The 2012 Web Blackout Helped Stop SOPA/PIPA And Then ACTA; Here Comes The 2019 Version To Stop Article 13

from the how-to-make-bad-ideas-politically-toxic dept

Remember SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act)? Back in 2012, they threatened to cause widespread damage to the online world by bringing in yet more extreme and unbalanced measures against alleged copyright infringement. Things looked pretty bad until a day of massive online protest was organized on January 18, 2012, with thousands of sites partially or totally blacked out. Politicians were taken aback by the unexpected scale of the anger, and their support for SOPA and PIPA crumbled quickly. That success fuelled protests in Europe against ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which also sought to bring in harsh measures against online infringement. After tens of thousands of people took part in street demonstrations across Europe, many politicians wanted nothing to do with the by-now toxic proposal, and it was voted down in the European Parliament in July 2012.

As Techdirt pointed out last year, the proposed EU Copyright Directive is even worse than ACTA. As such it clearly merits serious, large-scale action of the kind that stopped SOPA/PIPA and ACTA. And it’s happening. The German-language version of Wikipedia, the second-largest by number of articles, has announced the following (original in German):

On Thursday, March 21, the German-language edition of the online encyclopedia will be shut down completely for 24 hours. In this way, Wikipedia activists want to send a signal, in particular against the introduction of the controversial Articles 11 and 13 in the [EU’s] copyright reform.

It is expected that a number of other major sites will be joining in the protest. Meanwhile, another German organization is campaigning against Article 13. In an open letter to MEPs, its supporters write:

We are the operators and administrators of more than 400 German-language discussion forums with more than 18 million members. We are united by the great concern that the EU Copyright Directive will endanger the existence of our forums and thus the discussion culture on the Internet.

The public discussion on the EU Copyright Directive revolves almost exclusively around YouTube and other large US platforms. In doing so, we lose sight of the fact that discussion forums of all sizes will also be affected by the new directive.

That’s an important point. Supporters of Article 13 try to give the impression that only deep-pocketed companies like Google will be hit by the new law. As the discussion forum operators point out, their organizations will not be exempt from the requirements of the EU Copyright Directive. Its effects will be devastating:

Because of these uncertainties and the legal and financial liability risk, many discussion forums will close, as small associations or voluntary operators cannot bear this situation. Commercial operators are also endangered in their existence if they have to conclude fee-based licenses and are obliged to install expensive upload filters.

Uncertain regulations for us means years of legal uncertainty, legal risk and potential legal costs, which no operator can afford in the long run as forums usually do not generate a large amount of revenue.

As a result, the discussion culture on the European Internet will be severely impaired, and many citizens will lose their digital home in discussion forums.

Internet startups in the EU will face the same insurmountable problems thanks to Article 13’s impossible demands. Many will be forced to shut down. It’s an irony that many have already pointed out. A law that supporters claim is designed to tackle the disproportionate power of companies like Google and Facebook will end up entrenching them more deeply, and wiping out much of the EU’s own digital ecosystem. Let’s hope 2019’s big blackout grabs people’s attention as the one in 2012 did, and that MEPs drop Article 13 just as they dropped ACTA.

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Comments on “The 2012 Web Blackout Helped Stop SOPA/PIPA And Then ACTA; Here Comes The 2019 Version To Stop Article 13”

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95 Comments
Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

These are all good arguments until one realizes that the intent of Articles 11 and 13 are all about shutting those services down.

It appears that, beyond the cash grab by big News and big Copyright institutions, they don’t really want individuals to have the ability to say what they want. Otherwise those laws wouldn’t be about user generated content, but would be about infringement when the owners couldn’t argue fair dealing, as it is called over there.

Link taxes, aka free advertising, aren’t about some search engine making money on their content, simply because none of the search engines I use have advertising. So they aren’t making money on my search. The question then becomes, did I click on their link or someone else’s?

That determination might be because I have some experience with one site or another and trust or don’t trust because of that previous experience, or it might be because of what is related in that very short description of the link, which seems in my experience to be taken directly from the article in question. Which leave the onus on the content originator to come up with more believable headlines, along with their ability to use robots.txt to keep their shit to themselves.

That being antithetical to their purpose means they have to do a better job, and that might not comport with their cashflow issues. That leaves them in the position of trying to coerce money from elsewhere, and when they find out that the ‘elsewhere’s’ are not interested in giving them money, but shut them out entirely (as what happened in Spain and Germany) they will scramble and seek other mandates to make their failing business plans workable. Coming up with feasible effort/monitization plans is something that has not come easily in the changeover from dead tree to digital formats, for either news or other copyrighted content. Yet they continue to struggle with regulatory capture rather than right sizing and meeting the demands of the market.

Maybe the newsies don’t need to keep investigative journalists on salary, but need to buy stories as they are produced, and at a rate that keeps them producing stories. Maybe the copyright related industries need to find a way to engage independents that benefits the independents as well as themselves without co-opting the copyright of the independents. Neither will experience the revenue or profit they have experienced in the past, but so what? Their investors will cry out loud and dump their stocks wholesale, but again, so what? In the long run, they, after much scrutiny and attempts and more attempts, and maybe more attempts, will become viable again, for themselves, for their investors and for their markets. The dissonance in-between is just a matter of adjustment to a new reality. Something like horse breeders had to go through when Henry Ford developed, not the car, but the production line.

Matthew Cline (profile) says:

Re: Re: An off-topic question for John Doe

In previous comment threads you’ve claimed that a restaurant, if it really wanted to, could get mention of itself removed from a travel guide. Is your position that there’s some exception to nominative fair use of trademarks? That mention of a restaurant in a travel guide isn’t nominative fair use? Or what?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: An off-topic question for John Doe

If the use of the mark somehow harmed the revenue, they’d have a stronger case.

Even without it, there wouldn’t be much left to review over time if the restaurants didn’t make money.

This website seems to be functioning as a free focus group for…someone.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:2 An off-topic question for John Doe

If the use of the mark somehow harmed the revenue, they’d have a stronger case.

Which is why whenever a movie is reviewed as being bad, the reviewer gets sued. Oh wait, that never happens. Even though the reviewer might use copyrighted clips and stills from the movie or might give away the entire plot and provide spoilers. And if part of a series, part of the movie title might even be trademarked. Bad reviews can easily harm the revenue of works — look at all the complaining emanating from Hollywood about Rotten Tomatoes.

For fun, here is Ebert’s review of “North”. Spoiler, he hated it. And having seen it myself in my misspent youth, I can confirm that it is total shit.

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/north-1994

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 An off-topic question for John Doe

There’s an ongoing relationship between the studios and reviewers which needs to be preserved. They can also just cut off the reviewer from future review copies if they want, OR they could put an NDA in the ticket but there’s no need.

What search engines and piracy does to content on the internet is much more damaging.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 An off-topic question for John Doe

Search engines do absolutely nothing to content except let people know where it is. It’s a goddamned phone book. If you want your shit unlisted, that can be controlled, at will, at any moment.

Infringement certainly is an issue, but also it is certainly not ever a large problem. Commercial infringement (selling counterfeit products or access as one’s own) will never be affected by any new laws ever. It is patently idiotic to imagine it would be.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:4 An off-topic question for John Doe

They can also just cut off the reviewer from future review copies if they want

That wouldn’t stop reviewers from just going to the first show. This happens sometimes; it’s always a sign of a terrible movie, and is harmful to studios who, as you say, rely on reviewers. (In fact, they rely on reviewers more than reviewers rely on them)

OR they could put an NDA in the ticket but there’s no need.

I see no way on earth that that would hold up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Craigslist’s model isn’t based on infringement, which is why it cannot be stopped.

With regard to Article 13, I could see internet providers requiring people to sign up and prove their identity, which would largely reduce Article 13 problems (I doubt many paid YouTube creators intentionally violate Copyright). I also think counter-notices should trigger the material going back up pending any appeal. Pirates won’t file those notices because they don’t want to waive service of a lawsuit.

I don’t think Article 13 is Armageddon at all, though if parts of it prove to be, the law needs to take this into account as well. There has to be a way to make it work for everyone, even if it’s outside the box of current thinking. Queen Anne’s intent with the first copyright law in 1709 spoke only of artists and their families, not any greater good. Even the American version acknowledged the need to incentivize creators.

Or we could just let Pewdiepie get rich because no one seems to pirate him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Queen Anne’s intent with the first copyright law in 1709 spoke only of artists and their families, not any greater good. Even the American version acknowledged the need to incentivize creators.

Given the volume of self published work that is going up every minute, why is stronger copyright protection needed if not as a means for legacy publishers to make money from that huge volume of work that currently makes them no money. Creators need more protection does not hold water looking at the current Internet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Proof of who was first with an idea is useful, since it’s very easy to plagiarize people now. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t always check and you wind up with "Milli Vanilli" types cashing in on others’ work.

Maybe some creators don’t care if others steal their work, but most do. Also copyright isn’t just about Hollywood, but technical writing, marketing copy, textbooks, software, and a host of other things.

Most of the opposition to Article 13 seems to be rooted in a desire to let piracy remain unchecked. I’ve seen independent creators pirated literally from six-figure incomes to oblivion in a few short years.

Today’s creators know the score, but yesterday’s were ambushed by this. How would lawyers feel if all UPL statutes were abolished tomorrow and they couldn’t pay back their student loans? Taxi drivers saw their medallions lose value to the point where several committed suicide.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

How would lawyers feel if all UPL statutes were abolished tomorrow

Provided that the people who would be practicing are still otherwise subject to bar regulation and the jurisdiction of the courts where they practice, it wouldn’t hurt me. I would be concerned for their clients, though, who could not be as sure of getting good advice or aid.

UPL isn’t about preventing competition. It’s about protecting the public from people who don’t know what they’re doing but hold themselves out as though they do.

Proof of who was first with an idea is useful, since it’s very easy to plagiarize people now. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t always check and you wind up with "Milli Vanilli" types cashing in on others’ work.

Plagiarism isn’t illegal. Fraud is, but they’re hardly ever the same thing. Most copyright infringement isn’t plagiarism either.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Queen Anne’s intent with the first copyright law in 1709 spoke only of artists and their families, not any greater good.

False. Queen Anne was not involved, it was just named after her. And the act is even subtitled as “An act for the encouragement of learning” and sections 4, 5, and 7 are all about imposing price controls on books (because authors and publishers were not allowed to profit too much), permitting free imports of foreign language books, and protecting archives and universities by giving them free copies.

Christ but you’re dumb.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Well, if you have read the WIKI article, you would know that it was the stationers company that wanted that law, and had failed in several previous attempts to get themselves awarded copy right, and so came up with the idea of assigning copyright to the author to get the bill passed. They knew that would effectively give them the copyright as the authors had no other outlet for their works in the UK.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They should be allowed. First one should be to allow nonattorneys to represent people in court and in hearings (this is actually allowed in some states for certain types of processings). Just allow anyone to hire an "advocate" instead of a lawyer, at least in cases where no lawyer steps in, like say an employment (or defamation) case.

Lawyers won’t mind losing their obsolete monopoly, would they?

John Eppstein says:

Re: Article 13.

Shutting those services down?

You Bet!

Those3 so-called "services" are all based on ripping off the artists who do all the hard work of creating the art (aka "content") that those services get fat on without paying one penny top those who do the real work of creation.

I’m sorry, but $0.00007 is not one cent. It’as essentially nothing.

In the last 5 years the number of working musicians has dropped to less than 50%. Over half the major studios have closed, to be torn down for condos.

These so-called "services put noting back into artist development (unlike the big bad record labels of yore), they invest nothing in promotion, tour support, or production costs.

I know many talented artists with sufficient name recognition to have supported themselves off their music 15 years ago who are now working for Uber or tending bar in order to finance their next to9ur. I know many mid-tier recording and mastering engineers who are giving up music to work jobs in construction to make a nest egg for their looming retirement.

ARTISTS AND ENGINEERS DESERVE TO GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK.

Not the scant handful of "stars" who are supported by product placement in their videos, I’m talking about the middle tier of working musicians and engineers who are the bedrock of music.

Who does NOT deserve to get paid? The internet entrepreneurs and Wall Street stock peddlers who put NOT INVESTING into the creation of the work that they get rich on.

WAKE UP!

STOP SUPPORTING CORPORATE THEFT!

SUPPORT CREATIVE ARTISTS.

STOP STEALING FROM THOSE WHO HAVE LITTLE OR NOTHING AND DEDICATE THEIR LIVES TO YOUR ENJOYMENT!

STOP BEING GREEDY.

Grow Up.

SUPPORT ARTICLE 13. If you don’t you have no soul.

Natalie Hill (profile) says:

Re: Re: Article 13.

John, when pro-label rats like you start talking about how “music is dying” because of piracy and streaming rates, I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

“In the last 5 years the number of working musicians has dropped to less than 50%. Over half the major studios have closed, to be torn down for condos.” Well, there’s hundreds of thousands of artists on BandCamp, YouTube, and SoundCloud who self-release their work.

Not only that, you used to only see strong music scenes in places traditionally known for music. However, since technology has made it possible to record and release music from anywhere, you can now see thriving indie music scenes in non-traditional music towns like Detroit, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, where I live. In the Circle City, at the start of the decade, we only had 4 local music venues, no festivals, 1 label, 1 local record store, and the small scene we did have was very centered around punk rock (not that punk is bad). However, we now have 17 venues, 6 festivals, 3 labels, 7 record stores, and a ton of artists of all genres. So clearly music is not “dying” because of piracy.

Sure, most of us are so-called “hobbyists” (I despise that word, as it often implies the musician is unserious), but that was the case with 99.9999% of all musicians who have ever lived, just because there are so many talented musicians in the world, yet the average person only needs so much new music. The only differences now are that recording is much simpler and a day job is no longer mutually exclusive with playing/writing music.

And if you’re one of those people who thinks all “hobbyist” music is “low-quality”, Eric Pedigo, The Trees, Ross Hollow, and tons of others I could mention prove that claim to be nothing more than an extremely dehumanizing overgeneralization towards us “hobbyists” and our great art.

However, the only reason we can distribute our work is because of such websites accepting submissions from anyone. Websites like YouTube and Bandcamp receive way too many submissions to monitor for infringement, so the only way they could possibly comply with Article 13 would be if they stopped accepting everyone’s submissions completely, and limited their platforms to large companies.

If you understand that more music is being released than ever before, and it is NOT all “low-quality”, but want laws like Article 13 anyway “because those poor people are losing their jobs!”, you sound no different than a Trump-supporting coal miner or auto plant worker. There are a lot of jobs you can learn to do instead.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Article 13.

ARTISTS AND ENGINEERS DESERVE TO GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK.

I agree. So they should either make arrangements that guarantee payment before they do one iota of work, or they should quit and get jobs doing something else. Because that’s how jobs work. Your employer takes the risk and you collect a paycheck for the time you spend on their behalf.

But if artists and engineers want to take a risk and do work without any advance guarantee of payment, then that’s on them. After all, just doing work at one’s own risk does not mean that you deserve to get paid. An artist could write a crappy song that no one likes; an engineer could be so bad at his job that he ruins a track. They should not be paid for doing bad work when no one asked them to do the work at all.

So it sounds like you want to change the businesses model for creative workers. Rather than invest and take a risk, they should try to shift the risk to the opposite side, i.e. to the audience. For example, a new band could form and before writing one song or playing one note, they could insist on being paid, say, $50,000 by people who have never heard them play or even heard of them, before they’ll begin.

I don’t think it will work well, but that’s how you eliminate risk altogether.

Natalie Hill (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Article 13.

When they say the law is about "paying artists fairly", what they mean is that by penalizing the websites, people will not have the option to pirate, and will be forced to pay whatever the services demand. But that is bullshit. Pirate sites don’t care about the law, so they aren’t going to comply with Article 13 regulations, and will keep popping up as usual. Only the legal websites will comply.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Article 13.

"Pirate sites don’t care about the law, so they aren’t going to comply with Article 13 regulations, and will keep popping up as usual. Only the legal websites will comply."

This is true, article 13 won’t impact any current "pirate" site – if by those we mean torrent index pages which won’t fall in under article 13 to begin with.

More to the point though, article 13 will remain completely unable to impact any of the usual pirate tools and methodology – you know, the ones every 13 year old kid knows of – so the only "anti-pirate" action likely to be a result of article 13 is if a youtube/vimeo user somehow uploaded a movie on their subscription channel.

Which doesn’t happen often, but I’m sure a few copyright cultists will wave the few examples around like battle flags…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So really our voices don’t matter to them because everything bad that Article 13 will do is exactly what they want to do. What we have been doing is the equivalent of saying pretty please to serial killers and rapists not to murder and rape us. It’s what they want to do and they’ll stop at nothing to do it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Well, only on thing to do

"Clearly the only reasonable response is to move the vote up again so they can beat the protests out."

I’m somehow reminded of ACTA which was introduced for a vote in the last few minutes of a parliament session about north sea cod fishing quotas just to take advantage of a low MEP turnout.

It’s pretty telling that the EU, when they try to push through unpopular legislation, will go to ANY length in order to circumvent the democratic process and it’s own charter at the drop of a hat.

Not too sure the British didn’t have the right of it, because no matter how bad Brexit ends up being it may just be preferable to remaining in the EU.

Anonymous Coward says:

Creators will still make money, they’ll just be more like Pewdiepie (90 million subscribers) than something funded by Pew.

What about PBS? They’re funded by subscribers and should thrive in this environment. Also local news is often covered rather well by people with nothing more than a cellphone and a blog.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The last time Article 13 was supposed to be a "done deal" it was sent back to the drawing board because your precious rightsholder buddies claimed the penalties weren’t "harsh enough".

Now that we know automatic algorithm-based filtering is going to be mandatory you can expect more opposition. Know why? Because even with bots and/or humans by your side monitoring the filters your accuracy in catching pirates is still between the range of jack shit and fuck all.

Jail time for pirates in Japan was also supposed to be a "done deal".

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Auto-filters are not "mandatory." They’re just CHEAPER than having actual humans do it. I wouldn’t mind tweaking Article 13 so that the process could be automated.

I do think counter-notices should be heard within an hour, to minimize the damage of unintentional censorship, and that flags should be a lower priority.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Auto-filters are not "mandatory." They’re just CHEAPER than having actual humans do it. I wouldn’t mind tweaking Article 13 so that the process could be automated.

Please list filters available on the market and the cost buying/licensing/developing them for use.

If you can’t, the word cheaper becomes a useless metric for comparison.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Human moderation is only possible if you are prepared to through most submissions into the waste bin without looking at them, as every human is a potential submitter of content. This article 13 is driven by the legacy industries realizing just how much talent they were unable to take on, and just how easily they can be driven into bankruptcy by the next few generations directly supporting the creators they find most interesting.

Article 13 covers all works and imposes a strict liability on third parties. Just how is infringement to detected, especially as it includes such things as derivative works, including films of books, lyrics of songs, sheet music for songs, animating short stories etc.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So every company will pay for a team of lawyers and judges needed to determine if a work is infringing or not? And enough to cover the thousands of posts/hours of videos/songs uploaded every day? NO ONE has that kind of money. This isn’t the kind of problem where you can hire John Q Public off the street to vet uploads. They simply cannot tell whether something is or is not infringing to any degree of accuracy. And that means companies are still liable.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Human moderation is possible for companies willing to pay for it.

But that doesn’t answer the question how much cheaper automatic filtering is. If filtering is $1 cheaper the cost is still prohibitive. Also, filtering isn’t context sensitive.

It’s kind of funny in a sad way that someone that bleats about "I’m being censored!" supports something that severely impacts free speech. The cognitive dissonance is staggering.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Human moderation is possible for companies willing to pay for it.

That you for repeating this lie. You are pushing the limits of the word "Possible" by moving the goalposts.

Moderating all the content posted on YouTube would take a workforce containing a significant percatance of the human race. Over 300 hours are uploaded every minute.

If by "Possible" you mean YouTube would have to be throttle all uploads until they can be checked by a human lawyer (because only a lawyer or a judge can give an reasonable interpretation of copyright law) that would mean employing all the lawyers in the world full time. And YouTube would still need to have them checked before they are uploaded, as well as reducing the traffic to a insignificant fraction of what it is now.

That isn’t "Expensive" that is "Impossible."

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

YouTube isn’t the only business model in the world, though I doubt Article 13 would shut them down.

Any business model that relies on internet users and UGC in way or another WILL be impacted negatively. Also, why would anyone in their right mind want to invest in any internet company that’s located in the EU if they pass the articles?

All in all, everyone looses – even that gatekeepers (well, the pirates just keep pirating though).

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

YouTube isn’t the only business model in the world, though I doubt Article 13 would shut them down.

That is one of the things we have been trying to tell you that you refuse to hear out of either ignorance, bribery, or both.

Article 13 would place such onerous restrictions with such obscene costs upon websites such as YouTube that only the sites with the largest bank accounts would ever be able to comply with those restrictions. Smaller companies would be wiped out and the major, entrenched players would retain their place in the UGC “ecosystem”. Instead of YouTube and a hundred smaller competitors all vying for attention, Article 13 would whittle things down YouTube and (maybe) a handful of competitors at best.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I thought the whole point of Article 13 was to throw the big mean Google out of the EU to ensure local alternatives and content creators had more money.

If YouTube isn’t going to be affected by this, how is this not an explicit admission that Article 13 is going to intentionally fail what it was described to do?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Auto-filters are not "mandatory."

Except that Axel Voss confirmed that they are.

They’re just CHEAPER than having actual humans do it.

That’s not even the main reason why. Auto-filters are demanded by rightsholders because 1: it’s faster, and 2: if the filter fucks up, rightsholders have their "you can’t blame me for the mistake, it’s the computer’s fault" excuse.

The speed of automatic filters is also noteworthy, because rightsholders send a lot of notices. Using their automatic notice generators and IP address harvesters. Their demand is "if we generate a notice we want something taken down instantly or we sue your ass to kingdom come". The number of humans you’d have to hire to handle that workload coming from rightsholders – well, you’d better hope that someone invents alternate dimension travel because this planet does not have the workforce available to drop everything and police your shit for you.

I wouldn’t mind tweaking Article 13 so that the process could be automated.

Sure, just accept the inevitable shitstorm when you and your Prenda Law-types end up suing grandmothers for porn money again.

Alternatively, since tech companies shouldn’t be able to use automatic filters, why do the rightsholders get a free pass with their random IP address generators? Shouldn’t they also be using humans to scour the web instead of using search engines to do the work for them?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If you think that using a database of copyrighted works is not required to filter out infringing works, list out all works under copyright without using and reference works or Internet resources, because an upload could infringe on any of them, and even be in a different form, i.e. video of a book or lyrics of a song etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

However, if you are travelling to Europe, you can bypass any geoblocking in a way they would never know what you were up to.

You can set up your own VPN on your home computer, before you go, and there no is no possible way they could know you were using your home network to bypass geographic restrictions, as it would appear you were at home.

That is how I do it on road trips to Mexico, when I want to access things like iHeart, or the US Netflix library when I am down there. Using my own private VPN on my home computer, instaed of a commercial VPN, makes it look I am at home, and there is no POSSIBLE way they could ever find out you were ever accessing their sevice from abroad.

That is why laws like the DMCA or CFAA do not apply to way I do it and why I neer have to worry. Using my home network would make it imposssible for anyone to ever know what I was up to.

Robert Beckman says:

Re: Re: Re:

This ones actually pretty easy. Back in the days on 802.11a, VPN routers were pretty common for businesses. I’d bet you could find an old one on eBay, add it to your DMZ, and then connect directly to it using its protocols. It’ll be slower than your local broadband probably, but should still be fast enough to pass on a Netflix stream. As for who can set that up? Why, anyone who reads Techdirt is a likely candidate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You just upgrade your service to something that has a static IP address.

And setting up a VPN is as easy as downloading the open source SoftEther VPN server software and installing it, then configuring your login and password before you go.

Anyone can set up a VPN server on your home computer with SoftEther.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"And how many people can set up their own VPN, including dealing with VPN security, certificate generation and management, router set up and security and DNS, or some way of tracking the home IP address when they do not have a fixed IP assignment?"

Anyone capable of reading a manual less difficult than what you get sent to you with your new washing machine or dishwasher.

And failing that, anyone capable of doubleclicking "install" on the suitable software package.

https://www.howtogeek.com/221001/how-to-set-up-your-own-home-vpn-server/

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, it does. You bypassed a technological restriction on access. Granted it’s stupidly simple, but that doesn’t factor into the law at all, only that you bypassed it. So you ARE breaking the law, it’s now down to will you get caught, and would they bother with a small fry. You don’t know the answer to either of those.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"So you ARE breaking the law, it’s now down to will you get caught, and would they bother with a small fry."

Not really, no. The law pertains to the server. Hence geo-shifting using an at-home VPN is almost always legitimate from THAT perspective. Similarly a geoblock from the server side which is bypassed with a VPN exit node outside the restricted area is also legal.

It may not be in line with ToS offered by the server, but that’s an entirely different ballgame than a law violation.

Of course, from a copyright perspective you are almost invariably becoming unlawful from the moment your computer starts loading files into RAM at boot, so whether you’re liable for a civil suit will depend entirely on luck and on whether there’s a copyright troll around capable of filling your ip address into a pre-templated subpoena.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What licence is there to pay? To talk about copyright? Your copyright enforcers targeted a lawyer’s website specifically for talking about copyright, genius. Said it was copyright infringement to talk about copyright.

You’re the equivalent of the guy who gets angry because women won’t get down on their knees after mass mailing his dick pic to every profile he comes across.

Come to think of it, no wonder you’re so obsessed with the power of the mailing list…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Pirates who use copyrighted content without paying the licensing fees required by Article 13 are defenseless against being taken down for that reason. Kind of like Al Capone not paying taxes on his illicit income.

As for the sex references, um, that’s on you. Pretty disgusting actually, and requiring a great deal of knowledge about some apparently vulgar practices.

Smart men just let their profiles speak for themselves. Women like power and money and exchange sex to get it. The men who send "pictures" seem confused when they see women talking or acting sexy, not realizing that to them, sex is just bait to trap money and power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Pirates who use copyrighted content without paying the licensing fees required by Article 13 are defenseless against being taken down for that reason.

Except for the fact that article 13 does not target pirates, but rather innocent third parties where the majority of the content is legal. It result will be either punish third parties heavily if any infringing content gets onto their site, or force them to pay protection money in case infringing content appears on the site.

Do you really think that publishers will set up a licensing system capable of dealing with millions of creators? What they will do is use licensing as leverage to limit and control the sites allowed to accept user content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Pirates who use copyrighted content without paying the licensing fees required by Article 13 are defenseless against being taken down for that reason. Kind of like Al Capone not paying taxes on his illicit income.

Pirates take whatever they want regardless of the law you clueless wonder. And stop with the moronic comparison to Al Capone since it has ZERO relevance. It’s amazing you keep breathing considering how stupid you come across.

Women like power and money and exchange sex to get it. The men who send "pictures" seem confused when they see women talking or acting sexy, not realizing that to them, sex is just bait to trap money and power.

Some women do, and it’s not the type any sane man would tangle with. The only men I know who goes for those types of women are narcissistic assholes or men with fragile male egos.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Pirates who use copyrighted content without paying the licensing fees required by Article 13 are defenseless against being taken down for that reason.

Funny thing about article 13 is that it is nor a requirement for the person who uploads content to get a license, but for some third party to get a license for content they did not post on their site, and do not own.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Pirates who use copyrighted content without paying the licensing fees required by Article 13 are defenseless against being taken down for that reason. "

Except that article 13 is powerless to take down ANY pirate since pirates don’t utilize any of the pages article 13 will affect.

Oh, wait, there IS one exception – people who use stream rippers will have to find another way since there’ll be no legal way to find the stream.

…and that again means pirates don’t take any hits from article 13 but currently legal media consumers will find piracy as the only option left once article 13 takes effect.

We’ve seen this dance before.

I guess the truly pathetic part about you, Baghdad Bob, is that almost every last one of your rants ends up claiming that <whatever new law only capable of harming legitimate users> will end up somehow harming pirates rather than swell their ranks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyrights are a bull shit concept.
Once content or media or whatever is created, it cannot be un-created and should be considered knowledge.
Therefore it belongs to everyone to use or view or listen to.

If a content producer wants to keep their work to themselves, they should figure out a way to monetize it without releasing it through current ‘pirate-able’ channels. There are plenty of ways to do this without depending on content-consumers to do the ‘right thing’ and pay them.

Downloading something off the internet should in no way be considered a actionable offence. If the content producer screwed up and let it out there in an uncontrolled fashion, to bad, your loss, enjoy the fact that your knowledge is being shared and enjoyed worldwide.

Copyright protections for anything that is reproducible simply by copying a file is unsustainable and idiotic, who came up with that?

As a software developer I get paid once for writing working usable code. I don’t get paid every time someone uses that code. If anyone else sees value in reusing that code – Great, fantastic – use it!

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If a content producer wants to keep their work to themselves, they should figure out a way to monetize it without releasing it through current ‘pirate-able’ channels.

If a piece of media is released to public view in some way, it can be copied and it can be shared. The only surefire way to prevent “piracy” of one’s work is to never share it at all.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"The way Article 13’s designed will sure help with that part."

Well, that’s the only way article 13 will be able to impact piracy, i suppose.

The irony in this is that pro-pirates have jested, for years, about how since the origin of piracy is people creating copyrighted works worthy of copying in the first place, the proper way to fight piracy would be to not allow any copyrighted works to be published.

This is taking Poe’s Law for such a spin you could use it to enrich uranium.

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