National and international news headlines of the week

Mason Liagre, News Editor

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Charges dropped against Jussie Smollett

The charges against actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of fabricating a hate crime against himself, have been dropped. He was allegedly attacked by two masked men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs, punched and physically threatened him. He was accused by the city of paying the perpetrators to stage the attacks. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel maintains that the attack was fabricated, calling the ruling a “whitewash of justice” and condemning the behavior that the rich and powerful can get away with.

New copyright law passed by European Union

Article 13, a new rule holding tech companies responsible for violations of copyright law has been passed in the European Union. The law was met with ire by many who saw it as a threat to internet memes, but media such as memes and gifs are an exception to the law similar to fair use protection in the United States. Under Article 13, content posted on sites such as YouTube must be demonstrated to have been posted by the original creator or someone else with license, or the site hosters will face legal repercussions. Also included in the legislation is Article 11, which will allow news sites to charge for content aggregators to host their articles.

A number of notable experts on the Internet signed a letter addressed to the president of the European Parliament urging against Article 13, calling it “an imminent threat to the future of this global network” and stating, “The impact of Article 13 would also fall heavily on ordinary users of Internet platforms.”