Showing 73 posts tagged europe

The New Economics Foundation recently posited that a 21-hour work week might be the ideal point for an advanced economy, where paid work and natural resources would be more evenly distributed across a robust economy, solving problems from carbon emissions to gender relations and the quality of family life. “The Netherlands and Germany have a shorter workweek than the United States and Britain,” NEF researcher Anna Coote recently argued in the New York Times. “But the Dutch and German economies are stronger, not weaker. Workers on shorter hours tend to be more productive hour-for-hour. They are under less stress, they get sick less often and they make a more loyal and committed workforce.” But hold your applause, fellow proletarian: The efficacy of the shortened work week is far from proven. France moved to a 35-hour week in 2000, bringing the legal standard limit down from 39 hours. The goals of the shift were more of the same: a better division of labor, lower unemployment, and more personal time for workers to enhance their quality of life. But this gradual tightening of the work week didn’t work as intended.

Will We Ever Be Able to Enjoy a Shorter Work Week? - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

European parliament adopts 'net neutrality' law

The European Parliament voted Thursday to stop Internet providers from charging for preferential access to their networks — a step cheered by consumer groups and startups but bemoaned by the telecommunications industry.

The bill on “net neutrality” forces Internet providers to treat all traffic the same regardless of its source. That will prevent major telecom and Internet providers such as Vodafone or Deutsche Telekom from reserving the best of their network for their own services, or selling the lions’ share of bandwidth to big companies like Google and Netflix, while leaving a slower Internet for everyone else.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, who proposed the bill, hailed Thursday’s 534-25 vote as “historic.” She said it will help “to get rid of barriers and to make life less expensive” for consumers.

» via Yahoo! News

For music recordings, EU copyright laws were last month extended from 50 to 70 years’ protection, but this does not include unreleased tracks. Therefore, unreleased Beatles recordings from 1963 will legally lose their copyright in 2014. It means that Beatles fans can hope for releases of the 28-minute Helter Skelter and their famous performance of Carnival Of Light from 1967 in the next few years. The releases of previously unsold music could become a trend, thanks to the EU copyright law. Last year, for instance, Sony released an 86-song Bob Dylan album, shamelessly entitled The Copyright Extension Collection Vol 1. This was then followed up by the release of The 50th Anniversary Collection: 1963.

The Beatles’ record company forced to release bootleg versions of 59 songs | Mail Online

A French court ruled Wednesday that Google must remove from its Internet search results all images of a former Formula One car racing chief at an orgy. The ruling in the privacy case could have ramifications for the tech giant’s operations across Europe.

Google Is Ordered to Block Images in Privacy Case -

The measure would obligate companies not based in the European Union to nonetheless comply with European data protection rules if they operate in Europe. Violators could face fines of as much as 5 percent of a company’s global annual revenue. The amendment would require companies to seek approval from a “supervisory authority” in a bloc country before transferring data on a person’s individual electronic communications, whether phone calls, e-mails, Web searches or social media interactions, outside the union at the request of a foreign government or court.

Europe Moves to Shield Citizens’ Data -

Europe now accounts for 94 percent of international internet bandwidth connected to North Africa, up from 61 percent ten years ago, and 72 percent of bandwidth connected to Sub-Saharan Africa, up from 39 percent a decade ago. Growth in European connectivity is equally sharp for the Middle East, which has seen its bandwidth connected to Europe increase from 51 percent to 85 percent in the past ten years.

As Africa gets online, Europe emerges as the new global internet traffic hub — Tech News and Analysis

Penguin finally settles with EU over e-book pricing

Penguin, the last major holdout in the antitrust probe involving Apple and publishers over e-book pricing, is now in line with its competitors.

The European Union’s European Commission announced on Thursday that it has approved conditions it agreed to with Penguin in April. The book publisher agreed to terminate agency agreements that allow a publisher, not a retailer, to set prices on titles, as well as end the “most favored nation” pricing clauses that offered different prices based on location.

» via CNET

Archivists in France Fight a Privacy Initiative

As a European proposal to bolster digital privacy safeguards faces intense lobbying from Silicon Valley and other powerful groups in Brussels, an obscure but committed group has joined in the campaign to keep personal data flourishing online.

One of the European Union’s measures would grant Internet users a “right to be forgotten,” letting them delete damaging references to themselves in search engines, or drunken party photos from social networks. But a group of French archivists, the people whose job it is to keep society’s records, is asking: What about our collective right to keep a record even of some things that others might prefer to forget?

The archivists and their counteroffensive might seem out of step, as concern grows about American surveillance of Internet traffic around the world. But the archivists say the right to be forgotten, as it has become known, could complicate the collection and digitization of mundane public documents — birth reports, death notices, real estate transactions and the like — that form a first draft of history.

» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)

The original wording of Article 42 of the proposed legislation would have cancelled out the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), at least as far as Europeans are concerned, by nullifying “any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens”, the report stated. According to the FT, the EU member states were against the clause anyway because it didn’t make a whole lot of sense – the servers for these web services are largely in the U.S. and therefore under U.S. jurisdiction – but that didn’t stop the U.S. sending over heavyweights to lobby against it. These included U.S. Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano and Commerce Department legal chief Cameron Kerry.

U.S. secretly watered down Europe’s proposed privacy rules, report claims — Tech News and Analysis

The rapid switch from print to digital in the United States is not being replicated exactly in European countries. Germany is showing the strongest allegiance to traditional viewing and reading habits and has the lowest levels of internet news use.

Executive summary - Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2012 (via futuristgerd)

(via emergentfutures)