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The European Parliament. Photo: European Parliament Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Different arms of the European Union have taken new steps toward regulating tech companies' content and practices.

Why it matters: Europe is a huge market for tech, and even though the internet transcends national borders, the rules set by the EU have global implications.

New copyright rules: The European Parliament voted to approve a Copyright Directive that places new burdens on large tech platforms to pay providers for content and filter uploads for copyrighted material.

  • Critics say the rules constitute a "link tax" and undermine the openness of the internet.
  • The directive will need to win another vote in January and then have to be implemented by individual member nations.

New terrorism rules: The European Commission, the EU's executive body, proposed new rules requiring tech platforms to remove content that promotes terrorism from their services within one hour of posting or face penalties of up to 4% of their global revenue.

  • The EU has already promulgated this approach as a "rule of thumb," but the new proposal would formalize it if the European Parliament and member states approve it.

New privacy complaint: Brave, the privacy-oriented browser company founded by Javascript inventor Brendan Eich, has filed a complaint against Google and other advertising services under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy rules, charging them with a "massive and systematic data breach" that should trigger an EU-wide investigation, per Reuters.

  • The case could turn into the first big test of whether and how the GDPR will change the behavior and business models of ad-based tech platforms.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
7 mins ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.