"We have an order that we should anchor decisions in the Riksdag, now that the Riksdag has changed its attitude, the government will of course have to follow it."
Germany is influential because they have a large population i.e. high vote weight in the Council AND they lead a bloc of other nations with similar values (Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.).
It is worth noting though: the UK leaving the EU will likely change this (they usually voted with Germany and had a 13% weight of the EU population). Germany will likely retain some moral leadership but, at the very least, a blocking minority vote (35% of population and 4 members) is possible (the most likely scenario is a France/Italy combination with two other minor members).
Like all of these things, it's a bit of a fudge and it's reasonable to ask if it's the right approach – but it's not an accidental outcome.
"If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority, respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater, and give a tone to the national proceedings. Hence, tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good. And yet, in such a system, it is even happy when such compromises can take place: for upon some occasions things will not admit of accommodation; and then the measures of government must be injuriously suspended, or fatally defeated. It is often, by the impracticability of obtaining the concurrence of the necessary number of votes, kept in a state of inaction. Its situation must always savor of weakness, sometimes border upon anarchy.
It is not difficult to discover, that a principle of this kind gives greater scope to foreign corruption, as well as to domestic faction, than that which permits the sense of the majority to decide; though the contrary of this has been presumed. The mistake has proceeded from not attending with due care to the mischiefs that may be occasioned by obstructing the progress of government at certain critical seasons. When the concurrence of a large number is required by the Constitution to the doing of any national act, we are apt to rest satisfied that all is safe, because nothing improper will be likely to be done, but we forget how much good may be prevented, and how much ill may be produced, by the power of hindering the doing what may be necessary, and of keeping affairs in the same unfavorable posture in which they may happen to stand at particular periods.
It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America; and two thirds of the people of America could not long be persuaded, upon the credit of artificial distinctions and syllogistic subtleties, to submit their interests to the management and disposal of one third. The larger States would after a while revolt from the idea of receiving the law from the smaller. To acquiesce in such a privation of their due importance in the political scale, would be not merely to be insensible to the love of power, but even to sacrifice the desire of equality. It is neither rational to expect the first, nor just to require the last. The smaller States, considering how peculiarly their safety and welfare depend on union, ought readily to renounce a pretension which, if not relinquished, would prove fatal to its duration."
(Federalist Papers, #22)
This was originally written to explain why one-state-one-vote arrangement that existed under the Articles of Confederation was not an acceptable arrangement. But it clearly applies to EC and similar systems as well - the only question is where the "fatal" line is.
With 83 million people Germany has 16.18% of EU residents (18.5% post Brexit). Adding 1 million increases the weight by around ~.18% (or ~.23% post Brexit) - assuming you get people from outside the EU and thus an overall EU population increase. Thinking strategically, you could think this matters if this is a long term trend. But factually you have to have quite a lot of shifting population (within-EU migration) to change the set of possible alliances that can reach 65%.
Moreover, even the smallest country retains their individual voting weight, so if one country grew so big to overshadow all others they could still reign it in through majority vote.
Of course, an expert conspiracy theorist will note that the more or less culturally and linguistically homogeneous group of about twenty million people living in the north of Europe are already split into a vote-buffing four countries ...
I beg to differ. Finnish is as far removed from Swedish and Danish as Hungarian. Italian is probably closer to either than each other. Swedish and Danish are (at least on reading level) mutually intelligible.
That being said, I'd say Finns are quite close to the other Nordic countries culturally, even though there is a clear language barrier.
For those who don't know what this is about, Finnish and Sami aren't Indo-European languages like the other Nordic languages are, while Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are closely related and somewhat mutually intelligible.
MEPs have very little power, and it was designed that way.
Were this democratic, the underlying MEP issues would have been integrated long ago as the MEPs would have had a hand in crafting the bill.
As it stands, they are a rubber stamp, or failsafe on some legislation.
MEP's cannot even punt the unelected entities which make the law in the EU - a democratic deficit which is unique in the modern world.
A better alternative to the A13 conundrum would be to 'start creating Googles' instead of having to legislate at them from 10K kilmoeters away.
No worries in 20-30 years you will see it at the movies. Just remember where you read it first.
The reason is that most probable does not mean right, and those who hold divergent views can help progress society by pursuing research in things that others would find to be a waste of time. In cases where they happen to be correct, the introduction of compelling evidence (beyond "it fits") can help reshape our understanding and ultimately change what the 'most probable' view is!
A tangent on a tangent, but if people required their views start with the standard of "it fits", I think that'd be one giant leap forward for society as a whole!
The arguments in favor have also been strange, even from institutions like the Swedish EU Commision! They argued that this directive was no big deal because social networks already employ AI assisted filters to respect copyrights. Yeah, but those are also known to be heavy handed, and depend on huge training sets. It completely disregards small businesses and startups with no resources to deal with this.
It often is. Because by its nature, copyright is about restricting information flow, and therefore it naturally can conflict with free speech, especially when copyright maximalists go overboard with it (which they always do).
So any kind of abusive copyright initiative should always be a suspect as attack on free speech. And this case is a very obvious example.
It's not abusive to point out that finding full episodes of copyrighted shows in their entirety has been trivial and that YouTube benefits significantly from distributing stolen content.
The reality is, tech companies have had over a decade to demonstrate that they could behave themselves, manage their own platforms, and balance the needs of both content creators and the public.
They failed, and it's time for the party to end.
Public should not tolerate such kind of garbage, especially when corrupt politicians lie through their teeth about the consequences of such kind of laws.
Automated content filtering fails to meet the requirements of the EU article, so it will disproportionately impact large companies which rely on those systems, rather than smaller ones which use human moderation teams.
Automated content filtering is a required part of the requirements. It is not enough. But neither is human moderation.
Besides. If human moderation would cost less than filtering, big companies would choose that alternative. Instead, they are now able to sell filter access to small companies. So money flows from small to big companies.
Because the costs are onerous to everyone and it's not worth spending ten billion dollars in compliance costs to destroy competitors who were only costing you a billion dollars in revenue to begin with and are very useful to have around to fend off antitrust inquiries.
And if it won't negatively impact small tech companies then why are so many small tech companies against it?
> Automated content filtering fails to meet the requirements of the EU article, so it will disproportionately impact large companies which rely on those systems, rather than smaller ones which use human moderation teams.
Hardly anything disproportionately impacts large entities. If a small entity can do something, the large entity can just do the same thing more times, and then optimize any parts of it that are susceptible to economies of scale.
And converting something you can do to something you have to do will always disproportionately impact small entities. What happens when your moderator goes on vacation? If you're YouTube you have a million more of them, if you're a single person business the moderator is you and now you can never take a vacation from it, even when you're about to burn out.
And you can't just have moderators anymore, now you need moderators who know how to make their moderation comply with the new law. Even assuming the cost of training a moderator is the same, now the larger company has the advantage again because they're using full-time moderators instead of spending the founder's time to learn how to do it themselves even though they only spend 10% of their day doing moderation. And then spend 10% of their day doing that when it used to be 3% because now there are more rules to comply with.
The way you make a requirement disproportionately impact large companies is by only applying it to large companies, say ones with a billion in revenue or more. But they haven't done that.
That's an additional garbage to Article 13, which is a censorship law (upload filters). Above I commented on Article 11 when talking about obsolete industries trying to leech their more successful rivals.
If you want more in depth review of this, check Techdirt articles on the topic: https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=article+11
But I doubt you would - since you simply will say "it's not that". I see no point in arguing then.
Additionally, "legacy news" are losing money because tech companies are shifting profits from ads on those news sites to their own platforms. Here's a chart showing how Google has shifted the ad revenue balance since 2004: https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1055606344559063040
Essentially, it used to be that Google provided a real service to these news companies, by providing an ad network where both news organizations and Google could profit. But over time, they've shifted their ad revenue away from the model that requires they share it to ads that they alone profit from. This has slowly but surely bled journalism dry.
Linking is not infringing anything, and should not be taxable. All this "massive theft" whining is complete bunk.
It might be financially challenging for large, abusive platforms which are heavily built on pirating copyrighted content, but it shouldn't be much of a challenge for ordinary websites, blogs, and smaller sharing platforms. Consider that a personal website may have the site owner bother to moderate the comments manually. A small business may have to hire a moderator or two. YouTube may need to hire 10,000 people and may have problems.
So basically the people who voted for this law disagree with you.
This is a farce. They already have this. The automated system decides to spit out a false positive, then you appeal to a "human" who has neither the time nor the expertise to make a reasonable determination so they just rubber stamp whatever the automated system said and its incorrect determination stands.
It looks to me like the "edge cases" constitute the majority.
Not only do they each have 1/28th of the vote in the Council, they are over-represented in the Parliament. Those folks you mentioned probably don't even realize they have the right to vote for local representatives in the European Parliament. In fact, look at population per MEP:
State Pop MEPs Pop/MEP Influence
Malta 0.4 5 80,800 10.30
Cyprus 0.77 6 127,667 6.52
Estonia 1.34 6 224,000 3.72
Lithuania 3.4 12 283,583 2.94
Slovenia 2 7 286,143 2.91
Latvia 2.3 8 286,875 2.90
Germany 82.43 99 832,606 1.00
UK 60.64 72 839,194 0.99
France 62.89 72 873,417 0.95
Spain 43.76 50 875,160 0.9
So, yes, you are supposed to attach yourself to larger umbrella movements, to get your opinions heard. It's by design.
One other small difference between the EU, and the USSR, is that T-54 tanks don't start rolling in, when your country decides to hold a little regime change... Or even a general strike.
T-54 are quite outdated, so you're right there.
Sweden wants to change its vote on “Article 13” — here are the ways it can trap the directive
Worth investigating whether this is due to a redirect, or whether it's due to misusing the history API. Either way, it feels very user-hostile.
Surely it's not technically hard to make "back" actually go back. Is there some downside to letting users control their own screen that I'm not aware of?
Why don't they have it? Fear that something horrible will happen on some web page that relies on the user not exiting the page without control going throw their code? But such a web page is broken in any case, since the user might simply lose their internet connection...
In practice, it was a problem ever since AJAX first became a thing - with the symptom usually being that "back" didn't do what the users expected, e.g. navigated away from the website, rather than back to the previous page state on that website. Hence why it's one of the earlier HTML5 additions. It's been around for 9 years now, and heavily used all around.
If the app on that web page wants a button that undoes some state change on that web page, they can create one of their own. It seems like a bad idea to confuse these two very different actions. I don't think it's beyond the capacity of users to understand the distinction if it were actually made consistently.
For example, on GitHub, when you're browsing some source repo, and you open a folder there, do you expect the Back button to go to the previous folder, or to leave GitHub altogether?
Now, they do the refresh by fetching data from a web service and updating the DOM. But the URLs still change - as they should, since you are accessing different resources as you browse - and so the history tracks it accordingly.
The only time when we had something like you describe was in early Ajax days, when DOM updates were already done, but before the history API, and before the hacks that preceded it were devised. In those days, any website that did it would behave exactly as you described - the Back button in the browser would navigate off the website, even if you were clicking around it for the past hours. And then the website offered its own Back button implemented in HTML, that would navigate within it. Users hated it, because it broke all established conventions.