EU Copyright Directive and The Decentralized Web

Liked Article 13 makes it official. It’s time to embrace decentralization by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (Ben Werdmüller)

European directives leave it up to the member states to implement. The resulting legislation in the Netherlands will necessarily look different to Germany, and so on. While each of these nations could expand upon the directive and make it even more far-reaching, it’s fair to assume that it will probably be retained.

 

All of which means that peer-to-peer decentralized social networks are exempt, if you’re hosting your profile yourself. Nobody on the indie web is going to need to implement upload filters. Similarly, nobody on the federated social web, or using decentralized apps, will either. In these architectures, there are no service providers that store or provide access to large amounts of work. It’s in the ether, being hosted from individual servers, which could sit in datacenters or could sit in your living room.

 

While the internet economy has been dominated by services that leverage network effects to date, this directive is one way that monolithic networks have changed from an asset into a liability. Because the cumulative value in a network is owned by a single party, that party becomes subject to enormous rules and regulations over time. The network effects are enjoyed by everyone, but owned by one company. Instead, it’s better to create a system where the network effects are both enjoyed and owned by everyone.

I stopped directly uploading my content to Facebook and Google some time ago. I have never uploaded original content to YouTube.

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