Last week, the European Parliament voted 348 to 274 to pass the Copyright Directive. Unless something truly extraordinary happens during the upcoming meeting of the European Council -- think of it as the Senate of the EU, where the governments of Member States are represented -- draconian and highly disruptive new rules on content licensing and monitoring will become EU law.
Today, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission reached a political agreement on the proposed Copyright Directive. If enacted as currently reported, this EU-wide legislation will impose draconian copyright obligations on nearly all internet services and companies, requiring content-upload filters, convoluted and uncertain licensing agreements with the entertainment industries, and the payment of a link tax to news incumbents. Public Knowledge strongly opposes the mandates found in Article 13 and Article 11.
If you follow global tech policy, you probably know that the European Union is in the process of adopting a Copyright Directive to update its copyright framework. The Copyright Directive is infamous on this side of the Atlantic because of the mandate for automated web filters contained in Article 13 of the same. Elsewhere, we’ve written about the harmful effects for free expression that Article 13 would have.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a United Nations (UN) agency originally created in 1865 to manage cross-national telegraphic communications, and is increasingly seen by its member states as the technology policy branch of the UN system. While to date it is formally responsible only for telecommunications issues, in recent years the ITU has hosted a global summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI), organized a workshop on e-payments and 5G, held a forum on the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, studied the economic impact of the so-called Over-The-Top (OTT) internet services such as WhatsApp or YouTube, developed a global cybersecurity index, and analyzed privacy in cloud computing. That, on top of ITU’s fundamental mandate and ongoing work to help connect the hundreds of millions who are still unconnected.
Last night, the White House announced that it had reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now rebranded as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).