Google Shows What Google News Looks Like If Article 11 Passes In The EU Copyright Directive

from the bye-bye-news-content dept

While much of the focus concerning the EU’s Copyright Directive have been about Article 13 and the censorship and mandatory filters it will require, an equally troubling part is Article 11, which will create a “snippet” tax on anyone who aggregates news and sends traffic back to the original sites (for free) without paying those news sites. This is dumb for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that this plan has been tried in both Germany and Spain, and failed miserably in both places. Indeed, studies in Spain showed that this law actually did tremendous harm to smaller news sites (which the EU insists this law is designed to help). The latest version we’ve seen in the EU Copyright Directive is even worse than the laws in Germany and Spain in that it is so vague and so unclear that it is possible to read them to say that using more than a single word will make the aggregator liable for the tax.

In Spain, as you may recall, when that law was passed, Google responded by turning off Google News in Spain entirely, saying that it was impossible to remain in the country under that law. As they noted (and which everyone pushing for these laws always ignores), Google actually doesn’t put any advertisements on Google News. It’s not monetizing it (despite lies from supporters of these laws that Google is “profiting” off of their work, when Google is actually sending traffic for free). So there were some questions about what Google would do with Google News in Europe if Article 11 becomes law.

The company has now hinted at its plans by leaking a beta test of what Google News would look like under Article 11. The answer? It would look almost entirely empty:

As you can see, because the tax applies to using any words from the articles, what a “compliant” Google News looks like is a Google News page where none of the content actually loads. All you get is the names of the publications and nothing else.

Of course, this is going to infuriate supporters of Article 11, who will insist that this is awful and some terrible game that Google is playing. But it’s their own fault for writing a law that says this is what you have to do. Supporters will again argue that this is not what they intended — instead, the whole point of Article 11 is to try to force Google to “license” the news it links to. But these leaked screenshots more or less highlight how the EU Copyright Directive is truly little more than a shakedown of Google. Basically, the entire point of the law is “Google, give money to failing newspapers, or we’ll force your News site to look like shit.” And Google is suggesting it might just call the EU’s bluff on this.

At the very least, this makes it clear that the entire point of the EU Copyright Directive — especially Articles 11 and 13 — are a weak attempt to say “Google is successful, therefore, Google should give a lot more of its money to companies that haven’t been successful in the internet age.” If the EU just named it “the tax Google because our own industries failed to innovate” Directive, it would at least be a bit more intellectually honest.

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Comments on “Google Shows What Google News Looks Like If Article 11 Passes In The EU Copyright Directive”

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Anon says:

Re: Re: News?

Hu? Nobody figured out – “well, instead then they’ll just not link to us to avoid paying us”? None of these lawyers who make a living finding loopholes thought of the obvious one?

And what does this law say if I post a link to a news story on my Facebook? How many snippets have to be published on Facebook before it becomes a news aggregator? If my blog post goes viral, does that mean anyone who reposts it has to send me three cents?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: News?

It either the classic “the EU is too big for them to lose the business” argument or the “Its a big American company – who wants them here anyway?” argument.

The politicians and the companies supporting them fully expect Google and Microsoft (Bing has news right?) to buckle under the first. After all, they are American companies and all they think about is collecting the next penny of profit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 News?

So there are some serious flaws in both of those arguments:
1. The EU may be too big to lose the business IF they were actually making money. Since they are not then why do they care if they shut it down?

A. Great it forces Google out. However, it also carpet bombs every other aggregater who can’t afford the fees.
B. Great Google is now paying. However, smaller competitors may not be able to pay and go out of business giving Google even more power.

TheResidentSkeptic (profile) says:

Not enough

To really make the point, they should list the sites in alphabetic order to show that they are NOT reading them to rank them. Just a raw list of news sites registered in the EU. After all, if they “read” them to analyze and rank them, then the EU will tax them for reading the articles … word-by-word, tax-by-tax, fine-by-fine. Eventually the EU will reach its goal of forcing every non-EU web presence out of the EU.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Of course, this is going to infuriate supporters of Article 11, who will insist that this is awful and some terrible game that Google is playing.

It kind of is, from a certain point of view. There’s a reason the technical term for this kind of behavior is malicious compliance, afterall.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t kind of awesome. If Europe wants to live by the electronic sword, as it were, then let them die by the same sword.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Since when is it malicious compliance to obey the law? That’s the very definition of being law-abiding.

Since when is it malicious compliance to decide not to lose millions or billions of Euros every year to provide a free service that only benefits the people attempting to pass legislation to bleed you dry? Google is a business, businesses are supposed to be making money. If they can’t do that in a given market, they’ll find a different market — that’s just good sense.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In which case I don’t see anything here I’d refer to as ‘malicious’, as that is the sort of result likely to happen should the train wreck of a law pass. No snippets, no details, merely a single link(until they try to demand payment for that as well anyway) per site with no context to go along with it.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Much like how the “actual malice” standard of defamation isn’t quite the same as what we usually mean by malice, “malicious compliance” doesn’t necessarily involve any malice as we typically mean. It just means you obey the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law. It’s a kinda dumb term for it, but what can you do?

Anonmylous says:


Uhm, that’s Google being “nice”. The real results would actually be international news outlets stories beyond the EU’s borders. Meaning there will be NONE of the UK/EU news sites appearing on the first 10 pages. Can you imagine the UK/EU getting all their news from FOX, CNN, MSNBC instead? Or even Al Jazeera!

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Wrong

If the news links are hosted in the US, and Google has no presence on European servers, it would be impossible to make Google pay anything, because the US has a law that automatically throws out foreign court judgments that would violate the US constitution.

Reporting or commenting on news is a first amendment right.

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Wrong

But Google is neither commenting or reporting on news. They’re just providing a link to OTHER people reporting and/or commenting on news in this case.

Anyone else here old enough to remember phone books? You had to PAY the phone company to get your business listed in them. If you weren’t listed in the Yellow Pages, you didn’t get much business.

Little difference.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Wrong

“You had to PAY the phone company to get your business listed in them. If you weren’t listed in the Yellow Pages, you didn’t get much business.

Little difference.”

No, it’s completely different. This situation isn’t what you describe – it’s actually the equivalent of the phone company having to pay the companies in order to list them.

Rocky says:

It would be interesting to see the reaction of people if google and it’s subsidiaries just plain stopped indexing any EU site plus blocked ALL uploads to their services for a week.

I also wonder how many other sites that rides googles coattails would scream bloody murder at the same time.

Maybe the politicians will wake up then when they have an angry mob outside the EU parliament…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This is a great idea, and an excellent Internal Control that Google could adopt, much like forcing high level financial employees to take a week off to see what ‘shakes out’ while they are gone…

So we turn off Google in the EU for a week, and then see how much corruption and scandal breaks out due to lack of google services (ie. which government organizations are too heavily reliant on google).

John85851 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The problem with this idea is that most people won’t connect the dots. They’ll see that Google isn’t showing the news sites and complain that Google is “broken”. Maybe Google could include a disclaimer about why the news sites aren’t appearing, but even then, it’s doubtful people will storm the EU parliament demanding change. Instead, they’ll demand that Google comply with the EU so everyone can get their news from Google, instead of you know, actually going straight to the sites with the news.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Funny...

Say what? Tim? Are you kidding me?!

Cushing hates dirty cops, praises decent ones. Can’t be dealing with asset forfeiture sans due process. Can’t be dealing with the whole “sans due process” thing. That makes him some flavour of public-minded libertarian.

Right-wingers tend to be authoritarian, worship the rich, hate public services, and hate it when workers organise or when we plebs want privacy rights and stuff.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Funny...

Yes, and most normal people recognize libertarianism for what it is: an extreme-right viewpoint that worships the rich, hates public services, hates it when workers organize, and, for all their fancy words about liberty, doesn’t actually believe in any freedom you can’t afford, meaning the "utopia" they dream of is a horror that sane people would consider an authoritarian nightmare in which they are the abusive overlords being the master over the undeserving plebs who are obviously unworthy by virtue of having less money than themselves.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Funny...

This is the problem with using left vs. right to describe libertarianism. Technically, ultra-right would be fascism, which is basically the exact opposite of libertarianism. I prefer the 2D model, even though it too is imperfect. I don’t really think of it as left or right.

FTR, I generally disagree with radical libertarians, but the point stands.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Funny...

In an ideal world, the axis would run from “up” (making the world a better place) to “down” (making things worse). The Left and the Right both tend to be pretty neutral on this axis, with about half of each side’s contentious pet issues being helpful and the other half harmful. Libertarians, on the other hand–particularly of the Ayn Rand variety–tend to be almost purely “down”, combining the worst aspects of liberalism and conservatism into one big putrid package of evil.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Won't Brexit take Great Britain out of the EU?

May survived so we’re still in limbo. The media attack dogs are blaming Eurosceptic Socialist (actual real deal socialist) Jeremy Corbyn for not meeting up to discuss a way forward but since that seems to be “Do as I say” I’m not surprised.

I’m not a mad Corbyn fan but I get that it’s pointless meeting up with an authoritarian whose idea of discussion is to browbeat others into accepting her authority.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Won't Brexit take Great Britain out of the EU?

There really isn’t a great deal of use Corbyn trying to negotiate in any sort of good faith. This is the woman who went hurtling into this screaming “Brexit means Brexit”, and with the deadline looming they still haven’t worked out what that actually means. A government that has already squandered more than several decades’ worth of EU membership would have cost, who didn’t even bother to do a cost analysis until after they had submitted article 50.

The best he can hope for is to be so visibly against the current move that it’s hard to spin him as the cause of it when the gutter press try to blame the Tories’ destruction of the country on Labour.

Anonymous Coward says:

Google should have put one word uder each website name ,
eg the words would spell out.

this law is a tax on free speech we cannot explain it in detail
as we are only allowed to use one word from any newspaper
say a small website just has the words
the president signs new bill into law ,
Will it be liable to be sued by any news website
that uses the same words in an article .
Many websites use the same words to report on common .
There are some countrys that are not in the eu ,but located in europe
eg monaco .
Will news websites just move their servers there to get
around article 11.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: License

I can all but guarantee, if they manage to get this train-wreck of short-sighed greed through a parasitic ‘collections agency’ will either be rolled out with it, another given the job, or one will be created shortly thereafter.

If sites are allowed to give a licence for dirt cheap that would allow them to completely undercut the greedy ones who will demand much more, hence you can be sure efforts will be taken to stop that.

Thad (profile) says:

Mike, I agree with the article as a whole, but not necessarily this bit:

As they noted (and which everyone pushing for these laws always ignores), Google actually doesn’t put any advertisements on Google News. It’s not monetizing it (despite lies from supporters of these laws that Google is "profiting" off of their work, when Google is actually sending traffic for free).

Google may not be directly monetizing Google News, but come on now, it’s not operating it out of the goodness of its heart. It’s gathering data on its users’ browsing habits; that’s Google’s business model, and that’s the value it derives from operating Google News. Whether or not Google serves ads on Google News directly, it’s using analytics from the site to help target ads.

anymouse says:

Re: Re:

So Google is ‘learning’ from users use of Google News, but not monetizing it with ad revenue…

By this ‘definition’ you are ‘learning’ from reading this comment, and are not providing fair recompense for the information provided.

I hearby demand a “Techdirt Comment Tax” be implemented that forces all users to provide remuneration to the authors of all comments they read on Techdirt. Implementation of “eyeball scanning cameras to detect exactly what is being viewed/read” is not “Required”, but we expect all websites to provide detailed information of not just which pages are being viewed by users, but exactly what those users are reading on those pages, along with the authors of the information being read.

The Agency tasked with this project will be the TCRAA, or the Techdirt Comment Reader Accountability Association, which will be vested with all the lobbying and powers of the other **AA agencies that are destroying our digital world…

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Link Tax

They’re banking really hard that while Google was willing to remove snippets from individual countries, it won’t be willing to do the same for the entire EU.

If anyone in charge at Google has anything even remotely resembling a brain though they’ll respond to the EU’s demand to be paid for the traffic they send the same way that they’ve responded to it in the past, ‘No, we’ll just remove the snippets instead’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Because they’re too myopic to see that Google drives most of their traffic to them. They only see that they’re losing profits over time and somehow have decided it’s because the public doesn’t need to go to their sites since Google presents all of the news in the search results. If their articles are really so poor that you can stop reading at the 3rd sentence of every article then they deserve to go out of business.

If Google stops driving traffic to their sites altogether they’ll all die out rather quickly. Perhaps that will open their eyes. And yours, apparently.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Everything you publish is automatically copyrighted. You don’t have to register that copyright with government but that does strengthen your position if litigation occurs.

Copyrighted work is still subject to Fair Use, something a snippet with a link clearly takes advantage of. Article 11 is effectively killing Fair Use of EU-generated content so in that respect copyright does indeed “opt out” that content from reproduction elsewhere.

But that’s not what article 11 is trying to achieve. They still want Google to include the snippets but they also want Google to pay for the “privilege”. They want their cake and to eat it, too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Any site can add a very simple robot.txt file to their site and Google will not have anything to do with that site. it won’t index it or anything. It takes almost no effort.

But what they really want is things to continue as they are, but for Google to also pay them to send people their direction. That’s just laughable. So instead Google will as they have in other countries that have tried this, just remove all the snips and the only thing left is links to those sites.

I don’t know about you, but I generally just don’t go to a site because I thought of their name and decided to check out what news they have. I see an interesting Snip and click on that, going to the site to read it. When I then may click on other things to read.

Without the Snips, I don’t go there in the first place. Yet they want Google to pay for those snips which are really fair use. They just see a pile of money Google has and think some of it should be for them also. it’s beyond laughable. Google will cut all the snips and traffic to their sites will disappear, even for those that aren’t going after Google’s money. That like what Google is doing. If effects them also as Google will cut everyone.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They are in a very real sense. They can easily prevent Google from listing them by making a quick and easy change in the robots.txt file, something you can be quite sure that they know by now. If memory serves it’s even fine-tuned enough on Google’s end that they can exclude a site from being listed in Google News without being removed from their general search as well.

They want Google to have them in it’s listing, they just want to be paid for it too.

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:


… Google is approaching this backwards.

What they should “propose” is a few cents CHARGE for every link they put up to any EU news source instead.

They’re sending people TO those links – just like clickbait.

Why shouldn’t they be recompensed for this, just like any other redirection to an advertising site?

Of course, if a site doesn’t WANT to pay, they’re free to ask Google (or any search engine) to delist them.

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

Re: Re: ...sdrawcaB

Easier fix: Just put in a filter (because they’re sooo popular at the moment) so that any EU news items will only show links to non-EU news sites.

France declares war on Sealand would only show NY Times, Sacramento Bee, etc links.

But for the purposes of “legal” arguments, I’d still go with Google, followed by every other search engine company, saying they’re going to institute a charge of $xyz for each EU news site link they show.

Setting the $xyz to say, oh, five times the amount the other side is arguing is a fair “tax” would be a good starting point…

Rekrul says:

Assuming that Google didn’t omit the snippets and agreed to pay the link tax, how is it even supposed to work?

Is Google supposed to contact the relevant news agency every time they need to include a news link in their search results and negotiate a separate licensing fee?

Are they supposed to pay each news service a blanket licensing fee?

Is the service going to count how many words from their web sites that Google uses over the course of a month and send them a bill?

Who’s supposed to be responsible for keeping track of how much tax Google owes and collect it?

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

Re: C'mon...

…we all KNOW how this kind of scam “works”.

They’ll institute a special governmental department to handle it. Which will have salaries for the heads in the millions per year range.

Said department will “assess” an “estimated amount” of taxes owed.

Those taxes owed will be paid directly to that department, which will then pay the actors and musicians… er, I mean “news sites” a fraction… er… a percentage equal to costs incurred…

Sound familiar?

Anonymous Coward says:

All the while American publishers laugh out loud (behind closed doors, of course, so as not to spoil their victory), at the stupidity of their European competitors insisting on not only committing digital suicide, but on salting the earth so that no credible competition can grow out of the whole continent ever again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Copyright ownership precludes involuntary business models. They have absolute control over their work by law.

Content aggregators siphon money from the creators: they create nothing and wind up with billions. The public has chosen to enable this by supplying the user-generated content.

A separate issue is the one facing all internet creators in that there are too many creators to sustain the old business model. Anyone can publish an e-book, and eve if there were no Pirate Bay, the market would still be flooded and have to thin out.

Solving the copyright problem won’t solve the other problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Content aggregators siphon money from the creators: they create nothing and wind up with billions”

Content aggregators do the legwork of finding and bringing to one location (and perhaps tailoring to your interests) content instead of one having to open up multiple websites and scouring them to find the articles you might be interested in reading. That time saving convenience alone is valuable in its own right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ah, the “user generated content sucks and has no place in the RIAA-defined ecosystem” argument.

Funny how independents are only useful so long as their perspectives align with your “Home Taking is Killing Music Narrative”.

You wanted Google to opt out. They did. You bitched anyway. And then you wonder why nobody believes you.

Have an Article 11 vote. You wanted it!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The past will die regardless of who “lets” it. The discussions here have been about altering copyright law or enforcement to the point of imposing a new business model rather than letting one develop naturally.

The rightsholders have not gotten on board with the model some would love to see imposed on them. The users who supply UGC have chosen to give away their content for the most part, resulting in tech behemoths who are little more than aggregators.

The slew of articles here relating to copyright attempt to lead the reader to conclude that copyright law should be changed or its teeth removed. Why not put pirates in prison since what they’re doing is cyber-terrorism, given how much damage it causes?

Underneath all this editorializing there is no basis for swiping protected work from those who create it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The discussions here have been about altering copyright law or enforcement to the point of imposing a new business model rather than letting one develop naturally.

Has one, though? The RIAA took years before they could be convinced that iTunes without DRM was the way to go. Developing naturally doesn’t happen when you actively fight it at every turn.

The rightsholders have not gotten on board with the model some would love to see imposed on them.

They were very much on board with Article 13 due to all the controls they could implement. Once they realized that provisions existed to compromise on these controls if they were misused, though, they started singing a different tune. Very quickly. Nothing is being imposed on them aside from some sanity and balance, and the fact that they’re throwing such a tantrum as their first response is very telling.

The users who supply UGC have chosen to give away their content for the most part, resulting in tech behemoths who are little more than aggregators.

The middleman argument. Funny how an industry "devastated by piracy" can still afford to pay RIAA CEOs increasing amounts of bonus protection money year after year after year. While also claiming that piracy continues unchecked and unaffected. If piracy isn’t being fought then why are you giving a guy who apparently failed his job a pay rise? How are you affording this pay rise if the lack of money was why you engaged him to begin with?

The slew of articles here relating to copyright attempt to lead the reader to conclude that copyright law should be changed or its teeth removed.

The teeth haven’t been removed. The teeth were always there. Your indiscriminate biting of anyone and everyone you don’t agree with in an attempt to harass settlement money is the reason why judges are scrutinizing your methods. That’s your fault, not anybody else’s. All because you can’t be bothered to make sure your IP address matched.

Why not put pirates in prison since what they’re doing is cyber-terrorism, given how much damage it causes?

Firstly, because the amount of damage you regularly allege has never been proven. Your only justification for statutory damages is for deterrence, suggesting that damages rarely, if ever, reach the amounts you demand for. Seriously, the industry has been "damaged" for years and yet every year they keep boasting about how recession-proof they are. Which is it? Are you a golden industry immune to economic changes of the world or aren’t you?

Secondly, your enforcement is terrible. You can’t even exact a fine out of people because you insist on suing easy targets, not guilty parties. Any time a judge questions your standards of evidence you scream "DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE" and run like hell to lick your wounds. Malibu Media, who you often like to emulate, haven’t seen a single lawsuit go all the way in 2018 despite filing papers to the point where porn suits dominated copyright enforcement.

Thirdly, the parallel of copyright infringement with terrorism is an escalation nobody with any rational mind will believe. No hacking is involved, no government is compromised. It’s a sad attempt to parallel copyright infringement with things like rape or arson for the sake of eliciting sympathy, which you have rightly not gotten thanks to your refusal to punish copyright infringement like theft, based on actual damages and a higher standard of evidence.

Fourthly, jail means reduced or no fines included in the punishment. Which would remove the meal ticket for many of your compatriots so don’t expect them to get behind this idea.

Underneath all this editorializing there is no basis for swiping protected work from those who create it.

You’re fighting snippets. Short summaries. If the existence single short summary completely undermines your entire article you’ve got far bigger problems on your hands.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Copyright law doesn’t require proof of damages, but rather awards statutory damages, plus piracy is already criminalized.

Still all that is written here is smoke and mirrors which fails to explain why copyright protection, rather than piracy, is the problem. Article 13 is the result of twenty years of pirates flouting the law.

At the end of the day, there is no inherent right to steal the work of others, and every right for those from whom it is stolen to put a stop to the theft.

Governments see the value in protecting creative works, while pirates, obviously, do not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Ah, so we’re back to the “pay me because I demand it” argument. No justification, no substantiation, just give you money because you think you’re not rich enough.

The short answer is – since you seem to have a case of tl;drism – copyright enforcement isn’t the problem, the problem is you’re terrible at it.

The longer answer is that you sue indiscriminately, judges find your standards of evidence laughable and/or non-existent, and when asked to prove your case you choose not to fight for your statutory ransom.

If piracy was as damaging as you claim it is, like the equivalent of nuclear winter or the Second Coming, you’d probably have no problem getting all the money you want.

Your problem is that judges, unlike you and most copyright fanatics, aren’t as reckless or irresponsible. You call that “toothless”. A rational person would call that “checks and balances”. Or to use the term you lot are so allergic to, “due process”. Again, if you’re paying Mitch Bainwol millions of dollars every year to make piracy go away, and piracy hasn’t gone away, maybe stop paying some CEO for doing a terrible job.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Since it’s been brought up, let’s look at trends in copyright enforcement. The copyright lobby’s reliance on pornography to drive their numbers is interesting – partially because it opens a window into the mind of copyright enforcement (i.e. nobody would ever dare to fight a porn suit), but also because the same reputation harassment copyright enforcers like John Steele were banking on also prompted judges to pay more attention to copyright evidence.

Which includes damages, the one thing you insist doesn’t have to be proven. Several judges have even opined that copyright law is not a mechanism for “creators” to enrich themselves with settlement money.

Meanwhile, every content creator – porn or otherwise – has been forced to play defensive and insist that their suspiciously non-specific IP harvesting methods are “not Prenda”. Despite relying on the same chucklenut German “experts” like Guardaley or MarkMonitor. In addition, thanks to Malibu Media filing their suits willy nilly, the German courts ruled Malibu Media content to be undeserving of copyright protection.

So in John Smith’s attempt to make copyright enforcement less “toothless”, he invited the attention of some people who are looking at giving his “toothful” system a thoroughly excruciating dental extraction.

Nice job breaking it, hero!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Article 13 is the result of twenty years of pirates flouting the law.

And you rejected it anyway. There’s no satisfying you fuckers, is there? All because the thought of not being allowed to sue children makes you piss in your pants. Excuse me if I’m not feeling particularly empathetic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

The focus was always about money, plain and simple. The easier to get it, the better.

Children and grandmothers and veterans were the obvious targets since they had very limited means of fighting back. Up to the point where people realized that going after those with very limited means of fighting back was morally reprehensible and the RIAA very reluctantly stopped. So they turned to any means of vilifying anyone related to tech – not too difficult given that some notables in Silicon Valley are arguably douchebags themselves. The problem there is they then have to contend with “Big Tech”‘s war chest. (And they don’t seem to have realized that any ability to stand up to “silly valley” would mean that the money they claimed was stolen by pirates had never left the building.)

It’s likely that the RIAA and MPAA were closely following Prenda and Malibu Media given their prevalence in copyright cases filed across the country and shook their fists in self-righteous fury once the Prenda scheme collapse. Rightscorp’s basket appears to be where they’re now putting all their eggs in, having lucked out with Liam O’Grady.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

He’s apparently dumb enough to believe that piracy has only been happening for 20 years and/or that it didn’t happen before the internet came along. He also apparently doesn’t understand that the objections come from the way it will affect those who not infringe, not the effect on those who do.

Obviously, no proposed solution would be applicable to the real world if that level of ignorance is behind the thought process.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"He’s apparently dumb enough to believe that piracy has only been happening for 20 years and/or that it didn’t happen before the internet came along."

Worse. Looking at the years john smith/bobmail/blue has been trolling the boards here and on torrentfreak I’d say that he’s "trumping". As that man describes the "art of the deal".

In other words, he has never reflected on factual reality since he believes that if he keeps presenting his narrative eventually a law, a deal and/or money will be provided him just to get him to shut up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

In fact, these laws they create in effect stop any new startups from being created. Because they can’t afford to create all these filters that are now required or you end up fined out of business, and the GDPR and everything else.

The large American companies have the money to put up with all these laws. Really, they are protected and locked into place now because of them.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'It's what you asked for, what's the problem?'

Forget a ‘leaked beta test’ with a handful of pictures, Google should do this for real for EU users for a few days to a week, explaining that they are testing out how best to comply with the proposed law and if people don’t want to see the ‘temporary test’ become the real thing it might be a good time to start contacting their politicians/organizing mass-protests similar to the ones that cropped up in response to ACTA.

To be sure Google actually stands to benefit from the proposed changes to an extent(the requirements would be painful to it, but absolutely lethal to potential competition), but for even then it would still be a good idea for them to shoot this down now, as if it does pass it’s a given that while they may benefit in the short term even more restrictive, ‘You have money, give it to us!’ laws will follow down the road.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 'It's what you asked for, what's the problem?'

“if once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane” – Rudyard Kipling

(Note for those concerned: This quote is from a poem believed to be in the Public Domain in the US and/or UK, and if not, is believed to be covered by Fair Use.)

(Also Note: This quote used in its historical context. No offense is intended to any Danes, living or deceased, who were not part of any raids on other countries and peoples, or to any peoples, living or deceased, who have been or are being raided by Nordic peoples, also living or deceased.)

Jeroen Hellingman (profile) says:

A Blessing in Disguise...

Wasn’t the old mantra that the internet sees censorship as a system failure and will try to route around it?

Article 11 and 13 provide an opportunity to reinvigorate the decentralized nature of the Internet that has been lost with the raise of the internet giants as Google and Facebook, and my message to traditional publishers in this regard will be “be careful what you wish for”

Article 11 will be relatively easy to work around. Publishing parties that wish to have their snippets displayed with search results simply set up a “snippet server”; the search engine will only return pointers to those snippets, and the end-user’s browser will retrieve them, directly from the server under control of the publisher. A few safeguards may be needed to stop rogue publishers from gaming the system, by using cryptographic hashes of the content, but after that, those publisher who want snippets in search results can have them, pulled directly from own their service. Search engines only need to provide the address of the server and the hash, the browser will retrieve the rest, and compose a view indistinguishable from the current search results. Search engines can provide a further service of summarizing articles and uploading snippets to those servers, and even provide completely configured servers as docker images or something similar. Publishers who do not want this can simply not participate and become irrelevant.

Working around article 13 may take a little more time. Here the idea is that we do not need the giants to build a social network. Already we see a rapidly growing market for NAS devices. Such devices are actually much more than just a NAS. They can also run web services. It is fairly easy to envision running software on these that provide functionality the likes of LinkedIn or Facebook provide today, but then without much of the privacy concerns or advertising overload. I envision within a few years, small NAS devices will emerge with a “Facebook-in-a-box” application configured ready-to-go. Key features will be privacy and ease-of-use. Owners can add friends and control their access, software can pull together “walls” from the servers of all friends they have access to, and friend-of-friend items can be copied (if so configured) to create the same experience without a central server. Legally, owners of such NAS boxes/servers will of course remain fully liable for copyright infringement (as they are today when they post on social networks), but since there is no intermediary (except of course the ISP’s, who cannot see the data, as everything will be end-to-end encrypted), intermediary liability is not an issue. Sharing memes, holiday pictures and funny cat movies will remain possible without any filter, and a thing going viral will now not just involve sharing a link, but the physical copying of files between connected people. As NAS with several terabytes can be had for a couple of hundred dollars or euros, and such as NAS boxes have many great features beyond sharing holiday pictures, I give them a great future.

Of course, such a fully decentralized social network will quickly be found to be perfectly tailored to also share copyrighted materials between friends. Given six degrees of separation, popular stuff will continue to spread fairly rapidly and many authors will be happy with it. but the stream of revenue publishers now get from Facebook and YouTube will dry up.

So maybe we should thank the EP for this…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I don’t normally just go to a new site. I see a snip of something that sounds interesting and click on it which takes me there to read the whole thing, which in turn I find other things of interest there.

With Snips gone, I just don’t go there. These places will once again see that all the traffic they had dry up.

If you don’t like what Google is doing, ok. You think it’s somehow unfair? That’s fine!!! There’s a simple way to fix that. A simple robot.txt file will stop Google from having anything to do with your web site. No snipping, no indexing. Google is no longer in your life.

But No, they want Google to do this as it brings them traffic. But they also see that Google has lots of money and they want some of it also, just for the honor of sending people their way. Well F that. See what happens once the law goes into effect. Google doesn’t need them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Their claim is that since Google provides snippets with their links that users don’t need to even click the link; Everything they need to know is already in the Google search results list. This implies a few things:

  1. The news articles are of such poor quality that you get everything you need out of them by reading 2 or 3 sentences.
  2. People aren’t clicking those links as often as they once did. Rather than being satisfied with the content of the snippet my money is on those users going elsewhere to read the whole article. There are countless news sources on the net these days so there is naturally some dilution.
  3. Despite putting their content on the web these news outfits still haven’t figured out that what they offer is a commodity, widely available and worth very, very little on a per-piece basis.

The reduced traffic is blamed on Google despite the opposite being true; Without Google they would see far less traffic. Still, if Google is to blame then surely getting them to pay to list news content is the proper solution (chortle).

ECA (profile) says:

I think they have a problem,,

Discerning what is at stake here..
Its no international news that is Problematical..
Its local.

IF’ they pass this fairly, and EVERYONE that links has to pay.. Bing, excite, yahoo, and every other search engine..
Dont forget, that MOST news paper ARE AGGREGATORS..they didnt go out and get/make the news, they only gather it from the major corps, and display it on the site..

If this is done fairly, all those smaller news site will have to pay ALSO..
Local news will suffer, because it wont be sent out to all that need to know.

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