EUROPE - New Copyright Law Passed

Arno Froese

The European Parliament passed sweeping copyright legislation that, much like its privacy regulations, could have impact far beyond Europe.

The proposal “is likely to limit the sharing of online information,” Gus Rossi, global policy director at Public Knowledge, said in a statement. “Web services large and small might decide to implement the directive globally, which would diminish American users’ capacity to share memes, political satire, or news articles online.”

Proponents of the proposal say it’s necessary to protect artists whose work is pirated online, as well as newspapers and journalists at risk of having their business models undermined by social media giants. “It’s a great day for the independent press and for democracy,” a coalition for European publishers said in a statement.

The version of the legislation approved in a 438 to 226 vote hasn’t been released to the public yet, and the exact nature of the rules isn’t established. The European Parliament still needs to negotiate a final version of the proposal with its co-legislator, the European Council. Then each EU member state will need to pass its own laws implementing the legislation.

Traditionally, internet users are liable for the content they upload to platforms like Facebook and YouTube, not the platforms themselves. Much as in the US, the platform isn’t held liable for copyright infringement or other illegal content so long as a company removes that content quickly once notified. Article 13 of the new EU legislation changes that by holding platforms directly accountable for the content they host, with a few exceptions.

Although published versions of the proposal don’t explicitly require companies to adopt automatic filtering technology, critics argue that placing responsibility for policing content on platforms amounts to a de facto requirement for filters. Although the rules would only apply inside the EU, it’s possible that companies would apply filters globally, just as some companies are complying with EU privacy regulations even outside of Europe.

Bringing the likes of Google and Facebook to heel has been a major priority for European governments in recent years. In addition to its sweeping privacy rules and the “right to be forgotten,” the EU imposed hefty antitrust fines on Google and sent Apple a $14.5 billion tax bill., 12 September 2018

Arno's commentary

While one may reject globalism, in reality it is hypocrisy. The car you drive, the TV you watch, the smartphone you use, the computer you use daily—all are all global products. It is similar to socialism; while many reject it, all take advantage of it. Driving a car on the road, flying a plane to any destination, being hooked up to the electrical grid and communications networks, etc. are products of socialism, and so is insurance. The policy one holds is supported by a multitude of other policy holders, and finances are distributed when one person needs it most. Although we may vehemently deny it, it does not change anything, and so it is with Globalism is here, it’s here to stay, and it’s bound to increase in significance globally. Thus, laws will have to be global. As this article shows, the European Parliament is busy creating such laws.

What does it show us? That there will be no difference between the peoples of the world, no matter in what country. But there is one distinct difference not visible and not included in any proposed privacy laws or copyrights: we, the believers in Jesus Christ, are a special group, a peculiar people, a holy nation. As the world develops into one unified entity, we will have to be taken out; that is called the Rapture.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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