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Europe looks to remold internet with new copyright rules

Europe looks to remold internet with new copyright rules

Technology
The European Union has approved a copyright rule that aims to give more protection to artists and news organizations but which critics say will stifle freedom of speech and online creativity and punish smaller web companies. Artists, celebrities and tech experts have spoken out both in favor and against the EU directive, which the 28 member states are required to adopt as law and got final approval from the European Council Monday. Here's a look at key issues. ——— WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE SAY? The most vigorously debated part of the legislation is a section that makes companies responsible for making sure that copyrighted material isn't uploaded to their platforms without permission from the original creator. It puts the legal onus on platforms to prevent copyright infringement but
Lords urge tougher rules for tech firms

Lords urge tougher rules for tech firms

Technology
Tech firms, such as Google and Facebook, must improve their "inadequate" responses to privacy and data breaches and anti-social content, a House of Lords report says.The House of Lords Communications Committee wants a digital authority to help laws keep pace with technology.Content moderation used by tech firms was "unacceptably slow," it said.The Internet Association, whose members include Twitter and Amazon, said firms were committed to keeping users safe."Our members work hard to keep their services free of some of the most serious issues that the report mentions - from strong terms and conditions; to investment in hiring teams and improving systems for removing inappropriate content," a spokesman from the lobby group said.The...
Amazon forced to pull products in India as new rules bite

Amazon forced to pull products in India as new rules bite

Technology
Amazon has been forced to remove an array of products from its website in India to comply with new regulations. The rules prevent online retailers from selling products through vendors in which they hold an equity stake. The regulations are expected to have a far-reaching impact on India's e-commerce sector, which has drawn billions in foreign investment.Amazon and Flipkart lobbied against the laws which aim to protect small businesses. The changes to foreign direct investment rules, which come into force 1 February, also stop online retailers from making deals to sell exclusively on their platforms. Small retailers in India have long pushed for tougher competition rules, arguing the major players have an unfair advantage.But Amazon and Walmart, which own...
Obscene porn rules relaxed in England and Wales

Obscene porn rules relaxed in England and Wales

Technology
Guidelines about what constitutes "obscene" pornography have been relaxed in England and Wales.The Crown Prosecution Service had previously listed torture and bondage, among other acts, as obscene.Distributing that type of pornography either on or offline could therefore have led to a prosecution.But the CPS has now removed the list and replaced it with series of "tests" that determine whether an image or video is classed as obscene.What has changed?Owning or distributing an "obscene" video is an offence under the Obscene Publications Act. Some of the acts previously listed by the CPS were legal to perform with a consenting adult, but were illegal to depict in photos or videos."Distributing" obscene material can simply mean sending a video via private mes...
UK film age rating rules get stricter for scenes of sexual violence

UK film age rating rules get stricter for scenes of sexual violence

Entertainment
Under-15s will no longer be able to go to see films that depict rape and other sexual violence under new rules set by Britain's film ratings body.The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) surveyed more than 10,000 people and found it to be among parents' main concerns.Any film showing sexual violence will now get at least a 15 rating rather than a 12 or a 12A.The BBFC also wants its ratings to appear on all streaming services.BBFC chief executive David Austin said a film like Keira Knightley's 2008 drama The Duchess, which was classed as a 12 at the time, would be made a 15 today because it included a rape scene."What parents told us was, that's too much for 12-year-olds," he told BBC News. "It's enough that a 12-year-old k...