EU Copyright Proposal: Not Good, But Not As Blatantly Terrible As It Could Have Been

from the yes,-but...-how-about-doing-it-right? dept

We recently warned that there were efforts underway to make the EU’s copyright reform proposal even more draconian and ridiculous. Thankfully, the “compromise,” which wasn’t a compromise at all and would have made things much worse, was rejected by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee, but there was still plenty of bad stuff to be concerned about.

The mandatory filtering (i.e., mandatory censorship) regime for internet platforms was rejected. That’s a good thing. But, on the flip side, the so-called “link tax” requiring payments from those who link to and aggregate news to news publishers has moved forward. Two other small bits of good news were also included: the “freedom of panorama” allowing people to photograph buildings and sculptures without violating someone’s copyright and also a “remix right” that will protect the public from doing basic remixing of copyright-covered works. There are still concerns about the “text and data mining” rules which limit what content can be acquired.

So, basically, it’s a mixed bag. Some, of course, will argue that any “compromise” will involve some good and some bad, but that assumes that we need a compromise here. Why not aim for creating a policy that’s actually better overall, rather than a “compromise” solution? Europe has the chance to lead the way, but appears to have little interest in doing so. Either way, there’s still more to go in this process, and other committees to approve things, so the policy still has a long way to go. Hopefully, by the end it pushes more and more to being true copyright reform, rather than just “propping up old industries” reform.

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 “EU Copyright Proposal: Not Good, But Not As Blatantly Terrible As It Could Have Been”

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


If every time you come back and look for a new “compromise” then it’s just a ratcheting system moving the equilibrium point further and further away FROM the public’s interests TO the “rightsholders'” interests. A compromise was reached last time. This is just furthering the Copyright Industry.

How about someone propose we limit copyright and any other such right (with the exception of trademarks) to 20 years. Works marvels for patents! We see lots and lots of new patents, so for patentholders it’s working out great. We see lots of great ideas and products become public domain and become much more affordable. THEN we might talk about a compromise of 20 years “free” and an additional 20 years for a hefty fee (so high-value properties only can be protected).

But no. We always start out with the already-bad “status quo” and ONLY make it worse. Every. single. time.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: "I vote that we chop both your arms off." "What?! No!" "Alright fine, just one."

Yeah, funny how every time copyright is up for a change it always seem to go in one direction, and that’s never towards better serving the public, and the best excuse they can come up with is that serving copyright holders is serving the public…

You know, like by ensuring that nothing ever enters the public domain for the public to be able to use, trying to sabotage previously symbiotic relationships by demanding money for the privilege of linking to something and so on.

Graciously offering to allow the public to do certain things that they could have done before were it not for the insane law, like taking a picture of a building, is hardly giving something up on their side, it’s simply trading back something that was taken in one category in order to obtain more in another.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: "Compromise"

That’s precisely why I don’t even think you can scrap copyright and start over. It will eventually be broken and prone to abuse because of compromise after compromise.

If one part of the agreement copyright is (between the public and the publishers) refuses to do their part then the agreement shouldn’t exist. Abolish copyright altogether.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Such great potential for schadenfreude...

The mandatory filtering (i.e., mandatory censorship) regime for internet platforms was rejected. That’s a good thing. But, on the flip side, the so-called "link tax" requiring payments from those who link to and aggregate news to news publishers has moved forward.

Were it not likely to result in some pretty serious harm before it was rolled back, I could almost hope that the link tax actually did move through, because at this point you have to be intentionally blind not to know what happens at that point.

Google and other sites drop the links rather than pay.

The ones who bought the law, upon seeing traffic to their sites plummet run around like headless chickens, screaming ‘Extortion! Blackmail!’ and generally throwing tantrums that would shame a 5-year old.

The ones who bought the law come back, begging Google and the other sites to relist them, pretty please?

Law is rolled back, entirely or in a limited fashion such that Google and other large sites now have an even larger market position because they get to not pay the fees, whereas others still do.

There’s shooting your own foot because you have no idea what a gun was and what would happen if you pointed it at yourself and pulled the trigger, and then there’s watching someone else blow their own foot off, or even several other people, and then deliberately and knowingly doing the same, sure that this time it won’t end up horribly.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Such great potential for schadenfreude...

Those were the days, watching Spanish news and Whatever screaming, “Fuck you Google! You bring more eyeballs to our site but you should have to pay for it or leave! …Wait, what are you doing? You can’t leave! You can’t be allowed to leave! Waaaaaaah!”

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Such great potential for schadenfreude...

What I don’t understand is why the rest of the EU hasn’t learned from their mistake.

I take my hat off to German MEP Julia Reda AKA @Senficon. She’s doing a brilliant job in terms of explaining the issues and working for reform. She’s the only Pirate there, although she has been able to build on the goodwill of Amelia Andersdottir and Christian Engstrom to get things done.

Peter (profile) says:

On a scale of 0 (best case) to 100 (worst case) ...

… where is the new law?

It is interesting that while the EU did do a consultation on copyright as a basis, it appears they rejected practically all of the end user suggestions, and implemented only 150 % of the demands put forward by the industry.

Nothing new in Brussels, with 20000 lobbyists for industry and none representing our interests.

My_Name_Here says:


I have a feeling the remix concept will pretty much fall flat on it’s face. While a remix for your own amusement is fun, sharing it with a couple of friends might be amusing too. Putting it on a website (say like a YouTube) and getting a few hundred thousand views would be a whole different kettle of fish. Your intention may not be commercial, but the commercial nature of YouTube would mean it’s ended up being used as a commercial work.

Since pretty much every website has to get paid for in some manner, posting pretty much anywhere will run you into a commercial angle.

So the theory sounds nice, but reality seems to remix it a little differently.

Anonymous Coward says:

what is it with these companies that have to extract money from others just because of basically reporting snippets of news? are they so fucking useless that, as with other sections of the entertainment industries, they cant promote themselves sufficiently well as to EARN a living? they’re gonna end up losing more companies like Spain did with Google. this sort of crap does no one any good whatsoever but the really annoying thing is that not only do governments everywhere allow it to happen, they actively encourage it, or at least do absolutely nothing to try to stop it! i’m supposed to be as thick as fuck because i say about the planet, not just the Internet, being given to the entertainment industries! they haven’t even got to try to take them, they are being handed to them!! then add in where governments again all over are heading further and further down the Nazi road by spying on citizens, removing civil liberties, removing freedom and removing privacy! what sort of Planet are we producing?

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...