The European Council has firmly rejected the negotiating mandate that was supposed to set out Member States' position ahead of what was supposed to be the final negotiation round with the European Parliament. National governments failed to
agree on a common position on the two most controversial articles, Article 11, also known as the Link Tax, and Article 13, which would require online platforms to use upload filters in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement before it
A total of 11 countries voted against the compromise text proposed by the Romanian Council presidency earlier this week: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Slovenia, who already opposed a previous version of the directive, as well as
Italy, Poland, Sweden, Croatia, Luxembourg and Portugal. With the exception of Portugal and Croatia, all of these governments are known for thinking that either Article 11 or Article 13, respectively, are insufficiently protective of users'
rights. At the same time, some rightsholder groups who are supposed to benefit from the Directive are also turning their backs on Article 13.
This surprising turn of events does not mean the end of Link Tax or censorship machines, but it does make an adoption of the copyright directive before the European elections in May less likely. The Romanian Council presidency will have the
chance to come up with a new text to try to find a qualified majority, but with opposition mounting on both sides of the debate, this is going to be a difficult task indeed.
The outcome of today's Council vote also shows that public attention to the copyright reform is having an effect. Keeping up the pressure in the coming weeks will be more important than ever to make sure that the most dangerous elements of the
new copyright proposal will be rejected.
The official Kodi project Twitter account pointed out Sony's policy a couple of days ago, but reports on the Kodi forums of issues installing and running the app from the Play Store go even further back to last year. A handful of affected
enthusiasts believe they have discovered the cause of the problem: Sony seems to be blocking the package ID for the app from being installed/run. Supporting this theory is the fact that recompiling the app from scratch with a different ID allows
it to work.
ISP Vodafone has begun blocking a pair of illicit streaming portals in unusual circumstances. Burning Series and Serial Stream were rendered inaccessible on Tuesday, but not as the result of a specific blocking injunction. The ISP says that
following a decision by the Federal Court of Justice in the summer, it felt compelled to block the sites following a request from a copyright holder.
The fact that ISPs around the world are blocking pirate sites to prevent copyright infringement is nothing new. Aside from voluntary arrangements, such as the one currently playing out in Portugal, ISPs tend to wait for courts to hand down an
injunction before blocking a site. In Germany, however, a new situation has raised its head.
On Tuesday, subscribers to Vodafone discovered that they could no longer access streaming portals Burning Series (BS.to) and Serial Stream (S.to). Rather than accessing the thousands of TV shows usually on offer, they were instead met by a
blocking message presented by their ISP.
Both sites currently have messages on their main pages, explaining that Vodafone has chosen to block their platforms.