Record Labels, Film Studios, Tech Companies And The Public Now All Agreed That Article 13 Is A Disaster

from the why-is-it-still-moving-forward? dept

Earlier this week, we noted that the film, TV and sports industry associations had come out against Article 13 in the EU Copyright Directive. It was for all the wrong reasons of course — mainly, that (1) negotiators were exploring very minor safe harbors that would give internet platforms conditions they could follow to avoid liability and (2) they were hoping that a few court cases would break their way and they’d get an even better result in the courts — but it was still notable. After all, much of Article 13 was pushed for by those same industry reps.

Still, some suggested that while the movie and TV folks wanted out, the record labels didn’t, as they had been even more instrumental in crafting Article 13, with their entirely mythical concept of the “value gap” (a thing that does not actually exist) which they incorrectly believed Article 13 would solve. However, on Thursday, even the record labels bailed out on support for Article 13, though it appears for the same awful reasons as the film studios. They don’t go quite as far as the film and TV folks (who ask for Article 13 to be put on hold indefinitely), but rather call for major changes:

With the final trilogue only days away, European creatives and rightsholders urgently inform EU policymakers that the 13 January draft text of the proposed Copyright Directive does not meet the original objective of Article 13 and urgently requires significant changes.

They don’t really explain why they’re so upset, but it’s not difficult to see that it’s the same reason as the film, TV and sports organizations. Again, Article 13 is a kind of bait and switch. All of the stuff people are complaining about — the mandatory filters, notice-and-staydown, the insane fines — all go away if the internet platforms agree to basically cough up all their money to the legacy copyright gatekeepers. The “secret” truth behind Article 13 is that even the folks crafting it know that all of the demands are absolutely ridiculous. It’s just that they’ve included a “way out.” And that “way out” is to agree to insane licensing rates from the legacy copyright players. Despite the nonsense you’ll hear, this won’t create “fair market” rates or “fair” anything. You don’t negotiate a fair market rate when you’re basically told that if you don’t agree to whatever rates the copyright gatekeepers set, you’ll get fined billions of dollars.

So any path to avoiding having to agree to a license at the end of a shotgun is seen as a non-starter for the entertainment industry. Though, their latest bit of petulance about not getting everything they want kind of gives away the gameplan. This was never about stopping infringement. It was always about a government-mandated wealth-transfer from the companies who actually innovated to the companies that failed to innovate.

Either way, if they no longer like the deal, the tech companies have never liked the deal and (most importantly) the public hates the deal… then why is the EU still pushing forward with it? Who actually still supports it, beyond the politicians in the EU? It’s one thing to say that a true political compromise makes no one happy, but this is a case where everyone is fundamentally against the end result entirely.

So, please, European bureaucrats: let’s just leave Article 13 in the trash pile where it belongs.

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Comments on “Record Labels, Film Studios, Tech Companies And The Public Now All Agreed That Article 13 Is A Disaster”

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36 Comments
Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

So, please, European bureaucrats: let’s just leave Article 13 in the trash pile where it belongs.

That would be a good start. But what we really need to do is not just reject bad legislation that would make the current copyright abuse regime worse, but push back and start repealing and reversing the foundations of the copyright abuse regime itself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, that’s right, ALL copyright infringers must be jailed.

So basically, 99% of everyone – because at some point, probably everyone has committed copyright infringement, even without realizing it.

I’m sure the prisons can handle roughly everyone in the world. I have a better idea though: Let’s just declare Earth a prison for copyright infringers, and all the righteous people who have never in their lives infringed copyright get to live on the moon.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Copyright law allows for five years in federal prison for infringement. Infringers are costing internet companies a fortune so the damage they inflict is quite clear.

If you object to the criminal provisions of copyright law, take it up with Congress. Reality does not agree with you at this juncture.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That’s rich given the amount of infringement committed by “Jhon” — and the rest of us by merely viewing this page (the computer downloads it temporarily so we can read it, thereby creating a copy). Also, quoting from other people’s posts without asking first? Copyright is assigned automatically, remember.

Unless we’re discussing a secret interpretation of copyright.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Theft as a conclusory allegation is not the same as theft as stealing.

This would have made sense if not for the fact that "piracy is theft" has been the rallying cry of your propaganda for several decades. Never mind the fact that you openly admit to not policing "piracy" the same was as "theft" because you can’t wean yourself off the idea of enriching yourself through "statutory damages".

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“The next step is jailing pirates en masse, justified by the incredible amount of damage they cause internet companies.”

I’m fine with that, as long as there’s a burden of real proof and proper due process applied, along with proof of actual damages caused by their activities.

Surely you’re also fine with that, rather than simply depending on hearsay and invented figures to destroy peoples’lives?

Rekrul says:

Here’s a law that would make all of the copyright industry happy;

In order to create an account on any site or service that allows user-generated content, all users must present two forms of photo ID and have their account verified in person by an employee of the company. Then if they post anything that the copyright industry deems to be infringing, they will be subject to summary execution.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Yes indeed, per Rick Falkvinge."

The person who was lauding child pornography as a means of attack was the head at the time of the danish anti-piracy group.
And this Mr. Schlüter has since been in court for fraud and embezzlement on separate occasions.

The remarkable thing about that isn’t that there’s one bad apple in the copyright enforcement community, but that around the world so very many copyright enforcement chiefs have gone to jail over fraud, tax evasion, embezzling and in the baltic states at one time, running drug deals.

Combined with such sterling showcases as ACS:Law and Prenda I’m fairly certain that being an untrustworthy amoral weasel must be in the actual job description.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It just shows how desperate and/or dishonest they are, that they’ve reached the point where they conflate two things are aren’t even remotely similar in any number of ways(one has an actual victim with demonstrable harm, the vastly different legal status between them both in severity of the act and legal exceptions which only one has…), in a laughably obvious attempt to bolster what passes for their argument.

A mixture of funny, telling and sad really.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s a classic attempt to shut the argument down. Rather than debate facts, they try to conflate the subject with something nobody can be in support of, then state that anyone who supports one thing supports both. If they pretend abuse and piracy are equal, then if you support the pirates you must be in favour of child porn – and nobody will argue they are in support of that!

It’s a nakedly transparent tactic that’s sadly effective in many government debates.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ah, this old chestnut about not being able to stop child pornography again.

If you enforced child porn laws the same way as you do copyright laws we’d be seeing a lot more children and grandmothers hauled to prison because you chucklefucks can’t have a higher standard of evidence beyond mere accusation.

Judges ruled that IP addresses alone are not enough. Wasn’t it you guys who gloated Liam O’Grady’s decisions, and ranted that laws and verdicts were immutable? Sucks to be you, John Smith!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“If stopping child pornography would “ruin the internet” doss that mean it shouldn’t be stopped?”

Well, let’s ignore for the moment that child pornography involves a definite victim and infringement does not – do you honestly think that stopping online child pornography would stop all child pornography? You’re probably dumb enough o think that piracy didn’t occur before the internet too…

ECA (profile) says:

Lets think about this..

Fair market rate..
A production company generally sells at a low price and the middle men get a share then the Reseller doubles/triples the price and by that time its worth $1-2 per song..Ok?
THERE starting price cover giving the artist(s) his share. Which is from $0.10-0.15 and from there the price goes up..
ALSO, how do you know what is being paid PER SONG..
Go look at itunes and google and Pandora, and all the rest..
Avg price is??? PER SONG..

thats the key here…PER SONG. NOT PER PLAY, PER SALE, PER anything..
How about the Average Price of a movie? AFTER the theater has it…$1-2..rental??
If you Go after the individual, and DONT PROVE he sold it and made a fortune.. How much do you think you can get??

Go after every person that Listened to it..WOW, lets post something on Youtube and TRY to get the list of every person who ever Listened to the music, watched the video..

Its a funny concept…NOT that warning on the label..that WANTS $200,000..its the thought that you have 1 copy and the average PRICE PER PERSON they didnt get in the END.. That Little bit of money they got form RENTING the movie Or sold the CD..

If you cant PROVE you have made a loss…is it worth taking 1 person to court for 1 song? Unless you can show he made a Fortune… And if the pirate made that fortune, HOW/WHY did he..

How much of the pirate stuff, has made ANY MONEY??? esp with the net.. 99.999% of it comes out FREE. the one worse for ware, tend to be those Sites that give malware, LIKE THOSE PAID SITES that want to place cookies on your machine..that track all your data..and send a list of all the movies you installed..(love you also itunes) And/or ERASE STUFF you even paid for..

HOW about the DRM on High def, TV MOVIES…know how that works? You TV and the AUDIO channel have to have the DRM for it, or it will goto Standard 1080..NOT 4k, not 7.1/5.1 or anything else..and they cant keep it secret for long before they WANT to change it, and your BRAND NEW unit cant do it..they changed the code…Hackers, love you also..NOW I can play it at the Res I wanted..
After the hackers, I can store it on Anything and watch the movie/music as I wish.. NOT at home on a DVD player that dont work anymore because they changed the codes.. Or locked up on my Phone at a RES I cant even see.

How would it seem to a court, if we brought up lots of this info and comments, about HOW they TRY to protect themselves. and mess up everything..
I think I would give the hackers the $1 rental fee.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lets think about this..

Yes, nobody likes penalties intended for mass commercial piracy for profit to be applied to single mothers who did the equivalent of making a mixtape. Except you psychopaths, of course.

That’s where you lost support for this battle. If sane and realistic penalties were demanded, you’d have much more support.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Lets think about this..

"If sane and realistic penalties were demanded, you’d have much more support."

Dubious.

Bear in mind that what we are essentially looking at is a rehash of the same tired old knee-jerk reaction against private individuals copying information as we saw with the tape cassette and VCR. The same way the public will not accept a restriction on what they may or may not copy with a tape recorder they won’t accept restriction when the procedure can be performed using a computer.

Which is irrelevant, of course, since "sane and realistic penalties" would mean the main revenue source of copyright enforcement agencies would cease to exist. It’s like saying that car insurance would be more reasonable if, in fact, cars did not exist.

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