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EU enshrines copyright as a sacred ‘property right’

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Commentary. The EU copyright law does nothing to help small, independent creators. It will be up to users and content producers to make their own voices heard in Strasbourg, and to cause an actual and undeniable ‘system error.’

written by Benedetto Vecchi

Topic European Union

Also filed under commentary

September 14, 2018

The copyright law approved on Wednesday by the European Parliament in Strasbourg has an unmistakable logic to it: the online giants will have to pay royalties, which will pad the coffers of the media giants.

Wednesday’s vote sends a clear signal to regular Internet users as well: copyright, just like property, is sacred. The law ended up not featuring the significant changes demanded by many MEPs to Articles 11 and 13, aimed at mitigating the punitive character of the law. The battle lines were drawn between web platform capitalism on one side and old media capitalists on the other.

Obviously, platform capitalism doesn’t actually question the notion of private property, but it considers content as raw material for a business that exploits people’s curiosity and their desire to communicate with others like them in order to take possession of their data. Accordingly, a strong concept of copyright may slow down such online revenue streams. On the other side of the argument, we find a concept of communication that requires........

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