EU Votes On Two Bills That Could Change the Internets

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In recent months, thoughts on how to handle the World Wide Web have spread throughout the world, some spurred by major concerns such as that of personal privacy and Facebook’s abduction of all sorts users’ information, increasing cybercrime as illicit activity turns over from real-life settings to its web-based counterpart, and the natural knack of governments to regulate technologies their constituents use.

Nearly two years ago – back in mid-September 2016 – G√ľnther Oettinger, the now-former Digital Commissioner of the European Union, put forth several ideas to reform copyright laws within the European Union.

Members of the European Parliament recently voted on various articles within the EU’s Copyright Reform Proposal, legally known in full as the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

Two of the articles of the Copyright Reform Proposal, Article 11 and Article 13, were passed by the European Union today.

Article 11’s contents

Although all high-tech jargon and legalese are excluded from this explanation, Article 11 more or less is set to require individuals, businesses, and organizations to ask the original publisher of the web page in question to expressly, explicitly offer their acceptances to those users.

Today, such links – better known as hyperlinks – are usually highlighted in blue, underlined, and can be clicked to visit the web page that it links to. If the European Union holds this bill true to the constituents of the 28 national members of the EU, businesses and other sources on the World Wide Web will have to apply for and successfully be granted a business license on the content they hope to host on their digital interfaces.

Here comes Article 13

If Article 13 is eventually put into law, websites will be forced to regularly monitor the collective body of content their users upload to make sure it doesn’t violate copyright rules. This could limit the ability to express one’s self as freely as possible

As of now, on Thursday, June 21, 2018, the European Union hasn’t done anything to put these bills into active law enforcement, though they will soon undergo a vote that will determine their eventual fate.

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