EU Parliament Puts Out Utter Nonsense Defending Copyright Directive

from the oh-come-on dept

The Legislative Affairs Committee (JURI) in the EU Parliament, who are in charge of pushing through the EU Copyright Directive put out a “Q and A” page about the Copyright Directive in the lead up to the next round of trilogue negotiations between the Parliament, the EU Council and the EU Commission. As you may recall, when we left things, everything was at a standstill with no one willing to agree on anything. Some are suggesting even worse proposals than have been seen before. The record labels and movie studios are threatening to drop their support of the bill if the EU actually gives incredibly minor “safe harbors” for internet platforms. The whole thing is a mess, and the easiest thing to do would be to just drop Articles 11 and 13 and focus on cleaning up the rest of the Directive. But that’s not what’s happening.

Negotiations have continued in the background, and where things stand now, the EU is going to fundamentally change how the internet works and not in a good way. They have basically agreed that internet companies will be liable for what users post — in direct contradiction of current EU law found in the E-Commerce Directive. This will mean filters will become effectively mandatory (in a bit of hilarious theater, the agreement says it does not require filters… but there is literally no way to comply with the law without filters). Very, very, very, very limited safe harbors are still being negotiated over, and are “at risk” of being dropped altogether. Ditto a provision that will make the rules not apply to smaller platforms. Also, still on the table is a “notice and staydown” proposal that says if something does get through, platforms can never let it through again (how this will handle situations where one copy is infringing and another is non-infringing is ignored entirely).

So, as the push moves into the final rounds, JURI has decided that if it can’t win this argument on facts, it’s just going to flat out lie to the public. Let’s dive in:

The proposed “Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market” seeks to ensure that artists (especially small ones, for example musicians), and news publishers and journalists benefit from the online world and the internet as they do from the offline world.

What? There are more “small” musicians and journalists (waves hands!) making money today thanks to the internet, and these plans will completely kill the internet for us. There are more people making music today than ever before. Nothing in this bill is designed to actually help musicians or journalists. It is designed to help lock down the internet for a few giant record labels and news publishers.

Currently, due to outdated copyright rules, online platforms and news aggregators are reaping all the rewards while artists, news publishers and journalists see their work circulate freely, at best receiving very little remuneration for it. This makes it very difficult for artists and media professionals to earn a decent living.

This is utter nonsense. The proposal (Article 11) for online journalists (really: publishers) has already been tried in Germany and in Spain, and it failed in both places (in fact, in Spain, a study showed that it did a lot of harm to smaller publications).

As for musicians, it’s never been a better time to be a musician. There are all sorts of ways to monetize, including on services like Kickstarter and Patreon, or on Spotify or Apple Music. Building audiences online has helped numerous musicians build up strong followings, and even created new opportunities for touring. There is no evidence at all that “online platforms and news aggregators are reaping all the rewards.” That is a complete and total myth. What JURI is really talking about are exactly two platforms: Google News and YouTube. Google News doesn’t run any ads in most locations, so it’s not “reaping all the benefits,” it’s sending lots of traffic to news sites. For free. YouTube, meanwhile, is paying out tons of money to artists who choose to put their music on the site, and has already instituted the most advanced filter of its kind to stop infringement (and it’s terrible).

So, how exactly do these laws make anything better? Snippet taxes have already been shown not to work, and the one platform that musicians are upset about, already has the most sophisticated filter on the planet, and it still sucks and causes a ton of collateral damage.

Can anyone at JURI explain how any of this helps small musicians and artists in a manner that doesn’t involve “and then we wave the magic wand and Google just forks over cash”?

It is important to point out that the draft directive does not create any new rights for artists and journalists. It merely ensures that their existing rights are better enforced.

This is so misleading that it’s extremely close to being an outright lie. It does not create any new rights for “artists and journalists.” But it absolutely does create massive new rights for “record labels and news publishers.” Notice how that’s different? This is a pretty amazing scam by JURI, though, to first argue this is about helping artists and journalists, then claiming it creates no new rights for them, while ignoring that it does create those new rights for the gatekeepers who have a long history of screwing over musicians and journalists.

Nor does the draft directive create new obligations for online platforms or news aggregators. It merely ensures that existing obligations are better respected.

This is an outright lie. It creates massive new obligations for online platforms — including having to license works that their users upload (which has never been required before) or to install expensive, faulty, censorship filters. There is nothing in there about “better respecting obligations.” It is creating huge new obligations. Obligations that will be impossible for nearly every internet platform to meet.

What is currently legal and permitted to share will remain legal and permitted to share.

This, too, is incredibly malicious and deceptive. Yes, what is currently legal for users to share will remain legal. But no online platform will allow for it, because of the massive legal liabilities created by this Directive.

Notice how this JURI defense of Articles 11 and 13 keep shifting who they’re talking about. There are multiple parties at stake here: end users, content creators, the legacy middlemen (publishers, record labels, film studios, etc.), and internet platforms. The Q&A conveniently keeps switching between them to try to make points about one while pretending it’s debunking claims about others. People are concerned about it creating new rights? Just say it doesn’t for artists and journalists (ignoring that it is creating those rights for publishers and labels). People are concerned about being able to share memes? Just say those things are still legal (ignoring that platforms will be required to block them all or face crippling fines).

The draft directive intends to oblige giant internet platforms and news aggregators (like YouTube or GoogleNews) to pay content creators (artists/musicians/actors and journalists) what they truly owe them;

Hey JURI: Literally two sentences earlier you insisted there were no new obligations for online platforms or news aggregators. Then two sentences later you flat out say that the directive “intends to oblige giant internet platforms” to do something they haven’t done before. YOUR OWN DEBUNKING DEBUNKS ITSELF.

Furthermore “pay content creators what they truly owe them”? According to whom? And, again, with Article 11 we already know that it created no new revenue in Spain and Germany, so why lie and pretend this will make any difference there?

No new rights or obligations are being created.

Guys. Literally in the previous sentence you admitted to new obligations on internet giants. Remember that? Who is writing this propaganda?

The draft directive does not target the ordinary user.

There’s that switcheroo again. Of course it doesn’t target the ordinary user. It just will have a massive impact on the internet they rely on for all kinds of community and conversation.

By contrast, the draft directive will impact large online platforms and news aggregators like Google’s YouTube, Google News or Facebook, making it essential for them to correctly remunerate artists and journalists whose work they monetise

And it will do this by stopping “ordinary users” from sharing the kind of content they’re used to sharing. This is such an obnoxiously disingenuous tap dance by JURI. EU Citizens should be up in arms about this.

Large online platforms and news aggregators will have more reason than currently is the case to strike fair remuneration (licensing) agreements with artists and media houses who would have identified themselves beforehand as the owners of a piece of work.

Why? There is nothing in the directive that says that. Most platforms will have less incentive to do anything in the EU at all.

A platform or news aggregator will be further incentivised to strike such agreements because, in the absence of them, it would be directly liable if it hosts a piece of work with an unpaid licence fee.

Right. That’s why it will censor the fuck out of their platforms. Because you are putting new obligations on those platforms, something you keep denying (while admitting it in the next breath).

The expectation is that the draft directive will push the online platforms/news aggregators to finally roll out a policy to fairly remunerate all those from whose work they make their money.

Again, this has been tried with Article 11. And it didn’t work. Why is there this expectation that something you tried twice already and failed with will magically work the third time?

Freedom on the internet, as in the real world, will continue to exist as long as the exercise of this freedom does not restrict the rights of others, or is illegal. This means that a user will be able to continue uploading content to internet platforms and that these platforms/news aggregators will be able to continue hosting such uploads, as long as the platforms respect the creators? right to fair remuneration.

Except that “fair remuneration” is a concept that you are making up. There is already fair remuneration. That’s why more people are making more money from music today than ever before. It’s why my own damn company exists. “Fair” remuneration is what the market says is fair. What this is attempting to do is not “fair” at all.

Currently, the online platforms/news aggregators remunerate creators on a voluntary basis and only to a very limited degree.

WHAT?!? This is utter nonsense, and if folks running JURI believe this, they are far more disconnected from reality than before. It is not at all “voluntary.” All of the big platforms pay as required by law already. They have negotiated contracts and they all work to block infringing content.

The draft directive will not be the source of censorship. By increasing legal liability, the draft directive will increase pressure on internet platforms/news aggregators to conclude fair remuneration deals with the creators of work through which the platforms make money. This is not censorship.

This, again, is nonsense. Yes, it is censorship. Anyone who claims that “increased pressure” on platforms by making them liable for content on those platforms doesn’t lead to censorship knows literally nothing about how online intermediary liability works, and all of the censorship it has already created. Again, JURI doesn’t know what it’s talking about or is lying. This is bad.

The draft directive sets a goal to be achieved – An online platform/news aggregator must not earn money from material created by people without compensating them. Therefore, a platform/news aggregator is legally liable if there is content on its site for which it has not properly paid the creator. This means that those whose work is used illegally can sue the platform/news aggregator.

The draft directive however does not specify or list what tools, human resources or infrastructure may be needed to prevent unremunerated material appearing on the site. There is therefore no requirement for upload filters.

Once again, this is utter bullshit. You can’t let anything infringing on your platform… but we don’t say you need to use a filter. Um. How do you block infringing content if you don’t have a filter? Who knows? It’s “up to you.”

However, if large platforms/news aggregators do not come up with any innovative solutions, they may end up opting for filters. Such filters are already used by the big companies!

Wait. Earlier in this Q&A you said that this was all about getting the large platforms to meet these new obligations. Now you… point to the fact that they already are as proof that… there’s no new obligation? What? And… if I’m reading this correctly, you make it sound like this is actually targeting smaller platforms that don’t have these filters. And, yet you expect them to come up with magical mystical “innovative solutions” if they don’t want to filter.

Oh, and here’s the real kicker:

The criticism that these sometimes filter out legitimate content may at times be valid. However, this criticism should be directed towards the platforms/news aggregators designing and implementing them, not to the legislator who is setting out a goal to be achieved

Got that? We’re demanding that companies do the impossible, even though the most sophisticated attempt at this already shows that it’s impossible, don’t blame us, the regulators, for demanding the impossible. We’re just “setting out a goal to be achieved.” What kind of regulator thinks it’s appropriate to require the impossible, and, when people point out it’s impossible, to shrug your shoulders and blame those who can’t achieve the impossible?

A meme falls under the generic rights of ?citation/quotation? and ?parody?. The citation and parody rights are not covered by the draft directive. The draft directive deals with the liability of platforms for works protected by copyright.

This is more disingenuous nonsense. There is no way for a filter or any other magical solution to determine that something is a meme or parody. It will get blocked. There are no exceptions in the directive for “citation/quotation.” Indeed, the latest draft still has the possibility of “notice and staydown,” meaning that even if it was used for parody of “citation/quotation” platforms wouldn’t be allowed to host it without facing massive liability (or licensing work that legally doesn’t need to be licensed).

The draft directive has been the subject of intense campaigning. Indeed, some statistics inside the European Parliament show that MEPs have rarely or even never been subject to a similar degree of lobbying before (such as telephone calls, emails etc.). The companies to be most affected by the directive have multi-billion dollar yearly revenues (for example Google?s revenue for 2017 was $110 billion and Facebook?s was $40.7 billion).

Such wide-ranging campaigning generally does lead to impressive claims snowballing; there are claims that the draft directive risks ?breaking the internet”, or “killing the internet”. Since the draft directive does not confer any new rights on creators, nor impose new obligations on internet platforms/news aggregators, such claims seem excessive.

This is also bullshit. We went through the stats ourselves last month, and it showed that over 80% of the lobbying on the Copyright Directive came from legacy copyright industries such as the big entertainment companies and publishers. To claim that the pushback on these plans is due to an aggressive lobbying campaign from Google and Facebook is pure propaganda with no basis in reality. The public is pissed because the public knows how they use the internet, and they know what this law will do to their ability to use it the way they want.

Although the draft directive is aimed at helping all creators have a stronger bargaining position on how their work is used by online platforms, the main beneficiaries will be the smaller players. Larger players often have law firms to safeguard their rights, whereas smaller ones currently have little means to support them.

The smaller players only exist because of the open internet. These bills will literally kill smaller internet platforms in Europe too, because it will be impossible to comply, and the fines will be unsustainable. Meanwhile, again, the internet has enabled so many creators to create and make money… and it did so by enabling all of these different platforms that are about to be body slammed by this ridiculous bill pushed for by cynical opportunists and internet-illiterate policy makers.

It has been claimed that the directive will have a profoundly negative impact on the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people…

The contrary is more likely to be the case: the draft directive?s intention is to help provide numerous people with the livelihood they deserve for their work, and which they require to continue creating. The draft directive intends to ensure that more money goes to artists and journalists rather than Google?s shareholders, a transfer of resources that is always beneficial to jobs.

Again, this makes no sense and is literally contrary to what has happened when the Google tax was tried in Spain.

Is Article 11 going to create a tax – to be more precise a tax payable when a news article is shared?

No. The EP wants to ensure that some money goes from multi-billion dollar news aggregators to the journalist who has done all the hard work writing up an article. These articles, it should be stressed, often dig up the truth and contribute enormously to upholding a democratic system. This cannot be considered a tax.

Again, this did not ensure that money went from Google to journalists in Germany or Spain, and it says nothing about journalists. If the link tax is paid, then it goes to the publishers, not the journalists doing “all the hard work.” In the meantime, some journalists (waves hand!) want sites like Google News and Facebook to promote our stuff. I don’t need them to pay me. I want them to drive traffic. It’s MY responsibility to figure out how to make money off of that traffic.

Besides if — as in Spain — this leads Google News to leave the EU, then how the hell does that “help” journalists?

This entire thing is utter nonsense. It’s either outright lies or deceitful misrepresentations. This is a Trumpian level of propaganda and bullshit, being pushed by the EU Parliament on behalf of the legacy copyright industries. The people of the EU should not stand for this kind of thing from their elected officials. Remember, nearly all of the lobbying on this issue has come from one side — and it’s not the side that JURI claims is pushing the narrative. Don’t let Hollywood get away with this nonsense.

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 Parliament Puts Out Utter Nonsense Defending Copyright Directive”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

“Don’t let Hollywood get away with this nonsense.”
What the hell does Hollywood have to do with any of this? Is the article literally claiming Hollywood wrote the EU directives?

Now who’s lying.

The EU has always hated the internet because it gives the public something the EU has never wanted them to have: knowledge.

So, the founding fathers of copyright have decided to step up their game and make it impossible for any American corporation from doing business in the EU.

At least, not without being taxed for it.

The premise is the EU believes American corporations are making it difficult for EU businesses to get a fair shake. While Bing pushes the garbage Mirror news snippets on its front page, the EU believes Microsoft owes the Mirror money because the Mirror elects not to use options it has to prevent Microsoft’s search engine from listing the article.

Does anyone reading this truly believe any person writing/supporting these directives has any clue about this?

Right, so Europeans who aren’t upset over these directives aren’t going to give a damn about changing them because some (and it’s generally the majority) believe these directives will help.

Sometimes, you have to let children fall in order for them to learn.

And fall the EU directives shall do.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Of course not, that would require both that the legislators understand all of the logistics of their own rules, and require the entertainment industry to work with the people who they’re demanding do all the work.

It would also require that the basis for the legislation be intellectually honest, rather than a naked cash grab. Giving platforms an easy way to avoid paying ransoms would defeat the purpose.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The counter-argument:

In the art world if you want to exhibit your works you pay a venue to host the exhibition. They don’t pay you.

On the internet you can have your works hosted for free and the venue (site) gets paid by attaching ads to the exhibition.

An exhibition is done to promote your skill as an artist, not directly to make money. Though some art may be purchased during the exhibition, in the online world your services may be contracted due to having seen your work.

Precisely how is an artist not being “fairly remunerated” on the internet? And how is it the venue/site’s responsibility to make sure they are?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

For your comment to make any sense in the real world, you would have to assume that a) YouTube doesn’t already pay significant royalties and that b) Spotify hasn’t been met with constant gnashing and wailing that they don’t pay enough despite already paying virtually all their income to the major labels.

You’re welcome to join us in the real world, if you wish, but you do have to let those facts into your skull at some point.

“musicians making more money at the expense of a giant corporation”

The guy who breathlessly defends multinational conglomerates with a history of literally stealing from artists said this with presumably a straight face. You couldn’t make it up…

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m not sure why Masnick keeps lying and saying this is about major labels, because every musician will benefit from this.

No, they will not. Anyone with 2 brain cells will realise that the majority of musicians will not be able to upload their music to YouYube because YT will not be able to verify who the copyright owner is.

Unless we are talking about major labels who has their own channel where they can host their signed artists if they choose to.

And to say that every musician will benefit from this is only true to the extent if you mean “benefit” to mean that they have to sign exclusive deals with major labels which in any other industry would be called slave contracts.

As for lying, we all know who the liar is – or at least who is the deluded party who can’t accept the truth.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

As for the rest of your post – how do you know what he does for a living? You wouldn’t just be making shit up again, would you?

TBF, I’ve mentioned in another post that I’ve worked with SW and HW but that doesn’t mean I’ve never worked in the music industry.

In essence his argument is that since I haven’t specifically said that I have worked in the aforementioned industry I can’t know anything about it either. Jumping to conclusions is the pastime of simple people…

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So, I know an artist, Gavin Dunne aka Miracle of Sound, who is an EU Musician/Music Writer on YouTube. He has a number of revenue streams. From my understanding based on his discussions on podquisition, the Jim Sterling-lead Podcast, he doesn’t see YouTube as a significant revenue source, it’s an advertising source driving people to buy his music or get royalties from spotify (where he gets far more traffic) or pay him directly on patreon. One one the reasons it isn’t a revenue source is how YouTube filters allow gatekeepers to claim copyright over his original works. The other is that Youtube has become more and more inconsistent in traffic volume. Nothing in Article 13 fixes that issue. Nothing in Article 13 makes YouTube a greater driver of traffic or suddenly fix its automated filtering system. Article 13 only says “You need to pay royalties, and filter out infringing content, and associate all copyright content with the correct copyright owner, and respect fair use, and do all of that perfectly without error or you pay massive fines.” That doesn’t help Miracle of Sound. That doesn’t fix Youtube as a revenue source.

David says:

You don't comprehend government

Can anyone at JURI explain how any of this helps small musicians and artists in a manner that doesn’t involve "and then we wave the magic wand and Google just forks over cash"?

You get a few dozen officials making the decisions in the interest of millions of artists. So who are they going to ask for input? Isolated artists? And ignore all the rest?

No, they are going to ask people representing millions of artists. How are they going to find such people? By binding the monetary consequences of the governmental guaranteed creators’ rights to a special-status collection society which is representative by forcing all artists wanting to make use of the law for monetizing their efforts through that collection society. And it can scale by deducting its expenses before handing out the money it collected.

Since it represents the artists, anybody earning money without getting it laundered and plundered throught the collection society is stealing, the equivalent of tax evasion.

So when you write:

What? There are more "small" musicians and journalists (waves hands!) making money today thanks to the internet, and these plans will completely kill the internet for us. There are more people making music today than ever before. Nothing in this bill is designed to actually help musicians or journalists. It is designed to help lock down the internet for a few giant record labels and news publishers.

you are talking about isolated musicians and journalists not running through the state-sanctioned collection societies and not having a voice worth listening to since they are too few, or rather too spread out compared to those that the collection societies are paid to speak for.

It’s easier to get a EU grant for €100mil than for €2000 since the former actually gets a sizable piece of work done for those in charge of distributing money while brooding over the latter causes more money in need of getting distributed pile up.

So the big heads talk only about big money. That’s why there are collection societies for collecting small money until it becomes big money, and small artists until they become big labels.

Nobody talks with the ilk of you, like a minister of economy does not talk with single beggars and hobos. You get the trickle-down if you know what is good for you or else.

How can you claim to be more representative of journalists than an organisation representing hundreds of thousands of them?

If you want government to listen to more people, you need bigger government. And nobody wants that, either.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: You don't comprehend government

Wait. Are you saying Masnick doesn’t understand government? I think that’s what the title says, right? If that’s wrong, just skip the rest.

So, you’re saying that he doesn’t “get it” because it’s an issue that deals with scale economies. I’d have to point out, then, that dealing with the scale economy issues of the Internet, from individual to Google, has been one of the focal points of Techdirt for about 20 years.

Masnick is not only a trained economist, which obviously study scale economies in depth, but specifically a labor economist. The ILR school at Cornell specializes in business and labor (and organized labor), and their relative power in the market, and in negotiations versus a large corporation.

Are you really proposing that, after his studies in this, then 20 years writing about mostly this, Mike doesn’t understand how gov’t wants to deal with hand-sized rocks, not individual grains of sand? You’re wrong.

PS, other than your title, that was a good post.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: You don't comprehend government

The issue is, like various commentators, David misunderstands Mike’s rhetorical framing. From observation, Mike favors an approach where he sets up a position he is opposed to, then sets up facts opposing that position, then takes the stance that he assumes the person taking that position is acting in good faith, and asks how they can be reconciled. We almost always get a hapless commentator digging for an insightful vote by pointing out that the target isn’t acting in good faith. Its just normally a short opinion.

David says:

Re: Re: You don't comprehend government

I am suggesting that Mike’s use of “we” for representing individual creators does not have the same tangible legitimation that the ilk of the RIAA has for representing them and their financial interests, and blaming politicians for not listening to him rather than the RIAA is not going anywhere.

Effective administration relies on an accumulation of interests and power, and accumulation of interests and power leads to solutions with unsavory side effects and interest.

In the old Athenian democracy, some rather high ratio like 10% of the citizenship (admittedly a quite smaller number than the people living and working in Athens) was involved in politics. That put a lot more tabs and control on the accrument of power than what we have. It was also less efficient.

And capitalism has its own accumulation mechanisms. Like democracy, it is a really bad approach except for all the others.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'I love the smell of stockyards in the morning...'

That’s almost impressive really. In a single document they managed to put forth enough bullshit that if it took physical form you’d be able to fertilize the entirety of europe with it.

It’s telling that their ‘defense’ is comprised basically entirely of dishonesty and lies, as if they had anything honest to use you can be sure they would have done so. That they instead choose to lie constantly shows how utterly without a basis in reality their arguments really are, not to mention how grossly dishonest they are.

At this point they should hope they face another ACTA-style mass protest sufficient to kill this, because if they manage to push this through I suspect they are going to be wishing it had been shot down beforehand, the backlash is going to be so significant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Expectation management

“The expectation is that the draft directive will push the online platforms/news aggregators to finally roll out a policy to fairly remunerate all those from whose work they make their money.”

My expectation is that news indexing will disappear for European news publishers, and thus a drop in visitor traffic, and that the Big Tech companies will sit down with the Big Content companies to hash out some “deal” for content (which will be very very similar to that which already exists), meanwhile all small sites will disable user content to avoid liability risk and thus stifle culture, and the small artists etc. will see no increase in revenue or more likely lose some as people are unable to express opinion about their works.

Oh, and nobody will develop any “innovative solution” (filter) coz its impossible.

@JURI; who wants to take a bet? My expectation vs yours. How about the average loss to european news publishers or artists as the wager? You chose.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is a disaster for free speech and small
artists and creators ,
it will lead to massive overblocking ,the record companys want to go back to the 80,s ,
eg if you wanted to make a living as a musician or sell records you had to sign up with a large record company .
Journalists usually get paid for their work by a
publisher ,small websites like techdirt are helped by
google or aggregators sending users to the website.
This directive throws a massive spoke in the free
market and basically makes it impossible to
share content that might be fair use or parody ,
eu websites will close down or simply block most
content uploaded by users.
if i have a website i,m unlikely to share a link
or part of an article from a news website ,
since i run the risk of being sued .
So the no of links to news websites will be
reduced, how does this help anyone .
It shows the eu cares only about the rights of big corporations and record companys .

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Many artists have made good livings as "indies" by selling directly to their audiences."

And article 13 kills, outright, the access to the most pervasive channels enabling indies to do just this.
And that, essentially, is what article 13 was all about – ensuring that large publishers maintain their stranglehold on what is to be considered "culture" by holding all the ability to mass market.

It’s not exactly new – GEMA ran Germany under this paradigm, with the result that every German needed to learn using a VPN as standard since half of youtube ended up geoblocked.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

ACTA 2.0

I do believe we need to launch another campaign like the one we had against ACTA. We killed that awful FTA in 2012. If we all work together, we can kill the Copyright Directive.

EU citizens, use the links below to find out who your reps are and contact them if you want to see this directive bite the dust.

Anonymous Coward says:

have been saying for a long, long time that the whole aim of the entertainment industries has been all along to take complete control of the Internet and every government, politician, security service, police force and court has been doing whatever they have been told to do and whatever they possibly can do to help this aim come to fruition! every time i mentioned this i was shouted down with ‘this will never happen’! but it is happening and the EU is now going so far as to basically ban anyone from sharing anything, from uploading and downloading anything, regardless of whose file(s) we’re talking about at the time, simply so the entertainment industries can monetise everything, even when/if they dont own it or have no say on it! whoever is behind this total bullshit and lies needs to be identified and publicly shamed because they are doing nothing for anyone except the main entertainment industries, the gatekeepers, the same bodies that have continuously stopped the advance of technology and everything else possible, just to maintain their original control and gain new ones concerning the Internet, all at the detriment of the planet and everyone else on it! no one else will be able to use the Internet without first getting permission from these industries and then paying a fee for what has been, since conception, a completely free service!! those doing whatever they can to aid this are a disgrace to everyone!! the harm to the whole world in order to give these industries even more control than they have already is ridiculous! and think back to wheat started it! the ridiculous law, again from the EU, ‘The right to be forgotten’! what a sham!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You can read articles all the way back to the beginning of techdirt’s web presence here, without even a broken URL. You can pretty much believe that if techdirt magically died tomorrow, everything would be archived somewhere.

Also, don’t forget you can use the respective capabilities of and

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Abolish Copyright

“Piracy costs governments a fortune”

Does it really, though? I’m yet to see real evidence.

“We don’t tell restaurnts that dining-and-dashing Is their fault for not requiring payment in advance.”

Extremely false equivalence for a huge range of reasons. But even so – there is a limit to the number of antitheft measures they would be able to get away with before they would be told to knock it off.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Abolish Copyright

Piracy costs governments a fortune, which is why they are defending copyright so strongly.

The EU displacement study showed the following:
“In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. That does not necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect.”
– Source:

Care to cite your source?

Thought not…

Peter (profile) says:

Isn't it weird ...

… that the very people who have created in Europe an environment that has produced …. exactly no relevant internet platform at all … now presume to be experts for both the business side of internet platforms (they rake in tons of money by doing nothing relevant at all), and the technical side (easy peasy to make sure nothing illegal is hosted, doesn’t even require filters.)

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Isn't it weird ...

Paul, you’re right that it’s a bit of an exaggeration. There are plenty of platforms in the EU that are important to people in the EU.

And Peter may have a USA bias, but his point is solid if you consider that leading US platforms are also leading in the EU, while the opposite is not true. The EU has very few “global scale” platform wins. Skype and Spotify come to mind. I’m sure I’m missing some others, but this is NOT a bidirectionally equivalent situation.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Isn't it weird ...

You’re right, if you redefine the word platform until it benefits the US, then the EU has contributed nothing, even as you use things that came out of the EU to express that opinion.

There’s a history as to why momentum built up early in the US to create a brain drain situation for online services moving to Silicon Valley, but it’s not really to do with the EU’s rulings. It doesn’t help the argument when the first thing being said is an outright lie that’s provable in seconds.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Isn't it weird ...

"And Peter may have a USA bias, but his point is solid if you consider that leading US platforms are also leading in the EU, while the opposite is not true."

For good and valid reason. The US, divided as it is, still shares a common language. The same does not hold true for europe which is consistent in that every attempt to unite it has resulted in a world war or half a century of unending skirmishing.

We can sling the term "EU" around all we like but in the end it remains a construct which almost no europeans agree on as soon as they’re confronted with the actual ground level effects of it.

So essentially it’s really trying to compare the platform-launching capability of one nation with a 300+ million citizenry and a world language commonly accepted as secondary native tongue visavi the platform-launching capability of a few dozen smaller countries with few common denominators to speak of.

People in european nations have contributed quite a lot to the internet in the form of tools, standards, and innovation – Linux has been mentioned, as has spotify and skype, but the WWW structure also stands out (yes, web surfing was invented by the european CERN). To mention nothing about individual contributions in form of thousands of codecs and assorted programming tools.

Those innovations are NOT from the "EU". They are from Linus Torvald, Tim Berners-Lee, Daniel Ek, Priit Kasesalu, etc. And for most of those inventions it took the adoption or purchase of a US-based conglomerate to make them household words. Once adopted by a third of the global marketplace the rest of the herd will follow.

For good and ill it’s impossible for any european nation to produce a Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Facebook, or any other ubiquitous platform. Article 13 serves as a great example as to why, because copyright cult lobbying aside this is european politicians act to shutter anything they can not understand or control.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Isn't it weird ...

“Those innovations are NOT from the “EU”. They are from Linus Torvald, Tim Berners-Lee, Daniel Ek, Priit Kasesalu, etc. A”

The logical stretches you people have to do are amazing. The work of Bill Gates and Larry Ellison are automatically American achievements, but the work of those people in the EU cannot be attributed to the EU. What is it that makes you so scared to admit that innovation happens in other countries as well as yours?

“Once adopted by a third of the global marketplace the rest of the herd will follow.:”

So, now you’re arguing that if a company has a lot of customers in the US, that makes it an American achievement as well, and the location they serve you from no longer counts? Wow.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Isn't it weird ...

"The logical stretches you people have to do are amazing."

Point to note – not an american, here.

Even going by your logic that means the responsible "nations" would be Finland, the UK, Sweden and Lithuania. The construct known as "Europe" is better used as a descriptor of geography rather than to exemplify national dominion.

The EU tries very hard at portraying itself as a united front while in reality that’s not so much the case.
Whereas the US is, in fact, a federal government in practice. Made so by a massive civil war, a lot of bloodshed, and a still infected polarization which still turns riots into race wars in a blink.

"So, now you’re arguing that if a company has a lot of customers in the US, that makes it an American achievement as well"

No, I’m arguing that having a market lever which is global works wonders for implementing standards. US businesses were early adopters in recognizing foreign markets. European businesses, not so much.

I don’t know where your hostility is coming from, but I think you’d do well to restrict the conclusions you keep drawing. You’re coming close to hit out_of_the_blue’s strawman quota. Good job on ignoring most of what i wrote and picking a few sentences out of context to write a novel around.

Fact of the matter is that european nations have been utter shit at global outreach on a larger scale whereas US businesses have been able to cherry-pick innovation, integrate what they bought with their own products, then launch the result worldwide.

Those are the facts. As to the why of it I could argue a lot of factors – the US holding a 30 year advantage on infrastructure and manufacture post WW2, traditional european unwillingness to work across borders, a culture of government and bureaucracy trying to control or throttle locally rising entrepreneurial power, etc.

What we’re left with are a very few european giants standing out as either old remnants of colonialist exploitation (oil companies, mainly) or mavericks such as IKEA. In software we basically have the SAP ERP. Gates, Ellison and Jobs could never have built themselves into international brands out of most european nations, and certainly not under the thumb of the EU.

You want to argue facts, fine. But you’re not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Isn't it weird ...

No, it doesn’t count. And neither does Skype, now owned and operated by Microsoft.

While Europe has produced plenty of important technologies, what matters in this discussion is how many of those technologies are the basis for internet platforms currently operated in the EU and with global reach?

This bullshit regulation from the EU isn’t going to go back in time and link-tax Berners-Lee for his creation of HTTP. They’re looking to “share” in the success of Google, Facebook and others. In a way, they’re admitting that Europe is not capable of competing with these companies so they’re demanding a share of the profits because… reasons.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Isn't it weird ...

Yeah, that’s the level of intellectual honesty I thought you’d offer. It’s amazing what you can do when you desperately redefine what does and doesn’t count and reject the origins of the very technologies that allow you to make this comment in the first place.

“And neither does Skype, now owned and operated by Microsoft.”

That’s fascinating too. So, if an American company buys European technology, the European investment and innovation no longer counts for anything? By that logic, Ghostbusters doesn’t count as an American film any more, since Columbia Pictures is now owned by Sony.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Isn't it weird ...

"In a way, they’re admitting that Europe is not capable of competing with these companies so they’re demanding a share of the profits because… reasons."

If only.

The reason the european body politic is so keen on legislation such as Article 13 is neither because they want profit nor, in the end, mainly because of copyright cult lobbying.

It’s because european political leaders will, in the end, always try to shut down or cripple any phenomenon they can not control. And this is, needless to say, also the reason why the "EU" can’t build competing platforms. The US wouldn’t be able to do that either if, for instance, every successful venture launched in, say, California meant that other US states would actively lobby to have that venture excluded or crippled in their territories for no other reason that "Hey no way will we let the californians succeed on OUR turf".

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Would that be the "boycott" that seems to be consisting largely of self-immolation with a further humiliating defeat for the prime minister in the last 24 hours as she fails to get people to believe that anyone involved knows what they’re doing? That one?"

Sadly, the EU does pose an interesting problem in that to an increasing degree national self-immolation is seen as the lesser evil.

Every century or so some idiot comes up with the idea of uniting europe and it always results in europeans gladly going along with the idea until it all turns into an epic shit-show involving decades-long secession wars.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Indeed, Scary Devil Monastery. We’d be much better off as a trading bloc than a united states of Europe but the federalists haven’t got the memo.

Unfortunately the current situation has left us with a choice between the opt-out deal we have now that gives us exceptions to the federalist agenda and leaving altogether which basically kicks the country off a cliff. Per law blogger David Allen Green we could have had a Brexit that actually worked if we’d carefully peeled off the layers of treaties that bind us to the EU but that requires thinking and Brexiters don’t do that.

So it is that the MP for the 18th century, Jacob Rees-Mogg, demands, without a shred of irony, that the Prime Minister observe the law, forgetting that he has already rubbished the need for a solution to the Irish border question that continued membership in the customs union so neatly addresses. He’s on the "over the cliff" side of the argument and the law he’s ignoring is the Good Friday Agreement.

David Davis, who should really just shut up and go away, wasn’t even bovvered to do any negotiation with the EU; he spent about four hours on it over the two years he was Brexit minister.

Don’t get me started on -Boorish- Boris Johnson, a Pound shop Trump.

I voted Remain as the only sensible option on the table but I’d welcome a review of the current treaties binding us to the EU and getting rid of the ones that mean closer political ties that would ultimately result in federalism.

I’m hoping that the Theresa May government will be blasted into oblivion in the general election that may follow tonight’s vote and that common sense will take over.

Meanwhile, it would be nice if the British right wing press would take a break from gaslighting and outright deceiving the British public. /End rant.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Indeed, Scary Devil Monastery. We’d be much better off as a trading bloc than a united states of Europe but the federalists haven’t got the memo."

The Four Freedoms were indeed nice. Something you could build a framework around with a european court making top tier decisions around what was originally a very fine charter.

"I voted Remain as the only sensible option on the table but I’d welcome a review of the current treaties binding us to the EU and getting rid of the ones that mean closer political ties that would ultimately result in federalism."

Unfortunately what you DON’T get with the EU is compromise. You either opt for the full course of bureaucratic tyranny with voting rights diluted to nonexistence, or you get the drastic exit where the EU commission spends most of the two year interim coming up with ways to render you into a "warning unto others" fit to discourage anyone else from seceding out of the holy roman empire…err, I mean the EU.

"Meanwhile, it would be nice if the British right wing press would take a break from gaslighting and outright deceiving the British public. /End rant."

…and if pigs had wings…sigh

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

He’s the poster child for shortened copyright terms as he spent decades chasing down the right to perform Hey Jude without paying a licence fee for the song he wrote himself because Michael Jackson bought the rights to the Beatles’s back catalogue and sold it to Sony.

That’s the beauty of being a Pirate; we look stuff up.

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

McCartney tours worldwide, of course, and I’m only speaking for the US here — but at least in the US, the venue pays license fees to the rightsholding organizations, not the performer.

Regardless, your point stands; the point is, somebody had to pay a licensing fee for McCartney to play his own songs, and that’s absurd (as well as an excellent counterpoint to the claim that the labels act in the interests of the artists who write and record the songs).

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"It also puts paid to the idea that copyright benefits artists. It doesn’t. It benefits rightsholders, who are often entirely separate entities from the artists."

And that, essentially, was the original intent all along. The guild of Stationers would be thrilled.

"Copyright" was always built primarily with the publishers in mind. Specifically it was tailormade to fit the biggest publisher on the block and keep that publisher as king of the hill. And that purpose is still adequately served.

Hugo Connery (profile) says:

Expectation Idiocy

"The expectation is that the draft directive will push the online platforms/news aggregators to finally roll out a policy to fairly remunerate all those from whose work they make their money."

‘Tas been done. They pay the wages of the people who wrote, maintain and improve their search engines/social platforms etc.. Hosting copyrighted content costs them money in royalties (pitiful perhaps, but not free) and legal representation.

The real deal is not "from whose work" they make their money, but "from whose data". But, you cant "remunerate that" because people are giving it up at no cost for digital services.

TripMN (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The Great Firewall of China is going to be a joke compared to the Iron Internet Curtain that will be “placed” around the EU IPs if this goes thru.

Now might be a good time to put some money in VPN stocks or start your own VPN company… cause sure as hell there will be some mighty fine IP filters being built once this is rammed thru.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"The Copyright Directive is the proverbial gun with which the EU threatens to commit digital suicide at the urging of the American entertainment industry."

Not just the american branch of the copyright cult. The french body politic is happy because it’ll limit exposure to english-language media online, the Germans don’t see much of a difference from having lived under GEMA geoblocking half of youtube anyway, Hungary is A-OK with it because anything coming from outside its borders is now to be feared, the UK is cheerful over it because the axe will fall mainly on those continental rotters…

"I’d laugh at the absurdity of it, if I didn’t have to live under their jurisdiction."

Look at the positive side of things. After we have the usual world war or thirty year skirmish putting the customary ending to yet another attempt at uniting Europe we’ll have sensible rule for a generation once again, before the next pompous would-be empire builder arises.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: blanket licenses

"Website owners are going to get a blanket license if they can afford the annual fee…"

Unless you can literally craft gold out of air then no, no website owner will EVER have the wherewithal required for a "blanket" license. It’ll be the other way around – major labels will run their own channels where their carefully vetted videos will be running. Anyone else will be drowning in takedown notices or give up trying.

"…or use Creative Commons / public domain work."

Any upload of which will be subjected to frequent takedowns and require the uploader to re-verify the CC status of the work umpteen times over, for keeps. Or simply give up.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

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...