Venture Beat published this article about the liability of linking to publisher content (or anyone’s really).
Two issues with the law
According to the new EU rules, which must be adopted by EU countries by 2021, sites must pay publishers to publish excerpts of their content.
Okay… not sure how much constitutes an excerpt. But, I get the notion. These are their words, creative property. If you can’t come up with your own words, then you shouldn’t take someone else’s (? even if you attribute it?).
But, here is the real kicker…
No Linking Without Payment
They have to pay them to even LINK TO THE CONTENT.
Under the copyright rules, as explained in the article, this very post that you are reading violates the new EU rules even if I don’t have images and the article title included, the very hyperlink above makes it a violation.
If this same content appears on Facebook, I am not to be held liable. Facebook (or any other platform) holds the liability.
Neutering the Internet
Google’s search platform is rendered as one huge copyright violation, as are virtually every social media platform or other search engines.
This law is akin to removing all the highways from the continent, disabling GPS, illegalizing printed maps, and then telling people to find their way to… anywhere.
Left as is, this law essentially means you will only find content that you already know exists and where it is. It kills the sharing of ideas in any broad sense.
One of the proponents says this says the rules modernize the internet. I am not sure how that conclusion fits. This ruling effectively negates the very core function of the internet and does so in the name of large publishers who simply could not keep up with the changing times.
I also wonder how shortsighted this is. Do the proponents/publishers believe Google or Bing users will simply come directly to their sites to find content? If they dismiss the traffic driven by social media and search platforms as trivial, then why is the rule even necessary?
If this rule is not overturned, the biggest proponents will likely be the biggest sufferers in the short term.