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Saturday, 14 November 2009

How to encourage law breaking and restrain trade: and other Eurowanks

Did you know there is a new European law about to come in - and it cannot be stopped now - that will prevent anyone putting cookies on a site?

This brilliant idea will of course among other things make it impossible for you to measure the results of your internet marketing. It will also - if everyone follows the rules - actually encourage bad marketing, as you won't know enough about prospects and customers to talk to them in a relevant fashion.

There is an excellent piece about it by a Pinsent Mason lawyer which starts with a wonderful remark: A law that demands consent to internet cookies has been approved and will be in force across the EU within 18 months. It is so breathtakingly stupid that the normally law-abiding business may be tempted to bend the rules to breaking point.

You can find the whole piece at www.out-law.com/default.aspx?page=10510. However, my partner Marta has some interesting comments. She used to be in the internet gaming business and said that based on her experience this may play out like this:

1. Firms will move their HQs to places where this law does not apply - e. g. Andorra.

2. European governments will lose massive amounts of tax revenue

3. They will rescind the law.

Here are two reasons why I really don't like the idea of a United States of Europe.

First, I never voted for any of these people. Second, nothing they do encourages trade. For instance, their tariff protection is killing poor third world countries. This is also true of the U.S., by the way. What happens is in the following five lunatic steps:

1. We raise import taxes against their stuff.

2. Their economies decline.

3. We send billions in aid and give to aid charities.

4. Their kleptomaniac rulers steal it.

5. Our idiot politicians fly round the world to conferences where they decide how much more aid these crooks should get.

Brilliant, eh?

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