THE EUROPEAN UNION has been gnashing its teeth in all the wrong places for a while now, with the passing of Article 13 seemingly just the beginning.
Ahead of the final law being implemented, lawmakers have issued a list of websites that it believes should be blocked for copyright infringement - and if it wasn't so tragic, it'd be pretty hilarious.
It has singled out some blatantly legitimate sites for blocking, with the flimsiest of reasoning. Take Cloudflare, for example, a widely used tool that helps prevent services (including ours) from falling foul of the likes of DDoS attacks.
Apparently, because Cloudflare is used by some sites that offer up bad content, it's ripe for the blocking. It's a bit like saying "This glass of milk is off - we're going to shoot all cows".
Other sites on the list have been targeted despite cleaning up their act a long time ago - which is the equivalent of banning Radio 1 because Jimmy Saville used to work there.
So where does that leave companies like BitTorrent, which has gone to great pains to turn the protocol into a source of productivity, rather than piracy?
TorrentFreak also identifies URLs that aren't even owned by the same people that were incumbent when the alleged crimes were committed.
This is an early demonstration of just how ludicrous and unworkable Article 13, and the rest of the European Copyright Act is. It puts any site at risk for its past ‘crimes' when it seems that those pushing the buttons aren't capable of understanding what's illegal in the first place.
Over four million signatures have been collected from Europeans concerned about the future of the internet under Article 13. Even they are unlikely to understand just how stupid this first show of force was likely to be.
The only hope is that by demonstrating such spectacular incompetence, people will start to see, first hand, just how dumb it is and speak out even louder. μ
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Tens of people inconvenienced