Who Needs Article 13: Italian Court Finds Facebook Liable For Hosting Links

from the seems-like-a-problem dept

As we’ve noted a few times now, the legacy entertainment business has decided that they no longer support Article 13, because it wasn’t draconian enough. But, the real reason for their sudden cold feet was that there were a few indications that some of the European Courts might give them everything they wanted (and more) without even needing Article 13. And, that might just be happening. Recently a court in Italy found Facebook liable for hosting links to infringing content. Eleonora Rosati at IPKat both wrote about this and (thankfully) translated key parts of the ruling, such as the following:

The publication of RTI’s audiovisual content through Facebook is an act of communication to a new public in that it is a public other than the one authorized by the claimant. Indeed, the links published through the Facebook page led not to content published by RTI itself through its own platform, but rather content published through a third-party site (YouTube) not authorized by RTI to making available the audiovisual content at issue. It follows that, lacking a specific authorization by RTI, the making available to the public (through a third-party portal) of the intro to animated series ‘Kilari’ must be considered unlawful.

Got that? This is a case where someone posted links to (likely) infringing videos on YouTube to Facebook. And of all the possible parties liable for infringing content on YouTube… the court agreed that it’s Facebook that is liable because a Facebook user posted links to content on YouTube that is likely infringing. And somehow that’s Facebook’s fault. This is… ludicrous. But, this is also why the legacy entertainment companies are licking their chops over similar bad court rulings in the EU even absent Article 13.

The ruling’s problems don’t stop there. It does suggest that knowledge of the infringement is necessary, but (unlike the very reasonable — and only workable — standard in the US that the knowledge be specific of the infringing work and where it is) decided that no specific details are necessary for Facebook to become liable. As Rosati summarizes:

According to the Rome court… to notify a provider of an infringing activity it is not necessary to submit the relevant URL for each and every infringement.

This, again, is the kind of standard that copyright holders have been drooling over, in part because it makes it literally impossible for platforms to comply and thus leaves them liable to all sorts of lawsuits. And thus, even without Article 13, the EU is already completely screwing up the internet.

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Companies: facebook, youtube

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Comments on “Who Needs Article 13: Italian Court Finds Facebook Liable For Hosting Links”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 A helpful reminder:

Even in a world with Patreon, only a few are still hitting the jackpot, with a lot more content (and crap) flooding the market.

Most celebs (the ones made that way by "legacy" distributors) are quite wealthy. Kathy Griffin said she paid $13 million in cash for her house. Does that sound like exploitation?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 A helpful reminder:

Even in a world with Patreon, only a few are still hitting the jackpot

So? That’s not the point. The point is that now more people don’t have to get lucky or hit the jackpot to make some money or be a successful artist.

with a lot more content (and crap) flooding the market.

This is not a bad thing. Not even if all the content is crap, which it’s not.

Most celebs (the ones made that way by "legacy" distributors) are quite wealthy.

Because they got lucky. Out of all the artists out there, celebrities represent a small percentage. The vast majority of artists aren’t celebrities and are not ludicrously wealthy. They are the exceptions, not the rule, held up as a carrot at the end of a stick to get artists to sign over the rights to their stuff in the vain hope of making it big. All while the studios rake in profits from sale of their stuff.

Does that sound like exploitation?

Considering that even celebrities complain about unfair contracts with studios, yes, yes it does.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And yet, when people do change copyright laws, those changes benefit entrenched media corporations and wealthy copyright holders and further erode the usability of the Internet for everyday users while doing fuck-all of nothing to stop illicit filesharing and generalized copyright infringement. This court ruling will do nothing to stop “pirates”, but it will fuck up how the Internet — and social interaction networks in particular — is used by everyday people.

"hope labor"

Oh look it’s your new buzzword of the week. Given up on email lists, you big dummy?

TFG says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So the definition of "hope labor" that I’m finding boils down to people doing under-paid and under-compensated work-for-hire with the hope of more in the future.

This is usually done for, you know. Companies. There’s quite a few anecdotes of various company sorts expecting freelance artists and designers to work for the exposure etc. out there on the internet (I remember running across quite a few on Not Always Right). Funny thing is, "hope labor" is an accurate descriptor of the type of work done for the big legacy gatekeepers by various creative types hoping to "catch a break."

It’s an excellent term for how things were and will be if the lucrative methods of self-publishing dry up. Copyright maximalism and exuberant piracy hunting promises to tie everything back up in the mitts of the legacy gatekeepers, and force people into hope labor – rather than having the option to self-publish and self-market and see consumers and fans actually pay for things, as is happening now.

So, yes. Let’s avoid hope labor. People are sick of it. Let’s keep the internet open and able to be used for self-publishing. Let’s keep the gatekeepers on a decline, so that the wealth can be shared rather than concentrated. Good show.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Piracy that is justified by the idea someone MIGHT buy something is the definition of "hope labor," as is "connecting with fans" and HOPING they donate (a fad that seems to be waning).

The governments are putting a stop to a lot of piracy with these new laws, and that’s why those in power (as opposed to those who whine about those in power) support and pass them.

The Internet Of Thieves needs to be broken. It’s illegal. Just like FOSTA/SESTA had to be passed because "sexworkers" mistook their little internet subculture for mainstream acceptance.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The governments are putting a stop to a lot of piracy with these new laws

Name one law that has ever stopped piracy. Ever.

The Internet Of Thieves needs to be broken. It’s illegal.

So you admit it’s already illegal to steal, then why do we need A11 and A13 if it’s already illegal? A11 and A13 don’t do anything to stop piracy, they just allow people to go after deep pocketed corporations who weren’t involved in piracy to begin with solely because a tiny fraction of their users happened to engage in piracy.

Just like FOSTA/SESTA had to be passed because "sexworkers" mistook their little internet subculture for mainstream acceptance.

This is completely false. Sex work is still legal under certain circumstances. Sex TRAFFICKING (which is what FOSTA and SESTA were supposedly supposed to stop) always was and always will be illegal and anyone engaging, encouraging, or facilitating it was and still are breaking the law and can be arrested and prosecuted for it. FOSTA/SESTA changed nothing in that regard.

All FOSTA/SESTA did was, just like A11 and A13, shift liability on to innocent third parties who had no intention of doing anything remotely illegal in those respects. For instance, previously, if someone set up a Facebook group for piracy or sex trafficking, the operators of that page had to be the ones you went after and at most, Facebook would be required to take down the page via court order. Now, in that same situation, you can prosecute Facebook for engaging in and facilitating piracy and sex trafficking and get a conviction. All for something they didn’t do.

FOSTA/SESTA, A11, and A13 are a giant joke and the only ones who don’t seem to get it are people like you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: A helpful reminder:

Piracy breaks the laws that protect copyrighted works.

No, piracy doesn’t break any copyright laws. Posting or using someone else’s work as your own without getting permission or crediting them outside of fair use DOES break copyright laws. The only laws piracy breaks are theft laws.

Good luck trying to change the laws.

Hey, it’s only a majority vote away.

Looks like the artists are getting sick of "hope labor" that is supposed to replace it.

Except that very few, if any artists actually support it. Do you not read news? The only ones supporting this are the legacy studios. The vast majority of all artists are flat out against A11 and A13.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 A helpful reminder:

Total lie.

Really? Prove me wrong.

What in god’s name is wrong with you people?

I could ask the same thing about you. Why do you refuse to live in reality and spout lies all the time?

Good grief, no wonder they want to pass laws that screw with you…

Because legacy studios have nothing better to do than sit around and come up with laws to piss off their customer base just because they want to troll them. Yeah, that makes sense and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that these laws are attempting to force companies and people to pay them more money, while simultaneously destroying the ability for indie content creators to make money on their own without signing to some sort of legacy studio/publisher.

Yep, the legacy studios got me good, I’ve been so epicly trolled I don’t even realize it. They are all out to get me. Whatever shall I do with my life now that I’ve been so epicly owned?

EudiotsDelight says:

Introducing the Eudiot's latest invention, the nEUternet...

This is what EU member states will have access to as everywhere else will block EU member states access, completely cutting them off from anything but their own crappy content, using their own crappy search engines and nothing but the Eudiot’s worst nightmare as their people rise up against the Eudiot Regime and promptly arrest them and dropping them into the nearest active Volcano for elemental recycling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Your proxy will be liable for transmitting your request for the infringing link.
Each router your request passes through is similarly liable.
The manufacturer of your mouse will be liable for allowing the link to be clicked.
The manufacturer of your display will be liable for showing you the link in the first place.
Tim Berners-Lee will be liable for not blocking the infringing content in the HTTP spec.

Everyone but the person who posted the infringing content.

Oblate (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is not holding the I finger liable,

I think you meant "the infringer liable". Puts the problem in a different perspective, though- instead of the first infringer (the poster of infringing content), or the final infringer (the company hosting the link), we should be giving the big media companies the middle infringer.

Two more levels and they will be able to arrest Kevin Bacon.

Given the quality of this ruling, it would be more appropriate to arrest Turkey Bacon.

Philosopherott (profile) says:

In other news

Ford to be held liable for one of its cars going over the speed limit. Despite the fact that no one related to the company was involved, the company did allow the owner to go over the speed limit by giving them the choice to do so.

Court said it did not need to tell ford what the speed limit was or where it happened, just the fact that it could meant it was liable.

Tests indicate Shell fuel was in the tank, leaving them potentially liable as well…

bob says:

Re: Re: In other news

Manufacturers already have the option of installing a governor into autos to limit max speed. This wouldn’t be hard tech to implement, just make everyone top out at 20 mph.

The reason why they don’t include them to limit cars to slower speeds is that people rightly understand that it’s not the manufacturer’s fault if the owner speeds.

And no one would buy a device so badly hobbled.

bob says:

Re: Re: Re:2 In other news

The laws anyone passes can’t stop piracy, just like US prohibition law didn’t stop people from drinking. All it did was create other problems and waste a lot of time and money.

If you want a practice to be stopped you need to get people to self-regulate not force them by threat. Sure the public facing sites will remove all infringing content. But piracy will still occur, just in harder to find places is all.

FOSTA didn’t end sex trafficking online. It only buried it, as reported by cops whose job was easier when websites like Craigslist, backpage, and such had adult sections in the public view. Now just like prohibition FOSTA is driving the practice underground, wasting time and money, and ultimately creating more problems for people trying to escape that situation.

Instead they should fix copyright law so that it is more inline with supporting the public domain like originally intended.

Anonymous Coward says:

So much for that "new business model" argument.

Fortune Magazine’s article on "Hope Labor" entitled "Why Are You Working For Free?":


"What drives so many workers to compete for, and to gladly undertake, such exploitative labor? In a word: hope. In a 2013 study, media scholars Kathleen Kuehn and Thomas F. Corrigan penned the term hope labor, which Kuehn describes as “un- or undercompensated work, often performed in exchange for experience and exposure in hopes that future work will follow.

"Hope is a powerful driver of cheap labor because it is internalized by the worker; it is what economist Frédéric Lordon might call an “intrinsic affect.” Other methods of extracting free or underrated labor typically entail external pressures, whether physical, as in prison labor or military conscription, or social, as in office peer pressure to work through lunch and respond to e-mail on weekends. Hope, on the other hand, comes from within."

Rico R. (profile) says:

Remember Zoom? Now replace the kids with teens and adults, and replace Box 350 with an upload button. That’s the kind of platform copyright maximalists want for the Internet: One where gatekeepers screen everything and decide what is and is not posted online.

Now, if copyright maximalists have their way, thanks to the Italian court ruling, Techdirt is now liable for me linking to an infringing clip of an old PBS Kids show that you can’t buy on DVD or stream legally anywhere. Just keep circulating the tapes while you can, folks, because if Article 13 passes, the Internet will be as dead as Zoom!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Buy up micro SD cards, and then people will be able to carry and swap large amounts of videos and films. Before long all the output of Hollywood, the labels and the book publishers will fit on storage you can carry in your pocket. That storage however will only deal with a small fraction of the self published content on the Internet. And there you have the reason why the legacy industry is hell bent on killing the Internet as we know it, most human creativity has escaped from their control.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

New connections won’t be made

Relatives, friends, and co-workers share things like burned DVDs with each other all the time. If you think that stuff stays “in the inner circle”, so to speak, you underestimate human behavior to a ridiculous degree.

That people are so willing to flout the law suggests imprisonment is a necessary deterrent.

How do you think the general public will react when people begin to crowd the country’s already overcrowded jails and prisons because of copyright infringement charges? How long should these “pirates” be jailed, and what further punishments should be visited upon them after their release? If local and state police forces and the federal government lack the manpower to arrest and prosecute all “offenders”, what (if any) third party should be given the right to act as “copyright police”? And how hard would you advocate for your preferred punishment if the law were to mandate imprisonment for copyright infringement — which is what you are suggesting, whether you refer to it as “piracy” or “filesharing” — and you were arrested for infringing upon someone else’s copyright by pure accident?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Deterrence will stop the prisons from being overcrowded with pirates. Court orders for first offenders perhaps, but with a conviction on their record, would also work, as would fines.

Corporations don’t screw over artists, but piracy sure does. Underneath all this opposition to copyright enforcement is absolutely nothing to justify tolerating piracy.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

I do not oppose someone attempting to enforce their copyrights. What I oppose is the enforcement of copyright to the level of absurdity — e.g., the “video of a baby dancing to a Prince song” situation — and changes to copyright law that benefit both the corporations and the wealthy individuals who wield that law as a cudgel against even the tiniest, most insignificant infraction.

As for the “deterrence” argument: If the death penalty does not stop people from murderding other people, what makes you think the threat of jail time would stop people from committing even the most incidental — or even accidental — acts of copyright infringement? If sharing this illicitly created screenshot from The Simpsons counts as an act of infringement (and it is technically infringement), what consequences should I or anyone else face for doing that?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Deterrence will stop the prisons from being overcrowded with pirates."

Nope. We’ve had "deterrence" aplenty ever since the days copyright enforcement consisted of suing single mothers and students for thousands of dollars while putting up posters and news blurbs about the festive court events.

It’s already been proven not to work, despite the law becoming ever more lopsided in favor of copyright trolls.

So: Anything short of a high-percentage effective prison sentences won’t work, we have ample historical precedent on that. And that high-percentage effective prison sentencing in itself will guarantee the next government abolishes copyright law or the ability to enforce it in sheer self-defense.

Either way, we pirates win.

Not sure why you’d start crowing, though, since its pretty obvious neither article 13 nor the italian mismanagement of justice outlined in the OP will ever be of benefit to fighting piracy.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Hasn’t one of the main narratives you’ve been spouting been nobody ever reads this insignificant blog?"

No, see, in Bobmail’s feverish little hate-boner he firmly holds the thought that aside from a few astroturfers paid by mike to post on h9is blog the only ones who read it are sterling examples of civic responsibility such as his own low self…and a cadre of elite-trained FBI agents all poised to swoop down in his defense every time one of mike’s "astroturfers" is mean enough to call him out on any statement deviating more than 95% from empirical reality.

So his narrative stands. As far as he’s concerned which is the only view he really cares about.

And shame on you for implying the beautiful world he sees at the other end of whatever he’s been smoking could be a mere "narrative".

bob says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Yep, prision sure seems to be working for drug related issues.

Originally the US had a huge war on drugs. Guess what, prusions are overpopulated based on low level drug crimes. Guess how people and government officials are reacting after realizing the mess they are in now. They are pushing to legalize low level drugs like marijuana, commuting mandatory sentences, pardoning convicts, replacing jail with other rehabilitation programs.

The terribly written tough-on-drug laws are being overturned for more common sense legislation. So its very obvious that draconian legislation and jail time doesn’t solve problems. And even if article 11 and 13 pass they will eventually be replaced by better legislation when people realize how bad the laws are.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"…the Internet will be as dead as Zoom!!"

In europe.

At least the visible parts of it. The deep net, though, will do more business than ever.

The end result of this will be that when everyone uses the deep net because the open one is screwed, NO regulation at all will be possible this side of physically dismantling the network backbone.

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