EU Commission Decides To Mock The Public; Insists Fears About EU Copyright Directive Are All Myths

from the really-now? dept

On Thursday, the European Commission posted — on its official Medium page — an astoundingly juvenile and obnoxious post, lashing out at those who have complained that Articles 11 and 13 in the EU Copyright Directive will be destructive. The post was snide and condescending, and suggested that most of the opposition was fake and “astroturfed” and that anyone who really believed that the EU Copyright Directive was a problem was brainwashed by Google and Facebook. It was… quite a post. On Friday evening, I wrote up a (mostly) line-by-line response to its utter nonsense and planned to post it this week once people were back in the office to review it. However, on Saturday, after widespread criticism, the EU Commission “removed” the post without an apology — but with the standard cop out of someone who did something bad but can’t admit it:

We have removed this article as it has been understood in a way that doesn?t reflect the Commission?s position.

“… it has been understood…” Not “we wrote an insulting, misleading and condescending article that we shouldn’t have posted.” Not, “we’re sorry that we lashed out at the public we’re supposed to represent.” No, it’s all your fault in that you “misunderstood” our obnoxious, snide remarks to be both obnoxious and snide.

Given that so many people missed it and that I already had this post written with much of the original quoted — what follows is my original post.

This is quite incredible. Earlier this year, we wrote about the Legislative Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament putting out a “Q and A” page about the EU Copyright Directive that was so full of wrong that it was insulting. However, now it appears that the EU Commission has decided to one up its colleagues in the Parliament by posting an article to Medium of all places (one of the many sites that will be massively harmed by the Directive) insisting that you’re all fools for thinking that anything bad might happen, and that it’s all the fault of Google/Facebook. Thankfully, for at least the time being, I am free to quote large parts of their article and respond to it without having to “buy a license” from the Commission, so let’s take advantage of that remaining bit of freedom.

Take this test: Type in ?EU Copyright Directive? into the search box in Youtube. The majority of results in the top 20 will be passionately against it. Here?s some of the headlines, if you?re not sure:

?Shocking update on the Copyright Directive.? ?Today Europe lost the Internet? ?How the new copyright laws will destroy the internet? ?Censorship machines?, ?EU to end the internet? or ?Europe to ban all memes?

Of course, we know from recent elections and referendums that simple memorable slogans???however untrue or unobtainable???can go a long way to winning over hearts, minds and voters. And so it was, that the wholly inaccurate phrases ? link taxes ? and ? censorship machines ? started to be part of the campaign against the proposed Copyright Directive. Never let the truth get in the way of a catchy slogan.

Note the opening here is dripping with condescension, suggesting that even though basically everyone is not only against this law, but speaking out against it, they’re all just silly fools, tricked by a slogan. Note that this does not respond to any of the massive problems many, many experts have raised about the approach in the Copyright Directive — especially on Articles 11 and 13. It just sneers about what it says are inaccurate phrases (spoiler alert: those phrases are not inaccurate).

The idea behind the Directive is to bring copyright rules into the 21st century. The current rules are very analogue and designed for the world before the web. Things have changed. Search and social media platforms largely define the way we enjoy content today, but their market dominance has now tilted the balance in their favour and away from those who design and create original things.

This is hogwash. The “laws” they are trying to change include things like the EU’s E-Commerce Directive that was (oh, look at that) passed in the 21st Century, when the web was already around and thriving. Second, the idea that search and social media platforms have “tilted the balance… away from those who design and create original things” is ludicrous. As we’ve shown for years, the internet has given a massive boost to content creation — enabling more creation in nearly every single category. It has made it easier to create, produce, release, distribute, share, build a fan base and to make money than at any time in history. The internet has enabled more people than ever before in history to not just create, but to make money from their creations.

If you want to know who it’s tilted the playing field against, it’s the legacy gatekeepers: the old record labels, movie studios and publishers, who used to operate in an oligopolistic world, with little competition, where they could demand all of the rights from creators in exchange for a small chance of success — and if success came, those gatekeepers would still suck up nearly all of the rewards. Can anyone tell me if Return of the Jedi is profitable yet? Has Lyle Lovett’s record label paid him a dime yet? Meanwhile, artists who are embracing the internet are finding that it can pay off massively.

The world of Article 11 and 13 is a move towards going back to the old system. To force artists and creators into the arms of a small group of gatekeepers who decide if you can even post your content online at all, let alone try to make money from it. For the EU Commission to repeat a completely made up myth that artists are somehow worse off today is not just revisionist history bullshit, it’s insulting.

As it stands, big internet platforms such as Facebook or Google make a lot of money from ads that appear on their sites alongside copyrighted material such as music or clips. The more people view, the more money platforms can earn from those adverts.

Very little of the content appearing on Facebook and Google is infringing. Yes, both sites will send a lot of traffic to content elsewhere, and make money on ads from that service, but that’s different. Meanwhile, both Google and Facebook have spent many millions of dollars on automated filters to block out infringing content (or to allow copyright holders to monetize that content). So if the idea is to attack those companies with a new law requiring such filters, how does this law “improve” anything?

Answer: it does not. The new law is designed to ramp up the liability even higher — such that when such filters fail (and they always fail because it is impossible to get right), the fines will be catastrophic. As such, the entire point of Articles 11 and 13 is to be so ridiculous and so draconian, that Google and Facebook would have no choice but to pay up to avoid getting hit with tons of lawsuits. It’s an extortionate plan, put together by the EU bureaucrats, to favor legacy gatekeepers.

Just as Google and Facebook are being rewarded financially for all their hard work in producing amazing software, clever algorithms and exciting designs, we think authors, film-makers, journalists and musicians should also be rewarded for their endeavours too. At the moment the balance of power in who gets paid for such royalties resides overwhelmingly with the big Californian companies???who are worth around $1 Trillion.

This implies — totally falsely — that “authors, film makers, journalists and musicians” are not being rewarded today for their endeavors. They are. Some successfully. Some unsuccessfully. Demanding that EVERY INTERNET COMPANY that hosts content (not just Google and Facebook) cough up massive sums of money to gatekeepers (who have a history of not paying actual creators) doesn’t seem like a smart path forward. It sounds like an utterly corrupt one.

The Copyright Directive is an attempt to create a level playing field where everyone can gain from the amazing options that the new technologies offer. Musicians, artists, video producers and the whole creative sector will benefit by having a fairer negotiating position.

“Everyone can gain”? By making platforms no longer work? By making it impossible to post and share content? By forcing small companies out of business? By killing off the ways in which many independent creators now earn their livings? The EU Commission is so bizarrely disconnected from reality.

Journalists and online publications will have more money to keep on financing quality research and news. Despite what you might read, the Copyright directive supports a free press and could enable journalists to get some money when their articles are shared online. Good journalism costs money and without a free press there is no democracy.

Remember, Article 11 has already been tried in both Germany and Spain, and failed in both places. It did not lead to more money for journalists or publications. It did not help support a free press. It actually harmed a free press. How the EU Commission can just push out blatant lies without people laughing at them is beyond me.

Fair remuneration for and from the platforms and a fairer market place is what we want. We cannot achieve a real European digital single market which makes us all better off, if copyrighted material is misused or poorly remunerated. Because if creative people don?t get paid, they can?t afford to be creative. No Mon = No Fun

Define “fair”? Is it “fair” that Return of the Jedi never made a profit and people who were supposed to share in its profits never did so? Is it fair that Lyle Lovett never received any royalties? It does seem fair that artists who build up a strong fan base, like Amanda Palmer, are able to earn a really nice living supported by her fans. It will be too bad when the platforms that helped her do so — like Patreon and Kickstarter — find that they are unworkable under Article 13. That seems… unfair. And again, right now more artists than ever before are getting paid. And that’s happening because of the internet that Article 13 will fundamentally change.

And, uh, “no mon = no fun”? Isn’t this the same damn post where the EU Commission itself was mocking “slogans”? But let’s be clear here: there is currently both more “mon” and more “fun” based on literally every single study of the market place today. The internet has enabled wild creativity — but also tremendous remuneration. The real problem that the EU Commission has is that this is now being spread around much further, and the old gatekeepers with their strong lobbying relationships aren’t able to capture as much of it.

The EU Copyright Directive is corrupt cronyism at its worst.

Just like everyone else, the EU loves culture, cinema, art and music. We have no intention in restricting young people?s access to all these wonderful things on- or offline. Oh and by the way, no matter what some people (and paid-for campaigns) may tell you, you will never be prevented from having a laugh online. WE ARE NOT BANNING MEMES. On the contrary, there will be a guarantee that platforms respect your right to self-expression. That includes pastiche, critique and parody.

They keep saying this and it is nonsense. They demand filters — and then say that platforms will have to “nerd harder” to figure out how not to use those filters to block memes. What they ignore (purposefully, because this has been explained in great detail) is that no filter can understand the context to recognize what is a “meme” or what is parody. Indeed, popular memes have been at the center of multiple copyright cases.

Nonetheless, it appears as if the largest search and video platforms in the world are afraid of regulation???despite having overwhelming dominance on the internet.

This might be the only accurate statement in this whole damn article. They may very well be afraid of regulation. And maybe for good reasons — because such regulation will massively and fundamentally change the very nature of the internet — not just for themselves, but for everyone else as well. That’s the concern.

Furthermore, there is ample evidence from respected sources, here and here and perhaps here or here or indeed here that ?Big Technology? has even ?created? grassroots campaigns against the Copyright Directive in order to make it look and sound as if the EU is acting against the ?will of the people?.

This is the absolute most disgusting part of this. In one paragraph — much of it linking to a group of people known for (a) being paid by competitors to Google or (b) conspiracy-theory levels of insanity regarding the internet — the European Commission simply brushes away millions of citizens and their views. While it’s entirely possible that the big internet companies are pushing their viewpoint here, the above paragraph is overly inflated nonsense. The public is going crazy about this, in large part because of nonsense like this that is being put out, where it is clear that the bureaucrats in Brussels don’t know (a) how the internet works, (b) what this law will actually do, or (c) what the public is actually saying.

Over at there’s a petition protesting this with nearly 5 million signatures, making it the largest petition in’s entire history. You don’t fake that. People are angry. And with good reason, when the bureaucrats, who are supposed to represent their interests, are spewing utter nonsense along these lines.

And the most incredible part? Right after totally dismissing the views of the vast majority of the public, these numbskulls state the following:

That?s another myth. Unlike Google and Facebook, the EU is answerable to the public and to democratically elected politicians.

Answerable to the public? You just pretended the views of the public weren’t legitimate. You ignored the largest petition in history. You are not representing the interests of the public, but rather a very small legacy industry which failed to adapt. The whole thing is completely disgusting.

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Comments on “EU Commission Decides To Mock The Public; Insists Fears About EU Copyright Directive Are All Myths”

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Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Try reading the linked article.

in two decades of making music, selling 4.6 million albums, he’s "never made a dime" from album sales, but has instead used those record sales to make money on tour

In other words, the record companies steal all of the artists’ profits on their music sales–literally so in some cases, such as Lyle Lovett’s–and it only serves as advertising to induce people to come to concerts, which is where he makes his money.

This makes their sanctimonious talk about piracy harming creators particularly galling. Piracy can’t harm the artists, because even successful artists like Lyle Lovett are getting nothing, which means there’s no pool of "money they’re receiving" to diminish the size of!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh jeez, not this BS again.

If Lyle Lovett sold 4.6 million albums over the 17 years of that contract, it averages out to about 270,000 copies a year. His advances for those albums (money loaned to him by the record company) were several hundred thousand dollars for each record. He never made the money back to pay off those advances.

So stop using this trope to justify stealing from musicians, you d-bags.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"His advances for those albums (money loaned to him by the record company) were several hundred thousand dollars for each record. He never made the money back to pay off those advances."

So Lovett, like so many other entrepreneurs, took a loan which failed to render a sizable roi. Then the jokes on him for signing himself up on a label contract of indentured servitude.

And secondly, given that every independent study on market impact of piracy has found either no measurable impact or POSITIVE sales effect pirates certainly can’t be blamed for Lovett’s hypothetical failure to recover his investment.

"So stop using this trope to justify stealing from musicians, you d-bags."

Says the man who managed to cram a flawed assumption, an outright lie, and some ad hom into that same sentence.

Good going as usual, bobmail.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No, it’s legitimate as-written. "Extortionate" is an adjective describing the nature of something as involving extortion.

The problem is, it misses the larger point that all Internet copyright enforcement as we know it is extortionate. The DMCA set a very bad precedent with its notice-and-takedown system, and other countries followed our example. This is just building on it.

If we want to actually improve things, instead of simply complaining about attempts to make them even worse, we need to fight back and move things in the opposite direction.

They want to strengthen extrajudicial takedowns and filters? Let’s roll them back instead!

They want crippling intermediary liability? Dismantle it!

They aren’t content with using DRM to steal our property rights in the things we purchase? Remove the legal protections that give it legitimacy!

Right now, while this is a big issue with high visibility, is the time to act. It’s time for the Internet to stand up to legacy copyright interests and say "we are sick and tired of 20 years of abuse, and it ends here! We’re taking your toys away because you can’t play nicely with them!"

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The DMCA set a very bad precedent with its notice-and-takedown system, and other countries followed our example. This is just building on it.

You know, the USA avoided joining the Berne Convention for 102 years—until 1988—because they thought it went too far (particularly with unregistered copyrights and moral rights, and they’re still weaseling out of that moral rights component). So I’d say every country is just building on every other’s increasingly restrictive laws, but that sounds vaguely like copyright infringement…

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

This implies — totally falsely — that "authors, film makers, journalists and musicians" are not being rewarded today for their endeavors.

Ah, but therein lies the trick: It isn’t that they believe creators are not being rewarded today, but rather that they believe creators are not being rewarded every day for the exact same work they’ve already published.

Rocky says:

Who will pay for this...

The customers and the artists of course.

All the middle men will need a bigger cut to be profitable (and cover any liabilities) which means economically that customers will have to pay more and artists get less.

When customers think something is too expensive they either do without or they seek other means to acquire it cheaper. Either way consumption goes down which means even less money for anyone trying to make a buck.

On another note, I wonder what would happen if an ad-network used a copyrighted image without license in ads that show up on many larger sites? Is the site presenting the ads liable or is it the ad-network that is liable? I can’t really figure it out after reading article 13 since it’s so vague and unspecified.

From the rights-holders perspective according to article 13 he doesn’t really have to care either way. I may be wrong, but since the wording is what it is, it’s hard to nail down exactly how it should be interpreted.

Anonymous Coward says:

What is at stake?

Why is this a battle between technology companies and the legacy gatekeepers?

Simple: the middlemen have changed roles.

Legacy middlemen (‘distributors’) had a monopoly on one thing only: distribution channels for artistic creations. Anyone who wanted to publish and distribute anything, anywhere, was forced to deal with them. They were so powerful they could demand the creators to sign over all of their copyrights to them. And they did make that demand. Golden days.

But they were not creators themselves, and they can only make money from the IP they own. So in order to gain more money from that IP they had 2 options: either find ever more creators that were willing to sign away their IP (not easy), or make the IP itself worth more (hmm).

That second option proved the easier: by convincing politicians to increase the copyright terms, the IP they already owned became ever more valuable. And with that added value for the (sometimes very old) IP came the protection of that IP: ever more draconian rules and laws for preventing the unlicensed use and for punishing the infringers.

The Big Looser of this strategy is, of course, the public domain. That same PB that has always been one of the largest sources of inspiration for many an artist. So in effect the strategy of the gatekeepers made it ever more difficult for starting creators to create anything without stepping on some IP here or there. Thus, continually decreasing ‘option one’ of making money for the gatekeepers…

Enter The Internet.

And the arrival of the New Middlemen (‘internet technology companies’). They offer alternatives to the distribution channels of the legacy gatekeepers. These services enable artists to promote and publish their creations and to profit from them themselves, directly. These New Middlemen recognize the artists’ true value as creators: that they will keep creating new stuff if given a stage and an incentive.

The stage is the plethora of platforms available to artists to publish their art and connect with fans/followers. The incentive is the fact that since these artists retain the rights to their creations, they alone reap the rewards.

Of course, since the inflation of IP value by the legacy gatekeepers, these artists are a very attractive target for said gatekeepers of yore. And the only way they can think of to get these creators ‘under contract’, is to re-instate their roles as distributor monopolists.
And since they have – after years of practice – perfected the art of lobbying for suitable laws, they aim to accomplish that goal by creating laws like the EU Copyright Directive.

So, you see this is not a law that aims to pay more money to artists. It is a plot to restore the only real leverage of the legacy gatekeepers: distribution channel control.

Anonymous Coward says:

The internet has created neutral platforms, youtube, twitch, patreon, soundcloud , etc this enable million,s of creators to make a living ,making art, video,audio, music graphic art, webcomics etc they route around the gatekeepers .
Also social media enables artists to connect with fans
with going through cnn,abc,fox ,legacy media corporations.
New forms of art are being made, webcomics, video game playthrough videos, etc that did not exist in the 80,s .
So if the eu thinks it can pretend this new law is designed to help small artists or creators its
like saying the laws around software patents in the us
are designed to help small startups or small companys .
Its designed to shift the balance away from free speech
into a future where the web is like tv,
only content that has been licensed will be shown .
The legacy companys do not want to operate in the free market ,they want to censor the whole internet if it means they might get more money off google or facebook .
And it means they become gatekeepers again ,
you may watch or listen to only to content they approve of.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

The wrong is strong with this one (EU)

I’ve been arguing on Twitter with one of their apologists, who acknowledges that the Directive isn’t perfect but insists that the unicorns and fairies (automation and "digital fingerprints") will sort out any problems soon enough.

Mike, you missed something: in their laughable FAQs the Commission stated that an agreement would ideally be made between platforms and creators with metadata to identify works under copyright. If agreements are concluded with rights holders, the measures would help them to get an appropriate remuneration for the use of their works. If no such agreements exist, rights holders would need to provide the services with metadata of their content (e.g. "fingerprints") to prevent the upload of specific unauthorised content. If no such metadata is provided to the platforms, they can allow the content to be freely uploaded by the users.

The twerp I was arguing with fell quiet when I pointed out that the very people this Directive is supposed to "protect" thereby won’t be since not every uploader bothers with describing the items accurately or identifiably where copyright is concerned. Thus, Prince’s estate could lose out on copyright royalties because the metadata on Joe Uploader’s compilation of Greatest Eighties Music would not necessarily include a description of each track and the copyright status thereof. "If it fails even the copyright holders," I advised, "it’s not worth bothering with."

I had to wade through dismissiveness and arrogance, not to mention accusations of being ignorant and bitter to get to that point.

They really do think that if we nerd hard enough we’ll be able to sort this out. but yeah, if we can’t get the public interest on the table, perhaps a more effective angle of attack would be that it wouldn’t even work for the people the Commission is sucking up to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The wrong is strong with this one (EU)

with metadata to identify works under copyright.

Any file metadata can claim what the last person to edit the actual file wants it to say. So what happens when the same content appears in a dozen versions, that only vary in what the metadata says.

Also, metadata in the file is an unreliable way of finding the creator, as it could be years out of date, and with no way for the creator to update all copies of the file.

They may as well ask for a working crystal ball, so that anybody who looks at a file through it is guaranteed to get the latest information about the actual creator.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The wrong is strong with this one (EU)

"He really seems to think that nerding harder is the solution."

There’s a reason i dismissively refer to copyright maximalists as a cult. Almost every suggestion they come up with is faith-based.

Unfortunately they tend to spend a lot of money selling their belief in black magic to the body politic where there’s always plenty of uneducated morons willing to believe that a lobbyists ability to crap a solidly unbroken line of bullshit in a high arc through his mouth is a sign of high credibility.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The wrong is strong with this one (EU)

[Sad but True]

Drives me nuts, every time. The worst part is the condescension and whining you get if you don’t toe the line. I’m not going to and I’m trolling him for all I’m worth to show our audience he has no clue what he’s talking about. My latest gambit: set up your own database and see how this works in practice. He hems, he haws, he’s not going to try it out or try to find out how things work in the real world.

Jason says:

"it has been understood"

Those kind of excuses really make me angry. It’s just another flavor of the "there’s a lot of confusion about" line that corporations toss out when there’s a huge negative reaction to a new policy announcement. Instead of, I don’t know, actually recognizing people have concerns and making a legitimate effort to address them?

"We were very surprised to learn that a lot of people are upset about what we decided was best for us—and therefore, by extension, them—so we can only assume they’re all too dumb to see why it’s such an obviously appropriate strategy. To correct this situation, please look over there while we roll our eyes and then say it all again v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y with brighter colors and a catchy tune."

Anonymous Coward says:

The internet rewards content creation without much regard to quality. Those who adapt by dumbing-down their work, and targeting the internet audience, with content that is difficult to profit from pirating, will adapt. An entire class of high-quality work no longer exists, and no one really cares.

What you now have are people who used to share knowledge simply exploiting it for themselves, or a few wealthy patrons. To say it’s easier to make money, however, is not correct. It can be done, but not as easily as before the gatekeeprs and social-media types took over, plus many who make money now are not exactly ethical.

If distribution is so valuable, then piracy harms creators economically since it deprives them of their distribution lists.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Those who adapt by dumbing-down their work,

You do not get about the Internet much do you, as their is self published works of high quality appealing to smaller audiences readily available. It is the legacy publishers who are guilty of dumbing down the quality of the work they publish, as the chase a mass market. Just look at the wasteland that is cable T.V. where all to often there is nothing worth watching, regardless of personal tastes.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Define “higher-quality”, and provide evidence for your assertions and examples.

Also, the current “gatekeepers”, by which I assume you mean sites like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Patreon, Kickstarter, etc., are far more open than legacy gatekeepers. I’m sorry if you don’t like some of the content they allow or have problems with what isn’t allowed on larger sites (the latter being a separate discussion), but it’s still an improvement, and I happen to like some B-grade content on occasion. A part of me still enjoys junk like the Demented Cartoon Movie, which is as low-quality as it gets by any objective measure. I don’t always need cutting-edge, high-quality content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The internet rewards content creation without much regard to quality.

Finally an admission that the Internet doesn’t harm content creators.

many who make money now are not exactly ethical

Every once in a while you demonstrate some modicum of self-understanding.

distribution lists

I thought copyright was what was supposed to be valuable? Which is it? Pirates stole your copyrights? Your mailing lists? Your sister’s virginity? Your oatmeal? What?!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This isn’t about me as much as you’d like to make it.

If these big corporations make money on distribution, the theft of that distribution is the theft of money.

Everything gets stolen on the internet. That’s the problem. Knowledge is more valuable as a secret that is exploited, even at the expense of society. If publishing that knowledge were properly rewarded, more knowledge would be made public. Piracy has reduced the spread of knowledge, but people wouldn’t be aware of that since they never see the missing knowledge in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Large corporations got that way by building mailing lists.

Best example is Conde Nast. One magazine on every topic you can think of, each designed to break even, while their list of tens of millions of subscribers makes them rich. Piracy is theft of that value, and therefore does not cost publishers nothing.

It would seem you are more obsessed with deflecting from my refutation, just like when I point out that newspapers "couldn’t compete with free" as proven by Craigslist’s classified-advertising section, which is why the print media industry has had such difficulty finding revenue. Craigslist saves people money in that regard, but that money used to fund investigative journalism.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

And pirates don’t have those mailing lists. Mailing lists implies having a list of identifiable data. Which pirates want to avoid leaving behind for the RIAA to pick up.

Yet you continue to piss and moan on this tangent of pirates stealing mailing lists, because you can’t push your ripoff of whale content on your scammy e-books.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

just like when I point out that newspapers "couldn’t compete with free" as proven by Craigslist’s classified-advertising section

Except for the newspapers that are successfully competing with free. Also, Craigslist and newspapers are two completely separate things. You go to Craigslist to shop and find ads, you go to a newspaper to, you know, read the news.

which is why the print media industry has had such difficulty finding revenue.

Oh yes, because Craigslist is the cause of ALL forms of print media losing revenue. Seriously, Craigslist isn’t even in the same market as traditional bookstores or other non-classified ad print material. Your argument is invalid.

Craigslist saves people money in that regard, but that money used to fund investigative journalism.

Really? Most newspapers let you take out an ad for free if it’s under a certain character limit. Newspapers make very little on their classified ad sections, if anything at all. Their main income is from user subscriptions and since the internet made it easier, quicker, and more accessible to read not only local news but global news for free, why would you pay for a traditional newspaper subscription? There is no value add.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"If these big corporations make money on distribution, the theft of that distribution is the theft of money."

This is where you lose us. In your statement, who lost? The big corporation that was doing distribution. Not creation, distribution. The Internet has made the need for distributors largely irrelevant. I suppose one could like some platforms to be ‘distributor like’, but the differences are greater than the likenesses.

Distributors chose what to distribute and where to distribute it, and when to distribute it. Platforms tend to let you put whatever you want up without time or place restrictions.

In the end big corporate distributors are going the way of buggy whip and butter churn manufacturers. So?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Distribution will always be king.

No one is actually disputing this. He just said the internet is the new distributor and it’s open to any and all creators to specify how, when, and where their products get distributed. This is opposed to the OLD distributors (which are becoming dinosaurs) that got to choose whose stuff they distributed, and how, when, and where it was distributed and took that choice away from the creators.

Just ask Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Well those are different from the old school distributors now aren’t they?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This isn’t about me as much as you’d like to make it.

Yeah it is since you are consistently wrong and divorced from reality.

Everything gets stolen on the internet.

Literally everything? I think maybe that’s a bit presumptuous.

Knowledge is more valuable as a secret that is exploited

More valuable? In some cases maybe, not universally. And holding on to knowledge just to exploit it, well, that just makes you evil. If I discover the cure for cancer and say "Pay me $10 trillion, otherwise I’ll take the secret to my grave", there would be a major uproar over that because I’m deliberately withholding information that could save lives for my own personal gain.

even at the expense of society

And that goes back to my point, it may, in some cases, be more monetarily valuable. That doesn’t make it the morally right and the social value may actually outweigh the monetary value.

If publishing that knowledge were properly rewarded, more knowledge would be made public.

This is patently false. People share knowledge every day, free of charge because they just want others to be aware of it. Researchers are constantly frustrated that their work gets locked up behind a paywall instead of being open for the public to read and access.

Piracy has reduced the spread of knowledge,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! How did you write that with a straight face? Piracy is the exact OPPOSITE of that. Piracy spreads knowledge, not keeps it locked up. That’s the whole point of it to begin with!

but people wouldn’t be aware of that since they never see the missing knowledge in the first place.

See above. Keeping things locked up behind paywalls does more to stop the spread of knowledge than piracy ever could, because piracy is the exact opposite of keeping things locked up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The internet rewards content creation without much regard to quality.

No, the internet just makes it easy to distribute said content, irrespective of quality. Which means more content (good and bad) makes it on to the market.

Those who adapt by dumbing-down their work, and targeting the internet audience

Wow. Way to insult the entire human race. Are you trying to piss the entire world off?

with content that is difficult to profit from pirating

So only content that can’t be pirated should be allowed? Hm, sounds more like harming creators than pirates.

An entire class of high-quality work no longer exists, and no one really cares.

What class would that be? Hm? Because as far as I’m aware, we still have high-quality music, paintings, films, books, food, reporting, etc… There’s just a larger volume of overall content to wade through now.

What you now have are people who used to share knowledge simply exploiting it for themselves, or a few wealthy patrons.

Yes, because all those how-to videos on Youtube are only available to the people who post them or a "few wealthy patrons". Right. You do realize that the internet is the next printing press right? The explosion of knowledge sharing that happened when the printing press was invented is NOTHING compared to the amount of information sharing that takes place EVERY SECOND on the internet.

To say it’s easier to make money, however, is not correct.

[Citation needed] Every creator on the internet who makes money now but couldn’t before the internet disagrees with you. For reference this is the vast majority of creators on the internet.

It can be done, but not as easily as before the gatekeeprs and social-media types took over

Um, social-media is actually one of, if not THE most effective way to promote your work (for free I might add) and they in no way deny you the right to advertise yourself or your product. They don’t even charge you for it. As far as "gatekeepers" go, who exactly are you talking about? Google? Youtube? Deviantart? Soundcloud? Patreon? Gee, all those "gatekeepers" seem to act more like "gate-breakers" since they allow you to upload your content for free, help you market and advertise, and in some cases even pay you for just uploading it and have people view it. You really don’t understand how the internet works, do you?

plus many who make money now are not exactly ethical.

This has what to do with anything? Un-ethical people have been profiting and making money since the beginning of the human race. The internet changed nothing in that respect.

If distribution is so valuable, then piracy harms creators economically since it deprives them of their distribution lists.

Very few creators distribute their content via distribution lists. Want to buy music? You go to Amazon, Apple, Google Music, Spotify, etc… Same goes for books, movies, paintings, etc… The ONLY thing distribution lists allow you to do is advertise, they don’t distribute actual content. And, newsflash, the vast majority of the world’s population HATES distribution lists advertising products. That’s why ALL email services include spam filters to block said distribution lists. Distribution lists are only highly valuable to spammers and scammers like yourself, in the hope you dupe a few people who will blindly hand over their bank accounts to you.

TFG says:

Re: Re: Re:


Marc Randazza did a bunch of scuzzy crap as a copyright hound on behalf of a porn producer including representing the people that producer went after (working both for Liberty and XVideos when Liberty would send takedowns to XVideos), then eventually attempted to burn his former client down which didn’t turn out well for him, and received slaps on the wrist from the bar ethics committee for said serious misconduct.

He’s swerved following a crash in reputation to represent alt-right folks with seriously objectionable views (Alex Jones among them), and appears to be going as far as espousing those same viewpoints himself.

Sources that huffpo has drawn from are enumerated at the bottom of the article, so you might find something more your speed by skipping the article and going for the sources.

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ah. I’d read some of that over at Ars Technica a few years back but hadn’t heard the most recent developments.

In Randazza’s defense, I’m not much of a fan of the guy but his defense of nazis does not seem to be a new development to me; in my observation he really does seem to walk the walk on free speech absolutism.

TFG says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s one thing to represent them, since everyone is due representation in court, but it is another thing entirely to compliment them:

"Yes. The Right used to act that way. Those who are sometimes called “alt right” are some of the most open and accepting of diverse views people I’ve met in politics."

Or to call for doxxing someone:

"better idea – instead of trying to ruin a bunch of dumb kids’ lives for a stupid joke, lets figure out who Kara is, Dox her, and smear her all across the internet so all future employers know they’re hiring a pain in the ass who will definitely cause problems with coworkers."

The links at the bottom of the huffpo article are also indicative of his overall misconduct and his fleecing of his own clients. Make your own determinations, but I wouldn’t trust him to represent me to my best interest at this point, regardless of my personal views.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Abolish Copyright

"You know this "haha, they won’t know it’s me because that’s something I wouldn’t say" trick doesn’t work, right Blue?"

Still, it’s nice to see him make an actual point, even if he thinks he’s being sarcastic. The world did just fine without any shred of Queen Anne’s statutes or the french protectionist laws for centuries during which most of what we call classics and high culture today was made.

So yes, abolish copyright. Or at least any of it which doesn’t fit in a Creative Commons framework.

Kevin Hayden (profile) says:

The next Prenda-esque business model:

1) Copyright a whole bunch of stuff (Doesn’t matter what it is. Any old claptrap will do.).
2) Clandestinely upload it to all kinds of sites that are now automatically liable based on this EU shit.
3) Initiate lawsuits against everyone, claiming loss of revenue.
4) Win lawsuits because these stupid EU laws say so.
5) Profit!!!

There’s a massive liability here for any site that hosts user-uploaded content.
My advice to all of them (Youtube, Reddit, Vimeo, etc.) is to withdraw from the EU if these directives become law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The next Prenda-esque business model:

I think I know what it would take to kill this: Google (all of it, including YouTube), Facebook, Twitter – all of them shut down/not available in the EU before this vote. Put up messages saying "if Articles 11 and 13 pass, this is what you get".

I give it two days before public pressure would force the issue.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Guess I’ll go curl up and die now."

Well you’d better. Wouldn’t want to be rude now would you?

That said being sarcastic about the poor copyright cultists chosen religion really isn’t kind. The poor man’s taking it on faith that you’ve been destroyed according to his interpretation of what is surely holy scripture.

Anonymous Coward says:

>>"Everyone can gain"? By making platforms no longer work? By making it impossible to post and share content? By forcing small companies out of business? By killing off the ways in which many independent creators now earn their livings? The EU Commission is so bizarrely disconnected from reality. >>>

Total bullshit from a cowardly, sniveling little twerp (Masnick) whose every last secret will be dropped in short order.

Glad he likes free speech. Wait until he sees how it will apply to those who write about him.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘You are not representing the interests of the public, but rather a very small legacy industry which failed to adapt’

now, doesn’t this remind you of a similar body here, in the USA, namely the FCC under Pai? Voss is as big a wanker as Pai and is only interested in representing what the entertainment industries want (despite them saying they are against Article 13! anyone who believes that bullshit is as big an idiot as these 2 are legacy industry wankers!!
the whole aim is to put the internet under the industries control, whereby they can and will charge for any uploads/downloads, provided they have given permission and for access. they will use torrents that will magically become the best thing ever rather than the industry killing software it has been called up to now! and with virtually no outlay and able to charge what they want, the bastards will be ripping the public off even more! they will become the industries being paid constantly, not those blamed so far so all that will happen is we will still be caught in the middle!

Anonymous Coward says:

Look at software trolls in the usa ,
they but a few patents ,then sue companys or startups , small many companys just pay 50k rather than risk the expense of going to court.
A troll could buy the copyright on a few 1000 images and just sue any small website that displays one image .
Theres no register of all the photos taken or list of the
owners of the millions of images on the web right now.
Google and youtube has a filter with acess to data
on music , and video owned by cbs,nbc, sony etc
Most small websites will not have acess to that filter or
have the funding to build such a filter .
The new law will make it more expensive for small creators to make art, music ,video ,
they may have to show the own the copyright on the content the make .
IF the eu had any respect for free speech it would say
that non profit websites and charitys can link to any website or comment on articles and use quotes from articles and other websites for the purposes of commentary
or political discussion .
Any website should be able to post a link to a news
site and say for instance this is a summary of the election
results for the european parliament in scotland .

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"It’s appointed by Parliament and commissioners can be slapped down, as former Commissioner Karel de Gucht had pointed out to him after ACTA fell on its face."

Not easily, alas. And it takes a huge public mess before the parliament agrees with the citizenry as a whole that appointing a given bag of moistened horse apples into legislative power was a mistake.

ECA (profile) says:

Any law or regulation..

Any law or regulation READ by a human, corp, state, officer, will be interpreted in a way to reinforce the ground he is standing, if for nothing else, then to protect his/its/her/Their Butts, or to take advantage of a situation created by such a law or regulation.

There is/was/will be not 1 person or group that would NOT take advantage of interpreting a law or regulation to favor themselves..

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