Strange: Vote Against Freeing Up Orphan Works Achieves 113% Turnout In EU Committee

from the are-they-sure? dept

One of the unresolved problems of copyright is how to deal with huge numbers of orphan works — creations still in copyright, but whose owners can’t be traced to give permissions that may be necessary for re-use. The European Parliament’s JURI committee met recently to vote on a new report on possible permitted uses of orphan works, prepared by the Polish Member of the European Parliament, Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg.

As Rick Falkvinge writes, things didn’t go too well for those hoping to free up orphan works for modern use:

the copyright industry lobby won key points in the voting procedure with 14 votes against reform and 12 in favor of it, according to the just-published protocol.

End of story, you might think. But Geringer de Oedenberg noted something strange with the voting:

During the vote I was making precise notes as to the balance of votes in favour and against to my crucial amendments.

It came to me as a surprise that for my Compromise Amendments 20 check vote announced by the Chair was 14 to 12 which gives us 26 Members!

Considering that we only have 24 Members in Juri Committee and according to the protocol only 23 were present this result is confusing and calls for clarification.

Similar situation appears on Amendment 71 (Ms. Gallo and Mr. Borys) which pass with the result announced 13 to 12 what gives as 25 Members and my Amendment 32 which fall 13 to 11 -24 Members.

So the question has to be asked: did the copyright industry lobby really win, or was there some miscounting along the line? To avoid the impression of anything improper going on here, it’s vital that those votes be taken again. After all, as Falkvinge points out:

The final kicker here is that the 113-per-cent voter turnout happened in the Legal Affairs committee (JURI), which has the responsibility of safeguarding the integrity and trustworthiness of the legal framework as a whole in Europe.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and on Google+

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Strange: Vote Against Freeing Up Orphan Works Achieves 113% Turnout In EU Committee”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“and I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist”

Sure you are, we read about them every day.

1.a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, esp with political motivation; plot
2.the act of making such plans in secret

TD covers conspiracy theories daily.

Embrace it, and wear your tinfoil with pride. 🙂

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Silver is not your color huh?

No theories. We know lobbyists line pockets and pay for legislation. But until concrete proof is obtained, it is just a theory, or suspicion. Just like pay for play. We know it happens. We see it here daily.

Now is that not Grand, massive conspiracies implicating entire groups?

The lobbyist cartel representing a multitude of interests (Massive groups), and which BTW we cant assume all are trying to do bad, paying for legislation from.. hell Mayors on up the food chain.

The whole system is one big conspiracy man. (Sorry had a hippie flashback there)

“without any whistleblowers?” – Well thankfully we have people like Mike Masnick and many others to shine light on the cockaroaches so we know what they are doing.

And this kind of pay for play is just a small example.
Another one, how Government contracts are handed out. (To the hand with most cash)

You have a great weekend Samuel.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The interesting question to ask is the following:

If votes from a governmental body can be manipulated and fall prone to errors like this without question or the conductance of re-votes, how much easier is it to manipulate or cause substantial errors in a general election where all voters of the citizenry vote without anyone even blinking an eye?

When I vote for an elected official, or when the GOP or whatever chooses their primary, how do we know the polls and the decisions made are really representative of public opinion and aren’t being tampered with?

Violated (profile) says:


I would shocked if the hoped cause was true in that the “for change” were scoring the higher vote so the person counting added more votes to the “reject change” to have them win.

Should not this voting include their names so we can see exactly who voted what way? We can then see if any names appear twice or if some strange “billy bo jim bob” name slips in there.

Another vote is certainly required. I hope they do change orphaned works law when currently this media is useless and used by no one. If freely used this would better help the owner to come forwards.

JH says:

The amendment in question was Compromise Amendment 20, which can be found on page 28 of this document from the EP. To be honest, this amendment appears to be just a fairly simple tidying up of the drafting, rather than any change of substance.

Just before the voting, the relevant member of the EPP said that they weren’t against the change in principle, they just weren’t entirely happy that the wording was right yet; but if that could be fixed, they could well support a similar amendment in the forthcoming vote of the full parliament. (Video, at 10:19; the vote on Compromise 20 occurs at 10:39).

JH says:

The way EP committees work is that there are “full members” and “alternates”. Alternates can only vote if the full member is not present; and MEPs can come and go during the course of a session. One possible explanation here is that an alternate may have voted without realising that a full member had also voted, and nobody picked up on it at the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Couldn't have been...

One might reflexively expect that the content cartels had a hand in producing this rather suspicious vote count. But if they had, the math should have been more like:

23.667 * 150,000 = 3,550,050

Where 23.667 is some number related to people and stuff, and 150,000 is the maximum in statutory damages (in US dollars), producing a total 3,550,050 votes. (Figuring out how such unrelated units of measure can be converted to votes, numerically or literally, or what those numbers have to do with anything at all in this context, is an exercise left to the reader. Hint: One can convert between dollars and votes via a simple linear calculation. The rest should be obvious.)

In conclusion: There must have been an honest mistake made during the counting process. Or perhaps a transcription error. Couldn’t have been tampering by the Usual Suspects.

Al Bert (profile) says:

Re: It's important to always maximize... everything.

You forgot to multiply that by an arbitrary scaling factor representing the relative positions of the planets on the time of calculation.

23.667 people * $150,000 * 15.98754654 steradians/dm*min^2 = 567,565,896 votes

That should leave enough votes left over to win all subsequent recounts!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: It's important to always maximize... everything.

Not too sure about that. I seem to recall reading a white paper that summarized a multi-year study in which it was shown that the value of residual votes of this sort have a useful lifetime that can be described as an inverse-power relationship, where the exponent is represented by the number of unbiased outside observers. Given the (by this point in time) widespread dissemination of the 113 percent figure, the number of extremely unbiased outside observers saying to themselves “WTF is this horse-hockey?!” is likely rapidly approaching infinity, thereby causing the value of the residual votes to very rapidly approach zero, relatively independently of the term:

* 15.98754654 steradians/dm*min^2

By now, I would expect that the value of the residual vote on the free market would be approximately 17 pin-holes, two bread crumbs and 21,197,262 rude sounds. However, please note that bread crumbs are subject to spoilage, as well as consumption by cockroaches and children, and the duration of 21,197,262 rude sounds is very short when those sounds occur simultaneously, and are evenly distributed throughout all population centers on the planet that contain over 50,000 residents. So the net value of this residual can probably be limited to pinholes alone. And, since the value of pinholes is roughly proportional to the amount of space that they occupy (i.e. less than one ISO standard gnat’s eyelash), any subsequent recount would have to exclude any residual at all from the original vote. In addition, direct unit conversion (i.e. over the table) of pinholes to votes is substantially more difficult than the conversion (under the table, by convention) between dollars and votes.

So I’m fairly certain that the term:

* 15.98754654 steradians/dm*min^2

can be considered to be redundant in this instance.

Anonymous Coward says:

Obviously the work of Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago from April 20, 1955 ? December 20, 1976

Quote from Wikipedia:
Known for shrewd party politics, Daley was a stereotypical machine politician, and his Chicago Democratic Machine, based on control of thousands of patronage positions, was instrumental in bringing a narrow 8,000 vote victory in Illinois for John F. Kennedy in 1960. A PBS documentary entitled “Daley” explained that Mayor Daley and JFK potentially stole the 1960 election by stuffing ballot boxes and rigging the vote in Chicago. In addition, it reveals, Daley withheld many votes from certain wards when the race seemed close

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...