European Commission Planning New, More Draconian 'Anti-Piracy' Laws

from the but-of-course dept

This is hardly surprising, but the European Commission is currently discussing “IPRED 2,” its latest attempt to craft pro-Hollywood laws concerning copyright infringement. As in the past, these are incredibly broad and conflate a variety of issues. They also seek (of course) to make everyone else copyright cops for Hollywood — with specific focus on getting ISPs to start blocking and/or filtering users. The link above highlights some of the problems with the current outline, but the very worst part in my mind is the continued conflation of copyright infringement with physical counterfeiting. We’ve pointed out how common and nefarious this is. It allows certain lobbyists to change their argument as necessary. Basically, they can point to organized crime’s involvement in physical goods counterfeiting, and then lump in fans listening to their favorite bands, as if they were the same thing. They’re not. Treating them as if they were only serves to make people respect copyright law even less. Anyone can tell the difference between these scenarios, and pretending that they’re the same makes it look like these lobbyists and politicians know that they’re trying to hide behind one scenario to pitch laws that the industry wants, but clearly does not need.

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Comments on “European Commission Planning New, More Draconian 'Anti-Piracy' Laws”

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91 Comments
DreamingApe says:

This is one of those things that makes people distrust the EU and governments in general.

People *still* tend to downplay the importance of this and call the “copyright debate” something only geeks/pirates care about, but it does have consequences outside the initial scope in the long run and it should be discussed more broadly.

Not just in economic terms, but in ethical and social terms as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

continued conflation of copyright infringement with physical counterfeiting.

The end result is the same: Someone has a copy of something that they didn’t pay the rights holder for. You can dance around the head of the pin trying to find a way out of that one, but for the consumer, the results are exactly the same.

In buying a cheap knockoff product, they obtain a copy of the goods without the rights holders getting paid. When they download a movie online, it is the same result: The rights holder didn’t get paid.

That is the simple reason it can all be put together.

average_joe says:

Re: Re:

The end result is the same: Someone has a copy of something that they didn’t pay the rights holder for. You can dance around the head of the pin trying to find a way out of that one, but for the consumer, the results are exactly the same.

Exactly. I feel like the only one trying to gain an advantage from the purportedly wrong conflation here is techdirt.

Looking at Black’s Law Dictionary, “counterfeit” is a verb that means “to unlawfully forge, copy, or imitate an item.”

Copying your favorite band’s CD or copying your favorite designer’s handbags would be counterfeiting under that definition.

Either way, you are violating someone’s rights as they appertain to their intellectual property.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

BTW what rights do i have? Since you know all about their rights enlighten use on ours.

Under the Copyright Act, section 102 gives us the right to the “idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in” a copyrighted work. Only the particular expression is locked up, and even then, it’s locked up for a limited time (albeit arguably too long a term). On top of that, there are all the exceptions under sections 107 through 122, most notably being fair use.

The trade-off is certain exclusive rights for a limited time to the rights holder now in exchange for the work’s transition into the public domain later. In the meantime, if the work is published, we get to enjoy it now, exercising all of our rights listed above. And if it’s not published, we get to enjoy it later. It’s not a ridiculous deal for either party. There are in fact people incentivized to create new works in exchange for these limited rights. Examples of such are all around us. The system works. It’s not the only system that could work, of course, but it does work, IMO.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Very romantic aj. Now explain how one side reneged on their part of the deal (of letting works enter the public domain) by extending copyright over and over, ad infinitum, in order to lockdown society’s right to their own culture and prevent anything from ever passing out of copyright.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Very romantic aj. Now explain how one side reneged on their part of the deal (of letting works enter the public domain) by extending copyright over and over, ad infinitum, in order to lockdown society’s right to their own culture and prevent anything from ever passing out of copyright.

I don’t think it’s romanticized. That’s the way it is. I agree there is a great argument that copyright terms are too long (and it’s not “ad infinitum,” as I’m sure you know), but that doesn’t change the fact that published works can be enjoyed and used now. While I’m sure we can do it better, that doesn’t mean it’s not working now. Only one part of it is being locked up, the particular expression, but I think you too easily dismiss its benefits.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

No it can’t the bar to do so is high and only a few can make use of that.

Just ask the moms being sued, the funny part of this is that imaginary properties seems to affect way more women in the west while it is men in Asia who like to share everything, maybe is that why they are gaining economic prosperity over there LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

One side didn’t, the elected members of congress did so. See, congress hasn’t passed the “you can pirate all you like” law, but they have passed extensions to copyright with sound enough reasons to be passed by majorities in the two houses and signed by the president.

The producers didn’t arbitrarily change the rules. Piracy does.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“congress hasn’t passed the “you can pirate all you like” law”

There is nothing wrong with copying all I like.

“but they have passed extensions to copyright with sound enough reasons to be passed by majorities in the two houses and signed by the president.”

Those sound reasons involve campaign contributions. Besides campaign contributions, bribes, revolving doors, and other nefarious activities there are no sound reasons to pass laws that violate my inherit right to copy as I please for 95+ years.

and how does extending IP promote “piracy” (or at least your misuse of the word). If it’s in the public domain then it’s not “piracy” or, at the very least, it’s not illegal.

Are you saying that because people would copy things in the public domain they shouldn’t be allowed to and so these extensions were made to prevent people from copying things that would otherwise in the public domain? The whole point of IP was to expand the public domain so that people have more works to freely copy and share, not to prevent people from copying things. To keep extending IP does nothing to expand the public domain and it does nothing to promote the progress, as required by the constitution. Hence, these laws should reasonably be ruled unconstitutional.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

All nice, but all hot air.

If you want to change something, come up with actual provable reasons to change it. Explain why (without screeching about your “rights”) copyright should be shorter. Try not to use “I want” or “I should get something for nothing” as your logic. Come up with an actual, defensible, sane, and functional point of view, not a bunch of impassioned nonsense. Come up with some sort of logic, some stand, something that could actually rally people around.

And no, “I want the new movie now!” isn’t a valid argument.

So please. Rather than talk in vapid, empty terms, some up with something solid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“If you want to change something, come up with actual provable reasons to change it.”

The constitution says that IP is about promoting the progress of the sciences and the arts. Our current laws do no such thing.

It is my inherit right to copy as I please. The current laws abridge my right. Such abridges need good justification. None has been provided.

“Explain why (without screeching about your “rights”) copyright should be shorter.”

It is for you to explain why it should exist and to subsequently explain why it should be as long as it is, not for me to explain why it should be shorter. You have no right to prevent me from copying, it is my right to copy (as the founding fathers rightfully note). Without telling me what to do and what not to do (and what arguments I may use or not use), explain why I should be prevented from copying as I please. I’m sorry you may not like the fact that it is my right to copy, I’m sorry you may not be able to formulate a counterargument against it, but telling me not to use that argument for no reason at all only exposes your inability to counter it.

and because shorter (or no) copy protection laws would do much better to promote the progress than what we currently have. It would expand the public domain, which serves the public interest and the original intent of these laws, and it would prevent works from being lost to history, again serving the public interest. It would also better allow people to build on existing works, which is also good for the public good.

“Try not to use “I want” or “I should get something for nothing” as your logic. “

Try not to use strawman arguments as your logic. No one is forcing you to produce anything. If you don’t want people to copy something then don’t produce and release it.

“Rather than talk in vapid, empty terms, some up with something solid.”

I have given many good reasons why IP should be shortened and/or abolished. You have not given a single good reason why IP should exist or why it’s lengths should stay the same. Come up with a solid argument justifying why my rights to copy are being abridged by bad laws?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

t is for you to explain why it should exist and to subsequently explain why it should be as long as it is, not for me to explain why it should be shorter.

See you fail here. Just as TD often says about piracy “it is here, deal with it”, you also have to accept that a case has already been made, over and over again, over almost the entire world, as to why copyright exists. It is up to you to find an argument against it. Copyright exists, has existed for hundreds of years, and exists only because of reasoned arguments.

It is my inherit right to copy as I please. The current laws abridge my right. Such abridges need good justification. None has been provided.

rights aren’t inherit(sic), they are rights or not. There is no “you have the right to copy” in the constitution, there is no “you have the rights to others works” in the constitution. There are certain fair use issues, but those may be limited by other laws that exist. There is certainly no right to pirate.

So again, you have made two vapid stands, things that are not logical arguments, just assertions that cannot be proven. Would you care to try again?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“Copyright exists, has existed for hundreds of years, and exists only because of reasoned arguments. “

and yet you have yet to provide a single reasoned argument for their existence and I have provided many for their abolition/alleviation. There is also plenty of evidence that they exist because corporations contribute heavily to political campaigns. If they exist because of reasoned argument then it shouldn’t be so difficult for you to provide one.

“rights aren’t inherit(sic), they are rights or not.”

Some rights are inherent.

“There is no “you have the right to copy” in the constitution”

You are confusing natural rights with legal rights. It is my natural right to copy as I please, regardless of the law. The founding fathers, who wrote the constitution, agree with this.

The constitution says that the govt may prevent me from copying only to the extent that it promotes the progress of the science and the arts. It also says that IP must last for a limited time. Our current laws do not promote the progress of the sciences and the arts and indefinite copyprotection extensions contradicts the limited time clause.

“There is certainly no right to pirate.”

It’s my natural right to copy as I please.

“things that are not logical arguments”

My arguments are logical. You have yet to make a reasonable argument in favor of IP laws. Make one or admit that you have none.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

and yet you have yet to provide a single reasoned argument for their existence and I have provided many for their abolition/alleviation

No, you have not. You have spewed a bunch of vague, wishy washy, feel good catch phrases, like the good troll you are.

Your arguments are not logical because you aren’t trying to be logical. You are just trying to throw a ton of crap out and make it all sound nice.

You failed troll, sorry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Copyright exists, has existed for hundreds of years, and exists only because of reasoned arguments.

Now it is time to change it and because you don’t like where this is going you have this need to negate what its happening right in front of your eyes. But don’t despair I promise the transition won’t hurt a bit(for me) LoL

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Copyright exists, has existed for hundreds of years

Actually, the copyright laws we have right now only existed since 1976. Before then, they were significantly different.

And the laws have been amended more times since then, than they were in their entire history beforehand. The amendments almost always benefit the rights holders, and almost never benefit the public at large – who are supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of copyright laws.

There is no “you have the right to copy” in the constitution

There is no “you have a copyright” in the Constitution, either. The Constitution does not grant copyrights to artists, it grants the right to make copyright laws to Congress. Congress is supposed to represent the public; so if the public believes that copyright law is unjust or unnecessary, Congress should repeal it.

And by the way, there is justification for the “right to copy” in the Constitution. If you own private property (such as a copy of a book), you should be able to do anything you like with it – including making a duplicate of it and/or selling it. That’s a pretty basic property right.

Under the Fifth Amendment, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Theoretically, copyright benefits the public; so the “just compensation” is the benefit that the public gets from copyright law.

The Founders did not believe that artists “owned” their work. They believed the public did, but that it gave up some of that ownership, for the mutual benefit of both parties: the artist was granted all commercial uses, the public retained all non-commercial uses, and after a limited time, the public got it all back (in the form of the public domain). The public was like a bank, that “loaned” copyright to artists, and got the principal back with interest.

That may have once been true. It is not any longer. Artists (more accurately, publishers) have continuously reneged on that deal. It’s only fair for the public to demand their rights back.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

And the laws have been amended more times since then, than they were in their entire history beforehand. The amendments almost always benefit the rights holders, and almost never benefit the public at large – who are supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of copyright laws.

One of the amazing things about copyright is that it is a “greater good” sort of thing. You look at the short “I want a copy and I can’t have it for free right now”, and copyright is more to do with making sure that there is a long term incentive to keep creating the stuff you want. It is a “goose that lays the golden egg” sort of thing, you can have a golden egg every week or so, or you can have a goose dinner today. Copyright makes sure that people aren’t stuffed on goose for a single day, and then pissed off when there are no more eggs.

Under the Fifth Amendment, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Theoretically, copyright benefits the public; so the “just compensation” is the benefit that the public gets from copyright law.

Constitutional arguments on this one always fails. Your logic is rather screwed too. You want both sides. You want to take for public use, and you want “just compensation” as well? Give me the stuff, and give it to me for free as compensation for giving it to me? What?

Sorry, that one fails.

the artist was granted all commercial uses, the public retained all non-commercial uses,

Please cite something to support this, as this is not true. there is no real “commercial / non commercial” divide in any of this. Again, you appear to fail.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

One of the amazing things about copyright is that it is a “greater good” sort of thing.

That is arguably true for copyright laws that existed fifty years ago (I would actually agree). It is certainly not true now.

You want to take for public use, and you want “just compensation” as well?

Since copyright is supposed to benefit the public – which you just emphasized in your “greater good” justification – copyright law is itself is public use.

You’re making the mistake of thinking that, by default, copyright is the inalienable right of artists and publishers. It’s not. As Wheaton v. Peters pointed out, “Congress, then, by this act, instead of sanctioning an existing right, as contended for, created it.”

Copyright is a “negative right” – the right to take away certain rights of others. Those rights are part of property rights (which are, unlike copyright, considered “inalienable” or “natural” rights).

You may disagree, but it’s not a “fail.”

Please cite something to support this, as this is not true.

The rights enumerated under copyright law were, prior to the internet, financially possible only for commercial entities.

Many public entities (e.g. libraries) are specifically exempted from those rights.

Whether a use is commercial or not is one of the four factors of the “Fair Use” test.

It’s part of why the Supreme Court ruled the way it did in the Sony case.

And in Judge Gertner’s words, “there is substantial evidence indicating that Congress did not contemplate that the Copyright Act?s broad statutory damages provision would be applied to college students like Tenenbaum who file-shared without any pecuniary gain.”

On the other hand, I’d like you to show me a single case before the Internet took off, where a copyright suit was brought against an individual who was infringing non-commercially. I can’t find a single one.

The divide might not be explicitly “commercial/non-commercial,” but it is clear: copyright law was historically supposed to protect against rival publishers, not non-commercial public use.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Because copyright is being abused, like that one person you know who really loves their boyfriend who just can’t stop hitting them.

I feel that copyrightable materiel should enter the public domain 5-10 years after being created, regardless of its profitability to the crators of a particular work.

I also feel that the system, as-is, is not punishing copyfraud/patent fraud enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“If you want to change something, come up with actual provable reasons to change it.”

Unfortunately, logic doesn’t change things. Campaign contributions do. Copy protection lengths is evidence of that.

To assume that our government cares about good logic and that our laws are based on good logic is just silly. and for you to try and defend the ridiculous length of our current copy protection laws only makes you look as nefarious as our government and the corporations that control it which will make fewer people take you seriously.

Chris in Utah (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

..”The system works. It’s not the only system that could work, of course, but it does work, IMO.”

For a fan of Carlin this in his immortal words; this is stunningly full of shit..

The incentives and exactly who? Incomplete sentences to act as Axioms; little tip there is NO dogma in a logical debate. Create something new, but gods forbid I improve on the last model. If I had a buzzer now is the time for it.

The examples of actual literary works that were supposed to hit this year did even one make it to market for this supposed “trade-off”. Its the old gold banker trick They Lend you PAPER! Though my analogy is a bit off. Its thesis vs antithesis. Copyright good for & Copyright bad for[blank] IE the Problem. Lets get a reaction; good monopolies verses competition; yet both are true right? Orwell is here to, great. We have a privilege not a right to create. Solution is more control at the top or ie; let us set up a tax funded (oh.. bonus fleece!) bureaucracy when the community cant tell a Rolex from Ray-bans(aka. Time to do “something” with obstructed vision)

Same people create the problem, define the “correct” reaction & the solution using black verses white funding both so “we the people” look up for help(not answers) rather than to each other; which btw actually works to ferret out impersonators. Oh wait… did we just get to the conclusion that we fear flatterers? That urine coming back to you yet?

Ya really need to view that Carlin clip before responding to [blank]rights discussions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“to unlawfully forge, copy, or imitate an item.”

It means to copy as to pass off as your own. Like if I counterfeited money, that means I am trying to make the money I am making a copy of look like real money in an effort to convince people that it is real.

“made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged: counterfeit dollar bills.
2.
pretended; unreal: counterfeit grief. “

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/counterfeit?r=75&src=ref&ch=dic

It is deceiving to claim that counterfeiting means to simply copy. If you are claiming it could mean that then you are confusing two different meanings of the same word. Most people think of counterfeiting as forgery (though their use can be subtly different but your reading comprehension capabilities aren’t yet capable of deciphering such subtleties yet), as trying to pass one thing off for something else (ie: claiming something was made by manufacturer x when it wasn’t). Copying a song from a CD is just copying, not counterfeiting, and it’s disingenuous to try to make all these different words mean the same thing when most people make an important distinction.

Given that, there is nothing inherently wrong with copying. Counterfeiting has the intent to deceive and that’s wrong, but copying does not.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Exactly. I feel like the only one trying to gain an advantage from the purportedly wrong conflation here is techdirt.

Do you honestly not think there’s a difference in a fan sharing some music that they like and someone making fake drugs?

Either way, you are violating someone’s rights as they appertain to their intellectual property.

So you think all such things should be lumped together, so that people can falsely claim that fans sharing music endangers the lives of Americans?

Please.

The point of the conflation is to play up the “risk.” And that’s incredibly intellectually dishonest. I mean, we could lump together both and say that “they’re both against the law.” But that’s not the point. The point of the conflation is to falsely suggest that fans sharing music is as bad, say, as fake drugs or counterfeit airplane parts, when anyone who is being even close to intellectually honest has to admit that the impact of those two situations are entirely different.

That is, if you want to be honest about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Where does it say that it is exactly as bad? It doesn’t.

They’re both harmful. Counterfeit drugs can hurt people’s health. Piracy costs people their jobs, and they can lose or be unable to afford their healthcare.

There’s no problem in the least lumping these together. It’s just more of your whining about piracy enforcement finally coming to pass.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The point of the conflation is to falsely suggest that fans sharing music is as bad, say, as fake drugs or counterfeit airplane parts, when anyone who is being even close to intellectually honest has to admit that the impact of those two situations are entirely different.

I don’t know, Mike. I just don’t see it. I’m reading the report you are referencing in this article, and it seems clear to me that they understand the difference between counterfeit goods and file-sharing:

The multi-purpose nature of the Internet makes it easy to commit a wide variety of infringements of intellectual property rights. Goods infringing intellectual property rights are offered for sale on the Internet. Search engines often enable fraudsters to attract Internet users to their unlawful offers available for sale or download. File-sharing of copyright-protected content has become ubiquitous, partly because the development of legal offers of digital content has not been able to keep up with demand, especially on a cross-border basis, and has led many law-abiding citizens to commit massive infringements of copyright and related rights in the form of illegal up-loading and disseminating protected content. Many online sites are either hosting or facilitating the online distribution of protected works without the consent of the right holders. In this context, the limitations of the existing legal framework may need to be clearly assessed.

https://lqdn.co-ment.com/text/W2LVTwgJhhC/view/

Where does it say fake drugs and airplane parts are as bad as file-sharing? It doesn’t say that. I think that’s just you spreading FUD.

The reason they’re being lumped together is simply because they both involve intellectual property rights being violated on the internet. It’s just not this nefarious master plan that you make it to be.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I don’t know, Mike. I just don’t see it. I’m reading the report you are referencing in this article, and it seems clear to me that they understand the difference between counterfeit goods and file-sharing

You can pick and choose which parts you read, and hide the areas where they conflate the two. I would suggest not doing that.

Where does it say fake drugs and airplane parts are as bad as file-sharing?

It doesn’t say that *directly* of course. But it lumps them together, so that they can claim that these laws are needed “to protect people from dangerous counterfeit products,” ignoring that the law will mainly be used on friends sharing music files that have no dangerous component whatsoever.

That’s not FUD. Just look at ICE. They’ve been supporting the seizure of music blogs by claiming — falsely — that “these crooks are… jeopardizing public safety.”

And please, drop the false FUD claims.

You pick up on these phrases and then use them over and over again where they’re not appropriate.

The reason they’re being lumped together is simply because they both involve intellectual property rights being violated on the internet.

No, that’s simply not true. You don’t lump together wildly different things under a single label because they’re “both the same.” Point is they’re not the same. Not even close. Lumping them together is — without question — intellectually dishonest. You’re better than that. Don’t stoop to that level.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s IP theft, Masnick, of course they can be lumped together. You’re under the delusion that they’re different; that doesn’t make it so.

Just look at ICE. They’ve been supporting the seizure of music blogs by claiming — falsely — that “these crooks are… jeopardizing public safety.”

umm, no, that’s not what they’re saying.

I’d ask for a quote, but I already know none exists.

It’s fascinating to watch your life slowly be ruined by the new enforcement of copyright law.

Pretty much affirms what your and this blog’s true intentions were all along.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I’d ask for a quote, but I already know none exists.

From counterfeit pharmaceuticals and electronics, to pirated movies, music, and software, these crooks are undermining the U.S. economy and jeopardizing public safety. American jobs are being lost, American innovation is being diluted and the public health and safety of Americans is at risk — and organized criminal enterprises are profiting from their increasing involvement in IP theft.

John Morton, Assistant Secretary of ICE (PDF)

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You are trying to read something into that quote that’s not there. He says that “these crooks are undermining the U.S. economy and jeopardizing public safety.” Obviously the part about “jeopardizing public safety” is not referring to illegal file-sharing. That would be stupid. File-sharing would fall under the “undermining the U.S. economy” part of that sentence.

You guys seem really, really desperate here.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You can pick and choose which parts you read, and hide the areas where they conflate the two. I would suggest not doing that.

You wrote a whole article about the European Commission’s report without yourself providing a single example from the report of this alleged conflation. I’ve produced evidence. You have not.

It doesn’t say that *directly* of course. But it lumps them together, so that they can claim that these laws are needed “to protect people from dangerous counterfeit products,” ignoring that the law will mainly be used on friends sharing music files that have no dangerous component whatsoever. That’s not FUD. Just look at ICE. They’ve been supporting the seizure of music blogs by claiming — falsely — that “these crooks are… jeopardizing public safety.” And please, drop the false FUD claims. You pick up on these phrases and then use them over and over again where they’re not appropriate.

Your conclusion that the law “will mainly be used on friends sharing music” is completely baseless. You have offered no evidence of this. It’s 100% faith-based FUD. And what’s somebody from ICE got to do with the EC report? Nothing. More FUD. Sorry, Mike, I call it what I think it is.

No, that’s simply not true. You don’t lump together wildly different things under a single label because they’re “both the same.” Point is they’re not the same. Not even close. Lumping them together is — without question — intellectually dishonest. You’re better than that. Don’t stoop to that level.

The only person claiming they are the same is you. The report itself never says that. Again, all FUD. Do you have any evidence that applies to this E.C. report?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You wrote a whole article about the European Commission’s report without yourself providing a single example from the report of this alleged conflation. I’ve produced evidence. You have not.

Karl already showed that you are wrong. I don’t see a reason to repeat it. Though I find it odd that you would repeat this claim after Karl already proved you wrong.

Your conclusion that the law “will mainly be used on friends sharing music” is completely baseless. You have offered no evidence of this. It’s 100% faith-based FUD. And what’s somebody from ICE got to do with the EC report? Nothing. More FUD. Sorry, Mike, I call it what I think it is.

Ok. So you’d rather make stuff up than discuss reality.

I’m out of this debate then. It’s simply not worth arguing with you when you resort to such tactics.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Where does it say fake drugs and airplane parts are as bad as file-sharing?

Several studies carried out by international organisations and industry have shown that infringements of intellectual property rights have reached a significant level, with certain of these goods posing a danger to consumers’ health and safety. […]

A significant number of products infringing intellectual property rights now pose a real threat to consumer health and safety.

I’m reading the report you are referencing in this article, and it seems clear to me that they understand the difference between counterfeit goods and file-sharing

Then you must be reading a different report:

The report adopted by the European Parliament also expressed support for an enhanced policy, including a strong legal framework to combat counterfeiting and piracy. […]

Search engines often enable fraudsters to attract Internet users to their unlawful offers available for sale or download. […]

Many online sites are either hosting or facilitating the online distribution of protected works without the consent of the right holders. In this context, the limitations of the existing legal framework may need to be clearly assessed. […]

The Directive makes a broad interpretation of the concept of ‘intermediaries’ to include all intermediaries ‘whose services are used by a third party to infringe an intellectual property right’. This implies that even intermediaries with no direct contractual relationship or connection with the infringer are subject to these measures provided for in the Directive. […]

[I]t could be useful to clarify that injunctions should not depend on the liability of the intermediary.

The message could not be clearer: “Since counterfiet drugs might harm consumers, we’re going after Google, YouTube, and Rapidshare, even if they’re not actually liable.”

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

They don’t say that file-sharing is dangerous, they say that “certain of these goods posing a danger to consumers’ health and safety.” The certain goods being alluded to there are not the files being shared. Obviously.

And none of the quotes you’ve proffered shows that they are confusing fake drugs with file-sharing. They speak of “counterfeiting and piracy.” That indicates that those are two different things. They speak of “for sale or download.” That also speaks of two different things.

You guys seem really desperate in trying to pretend that the authors of this report don’t know the difference between the two.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

They don’t say that file-sharing is dangerous, they say that “certain of these goods posing a danger to consumers’ health and safety.” The certain goods being alluded to there are not the files being shared. Obviously.

If one is dangerous is one is not, then DON’T MAKE A SINGLE LAW TO COVER THEM BOTH.

Why do you not understand that?

And none of the quotes you’ve proffered shows that they are confusing fake drugs with file-sharing. They speak of “counterfeiting and piracy.” That indicates that those are two different things. They speak of “for sale or download.” That also speaks of two different things.

You’re being willfully blind to what’s being said. If the two things are different, then the laws designed to protect safety should not apply to the “for sale or download” stuff. And yet they do.

Why?

You guys seem really desperate in trying to pretend that the authors of this report don’t know the difference between the two.

We know they know the difference. Our complaint is them lumping the two together to get more draconian laws approved for the non-dangerous stuff.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

They don’t say that file-sharing is dangerous

They lump it in with things that are a threat to public health. They do it with the express purpose of legally treating the two the same way.

Read the report again. Read the recommendations. Do any of them have anything to do with materials that would “pose a real threat to consumer health and safety?” No, they do not. They are mostly recommendations to place liability onto third parties on the Internet.

So why do they even bring up health and safety? They do it strictly as a scare tactic. “Hey, if we don’t go after Megaupload, your children will get sick and die!”

This, incidentally, is a textbook example of FUD.

average_joe says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

They lump it in with things that are a threat to public health. They do it with the express purpose of legally treating the two the same way.

They are lumping together things that violate rights in intellectual property.

Read the report again. Read the recommendations. Do any of them have anything to do with materials that would “pose a real threat to consumer health and safety?” No, they do not. They are mostly recommendations to place liability onto third parties on the Internet.

Fake drugs do pose a threat to consumer health and safety. That’s the point.

As far as placing some of the burden onto ISPs goes, perhaps that just makes sense. ISPs are in a better position to police this stuff.

So why do they even bring up health and safety? They do it strictly as a scare tactic. “Hey, if we don’t go after Megaupload, your children will get sick and die!”

They’re not saying that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well people are in violation just recently it wasn’t this way before and sure as hell will not fly with people.

You can keep trying to repeat that over and over and over again and people still won’t accept it, to which you could reply “who cares, they need to fallow the law” to which people will reply with silence and disobedience.

Laws are made around society not around a small group of people who think they deserve absolute control, ask the president of Tunisia what he thinks he should have done.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Someone has a copy of something that they didn’t pay the rights holder for.”

The privilege holder is not entitled to a monopoly on anything. The laws themselves are corrupt and need to be changed. As even the founding fathers note, it is my natural right to copy as I please. IP laws should only be to promote the progress of the science and the arts, and not the profit margins of the privilege holders.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Not so. Actual counterfeiting gives a lower quality product to the consumer whereas copyright infringement gives them a perfect digital copy. It’s more of a trademark issue than a copyright issue and arguably the only valid reason for trademarks to exist at all. Anti-counterfeiting laws actually do protect the consumer, not so pro-copyright laws.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Continued conflation of infringement and counterfeiting

I don’t think they’re the same, because in the case of counterfeit physical goods, the consumer is potentially being deceived, in that case receiving goods of a lower real value.

In the case of infringement, nobody is deprived of the use of anything, and an “infringing” copy may actually have more utility (no un-skippable movie previews, anyone?) than the uninfringing copy.

Also, how does one tell an “infringing” copy from a “real copy” of an electronically copyable good?

We know from studies that purchasers of counterfeit physical goods often know that they’re purchasing counterfeits, they just can’t afford the Real Thing. So there’s that aspect of counterfeit goods as well.

So, I have to conclude that “infringement” and “counterfeit” aren’t at all the same. What’s your reasonsing?

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Re: Re:

In buying a cheap knockoff product, they obtain a copy of the goods without the rights holders getting paid. When they download a movie online, it is the same result: The rights holder didn’t get paid.

If they check out a DVD from the library, the rights holder didn’t get paid. If they buy a used DVD, the rights holder didn’t get paid. If they borrow that DVD from a friend, the rights holder didn’t get paid. If they simply don’t decide to watch the movie, the rights holder didn’t get paid.

I guess those should all be considered “counterfeiting” too, right?

That is the simple reason it can all be put together.

Except the economic costs are not the same. They do not have the same substitution rates, for example – if someone buys a counterfeit DVD, they are much more likely to have bought the real thing than someone who simply downloads it because it’s free. But when you calculate it the same way, you are able to inflate the “costs” of downloading by an order of magnitude.

Besides – as Mike notes, that’s not the reason it is put together.

By lumping together counterfeiting and infringement, they can use the worst aspects of the former to justify persecuting the latter, even though it doesn’t have the same aspects.

For example: Infringing expression is potentially protected by the First Amendment, while counterfeiting a product is not. Counterfeiting is done for profit, while infringement usually is not. Counterfeiting is sometimes used to fund organized crime, while copyright infringement is not. Counterfeiters can face criminal charges (including RICO charges), while infringement is almost always covered by tort law.

They are not the same thing, and considering them to be the same is, at best, intellectually dishonest.

herbert says:

isn’t it about time that those in charge started to do something for the people that actually elected them, instead of bending over for the various industries, whether entertainment or otherwise? business is important, but so are people. without customers, business will not survive, without business, people become more innovative themselves. a ‘happy medium’ needs to be found and quickly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Counterfeit law has nothing to do with IP law.
Counterfeit is imitation passed off as the real thing.
Counterfeit laws are supposed to be to protect the consumer, regularly misused we know, but it is still the supposed aim, not protecting the notional intellectual property involved in a bag or a t-shirt or whatever else is being counterfeited.

average_joe says:

Re: Re:

Counterfeit law has nothing to do with IP law.
Counterfeit is imitation passed off as the real thing.
Counterfeit laws are supposed to be to protect the consumer, regularly misused we know, but it is still the supposed aim, not protecting the notional intellectual property involved in a bag or a t-shirt or whatever else is being counterfeited.

So you think counterfeiting laws should only protect consumers from the counterfeiters, but the companies whose goods are counterfeited should have no recourse?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“All rights belong to the consumer, no rights for the people who create or make anything, because, well, TD says so.”

Because the point of having an economy and businesses and whatnot is to serve consumers, not producers. Otherwise, why have an economy? and because consumers have these rights in nature, in the absence of an institution to remove them from us, and so these rights rightfully belong to us. If they are removed their removal better have good justification because there is no reason for us to honor a government/institution that doesn’t serve the public interest and there is no reason for such an institution to exist. The government exists only to serve the “public interest”, otherwise we should abolish it.

Your strawman argument doesn’t encourage people to take you seriously.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“but the companies whose goods are counterfeited should have no recourse?”

If their goods are counterfeited then they should be protected. If their goods are merely copied, then there is nothing wrong with that and they should have no recourse. If laws are to prevent copying then those laws should only exist to the extent that they serve the public interest. Our current laws do no such thing.

TDR says:

For once in your life, AJ, stop acting like a lawyer aka a shark and start thinking like a human being. I know it’s hard, especially given the indocrination(brainwashing) you’re going through in (un)law school right now. But either give complete, detailed non-industry evidence of your claims or give a complete retraction of everything you have ever said on this site. Now. Or, like Anonymous, every post you make will be reported from here on out.

PaulT (profile) says:

Amusingly, in somewhat related news, 2 of the 4 major record labels in the UK have finally realised that stopping people from buying singles for up to 2 months while they get airplay might not be a good thing after all…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/16/universal-sony-music-singles-release

In other words, they’re realising that offering a lesser service than the “pirates” is pretty dumb. Hopefully their brethren across the world and in the movie industry can learn from their mistakes before they’ve gone too far down the same path… and hopefully before they’ve managed to pass such stupid and short-sighted laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

“File-sharing would fall under the “undermining the U.S. economy” part of that sentence.”

And yet there is still no evidence to support the contention that file sharing harms any part of the economy.
What little evidence there is (and it is far too little) suggests that it increases interest and boosts sales.

The situation as it is

Certain Interests: File sharing is destroying our business.
Disinterested observer: Really? How?
Certain Interests: Loads of file sharing going on!
Disinterested observer: yes and?
Certain Interests: If we hypothesise that each file shared costs us money, we’re losing a fortune.
Disinterested Observer: Anything to back up the hypothesis?
Certain Interests: LOADS OF FILE SHARING GOING ON!

repeat ad nauseam

Home sewing is killing fashion says:

copyright

You know, you cant copyright designs in fashion, yet fashion industry is working just fine, what gives?

Unlike the lobbyist are saying, music industry is not going to collapse if copyright would be reduced to 5-10 years.

When copyright didnt exist, people still made music, and it got stolen, so they made more instead of stopping. Most good musicians are making music because they like making it, not for the money.

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