Everybody is completely and 100% against the copyright law.
There is a huge difference between the two from my point of view:
GDPR is not a law about "The Internet", it is a law about company records. It applies to Google, but it also applies to the Pakistani food stand on the corner. It affects Google a lot more, sure. I support the concept that a company does not have some inherent right to be a steward of my personal data without my explicit consent. GDPR is also easy enough for even tiny startups to comply with, and is significantly easier for small companies than large ones. It does not create a large barrier to entry for new startups or a rift between the existing small and large companies.
The copyright law, however, is a law about The Internet. It controls how businesses interact with the internet. It sets _technical_ restrictions on how they can do so. It sets technical restrictions that are probably not even feasible, at that. It absolutely does create a huge barrier to entry for small companies, and could possibly enshrine the existing tech giants into de-facto monopolies (I mean, if they aren't already...)
The copyright directive is horrible enough on its own. I don't see why everyone is in a rush to pull in mentions of GDPR to make it seem "worse". For a lot of us, it weakens the argument instead of strengthening it. Not everyone likes GDPR, obviously, but we can _all_ agree that the copyright law is garbage.
Online newspapers are the worst. "Here's a front page you can read, and maybe the start of an article, if you want more, you have to give us permission to track you -- or you can just fuck off". What exactly has GDPR solved here? Nothing. Before this nonsense, I could simply tell my browser not to accept cookies from these sites, and I could tell my plugins to ignore their tracking stuff. But at least I could read the newspaper without any hassle. Now all I get is more annoying popups and less contents. Thanks, GDPR.
Yes, I'm being snarky. Yes, I know the idea of the law is pretty solid. But no, I'm not at all happy with the outcome.
AFAIK GDPR does explicitly legislate against all that - dialogues should be "opt-in" and should include a simple "no" option, and that sites shouldn't "ban" you for not clicking "yes".
But unless EU actually starts delivering some hefty fines, the law is just a dead tree.
And it's their computer that allows the usage of cookies and localstorage. All modern web browsers has an option to disable them. It's technically stupid.
This - unless I misread it - is flat out wrong for most of the cookie warnings I see.
There's no valid reason for a news site to need cookies or similar except for logins.
It can be proved easily by wiping cookies and verifying the site still works.
That's can't be a real part of GDPR, can it? I don't see how you can fine someone for shitty website design.
If it ever starts to not benefit ycombinator, then the aite goes away.
There are many people, like my father that don't even realize that his data was collected and sold behind his back, hopefully we get some fines soon so the websites implement the law right.
What I do if I really want to read a news article I will open it in a private window, accept that crap and close the window when done, but most of the time I will not read that website and go to ones that respect the users like Europen new websites.
Oracle. Here's July's Critical Patch Update page:
On my my domestic ADSL line the cookie pop-up takes almost 10s to load. It presents 67 checkboxes to select from. There is no default selection, so this requires at least 3 more clicks (at least the non-obligatory cookies are grouped). Submitting the form takes another ~4s -- it even has a progress bar. (Thankfully they aren't using TLS so it's not quite as slow as it could be).
Earlier this summer this component was broken and I just couldn't use oracle.com.
So, it's just one more paper to sign, and doesn't help the actual consumer. I would have expected more of "Don't send me any promotional/survey questions unless I opt in", or "Never share my data with 3rd parties, period".
That's illegal. Consent to processing can not be a prerequisite for service.  (Otherwise GDPR would have no power, even in theory.)
If the processing is so important that service cannot be provided without it, or wouldn't be legal to offer, it's covered under Art. 6(1)(b), (c), or (f): performance of a contract, legal obligation, or legitimate interest of the business. Consent—Art. 6(1)(a)—is what you use when you just want the data but don't actually require it to offer the service.
Saying "Sign consent or go away" is saying "We could serve you without this, but we want it, so we're lying and saying we can't."
It seems like almost everyone has chosen this weird malicious non-compliance (maximum annoyance but without the compliance) as their GDPR strategy.
Maybe lawyers found a way to claim that left is right and up is down.
 Art. 7(4): https://gdpr-info.eu/art-7-gdpr/
This ^ is a shortened simplified statement. You can argue semantics or maybe that I'm just flat out wrong if you wish, but that'll mean you read the GDPR, a win in itself.
Not exactly. What happened on many sites is that along with that notification you are given an option to opt out of tracking and view crazy-long lists of partners with whom data is shared. So on those sites the user is given both choice and greater transparency. (Although I admit usually the choice is presented in such a way that it is easy to accept and difficult to reject - which is actually prohibited by GDPR.)
However on the other hand, as you say, there are sites which only give notification without giving any choice - which is also prohibited by GDPR. So I'd say the law is good, now we need to see it enforced and actually punish sites which do not follow it.
But then newspapers in Belgium are pretty horrible in general. They're exempt from paying VAT, even for content they sell online. Online-only news sites don't get this exemption and have to charge 21% VAT, so the entrenched newspapers have something of an unfair advantage there. But anyway, that's a different rant entirely. Just an illustration of their general scumminess.
Not all business models deserve to succeed.
The most likely outcome will be a distorted market in Europe and European tech companies becoming even less relevant and even less able to compete in other regions of the world.
I don't understand where this entitlement for free stuff comes from.
Does lack of interaction with a (blocked) cookie banner give implicit consent to be tracked?
1. Application and enforcement: GDPR is 100% arbitrarily enforced, it is a "trust us, we could do no harm, trust us" law, that is extremely well suited to adding other such "trust us" laws.
2. Absolutely ridiculous overreach: on a technical level, GDPR is braindead. It applies ridiculous, stupid and unnecessary restrictions for no purpose.
3. You just added an obligatory "lol accept this or GTFO" thing to all sites.
2. "For no purpose" - you know the purpose, you just pretend it has none because you don't like it.
3. No, that's explicitly forbidden.
I've noticed quite a few US sites, particularly some large news orgs, have been going the "accept this or leave" route, and some are going the "accept this or click on the entrance to our insane maze of links that will confuse you until you give up"
They are non-compliant, guess we'll see what happens.
Josh buddy. By chance, have you spent any time at all on the internet using so-called "GDPR compliant" sites?
Unless I'm missing something, basic hyperlinking seems to be excluded from the scope of the new directive, and it is instead targeting services that reproduce the publication more substantially.
> This protection [granted to press publications] does not extend to acts of hyperlinking.
Article 11, paragraph 2a:
> The rights referred to in paragraph 1 shall not extend to mere hyperlinks which are accompanied by individual words.
I can't browse the internet with cookies disabled anymore because of all these horrible banners taking up the screen to take my consent.
For people who care about privacy, it's made the experience worse, not better, I even send a DNT header and still get this.
I am blocked from accessing certain sites, so now I have to route my connections through countries outside of the US, this is not a success for people like me.
If they had involved technical people, we wouldn't see such horrible implementations.
It's about full stack owners vs. people who depend on modules to operate, not size of the company. And controlling or maintaining consistentcy across all those modules might be difficult when it comes to GDPR. Just think about plugin pipelines that many small businesses build with Wordpress and similar, where every service that sits between your app and your database needs to be compliant if you want to comply with GDPR.
The pakistani foodstand might be a full stack owner like Google, but in small, he controls his stack and can manually delete all records if neccessary.
But if you use modules/services you can't really reach into the DB's of your module providers.
How can you be sure that the compliance isn't just marketing? There is no official cert body or institution for GDPR afaik. Isn't it all trust based at this point?
Actual certification would require a huge continous investment, where a outside body would constantly monitor and proof your code and its side effects.
>Any well designed regulation disallows skirting liability by subcontracting out functionality. Is that really unreasonable?
But what if this industry, especially the small business world is based on subcontracting out functionality? They're basically ignoring an existing ecosystem and methodologies that developed over a decade in that space.
>It describes pretty clearly how to be a compliant processor, and it's basically saying that you have to have a contract with the "controller" that requires you to fulfill the same responsibilities that the controller would have under GDPR if they were doing the work in house.
If its so clear, why isn't there an official cert body or institution? Afaik there is none. Compliance refers to the interpretations of the GDPR text, not real logical safety on an technology level, the laws aren't detailed enough for that. To cert or guarantee safety they'd have to monitor code repos and analyze side effects of the code on a constant basis.
I think the correct way to handle data privacy is on an individual level, within the operating system and browser, making sure that your privacy settings are respected. A page that doesn't conform to your settings just wouldn't load, you get the internet you deserve.
Everybody should also have the opportunity to learn the basics of using an internet connected device, similar to driver licenses. The individual level would be a much better fit, and potentially real solution and not just a castle in the sky.
GDPR relies on trust, one little bug that results in a privacy issue and you can close up shop as business. It's a setting where those that employ cyber warfare to hack competitors and have those resources win. Politicians who brought you GDPR are the same ones that wage wars on drugs. Total morons.
makes available to the controller all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the obligations laid down in this Article and allow for and contribute to audits, including inspections, conducted by the controller or another auditor mandated by the controller.
Adherence of a processor to an approved code of conduct as referred to in Article 40 or an approved certification mechanism as referred to in Article 42 may be used as an element by which to demonstrate sufficient guarantees as referred to in paragraphs 1 and 4 of this Article.
You can subcontract, in the same way that a any other business has to subcontract with businesses that obey relevant laws. They didn't ignore history or the present - they added new responsibilities to subcontractors, and described requirements for those contracts.
The subcontracting provisions I think are actually very reasonable and well defined. Things like the Right to be Forgotten have other issues around free speech, but the controller -> processor relationship seems pretty well specified.
I have the opposite feeling. A lot of us rejected to GDPR on the basis that it's not the government's domain (any government) to impose its will on the internet. Even if the content of GDPR is well meaning it opened the door to further laws, such as the new copyright law.
By saying "GDPR is a good idea, but the EU has no right to police the internet" it saves us from further legislative efforts.
By saying "GDPR is a good law but the copyright law is bad" it means we have to have this debate over and over and the message to law makers is a tacit green light to keep going down this path.
A big difference is in the boundaries. GDPR is bounded by your customer records. One customer, one collection of personal data. There's a hard upper limit: about 7 billion. Companies tend to scale with customers, so generally bigger companies will have bigger customer bases and bigger employee bases to handle protecting the records.
The Copyright Directive's bounds is user content. One customer, any number of potential infringements. A single person can run a company with 100 customers who upload 10,000 images each per year. Managing the customer base is pretty easy, managing the data storage is pretty easy, GDPR-protecting 100 people's data is pretty easy. But 1 million potential copyright infringements per year, each one of which could even be claimed by multiple rights holders. Your risk exposure grows with data, not with people. That one-man show probably can't handle tens of thousands of take-down requests, nor build an AI Machine Learning Cloud Native Copyright ID Blockchain System to automate it.
E.g. imagine a company like Snap, say that they have a constant number of users and users post a constant number of snaps per day.
Therefore the amount of content posted/stored on the site doesn't grow, but you still need to be able to keep scaling the system, as the amount of copyrighted content that you should be able to potentially recognize continues growing!
Just the other day I ended up in a discussion with a US citizen (it started completely harmless and away from culture/politics) and ended up in the same corner: "EU is bad because it limits your freedom, US is great because it gives you freedom".
The problem is - the argument (my understanding of the interlocutor) was about companies, and what they can do.
In my view, in Europe there is a bigger pressure to value people/individuals over company/corporate interest and that's seems like the crux of the difference.
I think it’s more about two different definitions of freedom. The U.S. defines it as the freedom to choose, where harmful outcomes are an accident of letting people freely choose. The E.U. sees it more as the freedom to live, where choices that harm quality of life need to be restrained.
The EU constrains companies to the benefit of individuals. It's not stopping people from hurting themselves, it's stopping them from being hurt by companies who have phenomenal power over us, more power in some ways than states themselves have.
Whatever criticism the EU attracts for its spending, the PR budget looks to be pretty good value. I'm really baffled by some of these perspectives.
Also, your 30K figure also includes lobbyists from civil rights groups and other NGO's. Not just purely companies.
Lobbying happens, it is how people influence politics. Better to be transparant and open about it them to hide it.
To American values, restrictions on how you do business are as infringing as restrictions on individual rights.
Along that same line of thinking, I think another historical American value/attitude is that a business is a person. More precisely, businesses only exist because individual people decide to take risks with their lives in the pursuit of whatever values they hold. Since they hold the risk privately, they get to hold the rewards privately.
That many people who take such risks value financial profit may be a concern to some, but is a non-concern to society as long as the marketplace is free of coercion.
Here's one of the many articles about what's wrong with it.
Maybe we could try to find a single US law that we don't like and dismiss America just as readily?
In limiting businesses more in the EU I found out that it generally means less competition and fewer companies (per capita) than the US, in my limited experience of having lived in the EU most of my life before moving to the US and still visiting Europe every year. One of the most common shocks of moving to the US from Europe is the sheer number of options/choices that you have/can make for every little thing. Back in Europe there was 1-2 supermarket chains, here there are much more. Same for food (fast or otherwise), insurance agencies, banks/credit unions, broker services, pension funds plus countless small stores (not national chains). In most interactions I have in the US I really do feel that "the customer is always right" (there are lots of exceptions to that rule but you will generally see those exceptions also happen because of lack of competition) while in Europe most of the interactions I had as a customer meant I would have to either beg for something or get angry about it/make a scene in order to make progress on an issue.
There are also deeper cultural differences in criteria customers use to pick one company or the other. In the US people seem more willing to vote with their wallets and do not look back while I feel much less of that happening in Europe.
It's hard of course to generalize across such large and varied populations and economies but this has been my experience and it does align with logical explanations of consequences of limiting businesses more or less in a free market environment.
The sentence reads funny as if people/individuals don't own companies. A better way to put it would be that they value some kinds of people over other kinds of people. Or users over entrepreneurs, or something besides just the ambiguous "people".
Yet a common US reaction was to view GDPR as something draconian and anti small business, and to deliberately misunderstand that a maximum penalty wasn't going to be the always penalty. Much like this blog post does.
On the copyright proposals those same people here in the EU are unanimously against.
This is the only way to view penalties like this that don't have clearly defined criteria. It's all up to a judge, and when so much is at risk, a company will assume the worse.
This just sort of proves the point the poster was making. People here don't assume that the worst case is going to happen. Most sorts of these laws so far result in initial action taken to help (or force) the company to comply. Fines are usually only considered for those who repeatedly refuse to come into line.
My view of the US is that there are many more aggressive public prosecutors who will swing for maximum penalties, in order to make a name for themselves.
But maybe I just watch too much tv.
Nobody but the national regulatory instance of each country can sue, and they are in general not very happy on legal procedures.
In practice, a common Euro-pattern is this: First, a sternly worded private letter is sent to the target company. If that doesn't help, a public statement is made. After that, basic legal procedures for a small amount. The amount gets larger when the abuse is more flagrant and previous messages did not help. When the target company seems to co-operate reasonably well, no legal procedures are even started.
How is that a bad thing to do? Pretending that the worst result couldn't happen is just delusional - it is like people who don't wear seat belts or helmets, or don't buy insurance. Just because something is unlikely doesn't mean you should ignore the risk, especially when the consequences of the unlikely even are so high.
Yes, the maximum penalty is probably pretty unlikely; on the other hand, if you GOT the maximum penalty, it might be a death sentence for your company. When the stakes are that high, you can't just ignore the risk.
But it won't. You attempt to comply with the rules, show good faith and you won't be in danger.
It's not a real risk.
So the moment some group "wants to make an example of your company", not that I have ever heard of anyone being made an example of that's remotely akin to US punitive damages awards or 999 year Texas jail sentences, you appeal to the national or EU court. The judge will be delighted to rule the regulator's (or government) actions illegal or disproportionate. It may well also trigger a judicial review.
For an alternative outcome you would require a change in representation at the EU from 27 nations, and repeal of one of the founding principles. Not as unthinkable as the US repealing the constitution, but not very far off.
Existing laws we already operate under have much more severe maximum penalties than people realize, and judges are (relatively) reasonable at applying them correctly. Right here in the US, nearly everyone is technically violating some law every day, the key is ensuring that our justice system has the mechanics in place to deal with clear violators, while having adequate redress for improper application of the law.
The copyright law is much the same. No, memes will not get banned by it. Yes, Google News will have to pay for the content they scrape. No, you will not get hunted down by the copyright gestapo for sending a link to a friend.
I don't think the system is working well at all. We have a situation where vague laws with severe penalties allow prosecutors to grossly overcharge. This is then used to coerce the accused into waiving their rights to a trial, in return for the certainty of a more limited punishment.
In Germany "deals" are very much not liked by the law profession, and only a very limited form of it has been put into law. And even that is very sharply debated in the profession.
Add to it that prosecutors actually do look for mitigating circumstances, and do not regularly appeal a verdict that they feel is a bit too low, thus preventing the appellate court from handing down a harsher sentence, making the appeal risk-free for the defendant.
It's not all roses here, but you also shouldn't assume that this "either plead guilty and accept five years or risk three hundred years" is a universal property of judicial systems.
Guilty pleas do usually result in lower tariffs, but AFAICT we have little to none of the horse-trading that's continually portrayed on US television.
Then we'll reverse any of these positions at the drop of a hat. I'm not saying we're RANDOM, I'm saying it can look so. There might be dozens of upcoming responses to this comment, each suggesting a different "simple" solution ("It's about self-interest" "It's about freedom" "it's about personal responsibility") but they will all either fail to reconcile, or give you a simple explanation that is nonetheless hard to extrapolate how the public will respond to a given topic.
My personal opinion is that neither the EU nor the US has an optimal economic outlook, but it may not be possible to have one - it's hard to combine the benefits of rugged individualism with the benefits of communal cohesion. Hard to mix diversity with unity.
It's actually not that hard. You can have a mexican restaurant, hibachi restaurant, cajun restaurant and winery all in the same city and patronize a different one each day. That's the benefit of diversity.
What doing it wrong looks like is accusing the mexican restaurant of a moral failing because their staff is mostly latino, or the winery because their staff is mostly English or French. You don't maintain diverse cultures by requiring every place to be formed of exact proportions of statistically precise homogenized diversity paste, you get them by having clumps of different cultures near each other that trade and learn with each other while continuing to possess their own discrete cultural identities.
All unity requires is coexisting without fighting each other.
The fact that some people do it wrong doesn't mean there isn't a way to do it right.
And that's also why you see people on both sides of any given issue. A diverse country does not have a homogeneous people.
> And that's also why you see people on both sides of any given issue
Often that's a great thing. Sometimes it's not. That was the point I was making.
I won't claim to know what the "optimal mindset" is, but I think it's obvious that both the US and the EU have made many blunders in recent history, economically and otherwise. I'm sure if there is an optimal mindset, it is one that learns from those of the US, EU, Asia, etc. and takes the best of each (not necessarily in equal proportions, of course).
Knowing different cultures, contrasting them and making your own choices will always be superior to being "indoctrinated" (voluntarily or not) into one.
* In the US: Don’t use social media if you don’t want to be tracked, it’s your choice.
* In the EU: We cannot compete against big US companies so we will pass laws that are popular with entitled people to weaken them in the name of social benefits. Win-win for politicians.
It's not about weakening companies, it's about keeping them in line, ethically.
Which is to say, I'm an American who's wildly in favor of the EU's regulatory changes to reign in big tech, but when you consider how many different individuals or organizations are by FAANG companies, the media perspective on these laws can be... tainted by self-interest.
Also note that movies and TV are often oddly at odds with even the industry that creates them. For instance, Hollywood is notoriously liberal (to the point that conservatives have to hide their political affiliation), and hence very pro gun control. Yet if you've seen many of our movies, you might have noticed that building props for Hollywood is a statistically significant portion of the gun manufacturing industry!
The DMCA was an attack on consumer rights. The GDPR is their extension.
A Labour MP in the UK announced a bill that wants to curtail "closed" forums on social media .
Analysis on the topic .
Please tell me this has no hope of passing...
Amen. The way Google and FB are using data just doesn't bother the masses the way it bothers the media and the narrative they've built (or the way it bothers us). There are many steps that can be taken, some incremental, towards the curbing of these practices. But we, as technologists, should always decry heavy-handed government regulation of the internet, especially as an early step. The intent does not matter.
If legislation doesn't work, don't make more or make it larger assuming it was the scope that was the problem. Take a step back and recognize alternatives including enforcing existing statues, promoting alternatives, educating citizenry, more targeted and narrowly scoped legislation, etc.
This is not an early step. The trend has been clear for the past decade, and it has been going in the wrong direction, at increasing speeds.
This is pretty much something the tech industry brought upon itself by trying to always trying to outdo itself in terms of how much tracking and privacy violations it could get away with.
IOW, from a techie to another: cry me a river.
Tools to block tracking have gotten better. Spyware is more difficult to spread, etc. I'm not convinced it's going the wrong direction "at increasing speeds". Do you have any empirical evidence of this or is it just based on perception?
>IOW, from a techie to another: cry me a river.
Don't do this.
" Please don't post shallow dismissals, especially of other people's work. A good critical comment teaches us something. "
> Tools to block tracking have gotten better. Spyware is more difficult to spread, etc. I'm not convinced it's going the wrong direction "at increasing speeds". Do you have any empirical evidence of this or is it just based on perception?
To make an analogy, what you're saying is similar to saying "I'm not convinced violent crime is going in the wrong direction, because people many people are regularly wearing better bullet-proof vests."
Better tools to block tracking is part of a trend going in the wrong direction: an arms race between trackers and anti-tracking blockers. If things were going in the right direction, we wouldn't need better blockers, since the tracking companies would have taken the hint, and either become opt in or respect simple measures like DNT headers.
That analogy only makes sense if the bullet-proof vest prevents violent crime entirely. Someone shooting you when you wear a bullet proof vest is still a violent crime so I'm not sure what point you are getting at.
>Better tools to block tracking is part of a trend going in the wrong direction: an arms race between trackers and anti-tracking blockers. If things were going in the right direction, we wouldn't need better blockers, since the tracking companies would have taken the hint, and either become opt in or respect simple measures like DNT headers.
Solutions that depend on the goodwill of participants don't work on the Internet. The only people they impact are the ones that want to play by the rules.
You know it's illegal to take people's money out of banks, yet for some reason banks still use encryption. Don't you wonder why?
It's an early step if you count successes. You build on success, not failures, surely that's clear. I agree it has been a trend and has been going the wrong direction at increasing speed, assuming you mean the trend is large, general internet restrictions imposed by governments.
> This is pretty much something the tech industry brought upon itself by trying to always trying to outdo itself in terms of how much tracking and privacy violations it could get away with.
I agree we brought it on ourselves by giving an inch. If it's privacy violations that are the problem, what are they violations of, prosecute under that, move on. If the legislation is working and needs more teeth, add em. Otherwise, its politicians trying to outdo themselves over how much interference they can get away with. And we have said "get away with plenty".
> IOW, from a techie to another: cry me a river.
I say the same as one citizen to another wrt your data.
Now, I thought I was reasonably engaged on this topic and I thought GDPR was overreach. I also thought I was reasonably careful about giving out my data (sign up to very little, don't use FB etc).
That was until I started to get all the GDPR popups and read about all the places my data was being shipped to. Holy crap I was naive. I've done a 180 on this now and am a buyer. It would have been great in legislation wasn't required but I'm fully onboard with it being needed.
> We have large companies that are effectively general utilities that a modern educated person almost needs to use (email, linked in, to a lesser degree facebook) to be successful
I personally don't feel like we're there yet.
> I can't really compel them to change their behavior.
You and I have reached the same epiphany. Let's work around them. Let's even fight it with legislation if we must, but let's make positive strides in that direction, not negative ones. We should foster an open environment for others to build these workarounds, not scare them inadvertently while trying to solve the original problem.
The difference in general between EU and USA: in the EU it's seen as a good thing to protect people even when they don't understand why. In the USA, excluding weird outliers like "careful, fresh coffee is hot" it's not.
Use of the word "elite" by the author encapsulates this mentality. What if they do understand why and still don't care? Or at least, to speak from my perspective, what if they do understand why but also understand that the approach used makes things worse? It is so disappointing watching so many praise the intent of the law instead of the practicalities that I wonder where real understanding is lost. Recognition of a problem, and even recognition of what might work in some idealistic situation, is not enough to be construed as understanding the situation.
The EU also seems to assume that if someone is making money, someone else is being damaged- that every economic exchange is unfair. I don't really think that's true- it's not that Google or FB is taking massive advantage of me, they are taking a teeny-tiny bit of advantage of a massive number of people.
How did you reach that conclusion?
You can still say "I want you to take my data and I'm fine with it" as long as the site made a good effort of explaining what and how they are using it.
Just an anecdote, but people always reacted with shock when I tell them what information is gathered.
The way elected autocrats rule also doesn't bother the local masses, obviously. The masses are short-sighted, lack understanding of certain abstract or technical concepts, and are easily fooled and misled by strong feelings.
Greater ease to publish, greater impulse to control one another.
The test of our day seems to be around the right to speak freely, online.
Now that the EU actually wants to do something about it, the law is being denounced as lobbied by big media, but, to the contrary, the current status quo only serves Google et al. I have my reservations about the feasibility of content filtering, but "EU vs the Internet" is coming from an internet "mob" mindset having come to expect everything to be free (as in FREE of direct cost) immediately and without friction. "The Internet" is not consumers, but made by creators. In fact, I'm cautiously optimistic this (and the GDPR) legislation will benefit smaller publishers and diversity and bring back unproblematic syndication and end-user content aggregation via RSS or similar.
The EU is first and foremost a common market and concerned with creating fair economical conditions. Obviously, the web is stuck (economically) in a quasi-monopolistic situation. The EU Commission/Parliament is attempting to do exactly what is necessary to re-establish desirable market conditions. If they'd do nothing, this would question their very reason for existence; they're not in for establishing state- or other monopolies. Along these lines, what the EU should consider next is to establish workable e-payment standards and legislation.
A similar yet more apt question might be, where did the idea that parliament can get away with such large internet regulations come from?
For example, multiple muslim countries have laws banning women walking around without head scarf. Not only in their country, but everywhere in the universe. In practice, you see many women walking around without one, and the relevant lawmakers dont know or care. But suppose one of these women is in such a country, gets summoned in court for this, and proof is given she violated the law, even outside the country, then the judge has only one option: Guilty. Society runs on hoping this does not happen, i.e. selective enforcement.
For Europe, the situation is clear: They can get away with any law in Europe, as long as it doesnt cause them to be voted out. And it seems the general public is not going to vote them out, so they can easily get away with this.
There's been a lot of press about how little tax the Google's and Starbucks of the world pay in the places they derive the revenue, and some of the highly creative ways they avoid (not evade) taxation. That would seem to point at issues with international taxation agreements rather than copyright.
Top income earning families in many EU states pay shockingly little in taxes. They're able to structure their gross income such that reportable income is virtually nothing. These families are rich and powerful, and go a long way towards explaining why the EU retains its complex tax code.
"Countless companies that do not have the resources of Google and Facebook could be made to monitor..."
Just take your punishment.
What I find odd about the conversation around EU internet legislation is the idea that "The Internet" is a single entity that has some kind of natural state, and further that natural state is for all information to be free and to be a place where anyone can say anything (or should be able to). I think this grows out of the American origins of the Internet, and the American concept of free speech.
But other countries have different views of how free speech should be. Should you be able to deny the holocaust? Should you be able to purchase unlimited political ads? Should you be able to spread misinformation? Americans tend to say yes, because the truth will sort itself out. I'm not going to make a judgement on whether that's true, but it is true that other societies make different judgements on where to draw the line on freedom of expression, and those countries have a right to implement those decisions for their people on the Internet just as much as Americans have a right to have wild-west style freedom of expression.
Oh, also, before someone straw-mans me, I'm not talking about repressive regimes. I'm talking about societies where the populace is making informed decisions about their leaders, and have collectively decided they draw the line on expression in a different place than Americans do.
No, they do not. One's natural rights do not disappear just because one happens to be living under a regime which fails to acknowledge them. When an American talks about the freedom of speech, they're talking about a right shared by every human being on this planet, not just the ones who happen to live in the USA. It is a matter of objective fact, not opinion or local preference, that the use of force, including fines, imprisonment, etc., is not a proportional response to mere speech, regardless of the content.
Other people decide to draw the line different places. Sorry, but claiming the American legal interpretation is "objective fact" and, say, the German one is wrong is just crazy.
Even the transience property of personhood for corporations (regardless of one's opinion on the matter) doesn't apply to them for several reasons. Anyone with sufficient actually trivial resources can form a corporation. Forming your own government (in a non-parliment sense) is generally known as treason.
The people may have a right to self determination but that is a very big distinction.
So... mob rule.
That seems like a very stable and restrained society. I can't think of any obvious problem with that, or any time in, say, German history (to name a particularly egregious example) where mob rule run amok destroyed most of the Continent. Or Russian history. Or Cambodian history. Or Chinese history. Or...
The only currently reliable way to defuse mob rule is to decentralize. This is done by passing laws that say that society can't stop its individual members from doing certain things. And while this does lead to a very polluted commons (and sometimes isn't sufficient on its own to prevent the mob from taking over), it also leads to an exceptionally stable society simply because the "we should gang up and hurt/ban the people we hate" reflex is impotent outside of one's chosen groups and the hands-off attitude becomes ingrained in the people after a while.
The right to be wrong is important, because once the mob decides that your life itself is wrong (or rather, the closer the local Overton Window is to that idea- the more entitled a society is to restrict its members, the closer it is to this by definition) you're in trouble as soon as the mob hits a rough spot. It might advance faster at times, but it's just too unstable.
The system of constitutional rights of some sort has worked pretty well to excellent for limiting that purpose especially when combined with a judiciary willing to look ahead. The issue it helps prevent is the same as the mob rule example although it can also happen with more 'restrained mob rule' situations in a set up for a turnkey dictatorship that allows for absolute power in just a few steps.
The 'democratic institutions' and societal structure seems to be a factor of how resistant from degrading as well, how likely a transition to democracy is to stick and not have travesties in the attempt and how the aftermath of a dictatorship is handled. It would be interesting to see if there can be a good qualitative breakdown here as there are for signs of rising fascism and dictatorships.
You're looking in the wrong place. It is objective precisely because it comes from logic, not experiment. The question is not "which system better optimizes for a certain set of subjective preferences" but rather "does this act inherently justify this response". That is true only if the response is proportional—similar to the original act both qualitatively and quantitative—because the perpetrator of the original act cannot then argue that their action was right and proper while simultaneously claiming that the same action is wrong when someone else does it to them. Either they allow that the response is acceptable, or they admit that they were wrong to behave as they did. However, you cannot make that argument if the response is non-proportional, such as the case when responding to speech with force.
> Sorry, but claiming the American legal interpretation is "objective fact"...
I'm not making any claims about the American legal interpretation, but rather the principles of natural law which underpin the best parts of it. There is still a lot which the American legal system gets wrong on that score, including that travesty of a ruling made under duress to justify suppressing political protest against the draft (the infamous "shouting fire in a theater" case).
> Or, say, planning a murder.
The problem with that is not the planning, but rather the intent to actually murder someone, which is obviously not merely a matter of speech. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with planning a murder, per se; mystery-novel authors do it all the time. If you lead people to reasonably believe that you actually intend to commit the murder, however, then you shouldn't be surprised if they respond accordingly in self-defense against an imminent threat of irreversible harm.
Best part about it is much fewer laws will be written since so few understand that language.
Legalese didn't seem to have that effect.
Haskell has to compile at least, and be pure and stuff.
Who's up for a Pure Functional Programming government.