Today marks a monumental day in internet history. The EU government has passed a legislation that will include a ‘link tax’ and a ‘upload filter’. In a age of technological advances its quick to see why they wanted to change the copyright laws but what will it mean to you as a user of the internet?
Link tax will basically mean that top companies such as Google will have to pay for distribution of sharing news articles from online publications. The idea is to provide a source of income in a ‘tax’ form for newspapers, let’s be honest the old media is dying and this may provide a source of revenue. However, the opposite is more likely to happen, that Google and Facebook remove all links to newspaper articles from their servers making the tax void. The government are very short sighted in such en-devours when it comes to the way freedom of internet usage is mean to work. Instead of thinking, ‘this is a great way to provide a income from the tech giants’ could also kill the companies such as online publishers as those giants would simply stop sharing the articles to avoid paying the ‘link tax’.
The upload filter is aimed at tackling copyrighted material uploaded to Facebook and the large social networks. Making Facebook, for example, keep a database of copyright materials and stop you from uploading them if they are infringing the law. Again, this will reduce the amount of information shared, which is essential for growth in most cases, it’s still day one, we don’t know how this will play out in terms of law suits from large media corporations on the little guy who wanted to share a video or photo. It really does feel like a dark day, not just for the internet but our freedom to explore and share through the internet.