1. 33
  1. 9

    What Article 13 seemingly overlooks is the place of fair use/fair dealing. How does one critique a work when one can’t display it without a license? Yes, there’s an appeal process … but who’s the arbiter? How long does it take to get approval?

    What about transformative fair use? Is there a place in Article 13 to build upon the work of others?

    Yes, I understand we Americans have an expansive view of fair use, but Article 13 is too restrictive. It’s especially so when you consider how long and broad copyrights are. There is a very real need for balance between the rights of authors and those of the public on whose behalf governments extend copyright.

    And yes, again, I understand Americans view copyright as a mere grant of monopoly by government where in other domains it’s a recognition of droit moral. It’s complicated. But it’s not as simple as the music industry would see it.

    “This is a strong and unambiguous message sent by the European Parliament,” said executive chair Helen Smith.

    “It clarifies what the music sector has been saying for years: if you are in the business of distributing music or other creative works, you need a licence, clear and simple. It’s time for the digital market to catch up with progress.”

    1. 4

      The thing is also that the content-filtering obligation kicks in in the absence of a license. This is why the supposed target of this legislation (YouTube/Google) has lobbied for it, because that’s exactly what they want – not having to change anything. They already have Content ID, which means they won’t need a licensing deal with the rightholders, while everyone around them will have to either make a deal or develop/license their own Content ID.

    2. 5

      Over here in US, that usually means someone’s election was financed by industry players who make billions on copywritten material. Are the people pushing this law similarly taking bribes from industry? Or do they have their own motivations for it?

      1. 8

        The newspaper and printing industry in germany is pushing this hard, notably Axel Springer Media (also known for such genius ideas as “Suing Adblock Plus for unfair comeptition”, “Suing Adblock Plus for preventing Free Speech”, “Refusing to adopt the New German Grammar Rules” and “Suing other newspapers for buying the same article from a newsagency but offering it for free instead of behind a paywall”).

        For some bizarre reason the utter failure of similar laws in germany and spain seems to have left no visible trace, it’s like the only lesson they learned is “when you fail small you fail big next”.

        1. 11

          Technically, a law like this is prone to be abused for censorship purposes. Whether this “dual use” is intended or not by parliamentarian voters, is obviously unclear.

          However, always bear in mind Ayn Rand:

          “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

          To make it even worse, such laws don’t “outlaw” some behaviour, but put a high risk on it through civil law. So, it helps multinationals (and a possible malevolent regime) and hurts small companies as well as citizens. To me, it’s hard to believe this is not intended (like so many other (mostly) EU laws.

        2. 5

          Please note: this is not a terminal vote. The European Parliament in plenum will later on have to vote on the directive as a whole. As of now, it’s not in force nor even set to enter into force.

          Also please note that that it’s not a law (i.e. regulation in EU speak). It’s a directive. It requires member states to make laws in a certain fashion, and more often than not, there can be differences in each member state’s law based on the directive.

          And since appearently nobody cares to actually read what has been voted on, the voting document is available online on the EU parliament’s website. Art. 13 is mentioned under CA 14. Though to be honest I find this document confusing. If someone has a consolidated version available somewhere, a link would be nice.

          1. 4

            The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted by 15 votes to 10 to adopt Article 13 and by 13 votes to 12 to adopt Article 11.

            Somebody know how to check who is represented in the Commitee?

            1. 2
            2. 3

              The bill really is a disaster. Mainly pushed by conservatives and Axel Voss, who was gotten some backlash from his own party over this because the same copyright bill was a disaster in germany too (though it was less extreme).

              However, to calm the nerves; the bill is not law yet. It has been approved that the parliament may vote over it and then the commission and the parliament will work out a final bill. The earliest date this bill will get real is somewhere in december.

              1. 2

                European Parliament is a huge disappointment. It’s just an afterthought supposed to bring some democracy into the EU. Search YouTube to see how voting looks like.

                1. [Comment from banned user removed]

                  1. 17

                    Or you run any kind of site where users can input anything that another visitor can see. Not just video and file sharing sites; Lobsters users could paste copyrighted content into a comment/PM and I’d be liable for not having a system implementing some kind of copyright controls.

                    (To say nothing of Article 11 wanting us to start paying the news sites we link to for privilege of sending them traffic.)

                    1. [Comment from banned user removed]

                      1. 13

                        The new law changes this standard safe harbor behavior. Lobsters (me) is presumptively at fault for copyright infringement for not proactively checking for possibly-copyrighted material before posting. So yes, your scenario is the current, reasonable law and accurately describes why everyone is concerned about this change.

                        1. 4

                          The law isn’t about that, though. The new law doesn’t say admins must take-down on request (that’s already the case under existing law) but rather that they must have an AI system that prevents any infringing uploads from happening in the first place.

                          The link tax is a much bigger problem, especially lobsters, but both articles are very bad.

                          1. 1

                            AI system that prevents any infringing uploads from happening in the first place.

                            How is that any different from what @pushcx said? As the owner/operator of lobste.rs he would have to abide by this law and produce, or buy access to some sort of copyrighted work database in order to test for it for all content that is created on lobsters.

                            That’s not going to make it easy for startups. That’s not going to make it easy for privately owned, independent side projects. That’s just going to hurt.

                            1. 2

                              ALSO, you’d better not quote any part of my message if you reply, because I could, apparently, legitimately sue lobsters for not enforcing my copyright. e.g. there’s no such thing as fair use anymore.

                              (yes, that’s a stretch, but that seems to be the basic threat)

                              1. 1

                                I replied before @pushcx and yes, it seems we agree on how bad it is :)

                                1. 2

                                  Blargh! I am sorry. I misread the thread and thought you were replying to pushcx.

                        2. 6

                          Or lobster gets a fine when you submit a link to any European news sites.

                          1. 1

                            What’s worse is that people will devise a way to signal what content is linkable and what only with license. This will limit quality news dissemination and strengthen fake news position. This will help to kill EU. Sad, right?

                          2. 1

                            most probably that lobster will be not able to post most of the links