EU Publishers Present Their 'Vision' For Copyright: A Permission-Based Internet Where Licensing Is Required For Everything

from the thanks,-but-no-thanks dept

For too many years, the copyright industries fought hard against the changes being wrought by the rise of the Internet and the epochal shift from analog to digital. Somewhat belatedly, most of those working in these sectors have finally accepted that this is not a passing phase, but a new world that requires new thinking in their businesses, as in many other spheres. A recent attempt to codify that thinking can be found in a publication from the European Publishers Council (EPC). "Copyright Enabled on the Network" (pdf) -- subtitled "From vision to reality: Copyright, technology and practical solutions enabling the media & publishing ecosystem" -- that is refreshingly honest about the group's aims:
Since 1991, Members [of the EPC] have worked to review the impact of proposed European legislation on the press, and then express an opinion to legislators, politicians and opinion-formers with a view to influencing the content of final regulations. The objective has always been to encourage good law-making for the media industry.
The new report is part of that, and is equally frank about what lies at the heart of the EPC's vision -- licensing:
A thread which runs through this paper is the proliferation of 'direct to user’ licensing by publishers and other rights owners. Powered by ubiquitous data standards, to identify works and those who have rights in those works, licensing will continue to innovate exponentially so that eventually the cost of serving a licence is close to zero. The role of technology is to make this process seamless and effective from the user's perspective, whether that user is the end consumer or another party in the digital content supply chain.
Seamless licensing will be made possible through the roll-out of ubiquitous Digital Rights Statements (DRS) containing information about identity, rights and -- you guessed it -- licenses:
The key point about a DRS is that once it exists, it can be searched, read and actioned by any other machine connected to the Internet. And once the DRS is indexed by a search engine, through the machine readable IDs contained in the DRS it will always be possible to find the person or entity who owns or administers the rights and the rights associated with it. From there, it will be possible to link to the service from which the rights can be obtained and the content accessed and, if applicable, paid for.

Furthermore, this infrastructure is well suited to a world of 'mash-ups' where one work will incorporate parts or elements of other works, because the relevant IDs can identify the whole of a work or granular elements of it.
As that makes clear, the EPS vision includes being able to pin down every single "granular" part of a mash-up, so that the rights can be checked and -- of course -- licensed. Call it the NSA approach to copyright: total control through total surveillance. The paper helpfully explores how that would work out in various specific situations encountered today. For example, the European publishers want to be able to use licensing to restrict access even to material on the open Internet:
Legal clarification is needed about the relationship between hyperlinks and licence terms on the websites (or other platforms) to which they link. It must be clear that rights owners may by their licence terms to "restrict" access to content on an "open website" to a specific category of "the public" (e.g. users who visit the site directly), whether or not accompanied by technical protection measures.
So licenses would be able to forbid the use of hyperlinks to jump directly to pages, even though the latter were not locked down by DRM. The EPC is also worried about an "overbroad" interpretation of a general right to browse copyright material without needing an explicit license:
Whilst the general proposition that Internet browsing does not require a licence is reasonable, there remains a risk that an overbroad interpretation could mean that activities which ought properly to be licensable (e.g. the consumption of press cuttings) might cease to be so.
To tackle that, the EPC wants (pdf) "a new limited neighbouring right to stop unlicensed use of snippets," and also, for good measure, "[h]yperlinking to illegal copies to be treated as an infringement." Given this relentless focus on creating a permission-based Internet, it will come as no surprise that the EPC hates the idea of introducing fair use in Europe:
this is an issue which would require considerable evidence-based research in order to make a reasoned evaluation of the benefits of introducing a fair dealing exception compared with the uncertainty and other risks which would be caused by its introduction.
That call for "considerable evidence-based research" is rather rich, given the complete absence of it for all the recent changes to European copyright law in favor of publishers. Indeed, as Techdirt has frequently discussed, there is plenty of research to support reducing copyright's term and reach, but when this is brought up, publishers are strangely uninterested in evidence-based policy making, preferring to stick with the dogma-based kind. Naturally, the EPC thinks that instead of fair use, what people really need is more licensing:
Europe would be better positioned to reach a dynamic flexibility for increased uses by providing incentives to small scale licensing, both B2B and B2C, and automated licensing solutions.
Part IV of the report is entitled "Meeting users' needs in the new media & publishing ecosystem." That's a welcome emphasis, since it finally recognizes that the users are not just some passive recipient of what the publishers decide to throw at them. However, the section's focus is still resolutely on seeking permission for every possible use of copyright material.

For example, one of the areas where publishers are fighting fiercely against granting new copyright exceptions is for text and data mining. The refusal to contemplate anything but licensing as an option led to a group of researchers, SMEs, civil society organizations and open access publishers pulling out of the European Commission's "Licensing for Europe" fiasco. Here's what EPC has to say on the matter:
A new exception for text and data mining at EU level carries a huge risk from 'the law of unintended consequences'. A key theme running through our paper is the enabling role of technology in managing copyright. Given the increasing automation of rights management, the full potential of which we have yet to realise, including in the area of specific permissions, access to and use of content, we urge the European Commission to look at practical solutions first for serving the genuine needs of the research community before legislation.
Scare-mongering about an exception for text and data mining is bad enough, but it gets worse. In this same section, we read the following concerning the copyright needs of users with a disability:
There are undoubted challenges faced by this user group in being able to access digital content although publishers have been investing in voluntary solutions, including via ePub3 and voice-enabled services online.
The report then goes on immediately to mention:
The Marrakech Treaty is a recent exemplar. It provides a legal framework to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.
That gives the impression that the Marrakech Treaty was something that publishers backed strongly as a fair way of helping those with disabilities. In fact, quite the reverse is true. To have that hard-won treaty for the visually impaired presented here as an example of how publishers can be relied on to do the right thing by the public is not just misleading but morally repugnant. It shows that despite some fair words in the rest of the "vision" document, in important ways European publishers are just as selfish and cynical as ever.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 4:24am

    This report is total bullshit. It assumes from the get go that content is a thing that is only produced by a small group of people or companies. Only if that were true, can you have this DRS it talks about, where one is able to track content, rights, and licences.
    However that is not true. ANYONE is able to create content. That means the 7 billion plus people on this planet. Just what sort of system can keep track of which of those 7 billion people created which "original" content, and keep track of which of those 7 billion people have "valid" licences to which content?

    The only system is one that is indistinguishable from complete and total surveillance.

     

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  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 4:45am

    Did we expect anything different? This should be discussed with artists, authors, creators, not with some middlemen. I can bet we'd have much more sanity if it wasn't for the fact the really interested parties are mostly excluded from any copyright discussion.

     

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  3.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 4:46am

    Re:

    The only system is one that is indistinguishable from complete and total surveillance.

    The NSA is very interested and supports the publisher needs.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:10am

    so that eventually the cost of serving a licence is close to zero.

    That does what the price of a license will be, just that the selling them will be pure profit.

     

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  5.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:28am

    Re: Cost of license close to zero

    > licensing will continue to innovate exponentially so that
    > eventually the cost of serving a licence is close to zero.

    What they really mean is that the cost, that is, the money paid to the creator artist is close to zero.

    The revenue on the other hand will be as close to infinity as possible.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    Just what sort of system can keep track of which of those 7 billion people created which "original" content, and keep track of which of those 7 billion people have "valid" licences to which content?

    Not to mention the complete lack of need for such system from the rest of the world. Fine examples show that there is no need for strict DRM, licensing and other BS (like copyright, patents) to make a decent profit. (GoG, CD Project Red, etc)

     

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  7.  
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    saulgoode (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:35am

    I agree with the part about "ubiquitous data standards, to identify works and those who have rights in those works"; however, I would word it as 'all works seeking copyright protection need to be registered and have an archival copy submitted to the copyright office'.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:39am

    Xanadu and complexity

    Where did I see that before? That's right, project Xanadu, which had as one of its mistakes an all-encompassing theory of licensing, where one could create what could only be described as a mash-up, with each piece being licensed individually.

    The main failure mechanism of these proposals is complexity. Given two equal systems, the least complex has an advantage. Which is one of the reasons why the web (which was much simpler back then; old-school HTML and HTTP) won over other more complete and complex hypertext proposals.

    One does not have to be a brilliant computer programmer to see how complex these "Digital Rights Statements" are going to be. Which is going to be simpler: using this complex mechanism, or simply copy-and-pasting the text snippet? One would need several instances of a complex description language; the other is pure plain text.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:51am

    The EPC should just take copyright extremism to it's logical conclusion and disallow anyone from viewing any copyrighted content. We wouldn't have to deal with their bullshit if it weren't available. Problem solved.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:59am

    > Call it the NSA approach to copyright: total control through total surveillance.

    This has nothing to do with bulk surveillance. It sounds like it's just a way to identify rights holders.

    You guys drop "NSA" the way Republicans drop "Benghazi". It detracts from your message.

     

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  11.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:04am

    Re:

    you've identified the unstated assumption: the creative output of the 7+BEEEEELIONS (as the register would say) is NOTHING, they ONLY 'care' about the output of Big Media, the rest of us can go piss up a rope...

    i have no doubt that Big Media will be advantaged in EVERY instance, and the hoi polloi relegated to crumbs, as per usual...

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:07am

    Re:

    This has nothing to do with bulk surveillance. It sounds like it's just a way to identify rights holders.

    It is all about total surveillance, so the rights holders, that is the publishers not the creators, can be paid for every uses of every works for all time.
    Also note that the snippets approach means that they get paid for all new works, and can make the license cost prohibitive unless they are assigned the copyright for a pittance of a royalty payment. (With a reasonable sized computer farm, it is possible to find snippets in all new works making them a mashup).

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:14am

    and how many times have i said that the ultimate goal of the entertainment industries, their main aim, is to control the Internet? they have never been interested in the money they supposedly have lost/are losing, they used the money as the excuse to con governments and politicians in general, along with 'encouragements' to those same politicians, to persuade the introduction of laws making it more to the industries way of thinking! it's the best distribution system invented to date. it's obvious why they want to control it but as usual, they want everything and leave the rest of us with nothing! on top of which we would have to pay to have access to whatever we wanted from them when they have the complete system for free! that's supposed to be right, is it?? watch my lips! fuck you!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:23am

    I have a better idea why don't they just create a mobile device that rights holder carries the rights to, that catalogs all their works , "Rights holder Android or iPad" lets see how that fares for them,Instead of imposing tracking on the entire population of the world , The web is a street its up to the individual to build their business's around it not create roadblocks and red-lights for the user to navigate through.

     

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    jameshogg (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Visions do have a tendency to be utopias.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:29am

    Re:

    Only if you define a utopia to be a system where a few benefit from the work of the many, and/or where everybody conforms to their vision.

     

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  17.  
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    MadAsASnake (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re:

    And the unintended consequence of this would be to show these idiots just how much of their own precious works are derivative, and how much they will owe SOMEONE ELSE for copying it in the first place. The whole scheme is predicated on the notion that entirely original works actually exist.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Cost of license close to zero

    It is actually ironic to see such an argument from a media-publishing organisation.

    Cost of serving a license closing in on zero is a "marginal cost" argument and belongs in a free market understanding.

    The thing is that copyright-industries and in particularly publishers is everything but a free market. Prices are basically forced on retailers, the goal of a copied product in this industry is to avoid having to face market pressures and instead go for a "90 % fails and 10 % pays for the freakshow"-model, the system is based on a leasing principle where they achieve a right to publish through contracts with little to no pricing competition (most of the competition will be about legal restrictions on the contract) and the system is based on a non-natural legalized monopoly called copyright.

    Having a publisher use free market jargon to defend a completely imaginary system like DRS is beyond hypocricy. They are living in a parallel universe and cannot see past what their model looked like during their prime to actually give realistic feedback and ideas...

     

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  19.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:44am

    Re:

    "This has nothing to do with bulk surveillance. It sounds like it's just a way to identify rights holders."

    Given that anyone can create a copyrighted work at any time without registration, how do you determine who created what without surveillance?

     

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  20.  
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    MadAsASnake (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:49am

    Re:

    ... or in this case a dystopia

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    let me correct your assumption, the system is based on the notion that the publisher are who DEFINES what entirely original works are.

    They want total control over the systems in question so they can define what we are supposed to see as reality. It has nothing to do with the actual reality of things

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:02am

    "The role of technology is to make this process seamless and effective from the user's perspective"

    Are you kidding? This just shows how clueless they are about technology. Technology aims to make things cheaper, easier, and more efficient by finding better ways of doing things, which often times means routing around such antiquated notions designed to protect outdated business models.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    2 Options:

    A: This system will need to identify, approve and track everything that is created. And to do so, every single creator on the planet must receive a unique 'creator-id' - This is of course completely impossible

    B: Only certain (probably paying) organizations/companies get such a creator-id. Which means that they can start 'owning' anything that was created by parties outside this select group: cfr all the takedowns of youtube videos that were the original source of footage that was later re-broadcast by a news agency and then flagged by automated content checking bots that always favour the big media companies...

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:12am

    And then one day someone hacks the DRS-system and the entire card house comes falling down... (and that will happen very soon)

    Look, people have always been sharing things. Both tangible and ideas. It helped the human race get to where it is today. It's called progress.

    All these attempts to put restrictions on the sharing of information is like trying to make an intelligent design to replace evolution...

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re:

    More importantly, it needs to be fully secure and totally untraceable to the public. This is, of course, a cryptographic impossibility.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re:

    More to the point for publishers, how else do they identify and stop unlicensed use of their works, or obtain punitive fees for such use, except through surveillance?

     

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  27.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    > This has nothing to do with bulk surveillance.
    > It sounds like it's just a way to identify rights holders.

    This has EVERYTHING to do with bulk surveillance.
    It sounds like it's just a way to identify who is reading/watching what.

    "Wrong thinking is punishable. Right thinking will be as quickly rewarded. You will find it an effective combination."
    - The Keeper, planet Talos IV

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re:

    and the hoi polloi relegated to crumbs

    Thhey ahve no intentions of leaving crumbs.
    Europe would be better positioned to reach a dynamic flexibility for increased uses by providing incentives to small scale licensing, both B2B and B2C, and automated licensing solutions.

    They will even charge for the crumbs, like snippets and links in private emails.

     

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  29.  
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    Digger, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 9:03am

    Ehh - WRONG!

     

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  30.  
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    Digger, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Re: Ehh - WRONG!

    The default is Public Domain, period, end of discussion.

    Anyone thinking it's something else needs to pull their heads out of the media industries' collective asses as you're starving your brains of much needed oxygen and aren't thinking clearly.

    Copyright reform is required, that is true.

    #1 - Copyrights can only be held by human beings. Corporations are not human beings, and therefor cannot hold copyrights.
    #2 - Copyrights will only last 15 years, no extensions.
    #3 - All copyrights currently held by corporations around the globe are permanently and irrevocably now public domain.
    #4 - All copyrights over 15 years old are now public domain.

    The End.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Ehh - WRONG!

    Just think of all the starving mistresses, prostitutes, rent boys and drug dealers this will cause because the content industry executives can no longer pay for their pleasures.
    /sarc (for those whose meters are broken)

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 9:21am

    Hubris...

    They attack technology at every turn then expect technology to support them in adopting standards that implement their anti-innovation views?

    Good luck with that.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 9:54am

    Re: Hubris...

    DVD CSS and its Blu-Ray equivalent. HDCP and its newer equivalents. W3C DRM. SecureBoot.

    Yeah, some of their anti-innovation standards do get adopted.

     

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  34.  
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    TestPilotDummy, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 10:01am

    EU Vision

    Go on Roll it out, I give it six months and the entire hallucinatory industry will swirl down the EU toilet.

    meanwhile
    a. a crack will appear which will permit total access
    b. ppl will stop buying crippled devices
    c. content creators will quit
    d. those playing by this vision will suffer from productivity and performance since they will be maintaining bank accounts, passwords and are limited by these same resources which in turn will limit sales, propagating a diminishing return death spiral.

    This is the same road all "app ecosystems" are on. -IMO

    Not unlike a doctor asking if you own firearms for the (DHS/NCIC/HHS/NSA database) when you came in for a stubbed toe. No guns at home? How about a nice Hawaiian punch then? What's the matter, you don't like missing teeth and fat lip? We'll diagnose your ass ODD, now we can just search your home and TAKE your guns, and throw your ass in a psych ward. One has nothing to do with the other, but are forcefully lumped together creating a fascist corrupt service feeding off and playing the public interest fiddle.

    What they ought to do is what they do now.
    Lists.

    If your on the list, you get to push your re-mixing limits until your heart is content. Your advertising their brands on your own pocket expense. The limitation is you get what they give you and what you can FIND..

    If your not on the list, you get that copyright violation crap on youtube.

    The problem is the ENTIRE INDUSTRY doesn't know what the laws are let alone the public, or so-called reps.

    I don't have the solutions (I seen one here that looked pretty good), but I do have a grasp on the PROBLEM from a content producer/publisher POV.

    Furthermore, this could all turn really nightmarish with the continued use of "Press Passes" at that point you have all communications locked down. Nobody should need a press pass, if you want to pass out a line badge so security doesn't molest your camera guys that's fine, but there shouldn't be any need for a Press Pass, at an event or on the streets dealing with cops. -IMO

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    State surveillance and copyright maximalism form a perfect marriage.

    I've joked before that Orwell's Thought Police would be less interested in political activism than simply ensuring everyone has paid the proper licence fee for every thought they have.

    But the two go hand in hand.

     

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  36.  
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    Jake, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 10:39am

    As a moderately prolific amateur content creator who's taking some tentative steps towards doing it for money, I'm in favour of exactly one part of this: The creation of a system that makes it easy to find out who created something and what they are and are not okay with other people doing with it.

    I don't have a problem with people taking my ideas and building on them, in fact as someone who started out with fanfiction I would be absolutely overjoyed, and I can't understand why anyone else objects to it. But I am a firm believer in respecting other people's wishes on the matter and making sure proper attribution is given. That's just professional courtesy.

    Besides, if some short-sighted fool wants to demand royalties for every five-second sample then I'm all for letting them lock themselves out of the free publicity until they stop being so bloody silly.

     

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  37.  
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    Ed Allen, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    More like they want tolls at every point "creations" "copy from" each other. Think
    of the discoveries you will make by hunting originals instead of seeing quotes
    included in the interest of reducing licensing fees.

    Think of toll booths at every intersection of every road. How marvelously efficient !

    Please do not forget that this licensing scheme does not mention durations, once they
    capture an idea or phrase they intend to get perpetual income from it.

    Remember that sampling trials have established that five notes require a license.

    Imagine what income you could guarantee by copyrighting a "work" consisting of all possible
    five-word combinations !

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Technology aims to make things cheaper, easier, and more efficient by finding better ways of doing things

    With their proposal, they have a cheap and easy way and efficient way to transfer money to themselves. It can be seamless for the user because it can be automated, at least they will not notice until their bank account is emptied.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Hubris...

    SecureBoot, DVD CSS and HDCP weren't adopted. They were shoved down the equipment manufacturers throats. There's a big difference. The only example I can think of a proposed standard actually being accepted is W3C accepting DRM into HTML5 and that was only out of fear not out of anybody at W3C actually thinking the proposal was a good idea that added value.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    This has EVERYTHING to do with bulk surveillance.
    It sounds like it's just a way to identify who is reading/watching what.


    Google already has a monopoly on that.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    So do end users permitted to resell their licenses in the second hand sales market? Like they're able to do with houses, cars, and DVDs?

    Or is the European Publishers Council lobbying for digital renters market, where people don't have the right to own anything? Only corporations can own things and people can only rent their purchases from corporations.

    I ask that question, but I already know the answer. Obviously the European Publishers Council is attempting to destroy people's rights to own property, resell that property, and want to turn everyone but corporations into renters, not owners.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I actually buy that argument. Their actual ideas? Completely rambling fantasies.

    The system would be unbelievably expensive, slow and completely unhandleable for mashup artists since getting to the right rightholder may be difficult to begin with even with this hijacker.

    Also, a lot of linedrawing around transfer of right from computer to computer/changing of links, shared computers where the author is one of several potential users and the search hijack proposed as well as the computer demands needed both in terms of storing the massive amounts of data and running the searches. Anonymous art would be a thing of the past, but that is a given.

    Especially when you consider the levels of "borrowing"/inspirations going on in copyrighted material the multi-licensing chains they envision with arbitrary demands carried over from one layer of license to the next is going to make the mashup licenses telephone books after a few generations of mashups of mashups even with a proper timecoding and only copying the relevant license demands...

    Yeah. That is a no. The system as proposed is not gonna make anything easier for licensees and the cost of running the databases and searches would be incremental for about 100 years (life of author +70!). That seems like a completely disproportional extra burden to the operators of the system, which in this case clearly is Google and some EU bureaucrats/lobbyists...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 3:21pm

    Re:

    So do end users permitted to resell their licenses in the second hand sales market?

    The whole point of a license is to prevent second hand sales, you will have a non transferable license to use the work, and you will not even be able to pass stuff onto your heirs.
    As for stuff like houses and cars, where there is some copyrighted material, like software, wall papers, carpets etc. expect a hefty fee to transfer the license to the new owner; and expect to pay even if the copyrighted stuff has been destroyed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    You're talking about plagiarism there, and other than parasites, who love to build off of what came before and then claim no-one can do the same with 'their' creations, I'm pretty sure just about everyone is against plagiarism and non-attribution.

    Now, I did notice a bit of a problem in your comment there.

    'The creation of a system that makes it easy to find out who created something and what they are and are not okay with other people doing with it.'

    '...in fact as someone who started out with fanfiction'

    Assume such a system was in place, and the creators that you based your starting works on said that they did not want any fanfiction based upon their works. Imagine how that would have affected you. Would you still have moved on to writing other things if you'd been told that no, you are not allowed to write those fanfics because the author doesn't like people messing around with their characters/worlds?

    Now, I can somewhat understand the mindset behind that, you created the characters and the world(s) that they live in, to see someone else 'taking' them and creating something that you didn't care for out of it, or thought was 'wrong' for the characters, that's gotta be hard. They're your characters, shouldn't you be able to control what's done with them?

    However, that's not how creativity works. A is based upon and build up from B, which is inspired by C, which was a re-imagining of D, and so on. People need to be able to build upon and re-create that which has come before, without being forced to 'ask permission' from the creator, as otherwise entire 'chains' of creativity will die off, never allowed to grow, should a creator will take the double-standard of 'I can build upon the works of others, pretend that my creation is 'original', and forbid anyone else from building upon what I created'.

    And you know, now that I think more on it, calling it a 'chain' of creativity is selling the process short, it's really more of a branch, with the different 'new' versions or re-creations of something branching out even more the farther down the line you go, so stopping the process at one point would kill off a lot of works that would otherwise have been created, and the works that would have been created based upon them and so on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re:

    "Assume such a system was in place, and the creators that you based your starting works on said that they did not want any fanfiction based upon their works. Imagine how that would have affected you. Would you still have moved on to writing other things if you'd been told that no, you are not allowed to write those fanfics because the author doesn't like people messing around with their characters/worlds?"

    Well, I've written fanfiction for a lot of different series, so in all probability it wouldn't have affected me that much. Authors who out-and-out forbid it are pretty rare anyway; the only example I can name is Anne McCaffery, and that was because a fan tried to sue her for copying their fanfic for the latest installment, which is considered very bad form in most fandoms. (Unless the author actually did it, anyway.)

    Besides, there's a whole world of difference between not letting other people use your characters and setting -which I can live with, even if I think it's counterproductive- and claiming ownership over a specific arrangement of tropes, which very few authors have ever been stupid enough to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 5:17pm

    whole picture

    I'm not getting the whole picture.
    .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    Really?

    The key point about a DRS is that once it exists, it can be searched, read, and actioned by any other machine connected to the Internet.
    You mean like CC Licenses already can be?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Authors who out-and-out forbid it are pretty rare anyway; the only example I can name is Marion Zimmer Bradley, and that was because a fan tried to sue her for copying their fanfic for the latest installment, which is considered very bad form in most fandoms.
    FTFY. By the way, the author whose name you gave in error was called Anne McCaffrey.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Rellay? So Google knows I'm reading Techdirt? Impressive!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Hubris...

    "Yeah, some of their anti-innovation standards do get adopted."

    ...and ignored/routed around by many consumers and many manufacturers, thankfully.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 12:37am

    Re: Re:

    pff. Orwell is so last year. PK Dick is the new surveillance dream. Go full on "The Minority Report". People won't mind!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 1:03am

    licensing will continue to innovate exponentially so that eventually the cost of serving a licence is close to zero

    A couple of years ago, my appendix innovated me into the hospital. Hell, I'll just go all the way with the analogy: copyright is a vestigial organ trying to legislate the human body into needing it, while at best the only thing it can actually do for us is to avoid getting inflamed and killing us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 2:56am

    Re:

    This "DRS" System does not exist. It's pure speculation. Go search for it. Nothing there.

    The only thing remotely like it, is actually this here:
    http://pro.europeana.eu/available-rights-statements
    And this is actually something very useful.

    I'm all for declarations of license and author with the individual work. But that should incorporate:
    - Author/Artist with date of birth AND date of death if applicable
    - Publishing date
    - Initial Publisher if exist
    - ISBN if exist
    - license, if it makes sense

    The trouble with licenses of course, is that various entities can have different licenses at various points in time. And of course, the only licenses that are actually of interest are LICENSES TO PUBLISH. People who bought a copy of the work are not interesting. And you don't need to know every license-holder with CC-BY-SA. But you need it with more restrictive licensing, so you know whether Hachette really may publish this book, or Amazon, or whether Springer has the right to publish it in german.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 4:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well since Google owns and runs TD, obviously! /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Ehh - WRONG!

    Totally agree with #2 and #4. Not quite convinced about #1 and #3.

    What about this here? https://www.fsf.org/licensing/assigning.html

    And what about companies producing something which hundreds of people are involved? Who has the copyright there? Do you really want to deal with a few thousand people to licence some movie distribution? And what exactly is which contribution to a movie worth, in terms of copyright?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 3rd, 2014 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    Bad analogy. All appendices of the human body have some importance. Check out this Wikipedia article for the evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jul 5th, 2014 @ 7:49pm

    Fair Well InterNet, we will miss you greatly...

    Guess we might as well start calling it;

    The OuterNet

    Cuz if yer on it, yer outed automatically.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2014 @ 3:12am

    Re: Xanadu and complexity

    Yeah, I was just a few sentences in and started getting some serious deja-vu. To be fair, Xanadu isn't dead and they even have a few pages up that you can read. I'd say it would take them no more than a few tens of thousands of years to catch up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    The Wanderer (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mercedes Lackey also used to prohibit fanfiction of her Velgarth novels, on the insistence of her agent, until (IIRC) Cory Doctorow picked up the same agent and managed to convince him his views were wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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