Latest EU Copyright Proposal: Block Everything, Never Make Mistakes, But Don't Use Upload Filters

from the and-a-pony dept

As we’ve been discussing the “Trilogue” negotiations between the EU Commission, EU Council and EU Parliament over the EU’s Copyright Directive have continued, and a summary has been released on the latest plans for Article 13, which is the provision that will make upload filters mandatory, while (and this is the fun part) insisting that it doesn’t make upload filters mandatory. Then, to make things even more fun, another document on the actual text suggests the way to deal with this is to create a better euphemism for filters.

When we last checked in on this, we noted that the legacy film and television industry associations were freaking out that Article 13 might include some safe harbors for internet platforms, and were asking the negotiators to either drop those protections for platforms, or to leave them out of Article 13 altogether and only have it apply to music.

The latest brief description of the recommendations for Article 13 appear to be an attempt by bureaucrats who have no understanding of the nuances of this issue to appease both the legacy copyright industries and the tech companies. Notably absent: any concern for the public or independent creators. We’ll dig in in a moment, but frankly, given the state of Article 13 demonstrated in this two-page document, it is horrific that these discussions are considered almost concluded. It is obvious that the vast majority of people working on this have no idea what they’re talking about, and are pushing incredibly vague rules without any understanding of their impact. And rather than taking in the criticism and warning from knowledgeable experts, they’re just adding in duct-taped “but this won’t do x” for every complaint where people warn what the actual impact of the rules will be for the internet.

That’s why, throughout this document, they keep insisting that there will be no mandate for filters. But, there’s no way you can actually avoid liability without filters. Indeed, in order to appease the film and TV folks, the proposal now includes a notice-and-staydown provision. We’ve spent years explaining why a notice-and-staydown provision is not only unworkable, but would lead to tremendous amounts of non-infringing content being removed. Copyright is extremely context specific. The exact same content may be infringing in one instance, but protected in another. Yet a notice-and-staydown does not allow the protected versions. It requires they be blocked. That is outright censorship.

On to the document. It starts with seven “guidelines.”

The Commission was requested to follow these guidelines indicated by the Rapporteur:

  • Platforms should follow high standards of duty of care;
  • Cooperation should not be unidirectional;
  • Non infringing content should remain on the platform online;
  • Automatic blocking, albeit non forbidden, should be avoided as much as possible
  • Existing measures should not be excluded
  • Platforms should not always be released from liability by merely applying content identification measures
  • Rightholders should not be in a worse position than they are currently. In this context the audiovisual sector was singled out. On this basis, the following ideas, which are based on a logical grouping of the above guidelines, are outlined for the consideration of the co-legislators:

This can be summed up as… all infringing content must disappear, but you don’t have to use filters and you must make sure that non-infringing content remains online. This is the “nerd harder” approach to regulating. It is magic wand regulating: make the bad stuff go away, and magically don’t have any collateral damage.

This is not sound policy making. This is technically illiterate bureaucrats trying to cover their asses. Because the liability requirements in the document will certainly lead to massive overblocking and widespread unintended consequences, these spineless technocrats are trying to avoid that by just tacking on “but let those consequences happen.” They don’t explain how this is possible. They just are going to put these rules out into the world, and tell the tech industry to wave a magic wand and make one type of content disappear without impacting other content (even if they’re impossible to distinguish, and if the penalties for getting it wrong are dire).

From there, the document provides “details” never apparently recognizing just how contradictory the plans are:

High standard of duty of care and bilateral cooperation (1 + 2) Online content sharing service providers, as defined in the directive, are considered to communicate to the public and as such need to obtain licences from the relevant rightholders. Where no licences are granted, online content sharing service providers and rightholders should cooperate in good faith to prevent the availability of protected content online.

Cooperation should take place according to appropriate standards of professional diligence, which ought to take into account the size of the service, the number and type of works or other subject matter uploaded by users, the potential economic harm caused to rightholders, the availability of suitable and effective technologies and their cost for service providers. In practice, this means that the standards of cooperation should be particularly high for high value content. Cooperation should not lead to a general monitoring obligation as defined under the e-Commerce Directive.

Magic wand thinking: Either your entire platform needs to be licensed (i.e., no user-generated content) or you need to “prevent the availability” of any copyright-covered content with “good faith.” But how? Well, the bureaucrats insist that this shouldn’t require “general monitoring” (i.e., an upload filter). But… um… how do you prevent availability of copyright covered content if you’re not monitoring? This is an impossible situation and either the bureaucrats know this and are just ignoring that they’re demanding the impossible, or they don’t understand this and shouldn’t be allowed within 10 miles of any regulation over the internet.

Rightholders should provide content sharing service providers with specific information (e.g. metadata) allowing identification of their content.

The cooperation could include content identification measures (e.g. for high value content) but should not prevent other forms of cooperation if agreed by the parties (e.g. ex post content moderation for low value content, see also letter B).

When unauthorised content becomes available on their websites, content sharing service providers would in general not be liable if they have cooperated in good faith according to the relevant standards of professional diligence. However, within an adequate framework to ensure legal certainty, when despite such cooperation the availability of content online has caused significant economic harm to rightholders the Directive could consider the provider liable in any event, but at a reduced level taking into account the good faith of the provider. Alternatively, the Directive could allow rightholders to claim restitution of the benefits appropriated by the providers (e.g. using unjust enrichment claims under national law) (see point C below).

So, again, we see the general incomprehensibility of what is being pushed here. The first paragraph is an attempt to appease the platforms, basically saying “if copyright holders are going to demand takedowns, they should at least be required to supply the details of what content they actually hold a copyright over.” That’s reasonable given a plan to demand mandatory filters, because the only thing such metadata is actually useful for is… a filter.

The second paragraph is basically saying “okay, yes, we mean filters for loosely defined ‘high value’ content, but maybe loosely defined ‘low value content’ doesn’t require filters.” Again, this appears to be an attempt to split the baby. Who the hell is going to self-describe their own content as “low value content?” The whole concept of “high value” and “low value” is elitist claptrap from the legacy content industries who basically believe that anything that comes from the legacy recording, TV and film studios is “high value” and all that independent, amateur, and user-generated content is “low value.” The paragraph here is supposed to be an attempt to say “well, okay, if your platform is just publishing garbage memes and stuff maybe it doesn’t need a filter, but if you happen to include any of Hollywood’s precious brilliance, you must put in place a filter.”

The third paragraph is, yet again, an attempt to give special extra rights to the legacy recording, TV, and film companies. It basically says that if platforms try to “cooperate in good faith” (i.e., censor at the drop of a hat) then maybe they would be considered not liable… but only if it’s that riff-raff low value content that slips through the filters (though we’re not demanding filters!). If any content slips through the filters that “caused significant economic harm” (i.e., comes from the big copyright industries), well then, it doesn’t fucking matter how much you tried to stop it, you’re still liable.

In other words, if any internet platform makes a single mistake with Hollywood’s content, no matter how hard they tried to stop it, too bad, you’re liable.

And this is where there’s such a massive disconnect between the framers (and supporters) of Article 13 and reality. When you’re told that any mistake will lead to liability, you are put in a position of trying to prevent any mistakes. And the only ways to do that are to (1) stop accepting any user-uploaded content or (2) filter the hell out of all of it, and take down anything that even might possibly be considered infringing, meaning tons of perfectly legitimate content will get shut down.

No matter how many times these technocrats say “don’t take down non-infringing works”, it’s totally meaningless if the only way to avoid liability is to take down tons of non-infringing works. Which brings us to the next part:

Non infringing content should remain online and automatic blocking to be avoided as much as possible (3+4)

Content that does not infringe copyright, for example because it is covered by exceptions, should stay on the services? websites. In addition, the co-legislators could provide that minor uses of content by amateur uploaders should not be automatically blocked (in the context of the cooperation and professional diligence referred to under A) nor trigger the liability of the uploader. This should be without prejudice to the remedies under point C and the rules on liability of the providers and cooperation under A.

The need to allow legitimate content to remain available, should be strengthened through a robust redress mechanism which should ensure that users can contest measures taken against their legitimate uploads. The Commission already provided possible suggestions to the co-legislators which are currently under discussions in the trilogue process.

Again, this is setting up a laughable impossibility. First they say you’re liable if you let anything through, and then they say “but don’t accidentally take down stuff you shouldn’t.” How the hell do you do that? The rules don’t say. Hollywood and Article 13’s supporters don’t care. It’s great if they add a “redress mechanism” for bogus takedowns, but that only will apply to content that first gets up and then is taken down. It says nothing for content that is blocked from being uploaded in the first place due to overaggressive filters, which are only overaggressive due to the earlier parts of Article 13 that say you’re liable if you let anything “high value” through.

This is the ultimate in cowardice from the EU regulators. Rather than address the actual problems that their own regulations will create, these regulators have decided to just append a bit to their regulation that says “and don’t let this create the problems it will obviously create.” That’s fucking useless.

Rightholders should keep benefiting from existing measures; and platforms not released from liability by merely applying content identification technologies. Rightholders, notably audiovisual sector, not worse off (5+6+7)

Rightholders should in any event retain the ability to request removal of infringing content from the websites of the content sharing services. Building on and complementing the current ecommerce rules, rightholders should be allowed to request that unauthorised content is expeditiously removed and that best efforts are made to ensure that it stays down. As indicated in A, the co-legislators may provide for an additional safeguard for rightholders when despite the good faith cooperation the availability of content online causes significant economic harm to them.

There’s something really big hidden in here. A “notice and stay down” requirement. That was not what was being pushed before. Notice and staydown creates all sorts of problems, in that by its very nature it obliterates the points in the previous paragraph. If you have a notice and staydown regime, you cannot allow content that is “covered by exceptions” because you’ve already designated all such content must stay down. And unless these bureaucrats in Brussels have magically invented a filter that can understand context and correctly judge whether or not something is covered by an exception (something that normally takes a years-long adversarial judicial process) it is difficult to see how this is possible.

Then we get to the other document, leaked earlier today by Politico, that attempts to wordsmith the actual language of Article 13. It’s basically the same stuff we discussed above, but with an attempt to put it into actual legalese. Two things stand out in the document. First, they try to rebrand mandatory upload filters, by now discussing “suitable and effective technologies” to “ensure the non-availability on the websites of the service providers of unauthorised works or other subject matter…” How is that not a filter?

This document also includes some language “as an option” that would require “best effort to prevent their future availability.” That’s putting the notice-and-staydown into the law. I will note that there is no real language being discussed that explains how to prevent the blocking of non-infringing works. Just more hand waving and magical thinking about how it shouldn’t block non-infringing works… even though it absolutely will.

This leaves me with two key takeaways:

  1. The bureaucrats putting this together are doing the worst kind of regulating. They appear to be utterly ignorant of what it is that they are regulating, how it works, and the inevitable impact of their new rules. And, rather than trying to take the time to actually understand the concerns, they are simply writing “but don’t do that” into the law every time someone explains the impact. But you can’t regulate internet platforms not to overblock when everything else in your law requires them to overblock or face crippling liability. This is like a law that says “you must immediately dump out the bathwater without looking to see what’s in the bath… but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” How do you do that? The law doesn’t say because the regulators don’t have the slightest clue. And they don’t have the slightest clue because it’s impossible. And, they don’t seem to care about that because once they pass the law they can celebrate and the mess they create is left for the internet platforms (and the public) to deal with.
  2. Given the massive changes and broad and unclear mandates being tossed around, Article 13 is nowhere near a condition which should be put into a binding regulation. What’s being debated now is so unclear, so vague and such a mess, that it would be practically criminal to put such nonsense into law. They are rushing to get this done (perhaps before the next EU Parliamentary elections next spring), and the fact that they’re about to make massive changes to a fundamental part of society (the internet) without clearly comprehending what they’re doing is incredibly frightening. This is like a bad first draft of a bad proposal. This is not just “this is a bad bill that went through a comprehensive process and I disagree with it.” This is an utter mess. It keeps shifting, it has vague and contradictory definitions, it tells companies to wave magic wands, and tells companies not to let the very thing the law compels actually happen. This is not regulating. This is why the public hates regulators.

I’m still hopeful that common sense eventually shows up in the EU, but at this point the only way for common sense to survive is to simply dump Article 13 entirely.

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Comments on “Latest EU Copyright Proposal: Block Everything, Never Make Mistakes, But Don't Use Upload Filters”

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Rico R. (profile) says:

Re: Not to be religious, but...

Wouldn’t work; God’s against copyright law. What do I mean? As a Christian who’s warming up to the idea of copyright abolition, I can actually point to the Bible (aka the Word of God) to say maybe copyright isn’t a good idea. “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 31; NRSV) Copyright, by its very nature, means the copyright holder’s creative endeavors are made for the glory of themselves, and not for the glory of God. Not to mention Hollywood’s lobbyists are only concerned about making sure copyright law lines the pockets of the corporations they represent with money. Tell me: What did Jesus say about whether or not you could serve both God and money?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not to be religious, but...

<i>”Tell me: What did Jesus say about whether or not you could serve both God and money?”</i>

Judging by the charges of vandalism and willful destruction of property levied against the alleged offender by the temple moneylenders the opinions of the aforementioned personage seem to be a matter of public record.

If anything the actions and opinions of one J. Christus visavi actual copyright are even clearer, as can be witnessed by the petition of fishermen and bakers to have Mr. C banned from pressing ctrl-c and ctrl-v on loaves and fishes, thus depriving both communities of potential sales.

Anonymous Coward says:

“This is an impossible situation and either the bureaucrats know this and are just ignoring that they’re demanding the impossible, or they don’t understand this and shouldn’t be allowed within 10 miles of any regulation over the internet.”

Or this is what the people giving the bureaucrats their orders so desire, an impossible situation requiring world wide filters.

Michael Riendeau says:

They are not stupid, they are evil.

Dont think these people don’t know what they are doing as they push this. No one is this fucking stupid, only truly fucking evil. Remember, when you stop and think about the motivation behind this, always remember the word “evil”. These “people” are violent sociopathic copyright Fascists who only seek to do the most evil thing possible to get money and destroying the internet is the most evil way to go.

Anonymous Coward says:

blank check

One possible rationale for this seeming idiocy might be that prosecutors tend to love vague, poorly written, and contradictory laws because it gives them more power to interpret and enforce the law any way they see fit.

It’s funny that 20 years after the DMCA was shat out of the bowels of Washington, there is still nothing anywhere near consenus regarding copyright in the digital age.

Da Rapper 2woby4our says:

Just showing your huge assertion again.

But, there’s no way you can actually avoid liability without filters.

WAY. Don’t host suspected content. — If too much to check, TOO BAD. Do you exempt pawn shops from liability because they want to do more buys / sells? NO. But you netwits believe that teh internets is different in every way.

This is the "nerd harder" approach to regulating.

You simply premise that teh internets are working great, not only can’t work under any other rules, but must not. In particular you insist that "file hosts" and other bad actors which Article 13 is supposed to regulate must not be regulated. It’s a total non-starter in your view because you don’t support the Right of creators to control their work products.

The whole concept of "high value" and "low value"

Easy to say for you who don’t pay the COSTS! Let alone in advance on the hope that will become profit.

Your KEY principle, Masnick, in your infamous "can’t compete" piece: you simply ignore the actual costs of a $100 million that you use for example, mention it only to impress then consider that as paid off, all advertising done, and bandwidth the only significant cost left! That’s the only way your notion of the future works.

if you happen to include any of Hollywood’s precious brilliance,

Wrongly premised as always. No one "just happens" to. The Internet was not made to promote "mash ups" and outright thefts.

By the way: if you are right that EU bureaucrats / politicians are SO misguided about relatively simply copyright, then WHY trust them on their plans for any of the European Union, especially the push for unlimited immigration?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:


Oooh, an early-in-the-weak breakdown of your inanity! I usually have to wait until Wednesday to be in the mood for one of these.

Don’t host suspected content.

Therein lies the problem, you nonce: Nobody knows what content is “suspected” content. For all anyone knows, any content—no matter how little—can be “suspected” of infringing upon someone’s copyright anywhere in the world. To refuse hosting “suspected” content is to refuse hosting any content at all unless it can be proven beforehand that it is the full creation of the uploader—and even then, under your favored reading of copyright, that would still preclude any creation that makes use of copyrighted content under the principles of Fair Use. When you can design a filter that takes such context into account, you will be a demigod—but until then, you are but a mere human, fallibility and all.

Do you exempt pawn shops from liability because they want to do more buys / sells? NO.

Pawn shops have specific forms of legal liability that do not apply to platforms for speech/expression.

you insist that "file hosts" and other bad actors which Article 13 is supposed to regulate must not be regulated.

No, what is being insisted is that any system operating under such regulations cannot, and will not, have pre-knowledge of what content does and does not infringe upon copyright (or whether a potentially infringing instance is part of a larger work created with Fair Use in mind). Such regulations are a one-size-hammers-all approach that remove context from the equation. Context is important in this discussion, no matter how much you want to believe otherwise.

It’s a total non-starter in your view because you don’t support the Right of creators to control their work products.

Such control is a virtual impossibility these days. If you put a song or an image onto the Internet, anyone can copy it and distribute it with ease, even if that material is hidden by a paywall. One leak is all it takes.

Easy to say for you who don’t pay the COSTS! Let alone in advance on the hope that will become profit.

Pray tell, what does piracy cost a creator other than “potential” profits? What is permanently, irrevocably lost when a creator’s work is pirated?

The Internet was not made to promote "mash ups" and outright thefts.

True in principle: The Internet was made to facilitate communications between networked computers in universities separated by great physical distances. Now we use it to promote everything from reaction videos to mashups to, oh, inane comments from an obsessed half-wit whose actual wit is as dead as the “copyright is actual legitimate theft” horse he keeps beating.

R.H. (profile) says:

Re: Re: EU Fools

I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about this. Maybe it’s the circles you travel in. Many individuals on YouTube are talking about this (one gaming channel I follow had a video about it just last week trying to increase its visibility outside of people like us TechDirt readers) and previous outrage is part of the reason that this isn’t already the law in the EU even though it just seems to be getting worse rather than better as they continue to work on it.

Shufflepants says:

"you must immediately dump out the bathwater without looking to see what’s in the bath… but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater."

It’s a nice and simple metaphor, but the real situation is even worse than that. It’d be more like, throw out any bathwater on request, and if you’ve already thrown out that bathwater, make sure to never let anyone else add that water back into the bath, but don’t supervise the tub, don’t throw out any babies, especially not babies that are made of water, except for some of the babies that are made of water, unless that baby was added to the water by its guardian, then it should stay in or if the baby’s guardian gave some one else permission to put the baby in the bath, so make sure you’ve monitored communications between all people everywhere so that you’ll know which is which, but don’t do that if it’s too much trouble or impossible, but if you don’t we’ll fine you a lot.

ECA (profile) says:


If you dont say/create/post a restriction on WHAT IS/ISNT..
Then the RIAA/MPAA/the others agencies will run amok and say Anything/everything is illegal…until we get a judge to decide..
This will be worse then the USA courts at 56% of all Federal cases are for Copyright cases.

Its bad enough now, that 1 movies has at LEAST 5 copyrights from the movie, the book, the Music for EACH creator, For the SINGER if there is one and a few more…The OLd TV series Beverly hillbillies had to remove the Music at the beginning, because the Artists that created it, Families want money… Lots of old TV series are runing into this…Music has a LONG CR length..70 years AFTER they die.

Anonymous Coward says:

I often wonder why the tech industry (copyright, encryption) seems to be the target of such colossal stupidity on the part of politicians, and my only conclusion is that it has to do with the involvement of the entrenched legacy industries (entertainment, law enforcement) who don’t want anything to change.

As far as I’m aware, there was never a part of the abortion debate where doctors testified before Congress and something like this happened:

Congressperson: So doctor, is it possible to have the mother not give birth *without* performing an abortion?

Doctor: No, it is not.

Congressperson: Well, surely there must be a solution that could be found if the medical industry would only be more willing to have the conversation.

Plus, it’s my guess that if the question was asked, the politicians would have accepted the doctor’s (i.e., the expert) answer and not asked him to “med harder.”

R.H. (profile) says:

Re: Re:

That’s an excellent analogy and I’m guessing that the reason for the difference is the fact that most people in governmental leadership positions see the technology industries as new and therefore whatever they’re doing can’t be so hard. The tech industry hasn’t been around for very long in the grand scheme of human history so, our leaders just don’t accept its experts as being on the same level as medical doctors, architects, or (non-computer/software) engineers.

This is something that will change over time as people who grew up using personal computers, smartphones, and tablets end up in positions of governmental authority but, for example, the oldest Millennials were born in 1982 and, only those of them who were born on or before January 21st was old enough to be President of the United States in 2016. The rest would have to wait until 2020. As someone born in 1985 myself, we’re just now seeing the first members of my generation in the US Federal government and it’ll be quite a while before we see enough of us to change the way technology experts are treated by our leaders.

Mike Gale (profile) says:

I hope there are is nobody considered fully human doing this

I sure hope there are no proper humans involved in making these laws.

If there are it’s time to reconsider whether the species deserves to exist, whether we need to correct existence and let nature start again.

First they worked to give Google hegemony with GDPR (and it’s working), now this.

If there are intelligent electorates in Europe, it can’t be too long before be get FREXIT, GEXIT (DEXIT?), NEXIT, HEXIT and all the rest, followed by public execution of all those involved.

ryuugami says:

Re: I hope there are is nobody considered fully human doing this

If there are it’s time to reconsider whether the species deserves to exist, whether we need to correct existence and let nature start again.

Um. Sure, the proposal is quite terrible, but I can think of a thing or two in history that were slightly worse. Or even a thing or two in the present. For example, did you know that there ethnic cleansings going on right now?

followed by public execution of all those involved.

That would happen only in the case of violent revolution. The current European governments have their faults, but they’re not bloodthirsty barbarians.

Michael Riendeau says:

Re: Re: I hope there are is nobody considered fully human doing

They are barbarians, though, because only such kind of people would go out of their way to push such destructive copyright policy on the whole internet. They are ignoring experts of all fields and are calling our protests fakes and bots. To add insult to injury, they act like Ajit Pai by Brazenly lie in our faces. Only barbarians do such shit…

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: I hope there are is nobody considered fully human doing

"Um. Sure, the proposal is quite terrible, but I can think of a thing or two in history that were slightly worse. Or even a thing or two in the present. For example, did you know that there ethnic cleansings going on right now?"

Even in cases of ethnic cleansing – or the worst atrocities pursued by Mankind – you can usually spot some self-serving petty reason bereft of empathy at the back.

This though? It’s as if every man and woman in the EU commission was voting FOR a piece of legislation which as an end result results in a swift kick to their own genitals every time an EU citizen posts something online.

It’s almost exactly as bad as if Frederic Bastiat’s "candlemaker’s petition". Politicians running headlong into Poe’s Law. And a citizenry so jaded it doesn’t even realize what that actually means for everyone.

The current European governments have their faults, but they’re not bloodthirsty barbarians.

It’s usually understood that barbarians more or less HAVE to be smart enough not to stand under falling rocks or eat yellow snow. The same can not be said for modern european governments.

DoctorMckay (profile) says:

Get the chopping block ready

Spaniard here.

Just remember this.

What happened in Spain when Google news was going to be obliged to pay for linking Spanish publishers’ articles? For f-ing creating more traffic to those sites for free?

They blocked their entire service. We are done here.

What will happen when Article 13 is activated?

The chopping block is out boys and girls! Start cutting down all the services that will need to implement a filter.

Social media sites? SAYONARA
Transformative work based webs(Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) ARRIVEDERCI
Forums were you can upload files? Startup webs that implement a forum? ADIOS


Who will host anything in Europe? Not me at least.
And if the matter scalates…
Who won’t block European traffic?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Get the chopping block ready

Who will host anything in Europe? Not me at least.
And if the matter scalates…
Who won’t block European traffic?

Sad to say there’s someone who comes out the winner no matter which side article 13 falls on.

Google is the only actor on the market with an "upload filter" even partially capable. It’s highly unlikely any other actor on the market will be able to produce something similar for many years.

Hence if article 13 passes in its most draconian form, every platform who wants to go online will have to lease contentID from google, giving Google a de facto monopoly and a gatekeeper role on governing who gets to present stuff online at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let’s look on the bright side – this presents a unique opportunity to reshape the internet in a way that benefits the first one to implement a business plan like the following. And yes, this one’s free, I am releasing this idea free of charge and letting anyone interested in implementing it to do so without seeking royalties.

What article 13 seeks to do is, to outlaw uploading of content without explicit permission from the copyright office. Of course the current copyright office can’t handle a fraction of the volume of videos being put up on youtube, but that’s not a real problem. Because what we will do is, we will make an international copyright clearance service corporation that can issue signed “copyright noninfringement” certificates for content. If you want to put your video, song, image or just text up online, you will have to pay to have it cleared of infringement beforehand. And there you have it – a way to satisfy article 13 without the copyright holders paying more, without the platforms having to implement expensive filters and without anything infringing ever being uploaded. Plus, it will create thousands of copyright compliance coordinator jobs. Yes, video upload latency will go up, maybe up to a year for some cases, but that’s a small price to pay in order to have a law-abiding internet. Obviously we’ll have expeditious certificates issued to publishers so they can self-sign their content and don’t have to go through that process. And it has to be a global law, otherwise we could have some dirty platforms in godless lawless wastelands like Canada setting up shop and offering uploads without requiring copyright noninfringement certificates.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Sounds great in principle, AC, but in reality copyright begins the moment a work is fixed in a tangible form, i.e. this post of mine is now copyright to myself and to TD. It’s okay, you can use it.

And therein lies your problem: instant copyright creates a legal minefield in which permission must be sought for All The Things in principle. In practice, it doesn’t happen because it’s too onerous so the Powers That Be have decided in their infinite wisdom that only those works, i.e. videos, music, and books, etc., as produced by commercial actors, i.e. media companies, record companies, etc., for pay-per-copy purposes are worth the bother of asking for permission to copy and/or use. Okay, seems reasonable until you realise that there’s a thicket of copyright interests in all of those works. Per TD articles I’ve been reading over the years it’s not necessarily the artist or even the writer who owns the copyright on any particular item, and due to the instantaneous nature thereof they don’t have to register the copyright anywhere unless they want to. Result: how exactly do you go about the business of asking anyone for permission to copy or use their work when you don’t know who the copyright holder is?

The only way to make your idea work is to remove the instant element of copyright law and force anyone who deems their work worth paying for to register it with some kind of agency that will take ownership of ensuring transparency, accountability, and reachability in terms of people being able to contact them, assure themselves that the agency does indeed have the right to grant licences, and pay the fee or whatever. Like that’s going to happen. Sigh!

Abolish copyright. Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Social media websites like facebook will still exist,
maybe in the eu you,ll only be able to acess facebook france,uk, italy etc
like right now i cannot read many american news websites .
They block eu users so as to avoid eu regulations on privacey .
Social media websites might choose to simply
block all users uploads or simply have a list of
power users nbc,cnn,bbc etc who have the choice to upload content.
This bill is being pushed by legacy tv /film companys
and by music companys .
See the youtube music company story,
record companys every year say artists are screwed
by youtube ,give us more money .
Suprise they get a bit more money,
the actual creators ,singers, songwriters,composers
get a small amount of the money from youtube video,s .
The only logical choice for the eu i see is to scrap article 13 or simply say this only applys
to music .
There is no logical way a large website that features
video,s or sound uploads can operate is to
use a filter .
This bill shows tv/film companys do not care about fair use or the rights of users to review content ,
or to use short clips in film reviews .
They will trample over the rights of the public in order to maybe get a few more dollars .
They want the internet to be more like tv,
you can stream music or watch tv,or films, as long
as you are happy to pay subscriptions to streaming service,s or buy films on itunes or amazon.
This bill does not help small creators as it means there will only be a few platforms left
that will be able to host their content .
like youtube or facebook.
I Don,t think american websites will have
to be under the jurisdiction of the eu ,
they may choose to block users in the eu.
This law is so vague its hard to predict what its effects will be on countrys outside the eu.
its like having a law in the eu , you cannot drive over 80mph on any public road
otherwise you ,ll be fined 1000 euro.
we are not saying any car has to have a
speedometer installed .
Maybe there,ll be a load of websites that simply move to the uk, when its no longer a member of the eu
just to avoid the effects of article 13

Jeroen (profile) says:

Looking at this incredible mess with utter disgust. Sometimes I think some parties are deliberately steering this towards an article that will be so bad, the European Court of Justice will have scrap it — in fact that is my last straw of hope at this time, to see them scrap Article 11 and 13 as in violation of multple Human Rights as guarantied by the ECHR — as they did with equally idiotic compulasory retention policies two years ago.

One of the problems here is that both articles grossly reduce the value of copyrights held by smaller authors, and utterly distort the playing-field in favour of current publishing cartel. In that respect, they are extremely anti-copyright and anti-creativity.

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