At least there seems to be no internet disaster as of now?
I usually postpone my doomsday scenarios until they are fact .
One just has to be vigilant in any new proposals that is made on this subject. And scream loudly if the lobbyists go at it again.
Eventually I hope EU completely bans organised lobbying, nothing good ever comes from pandering to special interests.
This is definitely really worth repeating and something everyone should always keep in mind. It's very dangerous for educated people and experts in particular to allow apathy or over cynicism to obscure the fact that it is truly possible to lobby successfully for positive changes too.
>I usually postpone my doomsday scenarios until they are fact.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by this? You mean you postpone your contingency plan activation, or do you mean warning people around it? But if you think it really is a doomsday scenario and you don't warn people until after it's done how do you keep it from happening in the first place?
>Eventually I hope EU completely bans organised lobbying, nothing good ever comes from pandering to special interests.
How would that not affect organizations like the EFF or ACLU or whatever the EU equivalents are? I know that most of the population, even if they're massively effected by the destructive effects of IP maximalism, are not actually cognizant of it at all. That makes those of us opposed to it "special interests" too doesn't it? We're trying to lobby for technocratic policy changes that will benefit us personally even if it will also benefit others too. It would likely benefit many of us commercially too, which isn't an inherently bad thing. How do you create an objective set of rules around that?
What I mean is that I don't go screaming "the internet is doomed" for months before the actual vote like I've seen many forums posts and articles claim.
However I have no issue in warning people that "if the proposal is accepted as is it would do great harm".
>How would that not affect organizations like the EFF or ACLU or whatever the EU equivalents are? I know that most of the population, even if they're massively effected by the destructive effects of IP maximalism, are not actually cognizant of it at all. That makes those of us opposed to it "special interests" too doesn't it? We're trying to lobby for technocratic policy changes that will benefit us personally even if it will also benefit others too. It would likely benefit many of us commercially too, which isn't an inherently bad thing. How do you create an objective set of rules around that?
They can still organise, spread information and argue their point. I might have been a bit broad in my strokes. There should be no organised "secret" lobbying, that is I wish all that the politicians do and talk about in their official capacities should be recorded and open. This includes internal party meetings, lobbyist meetings etc. It is very hard to create this objectively but the end-game for me is to get back-door politics out in the open.
I once read a book by L.E. Modesitt Jr names "Haze" which has a system that I actually find very appealing. It's a bit much to recap it here but if one likes to explore different systems this is a good one imho.
The only reason this didn't pass is because people screamed at the tops of their lungs.
We'll see if the system itself works if the next time the industry makes a push for stupid legislation like this and the politicians push back because they know their constituents don't want it from the last time. How confident are you that this will happen?
I have no issues with warning people what can happen.
I've seen people arguing that "the internet is doomed" as if there is nothing one can do about it and the event that doomed it has already happened. I've even seen headlines of that form on HN. It is the same is if someone had written "the coral reef is doomed", then I would think that someone had dropped a nuclear bomb on it and that the event already happened.
As I said, I'm not against warning people what _can_ happen but I don't go around saying it already has happened.
If it has happened then there is no action one can take (i.e., the dooms day scenario has already happened). That's what I wanted to convey in my first post really.
In any case it's very much a topic derailment in this case and I apologise for that.
Just like if I say "damn it! I left the stove on! My house will burn down" the driver will say "oh shit! Let's go back" not "Since you have guaranteed that the house is going to burn down at this point I am not going to act. By a strict interpretation of your words, there is nothing that can be done. Let us continue onward to the cinema"
Seriously, man. Come on. This isn't a language thing.
But it might also be a cultural difference and not language difference I don't know.
If it was impossible to contact a politician in secret the amount of legal (you get a nice consultant position after the political career) and illegal bribes would hopefully go down.
This does not stop a politician from doing something in the hopes that it will be rewarded later without prior contact though.
Also to add, this is a pipe dream, something that the current crop of politicians would never accept as it would reduce them to merely being a spokesperson for the people they represent.
this is why we should be voting on ideas and not on politicians. my opinions don't accept bribes for their new garage doors...
That would certainly explain a lot.
People doing that appears to have been the very thing that built the consensus to stop the legislation.
For example people believing it had already passed or grossly misinterpreting the effects.
Of course a big part of the alarmism was thanks to memes, so it is understandable that using them as a medium left out some information...
https://edri.org/ , https://www.openrightsgroup.org/ , and the various Pirate Parties. Green parties tend to be well-informed about this, although they do vary a lot from "bright green" to extremely nuts.
I'm not sure banning lobbying is possible, but banning bribery disguised as "contributions" might be. Although the UK system for this has recently collapsed.
My libertarian side wants to push back on these controls but after seeing Sheldon Adelson basically write the recent legislation on online gambling that directly benefits his own interests in the industry I’m becoming far more skeptical of its value.
It’s sold as allowing more freedom for private citizens and industry but in reality the greatest winners will be the giant companies, who can naturally buy the most influence (and get their old private school buddies in Congress) to squeeze out their competition and build barriers to entry.
Which is fundamentally anti-private business. And which reflects a long trend in American politics where the “free market” label is used to sell things very much anti-free market, which then causes more people to blame free markets as the problem (when all along it was the business elite winning over the political elite for gain, not anything like a market).
(NI politics has been deeply dysfunctional since the 60s; it managed a decade and a half of normal politics before collapsing in a fraud scandal. Its devolved government has been shut down for two years. A bomb has just gone off in Derry, perhaps a sign of more to come. Brexit and the small government majority has allowed this dysfunctionality to leak into meanland government)
Weak investigations have been made into all the breaches of rules during the Brexit campaign, but nobody has been prosecuted yet.
This reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempt to break down the political influence of special interest groups as California’s governor. Everybody was wholeheartedly behind this effort, until they realized the special interests “ruining California politics” were the police, fire, and teacher’s unions.
This seems like comparing apples to oranges. It's one thing for the EFF or ACLU to be very public about pushing this or that piece of legislation that they wrote for all practical intents and is in the public interest. It's another for XYZ lobbyists to be very private about pushing this or that piece of legislation that they wrote for all practical intents and caters to very private interests, with incidentally interested large donators reaching out to MPs about the legislation in question.
(Personally speaking, I'd love it if politicians were required, under penalty of fines and prison, to disclose lobbying efforts they were exposed to.)
Also, the definition of corruption you seem to have is not accurate IMO. Corruption is what Spiro Agnew did: trade explicit influence in exchange for some dosh in an envelope. That's not what politicians usually do today in western democracies -- which is to say, pay very close attention to what their major donors are worried about. There's a case to be made about how the two are equivalent in the end, but the fact of the matter is that in the first case the funds arrive in an envelope for the politician to pocket (minus some bagman commission) whereas in the second case the donations are (supposed to be) disclosed and (theoretically) benefit the politician's campaign.
Also, keep in mind that when a congressman leaves office, they usually have relationships with people that can move the needle in government. As such they can do valuable things for whoever is willing to hire them -- regardless of the positions they held while in office.
It has to be in a democracy. Everyone is free to keep arguing for what they think are good ideas, and those who think they're not need to also keep at it. The struggle never ends, that's the civic duty of the people. Having said that, I think you might be missing one important strategy in this:
>They can try as many times as they want but they only have to succeed once, while we have to succeed 100% of the time. This fundamental imbalance is worrying.
Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but you seem to be implicitly assuming that opposition consists solely of attempting to maintain the status quo. In that scenario you're right that it's more difficult to keep the balance from shifting away from neutral over time. However, instead opposition can fight to actually actively move things farther in their preferred direction, and then even if they lose a certain amount of the time that still won't be disastrous. It's not necessary to win every battle if they're not purely defensive, just some of the time. I don't just oppose further efforts to maximalize IP, I want much (though not all) of the current bits reversed and brought back into more historical balance. I support efforts to reduce the terms back down towards 15-30 years (or alternatively to introduce dynamic pricing/terms), to completely eliminate math and business method patents, better fund examiners, etc. That's where the battle has to continue.
Remember, you can flip your logic around there: we only need to get any given bit of overlong or incorrectly granted IP put back into the public domain once. Maximalists "have to succeed" at preventing it 100% of the time yes?
If instead we have a system where everyone has a voice, but in practice only the groups with the resources to invest millions of euros in lobbying can get their positions heard by the EU and made into law, then it is not a democracy. And those groups are not generally in favor of the common citizen.
The balance is well tilted towards those who have the most money. The voice of one citizen weighs much less than the voice of a big corporation which can hire former EU bureaucrats as well-paid lobbyists. Maybe citizens should make a lobbying fund to fight on the public's behalf ?
That would be a democratically elected representative republic, not a democracy.
The EU is not a democracy any more than the US is a democracy, there are democratic elements but it is not a democracy. This is the fundamental lie people tell themselves, that we (either the EU or the US) live in a democracy. We dont.
> Maybe citizens should make a lobbying fund to fight on the public's behalf ?
here in the US we have many such organizations, they are often demonized as well for being "special interest" and are point to as example of problem with "money in politics"
Public outrage works like a line in the sand, where the many get upset far out of proportion to what their stake is, to prevent death by a thousand cuts. But once you cross it, the defense crumbles. There's no model where seesawing back and forth between less and more copyright works: the many just can't organize as well as the few. That's why lobbyists only have to win once.
Same way the three lettered guys capitalized on terrorism and child porn to disregard everyone's privacy.
Are you saying there’s no disaster in general?
Haven’t EU Net Neutrality laws taken a huge hit recently? In Portugal, every major telecom now has zero-rating plans. It’s so prevalent, it’s the example image given on the Wikipedia page! Portugal is also one of the leaders in site blocking. It requires no judicial order, which as expected leads to legitimate sites being blocked as well.
So I wouldn’t agree there haven’t been any disasters, just that they haven’t been felt hard enough. Nobody cares about small Portugal, and citizens will take any bad rules (no net neutrality) if they get their “fix” in return (use facebook without worrying about going over the data plan, which by the way is inferior to other EU countries).
In the great old game of public opinion manipulation, one thing is making clear you aim at 10 and go straight in that direction from the beginning, and a very different thing is pretending you aim at 100, then faking acceptance of criticism and adjustments to the objectives until you get to that 10.
In the first case you'll be remembered as the usual bastard in power, in the second you will get new mandates, love letters, books and street names for being someone who listens to common people.
Google have been lobbying hard against this for months
One of those represents a fat narrower slice of humanity than the other two, and thus is much more likely to produce negative outcomes for a majority of people if paid too much attention
And that a 'working' system would involve the implementation of some fairly common sense things?
They're being paid to do this full time; they're not going to "go at it again," they're going to continue going at it every day, from 9 to 5. And then they're going to win once.
The amount of treasure to be gained by being successful can pay two lawyers for 100,000 years. There's no reason to stop even if they only see a small chance of success.
That's why the system doesn't work.
Then they rename it and/or break it up, and push it anyway.
See EU constitutions, repeated referendums, and finally "treaty of Lisbon".
Later, most of the reforms that were part of the TCE were repackaged into a more modestly-scoped treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon, as you say. This time, though, all the "constitutional" language was removed, to make it clear that the EU is a collection of sovereign nations, as is still the case today.
To give some examples of what was removed, the Lisbon Treaty does not give any official status to the EU flag or anthem, nor does it have an article that enforces the supremacy of EU law over national legislation.
One might say that the EU was guilty of hubris, or even a cynical negotiating tactic of asking for more than they expected before settling for what they were prepared to accept, but the EU did at least reduce their demands after they failed to receive unanimous approval.
I think that a lot of the fears about the Treaty of Lisbon have been proven wrong since then, and of course the irony is that it was the Treaty of Lisbon that first formally introduced a process for a state to leave the union, which the UK is now in the process of exercising. Whether that process is being managed well or not by the UK government is still a matter for local debate, though, it seems.
For those unfamiliar with EU law, the Treaty of Lisbon didn't /need/ to include this particular article, so I don't know why they chose to originally (as the parent commenter says, it has since been removed).
The reason the article was superfluous is that EU law is always supreme to national law. This is a core legal concept developed by the European Court of Justice.
I agree that fears over the Treaty of Lisbon were overblown, and grateful that it established an exit mechanism for Member States wanting to leave. That said, the whole "let's run another referendum until we get what we want" approach doesn't endear the EU Council of Ministers or the Commission to me.
If someone offers you a cup of tea, and you decline, do you get offended if they then offer you cup of coffee instead?
Even if the question being asked were exactly the same, it would only be like a piece of software asking "Are you sure?" before you delete something, or providing a cancel button after the process has started.
I concede, though, that you're absolutely right about the supremacy of EU law being a principle clearly recognised by the ECJ. The difference is, by not putting this principle as an article to the treaty, it remains slightly less binding on signatories (under international law), since it relies on the evolving precedent of the court, rather than being agreed up front.
Now let me explain the logic of this supremacy principle.
If a sovereign nation agrees to be part of an organisation which creates laws that apply to its members, then those new laws apply just as a new law passed by a national government would apply. This follows the basic legal principle of "lex posterior derogat priori", but moreover there is the principle of statutory interpretation which means that a national parliament can't "accidentally" pass a law which contradicts existing EU law.
A member state, remaining sovereign, may choose to deliberately pass a law, knowing it will put them in breach of EU law, but that would also put them in breach of international law, which courts generally assume governments aim to avoid. In any case, it would be churlish for a member state to deliberately break the commitments it made as part of joining the union when there exists a mechanism by which it can leave and disapply all EU law.
To expand upon this further: in the House of Commons, the Government cannot keep coming back and asking the same question. They may only ask the House to vote on an issue once. If they come back with something "substantially similar", then the rules dictate it is treated as though it were the same and cannot be asked again. I like this approach. It prevents people from giving in and being "bullied" into accepting something they clearly didn't want the first time.
In respect of the approach to the referendum re-runs, I viewed it as using the "Ask for 100%, and then settle for 90%" approach. Voters aren't stupid — they rejected the original constitution for a reason... and I suppose I'm tired of the perception (rightly or wrongly!) that the Commission and Council know better than their citizens. Whether they intended it or not (and I'm sure they didn't), that's the sense I get from them now – that they know better and we ought to just accept whatever they suggest. :-(
It's a shame, because I like the founding principles of the Union.
Are you sure about this?
COICA -> PIPA -> SOPA -> CISPA -> CISA tells another tale.
Sure it's the USA, but the problem is not unique to the USA. It's a part of all major political systems today. If a government is determined to get a law passed, often at the behest of special interests, they'll just keep reintroducing it and slightly changing it until they win a war of attrition. Like somebody else mentioned they have to win once, you have to win every single time.
Perhaps a balancing of powers would be public referendums enabling laws to rolled back. x signatures triggers a referendum and if a supermajority (70% perhaps?) votes in favor of a rollback, a law is undone with an e.g. decade long prohibition on the reintroduction of any materially similar law. Would be quite a remarkably democratic system that could enable the citizens of a nation to remove unjust, inappropriate, or simply obsolete laws. And just to ensure that citizens and their representatives are on equal footing, so long as the signatures are repeatedly reached - these referendums could be called each and every year.
I’m listening, but it would help if you could make a list that isn’t exclusively American. It really does imply that yeah, it’s very much a problem with the form of crony capitalism found in the US.
Not the parent commenter, but here you go: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18948465
Being from Poland, my first thought was "well, of course someone from outside EU cannot vote", and then realised you mean "from another EU country".
It's stupid, but not every democratic system uses proportional representation.
I'm hopeful - should they reach the required number of votes - that they will find someone just as qualified to send to the EU parliament.
In view of recent leaks, I have filed a number of request for account deletion, given to me by GDPR, and all of them have been completed. This is pretty amazing in my mind.
The last company I made erase me was cdon.com after I bought something on sale there and they demanded my SSN to pay with credit cards. I see that they are missing from your site, their DPO email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also like "This service does not collect or trade any personal data."
(The only reason I was reminded that I actually had an ancient account is that my password from there was apparently leaked and spammers tried to convince me that they'd gained control of something important. They couldn't connect the password to the site, obviously. It was just a leaked password database.)
The fight is not over yet. The directive needs to be written, and ideally in a way that prevents this from being brought back to the table again.
The whole point of using revenue-based fines was to avoid such tricks, and you want to add them back in?
>And then the big players will use Hollywood accounting but for data - make a bunch of small companies with little revenue that handle the actual data and "sell" those services to the mothership.
This is why there would be a threshold on data itself. Come on, a guy running a forum with 100 users from his basement shouldn't be expected to legally have as much responsibility as somebody running a website that has revenue in the millions. It just discourages start ups and hobby developers, because nobody wants to open themselves up to "denial of service attacks" where people get the DPA to audit you because they didn't like what you had to say on Twitter. Just don't run the small site and there is no risk of that.
But I guess Europe is already so weak in the web industry that it might be irrelevant. We're going to rely on American websites anyway.
After the changes 2 years ago, you have to sign up for that system to track which country's citizens buy your stuff, and pay VAT on a per-country level, with no minimums.
From a perspective of SAAS / digital products it's a huge pain in the ass now. If I want to sell my app or online service now I have a lot of paperwork to fill in from the get-go.