Saturday, 8 September 2018

URGENT: an Ibrox Noise statement

While the following entry isn’t strictly about football or Rangers, it’s as important as any breaking story about a new signing, investment, a change of CEO or the like.

Maybe more so.

Next Wednesday the European Parliament votes on two toxic policies which threaten freedom of expression online. The so called article 11 and ‘link tax’ and the article 13 ‘copyright machines’.

You won’t have heard a great deal about these and their utter malevolence because they’re in the mass media’s selfish interests that the motion goes through, and if it goes through smaller sites like Ibrox Noise and thousands and millions of others are threatened with oblivion.

In short, the executive wants to introduce a tax upon linking to copyrighted material. If you want to put up a link to an article online? You need to pay them for the right. That means paying us and thousands of others – which simply means no one will put up those links. Sites like Newsnow and other aggregators which give you Rangers, SPFL, English football and thousands of other topics will likely go out of business given they cannot pay for every one of the millions of links they host.

That’s half – the second part is copyright machines, which basically sees sites no longer allowed to include previews of articles – those tweets you see which give a little snippet of the article? Banned. Same with Facebook and every other site.

This motion was actually carried through in Germany and Spain to complete failure. Spanish journalists never actually got any remuneration for their copyrighted material being linked despite it being law not to mention it “clearly had a negative impact on visibility and access to information in Spain”, and Germany is about to end the law as invalid.

This will not just affect Europe, but the rest of the world too – you want to click on an article about Rangers in USA? Oh, you can’t, because an annoying EU law now protects the copyright rather than giving freedom of speech and access to information and they can’t link to it any more. Unless they pay. Who’s gonna pay?!

It is telling the only major supporters of this are some bigwig musicians like Paul McCartney and the mass media corporations like the Daily Mail and the Sun. AKA those who are already rich and will benefit even more.

Smaller fry like Ibrox Noise and pretty much everyone else? We are in trouble.

We’re not fond of using the site for a 'political' purpose, but this is one which threatens us directly and we implore all of you reading this to click the following link and select ‘contact MEPs’ (apart from Baroness Nosheena Mobarik who has confirmed she will vote in favour of the motion) and send off an email or two to express your protest. The form provided will fill in the email content for you so you only need sign and give your city.

If this motion passes there may no longer be an Ibrox Noise or any other independent websites for you to enjoy/hate/moan about.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you those who contact MEPs. Tell us how you got on.

Remember - WEDNESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER is the vote - get your messages (or calls) in before then.

NB: this is not Brexit, related to Brexit, or in any way a question of pro or anti EU. This is simply one individual proposed law change we deeply oppose. 



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