Strange: Vote Against Freeing Up Orphan Works Achieves 113% Turnout In EU Committee

from the are-they-sure? dept

One of the unresolved problems of copyright is how to deal with huge numbers of orphan works -- creations still in copyright, but whose owners can't be traced to give permissions that may be necessary for re-use. The European Parliament's JURI committee met recently to vote on a new report on possible permitted uses of orphan works, prepared by the Polish Member of the European Parliament, Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg.

As Rick Falkvinge writes, things didn't go too well for those hoping to free up orphan works for modern use:

the copyright industry lobby won key points in the voting procedure with 14 votes against reform and 12 in favor of it, according to the just-published protocol.
End of story, you might think. But Geringer de Oedenberg noted something strange with the voting:
During the vote I was making precise notes as to the balance of votes in favour and against to my crucial amendments.

It came to me as a surprise that for my Compromise Amendments 20 check vote announced by the Chair was 14 to 12 which gives us 26 Members!

Considering that we only have 24 Members in Juri Committee and according to the protocol only 23 were present this result is confusing and calls for clarification.

Similar situation appears on Amendment 71 (Ms. Gallo and Mr. Borys) which pass with the result announced 13 to 12 what gives as 25 Members and my Amendment 32 which fall 13 to 11 -24 Members.
So the question has to be asked: did the copyright industry lobby really win, or was there some miscounting along the line? To avoid the impression of anything improper going on here, it's vital that those votes be taken again. After all, as Falkvinge points out:
The final kicker here is that the 113-per-cent voter turnout happened in the Legal Affairs committee (JURI), which has the responsibility of safeguarding the integrity and trustworthiness of the legal framework as a whole in Europe.
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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    The shocking thing is that they stated they would not do the vote again, even when confronted with numerical evidence that the vote was tampered with.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Prisoner 201, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      This!

      What. The. Hell.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      I'm guessing there was foul play here too, and I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist. Considering the power that the copyright lobbies have, they would do anything to get their way, even cheating.

       

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      •  
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        weneedhelp (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        "and I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist"

        Sure you are, we read about them every day.

        1.a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, esp with political motivation; plot
        2.the act of making such plans in secret

        TD covers conspiracy theories daily.

        Embrace it, and wear your tinfoil with pride. :)

         

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        •  
          icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Conspiracy Theories? Or Conspiracy Fact? Conspiracies among a few members or groups is common. Grand, massive conspiracies implicating entire groups without any whistleblowers? Not so much.

           

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            weneedhelp (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Silver is not your color huh?

            No theories. We know lobbyists line pockets and pay for legislation. But until concrete proof is obtained, it is just a theory, or suspicion. Just like pay for play. We know it happens. We see it here daily.

            Now is that not Grand, massive conspiracies implicating entire groups?

            The lobbyist cartel representing a multitude of interests (Massive groups), and which BTW we cant assume all are trying to do bad, paying for legislation from.. hell Mayors on up the food chain.

            The whole system is one big conspiracy man. (Sorry had a hippie flashback there)

            "without any whistleblowers?" - Well thankfully we have people like Mike Masnick and many others to shine light on the cockaroaches so we know what they are doing.

            And this kind of pay for play is just a small example.
            Another one, how Government contracts are handed out. (To the hand with most cash)

            You have a great weekend Samuel.

             

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              icon
              Samuel Abram (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What you're describing is a system, and economy of the influence of corruption brought upon by lobbying, not necessarily a conspiracy per se.

              I will have a good weekend. You too!

               

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2012 @ 10:47am

      Re:

      The interesting question to ask is the following:

      If votes from a governmental body can be manipulated and fall prone to errors like this without question or the conductance of re-votes, how much easier is it to manipulate or cause substantial errors in a general election where all voters of the citizenry vote without anyone even blinking an eye?

      When I vote for an elected official, or when the GOP or whatever chooses their primary, how do we know the polls and the decisions made are really representative of public opinion and aren't being tampered with?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    Coach always said give 113%!

     

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    identicon
    Pixelation, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    The RIAA says...

    This is just a statistical anomaly. Nothing to see here, move along.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

      Re: The RIAA says...

      It's a result of having a small sample size, small sample sizes are known to give erroneous results.

       

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    Violated (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Orphans

    I would shocked if the hoped cause was true in that the "for change" were scoring the higher vote so the person counting added more votes to the "reject change" to have them win.

    Should not this voting include their names so we can see exactly who voted what way? We can then see if any names appear twice or if some strange "billy bo jim bob" name slips in there.

    Another vote is certainly required. I hope they do change orphaned works law when currently this media is useless and used by no one. If freely used this would better help the owner to come forwards.

     

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    Keii (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    I have two hands so I can vote twice.

     

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    JH, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    The amendment in question was Compromise Amendment 20, which can be found on page 28 of this document from the EP. To be honest, this amendment appears to be just a fairly simple tidying up of the drafting, rather than any change of substance.

    Just before the voting, the relevant member of the EPP said that they weren't against the change in principle, they just weren't entirely happy that the wording was right yet; but if that could be fixed, they could well support a similar amendment in the forthcoming vote of the full parliament. (Video, at 10:19; the vote on Compromise 20 occurs at 10:39).

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    "We are the 99%!"

    "Shut up, we are the 113%!"

     

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    JH, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Sorry, that should have been 10:29, not 10:19, for the EPP statement of their position on Compromise Am 20.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Simple Matter of Math

    If 100% democracy (or republic, in this case) is good, 113% must be better, right?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    It's that Hollywood math, see, Hollywood math works differently than regular math, especially when lawyers are involved. Here is a brief introduction.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      This is what happens when you when you try to use Calculus before you have a fundamental understanding of Algebra. You misunderstand the concept of imaginary numbers and think it means you can just make the shit up. Apparently this is where the industry went wrong.

       

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    anonymous dutch coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    no

    no please, no conspiracy theories here. we aren't in america. this is europe. we are just incompetent.

     

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    Rich, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    MPAA did the counting

    And since they did the counting, it must be right!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Copyright Math strikes again!

     

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    identicon
    JH, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    The way EP committees work is that there are "full members" and "alternates". Alternates can only vote if the full member is not present; and MEPs can come and go during the course of a session. One possible explanation here is that an alternate may have voted without realising that a full member had also voted, and nobody picked up on it at the time.

     

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      Samuel Abram (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:27am

      Re:

      Thanks for that explanation, but you can reply directly to my comment by clicking on the "reply to this" below my comment. Anyway, thanks again for the explanation! I really appreciate it!

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      Or an alternate could have been paid by the content industry to vote whether or not a full member had also voted.

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Unless some voted twice.

    Maybe they were on the fence and voted for AND against, or they were just out of their mind and voted twice.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Couldn't have been...

    One might reflexively expect that the content cartels had a hand in producing this rather suspicious vote count. But if they had, the math should have been more like:

    23.667 * 150,000 = 3,550,050

    Where 23.667 is some number related to people and stuff, and 150,000 is the maximum in statutory damages (in US dollars), producing a total 3,550,050 votes. (Figuring out how such unrelated units of measure can be converted to votes, numerically or literally, or what those numbers have to do with anything at all in this context, is an exercise left to the reader. Hint: One can convert between dollars and votes via a simple linear calculation. The rest should be obvious.)

    In conclusion: There must have been an honest mistake made during the counting process. Or perhaps a transcription error. Couldn't have been tampering by the Usual Suspects.

     

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      Al Bert (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

      It's important to always maximize... everything.

      You forgot to multiply that by an arbitrary scaling factor representing the relative positions of the planets on the time of calculation.

      23.667 people * $150,000 * 15.98754654 steradians/dm*min^2 = 567,565,896 votes

      That should leave enough votes left over to win all subsequent recounts!

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

        Re: It's important to always maximize... everything.

        Not too sure about that. I seem to recall reading a white paper that summarized a multi-year study in which it was shown that the value of residual votes of this sort have a useful lifetime that can be described as an inverse-power relationship, where the exponent is represented by the number of unbiased outside observers. Given the (by this point in time) widespread dissemination of the 113 percent figure, the number of extremely unbiased outside observers saying to themselves "WTF is this horse-hockey?!" is likely rapidly approaching infinity, thereby causing the value of the residual votes to very rapidly approach zero, relatively independently of the term:

        * 15.98754654 steradians/dm*min^2

        By now, I would expect that the value of the residual vote on the free market would be approximately 17 pin-holes, two bread crumbs and 21,197,262 rude sounds. However, please note that bread crumbs are subject to spoilage, as well as consumption by cockroaches and children, and the duration of 21,197,262 rude sounds is very short when those sounds occur simultaneously, and are evenly distributed throughout all population centers on the planet that contain over 50,000 residents. So the net value of this residual can probably be limited to pinholes alone. And, since the value of pinholes is roughly proportional to the amount of space that they occupy (i.e. less than one ISO standard gnat's eyelash), any subsequent recount would have to exclude any residual at all from the original vote. In addition, direct unit conversion (i.e. over the table) of pinholes to votes is substantially more difficult than the conversion (under the table, by convention) between dollars and votes.

        So I'm fairly certain that the term:

        * 15.98754654 steradians/dm*min^2

        can be considered to be redundant in this instance.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    I was wondering...

    So THATS where the rest of the Arthur Andersen accountants went. The one's that didn't go to work for the MPAA and RIAA went to Europe. I was wondering where they were now since no one else will hire them.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Obviously the work of Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago from April 20, 1955 December 20, 1976

    Quote from Wikipedia:
    Known for shrewd party politics, Daley was a stereotypical machine politician, and his Chicago Democratic Machine, based on control of thousands of patronage positions, was instrumental in bringing a narrow 8,000 vote victory in Illinois for John F. Kennedy in 1960. A PBS documentary entitled "Daley" explained that Mayor Daley and JFK potentially stole the 1960 election by stuffing ballot boxes and rigging the vote in Chicago. In addition, it reveals, Daley withheld many votes from certain wards when the race seemed close

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Hollywood (ac)counting again. what's wrong with that?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Not to ruin your conspiracy parade, but has anyone here every heard of voting in abstentia?

     

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      identicon
      Loki, Mar 16th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

      Re:

      Given there are only 24 member on the committee, you cannot have 26 votes even if everyone votes in absentia.

      Between the clearly fraudulent vote and your pathetic attempt to try to explain it away, it's no wonder why nobody takes the entertainment industry seriously.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    I can see what they did there. MAFIAA pet-politicians are "vote sharing" as opposed to us "file sharing". It's genius because it doesn't deprive the rightful voter of his/her vote and it provides MAFIAA with enough votes to beat the Big Tech.

    After all sharing is caring.

    /derp

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Central Planning

    Consolidate power and add money to get a truly warped sense of entitlement.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 5:02am

    So - Fox News now controls the European Parliament's JURI committee?

    (JIC: Fox is notoriously bad at math)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Matthew Lyon, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Nice opportunity

    I think we need less honorable people in defense of our freedoms. This is obviously an opportunity which those for change did not notice

     

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