European Countries Vote to Pass Open Internet Killing Article 17 Copyright Laws

European countries have voted in favour of passing article 17 and article 11. The development sinks citizens latest efforts to save the internet.

It was a last ditch effort to put a stop to the open Internet killing laws in Europe, but it seems politicians have thumbed their noses at the European public by passing them.

Late last month, Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted to kill the open Internet. The outcome came after big corporate publishers threatened MEPs with bad publicity should they not vote in favour of killing the open Internet.

Of course, civil society wasn’t going to give up their right to free speech so easily. They vowed to put a stop the Internet killing censorship machines and link tax. The plan is to call on citizens to pressure their representatives at the state level to vote against the laws. If enough countries voted against it, then the laws could be blocked from implementation. Some said that this is the last best chance to defeat the laws and restore Internet freedom.

Now, free speech advocates are receiving even more bad news. Pirate Party MEP is now saying that the countries have voted in favour of the laws. She posted the country vote breakdown:

She points out that the countries that did vote against the laws weren’t enough to be a blocking minority. Interestingly enough, Germany did vote in favour of the laws in spite of the fact that German citizens were among the most vocal opponents to the censorship laws.

So, the next question many have at this point is, what next now that disaster has struck again? What we’re hearing is two possible things. The first is that citizens are going to have to send a political message. As it turns out, elections are right around the corner at this point. Elections are expected to be held between May 23 and May 26. The idea is that if an MEP voted against Internet freedom, then citizens will vote against them in the elections. While this won’t do anything immediately to save the open Internet, it is, at the very least, a start.

Another possibility we’re hearing about is possible litigation in some form or another. Of course, litigation can take years and nothing is guaranteed at the end of it. Multinational corporate interest have deep pockets and can afford some of the highest priced lawyers imaginable to make sure the open Internet stays dead. It’s unlikely that litigation could stop the laws from wreaking havoc. So, damage will be done, but the extent will be unknown at this stage.

Either way, things are very grim if you are a supporter of Internet free speech. Nothing seems to be set in stone at this point. Probably the bigger question is whether or not the damage done by Internet censorship will be contained in Europe or whether the flames will spread to other countries. Earlier this month, multinational corporate Interests have already expressed interest in spreading the flames of censorship to other countries like Australia and the United States. One thing is for sure, Europe is now in a really bad situation for Internet freedom now.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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