stable modern era of great wonders we all take for granted - hot water, long-lasting food of greater variety than even kings had just a hundred years ago, of powerful medicine and safe surgeries, of wash machines and air travel and the Internet.
All of that built on accumulation of knowledge and stabilization of societies, in which regulators always played a crucial role.
The history books do not paint the picture that "regulators are enemies". You just have to focus less on kings and wars, and more on how a society looked and lived in any given era, and why.
Are you referring to the Data Protection Officer (DPO) requirement?
I believe this is the relevant article: https://gdpr-info.eu/art-37-gdpr/
If I understand correctly, you only need to appoint a DPO in cases where you are either a public entity (you are not) or in cases where your site requires "regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale", or in a couple of other special cases where you process extremely sensitive data.
Presumably you aren't doing that on "your" forum/webpage, so you don't need to appoint a DPO.
I think you are making a bit of a storm in a teacup here.
> the identity and the contact details of the controller and, where applicable, of the controller’s representative;
See, the main question here is which identity it is that must be disclosed. The definition in article 4.7 has this to say:
> ‘controller’ means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law;
What exactly falls under "other body" may be important here. What it does not say is that it must be a legal person.
Let us say that you have a forum on omgweirdfetishes.eu. You may say that the controller is The OMG Weird Fetishes Forum. Now it may be arguable that in itself counts as "other body", but generally there's the concept of "Unincorporated Association" which is just any group of people with a common purpose, it would be hard to argue that that doesn't fall under the "other body". In some countries, e.g. Denmark, an unincorporated association is even recognized as a legal entity in its own right.
So say that "The OMG Weird Fetishes Forum is driven by The OMG Weird Fetishes Forum Association. The members of the The OMG Weird Fetishes Forum Association consists of the users of The OMG Weird Fetishes Forum", and then identify the data controller as "The OMG Weird Fetishes Forum Association, contact details: email@example.com"
ps -- if you want not to be required to disclose anything under the GDPR, don't collect any personal data. No ips, usernames, access logs, etc.
So, even in the boring world of small websites, you have to comply.
Okay, so then the only requirement of GDPR is that you must make the newsletter opt-in rather than opt-out and you must make the unsubscribe process as easy as the subscribe process.
This is indeed a problem if you run Mailman, which has a somewhat annoying unsubscribe process and which does not have the funding to address this.
This is fundamentally dangerous. Once we are all lawbreakers all the time, it creates a powerful tool for oppression and using the law to harass and silence political opponents.
If this really matters to you, and you care about doing more than signaling to others of your ideological persuasion, you need to offer more and better. Slippery slope is too often the lazy fallacy, and not a real case against something. How does this law as written and likely enforced do all of the bad things claimed here?
It’s really hardcore levels of bullshit being employed in this thread to make a big scary mountain out of a molehill.
Additionally, while the remedy for this crime is a fine, the remedy for not paying the fine is prison.
This new reg to me is just bewildering however - not even allowing media sources to opt out of it? That just makes no sense to me and comes off as an attempt to destroy smaller / independent outlets. Hopefully it dies on the vine.
Many companies including Twillo and Delta have rolled out their tracking controls behind feature flags. If you decide that you'd rather not be tracked they make you stare at a spinner for ~100 seconds while your privacy settings are "being applied".
Keeping privacy as inconvenient as possible is big business.
To some extent, this risks running afoul of GDPR and getting hit with a big fine. But no doubt companies will try to find the sweet spot of being as annoying as possible while still being technically compliant.
"The information was on display on Alpha Centauri for at least 20 years".
I.e. if they make a GDPR request put them on the waiting line with rest of customers. Press 1 for account related matter, Press 2 for account information, please enter your account number. Please enter your account number to confirm. Press 3 for privacy related information. Press 4 for information regarding GDPR. Please enter account information. Please verify account number. Redirecting to customer support.
Please press 9 to continue. Please press 2 for verifying you are EU citizen. Enter verification data.
This sounds plausible but do you have evidence that it is actually true?
An equally plausible reason for the proposed change is that European leaders see what media consolidation leads too. Too many people relying on too few sources for information. Perhaps this legislation is an ill thought out way to try to counteract the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy.
Newspapers, and magazines are dying. They are no longer able to do the sort of investigative journalism like in the past. Consolidation has led to a degradation of quality and has caused too few people to control too much information. Witness the shenanigans of Sinclair Broadcasting recently.
I don't know the merits of the legislation in question but without evidence it's a hard sell to ascribe its passing to what you claim.
We used to be able to put a website online, gather emails to send newsletters, offer services to our users, etc without any help from the government. Now, every time I put a new website online I have to fill pages of pages with stupid policies and I know I'm not even fully compliant because honestly it's impossible to really be since it's all about how it's interpreted by the current bureaucrat. These kind of laws don't deserve a place in Europe.
You need people to be able to be naturally compliant, so that they can promote their stuff wihout being scared of persecution if they say something the government doesn't like. Today you don't make a website and say controversial stuff, otherwise you know that when the government will notice it will uses the broad interpretations that stupid laws like the cookie law or GPDR give them to drag you into court and destroy you.
By government of course I mean bureaucrats, political figures and your bigger competitors.
These kind of laws, like the GDPR, where they say "we will use them for good, don't worry, we will ony use them on big companies" are those that freedom-minded people should be mostly scared about.
Of course the proposal in OP is much worse and makes no sense.
That argument works against things like data retention laws (the new regime may find 'new uses' for data already retained) but if anything, GDPR discourages data retention
I'm guessing your first thought to that is we need multiple voices and points of view and I don't disagree. I'm just pointing out that in 1975 you probably had 2-5 reporters from Sweden in NYC, 5-15 from Germany, 5-15 from France, 4-7 from Italy, 2-3 from Spain, 5-15 from the UK, 3-4 from Ireland etc etc. Add up all the major countries and their might have been 400+ NYC foreign correspondents. Do we need all 400 or has the internet made it so we only need 10-20? Apply that concept everywhere, even to local papers and it seems like the biggest hit to journalism isn't Google, it's the internet itself. Just like a few wheat harvesting machine replace hundreds of workers the world has changed to one where far less journalists can do the work of what used to take many more?
I think there's two aspects to this, is journalism sustainable and is journalism worthwhile. I think publishers are having a hard time with the former, but I think undeniably it is valuable in the latter. As the world becomes more complex and bad actors are becoming more sophisticated, I think the world needs more journalists to uncover truth and reality, especially since there is profit to be made from writing fake news. I think the fact that it's not sustainable now means that we should move to a model where we subsidize news with public funding; not sure what the best structure is, but there is so much good public externalities to journalism that it's worthwhile to fund it with public money.
There’d be little point in making the post longer by mentioning Germany inline as well. The shorter and more digestible the post is, the more likely people will read and share. Germany’s case is mentioned in the post they link to when referencing Spain’s situation.
We (America) just signed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLOUD_Act into law last month without so much as a blip from The AP or Thompson Reuters.
The internet is sorta like the printing-press but more important. Of course it's threatening the powers-that-be & of course they're gonna' try and get that under control.
Totally agree except RE: the last year or so. If you look closely "they" appear to be wising-up.
The CLOUD act (at least how I'm reading it) says that the American internet is American...in other words, "If we wanna subpoena your s#!t in Thailand, we can cuz your cloud-provider is probably based in Seattle, WA, USA."
Law is ultimately about precedent, and there is now a precedent for America to get a warrant allowing them to see any American company's consumer-data, regardless of where that data is geographically.
Blip from Reuters: 
Blip from AP: 
Every news outlet with a grain of reason offers every major search engine or news aggregator, or maybe a whole self-publishing platform like Twitter a blanket deal: €20 per month for unlimited use of blurbs and links, as long as blurbs are short and are actual quotations.
So, the market would have fended off the attack on the way it operates, and ready to continue as usual.
The losers would be the non-commercial sites. Wikipedia would have hard time showing you all these Creative Commons-licensed pictures. Free (as in beer) publications would see large drops in traffic, not being able to offer their content legally for free, or re-licence it (it's often quite involved).
What a useful law that might be. /s
Googling about how to quantify in dollar the value of journalism, I found
2) The limits of quantification:
Yes, but to your question regarding A/V standards, that works both ways. While past performance often isn't a great predictor, human biological specs are a decent predictor for the near future. If we take 8k as the current bleeding edge (given actual beyond-the-lab 8k screens exist, albeit at horrendous bleeding edge pricing), we're somewhere around one more doubling (quadrupling of pixels) away from the point where the number of image elements will literally exceed the number of retina in a human eye. Now yeah, the human eye jitters around a fair amount, and maybe there'd be some value in peripheral vision coverage too in theory, but even taking all of that into consideration to be very conservative we're still rapidly approaching the point where our display tech can exceed the limits of human visual acuity, at which point it's reasonable to predict that we will in fact be "done" when it comes to A/V standards (post-human seems farther away then 2030). And even that is getting into heavily diminishing returns territory.
It really does make for something interesting to think about, similar to that of audio where we've already been "done" for a long time now. We've lived in an era where a significant amount of innovation and money flowing around and such came out of a lot of work to ever more closely match our synthetic light outputs to the input capabilities of our vision systems. But that's not a forever thing, our vision system is such a powerful part of our senses that it's been a very hard target, but there is in fact a hard physical limit there. When it's reached, and there will be no more video format changes ever again, and no more screen changes ever again, no more chances to sell "remastered" and "updated" versions of older visual products, etc., it may make for some real changes in the industry.
And to GP's point, the theoretical limits of information storage in matter do seem to be a lot farther beyond the theoretical end of information requirements necessary to match a human's AV. Optimistically for all parties though, the music scene seems to have done alright through that transition so far, on both the production/industry and consumer side (where we enjoy near universal DRM free high quality competition). Granted, that was after a lot of very ugly thrashing...