EU proposes boosting copyright protections and increasing public Wi-Fi access

Today the European Union unveiled its plan to update its copyright law in a bid to ensure fair pay for journalists, authors, and creators of audiovisual content when their work is shared online. The EU also intends to improve access to high-speed internet and make it easier for scientists to access academic literature. The proposals were discussed by EU’s president Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union address.

"We need to be connected," Juncker said. "Our economy needs it. People need it. And we have to invest in that connectivity now."

The new rules would task services like YouTube with ensuring that the media they host isn’t shared in a way that violates copyright. Google already screens YouTube videos for copyright violations with software called ContentID, according to Bloomberg. The most controversial part of the plan involves the EU’s copyright overhaul that would give journalism outlets more power to negotiate compensation from platforms, like Google News, that distribute their articles, photos, or videos. The risk, though, is that Google just won’t play along — it closed down Google News in Spain when similar regulations passed in 2014.

The new rules "would hurt anyone who writes, reads or shares the news," Google said in a blog post today, arguing that it would mean increased barriers for sharing online content. The company also said these rules would mean that, "everything uploaded to the web must be cleared by lawyers before it can find an audience."

Google isn’t the only large company likely to be disappointed by the plan. The publishers of major journals may be dismayed to discover that the proposed policies are meant to make it easier for scientists to rapidly extract data from the academic literature available online. "Science needs a copyright law that reflects the reality of the modern age," Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science, and innovation, said in a statement. "We must remove barriers that prevent scientists from digging deeper into the existing knowledge base"

The plans also include investing 120 million euros (about $135 million) to deploy free wireless internet access to places like parks and town squares in cities across Europe. And the EU proposed developing a standardized plan to roll out fast 5G mobile internet coverage by 2020.

One of the goals of the so-called 5G Action Plan is for the EU to avoid a repeat of its slow and fragmented launch of 4G/LTE coverage. The Action Plan might also include investing in "automated driving, goods delivered by drones, or virtual reality for specific professional collaboration," according to a news release.

Right now these proposals are just that — proposals. The European Parliament still needs to discuss them, and member states will need to vote before they start seeing any changes.


Might as well ban card catalogs while they are at it.

If they want to update copyright, they should think about returning to rational copyright. You know, where works are protected for a limited time – enough to make money – and no more, to encourage people to create more as well as enrich our culture through the public domain?

That was 14 years with one renewal in the age of the printing press. It should be shorter today. Refuse to take any suggestions about copyright seriously if they are higher than what it was 2 centuries ago.

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"Google isn’t the only large company likely to be disappointed by the plan."

And it’s not just large companies. Imagine a three-person startup company being told they need to hire an army of compliance lawyers just to get their product off the ground.That’s a surefire way to stop innovation dead in its tracks.

copyright law is too strict and favors the owners far too much already as it is, they do not need to make the copyright stronger.

this is madness.

"EU proposes boosting copyright protections and increasing public Wi-Fi access" or in other words give some with one hand and take 10x more with the other…


I would urge internet users to get additional security layers. There are plenty of good VPN service providers out there in the market who are promising 256 bit encryption, strict no log policy, agree or not, VPN has indeed become a need of time, considering the amount of threats faced by internet users. So it’s better to spare $5 per month and buy Purevpn, Vypr, VPN Area etc, though there are other vpn service providers as well and you are encouraged to do a comparison by yourself.

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