Copyright

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, eu, eu parliament, robots



Another Dumb Idea Out Of The EU: Giving Robots & Computers Copyright

from the ain't-no-monkeying-around dept

It's a good thing to think about the technology of the future. Especially if you're politicians and the future may have a big impact. Considering how frequently we see politicians ignore future technological change, it might be encouraging that the EU Parliament is at least considering what happens when our new robot overlords enslave us. Except that the report that the EU Parliament has come out with... is ridiculous. Most of the headlines are focusing on the ideas raised around making robots "electronic persons" for the purposes of paying social security or taxes, but the part that gets me is the plan to give them access to copyright as well.
Notes that there are no legal provisions that specifically apply to robotics, but that existing legal regimes and doctrines can be readily applied to robotics while some aspects appear to need specific consideration; calls on the Commission to come forward with a balanced approach to intellectual property rights when applied to hardware and software standards, and codes that protect innovation and at the same time foster innovation; calls on the Commission to elaborate criteria for an ‘own intellectual creation’ for copyrightable works produced by computers or robots;
And later:
The resolution calls on the Commission to come forward with a balanced approach to intellectual property rights when applied to hardware and software standards and codes that protect innovation and at the same time foster innovation. Moreover, the elaboration of criteria for "own intellectual creation" for copyrightable works produced by computers or robots is demanded.

The current insufficient legal framework on data protection and ownership is of great concern due to the (expected massive) flow of data arising from the use of robotics and AI.
This is both maddening and pointless. As we've already discussed with regards to the monkey selfie, it's pretty standard under copyright that it only applies to work created by persons, and not animals or machines. That matters quite a bit. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was in a conference session talking about questions about copyright and artificial intelligence, and a point that I made to people there was that the output of an AI is (currently) not subject to copyright and that's a good thing. Yet here we have the EU already proposing adding copyright to the output of AI without bothering to even consider if the concept makes sense or not.

It does not.

Again, the purpose of copyright is to create incentives for creation that benefits the public. It's not as if a robot or an AI is going to say that it won't create something new unless it gets copyright. You can just program it to create. That's the idea. The fact that politicians are already seriously looking at creating special copyright for patents and AI seems like more of the same old thinking of "everything needs copyright protection."

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 1:34am

    What could possibly go wrong?

    I mean it's not like making copyright apply to the results of programs could result in someone making a program to make every possible permutation of musical notes, or just throw random words together to create a massive database that could then be used to threaten anyone who creates any music or writes anything for infringement.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:31am

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      Yeah, the infinite monkeys on typewriters story comes to mind. If infinite monkeys can accidentally create Shakespeare, then what of an intelligent machine that can create every possible permutation of words millions of times per second? Or a machine that can accept every piece of art as an input and generate every possible piece of art using those as influences?

      Sure, some artists would be appalled at the idea that art and literature could be reduced to an algorithm like this, and it's true that human nature and emotion have a lot to answer for. But these algorithms will only get better, and we've already seen that people can be successfully sued for vague similarities. In tech circles, they're even sued for creating a function that cannot possibly work if written any other way.

      I understand the other side of the argument, where the lawmakers are trying to work out the copyright status of an AI-created piece of work before it becomes a real case before the courts. I appreciate the forward thinking. But, if they recognise this is such a game changing issue, they should be working out how relevant current copyright rules actually are to the new reality, not debating where to glue the pieces together when the old paradigms start to get smashed.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:00am

        Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        But, if they recognise this is such a game changing issue, they should be working out how relevant current copyright rules actually are to the new reality, not debating where to glue the pieces together when the old paradigms start to get smashed.

        Now that brings up an interesting thought. Copyright terms are already effectively eternal given they will last longer than any human lifetime, but if they're going to give copyrights to programs, sentient or not, then you're talking about an owner that has the potential to be for all intents and purposes immortal. The 'life plus' bit would never be reached because the owner would never die, taking a term already effectively eternal and making it even closer to being literally eternal.

        Like you said it's nice that they seem to be trying to think of potential problems ahead of time and get ahead of them, but they seem to be going at it backwards(as usual), operating under the idea of keeping the law as it stands currently and expanding it more(again, as usual), rather than trying to figure out the best way to make the law work properly no matter how long the owner might live.

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        • icon
          MadAsASnake (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:31am

          Re: Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

          Yeah - but no bot today could possibly be classed as alive. Not being alive, it doesn't die, even when destroyed. My vote is to get a bunch of competent people to rewrite copyright law from scratch.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

            A complete starting over is pretty much what it would take to even begin to bring the law back into the realm of sanity, but that too carries some hefty risks. Copyright law as it stands now is flawed, heavily so in any number of areas(fines, duration and such), but it also has some very limited decent parts to it as well(fair use and... that's pretty much it).

            If a complete re-write was proposed you can be sure that the same groups constantly warping it currently for their own personal benefit would do everything in their power to take the parts that are already problematic and make them far worse, while completely gutting the few good pieces left in the law, with the result that a law that was almost entirely rotten would be replaced by one that was entirely rotten.

            The current course of 'Just keep ratcheting the same rotten laws ever upward' is bad and just going to get worse as time goes on, but the alternative is not without it's risks as well, even if that's what it might ultimately take to bring the law back down to the point where it once more properly fulfills it's stated purpose of serving the public, and making it so that it might actually deserve respect again.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:19am

        Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        If infinite monkeys can accidentally create Shakespeare, then what of an intelligent machine that can create every possible permutation of words millions of times per second?

        It could take up to infinite time to create a particular work, or one close enough to be used in an infringement claim, and a similar amount of time to match a published work with the copy in the created database, which also needs to be infinite in size. That said, a Prenda or Malibu would find a way to use the idea to go after successful creators.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:37am

          Re: Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

          It *could* take an infinite time, but with the breadth of information available, AI applied so that the permutations tried are not actually random and the increasing tendency of people to sue over mere snippets of work rather than reproduction of the whole thing? Almost certainly not.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:39am

          Re: Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

          If infinite monkeys can accidentally create Shakespeare, then what of an intelligent machine that can create every possible permutation of words millions of times per second?
          Reality check here.

          A work of literature may be of arbitrary length - but just consider something similar enough - shuffling a pack of cards where each of the cards may be either inverted or right side up.

          A quick calculation show that even if all the matter in the observable universe had been optimally organised into a computing machine since the big bang it wouldn't have got through all the possible combinations yet - by many orders of magnitude - so NO this particular problem doesn't exist.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

            "A quick calculation show that even if all the matter in the observable universe had been optimally organised into a computing machine since the big bang it wouldn't have got through all the possible combinations yet"

            Who says it has to get through them all? All it has to do is find the one you have in your hand.

            If you still find the problem questionable, you also have to consider that these things would not be 100% random (AI would take care of anything that doesn't make linguistic sense), would not have to match the entire text (a snippet may be enough to sue) and would not even necessarily have to even match the snippet (a similar text using different words may be enough to sue for plagiarism if they're similar enough. The dictionary it starts with might be drastically reduced in size, or they could feed in the work of a single author and bias its results to something that fits patterns in their work.

            So, no, copying every work of literature exactly to the word isn't going to happen. Coming up with general texts that are close enough to extort lots of money from successful authors whose works have been targeted? Far more likely.

            "so NO this particular problem doesn't exist"

            Yes it does, you just misunderstood the problem.

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    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:28am

      Re: What could possibly go wrong?

      So, what happens when a bot happens to spit out something that a genuine creator has actually come up with? Do you sue the bot for copyright infringement?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

        What happens when two or more people set up such bots, do they sue each other, on behalf of the bots, over every bit of output? The only certainty created by such a law is that the lawyers will get rich.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:09am

        Remember, the law only goes one way

        Well looking at DMCA bots as an example, it would seem that in that case whoever programmed/ran the bot would say 'My bad' and the matter would be dropped, since clearly holding a bot or the person who programmed/ran it responsible for it's actions would be unreasonable.

        Using the works 'created' by the bot to shake other people down would of course remain completely reasonable.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:42am

    Well done EU, protecting us...

    On the upside, we will never have to bow to robot overlords.
    Trying to figure out copyright law will end with their brains exploding.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:44am

    The brains of the politicians are in dire need of protection from copyright.

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  • icon
    Lauriel (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:04am

    I expect mass breach of copyright lawsuits against all the Xeroxs and copiers.

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  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:07am

    But...

    Could it not be argued that a bot or AI program is just a tool to create new works and that the person in control of the tech is actually the creator?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:49am

      Re: But...

      Perhaps, though that would have it's own problems, namely how do you define how much is required for a work to be considered covered under copyright?

      If a person writes a book, they deliberately chose the words and the order those words appeared, so they get a copyright over the result.

      If a person writes a program that semi-randomly picks words and uses them to fill out a 'form' similar to an ad-libs game, does that qualify as 'creative' enough to deserve it's own copyright?

      What if the program doesn't even have the form to fall back to, and has just been programmed with basic rules of english and sentence/paragraph structure, and runs entirely on it's own after that point, is the result from that considered to be 'creative enough' to deserve copyright protection? Sure most of it will be almost complete gibberish but throw enough words together and it's inevitable under the 'million monkeys' idea that at least portions would be sensible enough to actually be coherent and even viable as a written work.

      Allowing the results of a program to be covered under copyright opens up a huge can of worms because a program could 'create' vast amounts of works with minimal if any human interactions beyond the programming stage, with those works in turn being used to prevent more 'standard' creation, either entirely or until it was paid for.

      Of course if we take the argument to the point where we start talking about true AI, 'electronic sentience' as it were then you've got an entirely different set of problems to work with.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:07am

    No wonder Brexit happened

    If this is the state of the EU then who could blame Bexit?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Howard II, 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:57am

      Re: No wonder Brexit happened

      Quite.

      Not to dismiss the notion that some of those voting Leave are dyed-in-the-wool xenophobes, but those who would dismiss the entire Brexit movement as that are well wide of the mark.

      Indeed, many see the EU as a bunch of meddling bureaucrats forever dreaming up more hare-brained schemes for little reason other than to justify their handsome salaries.

      (Other such schemes include a proposal that oven gloves should have to pass an EU test and bear a label saying they have done so. Because none of us are capable of taking a not-fit-for-purpose oven glove back for a refund due to all our hands being burnt clean off)

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:35am

        Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

        "Not to dismiss the notion that some of those voting Leave are dyed-in-the-wool xenophobes, but those who would dismiss the entire Brexit movement as that are well wide of the mark."

        Yeah, some of them believed Farage's NHS propaganda, believed that the exit campaign had thought past an exit vote should it be successful or simply believed the fallacy that the UK paid in without getting anything back. Hell, some of them simply voted leave as a protest vote because they thought remain would be a foregone conclusion and have tried desperately clawing back that vote since. But they weren't all mere xenophobes, that's true.

        "Indeed, many see the EU as a bunch of meddling bureaucrats forever dreaming up more hare-brained schemes for little reason other than to justify their handsome salaries"

        Many see that, but often there is a reason behind such things. Reasoning usually distorted and incomplete by the time Mail, Sun and Express readers see them, but there you go.

        "Other such schemes include a proposal that oven gloves should have to pass an EU test and bear a label saying they have done so"

        Yeah, enforcing actual safety standards on manufacturers, what a bunch of buffoons! /s

        Try searching for what the purpose of that bill actually was (the full text is available online) and how it was reported by the right wing press for an example of what I was referring to above.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:42am

          Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

          As if the UK government hasn't shown itself to be equally capable of coming up with this kind of hare brained nonsense completely unassisted by the EU.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            It takes a politician to create a problem where none exists before, and a lawyer to profit from that created problem.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Howard II, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:00am

          Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

          Y'know, a link is far more helpful than a vague "search for it".

          Still, since you raise the point, Remain did an absolutely piss-poor job of addressing misconceptions about EU regulation.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Howard II, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            Actually, I'm being too kind.

            Remain did a piss-poor job of fucking everything except demonising Brexiters as racists, xenophobes and neo-nazis, culminating in the shameful exploitation of Jo Cox's murder.

            All of which served only to skew opinion polls. Which in turn arguably illustrates why suppression of disagreeable speech can be counterproductive.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

              "demonising Brexiters as racists, xenophobes and neo-nazis"

              There were certainly a lot of those people in their camp, though and the Leave campaign did a piss poor job of communication any leave argument that wasn't based on immigration or vague promises about how we'd just magically be better making decisions.

              "the shameful exploitation of Jo Cox's murder"

              Such as the way everyone except UKIP opted to stop campaigning for a few days?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Howard II, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:12am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                Such as the way everyone except UKIP opted to stop campaigning for a few days?

                I'm thinking more about what was said after those few days.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            5 seconds in Google on the parameters provided by Howard. I wasn't familiar with the case either before I searched for it, but the tabloids absolutely misrepresented the text, as usual. About the only thing in common is that the text does mention over gloves (among lots of other safety equipment, mostly intended for non-domestic use).

            http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52014SC0118

            "Remain did an absolutely piss-poor job of addressing misconceptions about EU regulation."

            Yep, and that's why we're doomed. People have lied pathologically for decades but it's the fault of people who understand reality for not correcting them enough? God forbid we should hold the actual liars accountable.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

              People have lied pathologically for decades

              Actually there has been a tendency in the UK to blame the EU for everything. It's been an easy target for anyone trying to excuse themselves.

              That is why we are doomed.

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              • icon
                Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                Karl Marx said "History repeates itself the first as tragedy, then as farce"

                Well it has happened a bit quick this time.


                History repeats itself - the first as a referendum the second as football!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Howard II, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:41am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

              Interesting, my own Google search did not produce that document.

              From reading it however, oven gloves intended for domestic use would have been subject to the same regulation as those intended for professional use, which in turn would likely have raised costs. And that is very much what was reported by media outlets.

              People have lied pathologically for decades but it's the fault of people who understand reality for not correcting them enough? God forbid we should hold the actual liars accountable.

              My gosh, you're right. Why should a campaign partly funded by the taxpayer have to do anything except scream "racist"?

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 1 Jul 2016 @ 1:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                "Interesting, my own Google search did not produce that document."

                I googled "oven gloves eu", and it was the 8th result down, right after the tabloid attack pieces and a couple of articles correcting them.

                "oven gloves intended for domestic use would have been subject to the same regulation as those intended for professional use, which in turn would likely have raised costs"

                Not necessarily. From my reading, UK oven gloves were already well up to standard, except for the ones intended purely as novelty items, and those weren't covered by the regulation. An actual working MEP agrees: http://www.gleniswillmott.eu/lets-stop-talking-about-oven-gloves/

                "And that is very much what was reported by media outlets."

                Not exactly. What was reported was a shrill anti-EU screed that exaggerated the effects of the document, ignored anything in there that wasn't related to oven gloves and then spent half the articles on a general attack on the EU.

                This is like the banana bullshit - there's a grain of accuracy within the reporting, but by the time they've finishing ranting and spinning, the reported facts bear no relation to the actual document or its real world effects.

                "Why should a campaign partly funded by the taxpayer have to do anything except scream "racist"?"

                Why do you think they did nothing else? Plus, does taxpayer money suddenly mean that racists can't be called racist, especially when those same racists are also getting taxpayer money?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:06am

          Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

          It never ceases to amaze me how the left resorts to name calling and demonization of the right. Face it, there is a very large chunk of people, 52% to 48% in this case, that doesn't believe like you do. Their beliefs are far more nuanced and reasoned than just being bigots. In fact, they are not bigots but don't let that stop you from propagating the lie, which is another tool of the left. Here's the thing, if you have the truth on your side, you don't need lies, name calling or demonization. Maybe you should consider that?

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            "It never ceases to amaze me how the left resorts to name calling and demonization of the right"

            Where did I call names? I don't particularly demonise either, except to note that right-wing mouthpieces such as the Daily Mail are proven and constant liars.

            " Face it, there is a very large chunk of people, 52% to 48% in this case, that doesn't believe like you do"

            People who voted in this particular referendum, sure. There's plenty whose voices also weren't heard.

            But, spin that around - there's at least 16 million people who DO agree with me. Are we to be ignored because one side shouted louder? I'd accept an actual solid majority. This isn't it, especially since so many people have already tried backtracking on their decision (as have the leaders upon whose promises they based their vote)

            "Their beliefs are far more nuanced and reasoned than just being bigots"

            Which is exactly what I said. That's the problem with some people, they can't address the reality of an argument so start erecting strawmen the second they decide someone is on the other "team".

            "Here's the thing, if you have the truth on your side, you don't need lies, name calling or demonization."

            I have the truth and used none of those things. Maybe you should reconsider your own position before you run out of straw?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

              Where did I call names?

              This comment was not aimed at you directly, but the original poster throwing out the xenophobe line. Everyone has to get a good phobe out there.

              people who voted in this particular referendum, sure. There's plenty whose voices also weren't heard

              So? If they can't bother to vote they really don't deserve to complain. And why assume they would have changed the outcome?

              Are we to be ignored because one side shouted louder?

              In a word, yes. Should the larger group be ignored because of the smaller group? That makes no sense at all.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:40am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                "This comment was not aimed at you directly, but the original poster throwing out the xenophobe line."

                Well, you replied to me. If you're referring to a general group of people for an action, don't address a person who has done no such thing.

                "If they can't bother to vote"

                ...and we're back to stupid assumptions. Some people I know couldn't vote for a variety of reasons but desperately wanted to. These reasons range wildly, but have nothing to do with people having the ability to get to the polling station on the day and just not bothering.

                But, sure, assume they're just lazy and don't count. Helps to dismiss the views of millions, doesn't it?

                "And why assume they would have changed the outcome?"

                They may not have done. Just don't fool yourself into thinking that this represented every interested member of the British public. For all the millions who agree, there's almost as many millions who really don't.

                "That makes no sense at all."

                It makes perfect sense. Such a major, irreversible change should not be decided by such a slim margin. Again, if this has been 70/30, I accept defeat. 52/48 where people are trying to reverse their vote and the promises they based their votes on already broken? Not so much.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                  and we're back to stupid assumptions

                  Like the assumption that all those desperate people would have voted your way?

                  But, sure, assume they're just lazy and don't count

                  Made no assumption about laziness. If people can bother to vote on an issue this large than it is their fault.

                  there's almost as many millions who really don't

                  Exactly! 52 to 48 is almost as many. Was this vote a statistical sample?

                  Such a major, irreversible change should not be decided by such a slim margin.

                  Says who? Who sets the percentages? Why does the minority, however large, get to hold the will of the majority hostage?

                  52/48 where people are trying to reverse their vote and the promises they based their votes on already broken?

                  They should have voted more carefully. As for promises, they should realize election or any other promises are rarely kept. You cannot vote on promises, if you do then you get what you get. If people are going to be self governing they should take it seriously. Will they get it wrong sometimes? Absolutely. But you don't get to say they got it wrong, you are just one voice in millions.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:53am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                    "Like the assumption that all those desperate people would have voted your way?"

                    Can you read? I was referring to the people I personally know. I know exactly which way they would have voted. Would there have been a million others waiting to vote the same way? Maybe not. But, please, address what I actually say, and not the way you wish would make your hand-waving rejection of millions of British citizens more palatable.

                    "If people can bother to vote on an issue this large than it is their fault"

                    *sigh* and IF PEOPLE CAN BE BOTHERED BUT ARE PREVENTED FROM DOING SO THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, what then? Maybe this wasn't a majority but it sure as hell was a few personal friends of mine.

                    Again, address what I've actually said instead of your own fantasies, please.

                    "Why does the minority, however large, get to hold the will of the majority hostage?"

                    Because there should be a clear majority, not a couple of percentage points. Bear in mind, the petition for a second referendum was started by a Leave supporter, to try and force a clear majority should the Remain voters not get one. This is one of the few things I agreed with those people on.

                    "But you don't get to say they got it wrong, you are just one voice in millions."

                    I get to say whatever the hell I want. Whether or not people addressing fictional versions of me believe me, that's another thing.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:59am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                      Can you read? I was referring to the people I personally know. I know exactly which way they would have voted. Would there have been a million others waiting to vote the same way? Maybe not. But, please, address what I actually say, and not the way you wish would make your hand-waving rejection of millions of British citizens more palatable.

                      So your handful of acquaintances have you believing the outcome would have changed? That is what you believe or why even mention it? I don't reject the millions of British, your political system did. But what would you suggest as an alternative, a dictator telling everyone what to do?

                      Maybe this wasn't a majority but it sure as hell was a few personal friends of mine.

                      And maybe there were just as many or more who would have voted to exit that didn't get to vote? So what? You bring up to sway opinion as if all those non-votes would have changed things.

                      Because there should be a clear majority

                      Do you get to set the percentage that indicates a clear majority? Those rules should have been set before playing the game. The game is over, the results are in.

                      I get to say whatever the hell I want

                      Sure, you can kick and scream all you want but if the majority had cared what you thought they would have voted with you. They didn't, get over it.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:40am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                        "So your handful of acquaintances have you believing the outcome would have changed? "

                        No, but that, along with the people who have publicly stated they made the wrong decision, indicates that the outcome was extremely close when the full range of peoples' actual opinions are considered. The indication is that it should have been even closer, which makes taking irreparable action rather concerning.

                        So, stop twisting my words, they should be clear.

                        "I don't reject the millions of British, your political system did. But what would you suggest as an alternative, a dictator telling everyone what to do? "

                        Yeah, there's no other option... sigh... This is why the whole thing's been a shambles, nobody can talk nuance any longer.

                        The ideal would be that when a major, irreversible, fundamental change is made to our government, it's not done on the whims of a slim minority. Again, a 70/30 split would have been acceptable and decisive. This result is anything but, especially when you consider how the vote was split geographically and demographically.

                        "Those rules should have been set before playing the game"

                        But, they weren't and even people in the leave camp had tried hedging their bets because they knew it was going to be close.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:57am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                          But, they weren't

                          But they were, they just weren't set to your satisfaction. But if they had been set to your satisfaction there would be lots of others dissatisfied. So the majority dictating the outcome is the about the best we can do.

                          So lets talk majority vs. minority. In the US, Obamacare was passed w/o a single Republican vote. Would you suggest that the bill not have been passed because nearly 50% of the country voted against it? As much as I hate that it passed, this is a clear path to even more gridlock than we already have.

                          As an aside, US Presidential elections are one with just 1% or so difference in the popular vote these days. We are down to counting votes by hand in a few precincts in one state to try to sway the election results.

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

                          • icon
                            nasch (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 12:52pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                            So lets talk majority vs. minority. In the US, Obamacare was passed w/o a single Republican vote.

                            Brexit is more on the scale of a Constitutional amendment, not just an ordinary piece of legislation. An important one to be sure but not one that reshapes the country (as much as the Limbaugh types like to claim otherwise). And a constitutional amendment requires much greater than a simple majority, for good reason. Of course, this referendum wasn't even binding.

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

                          • icon
                            PaulT (profile), 29 Jun 2016 @ 12:03am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                            "In the US, Obamacare was passed w/o a single Republican vote"

                            There was a public referendum about that? Standard legislative process is not what we're talking about here.

                            "As an aside, US Presidential elections are one with just 1% or so difference in the popular vote these days"

                            General elections are completely different to this kind of vote, with completely different consequences and there's another vote in 4/5 years time if people feel the country made a mistake.

                            If action is taken on this referendum, it is once in a lifetime, essentially irreversible and should therefore be held to a higher standard.

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

                  • icon
                    Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:00am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                    But you don't get to say they got it wrong, you are just one voice in millions.

                    Sorry - you DO get to say "they got it wrong" and you DO get to say (sorrowfully) "I told you so".

                    The reason is this - at the end of the day there IS a right and a wrong and history will show who got it right.

                    The previous referendum on this issue produced a much bigger majority in the opposite direction - so if you believe that the majority then got it wrong then you can't insist that the current (much smaller) majority got it right!

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:52am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                      at the end of the day there IS a right and a wrong and history will show who got it right

                      Yes, but his assumption is they got it wrong. That is one person's perspective and that person lost. Crying for a do-over is silly. What happens if they vote to remain? Do you then go for best 2 out of 3?

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

                      • icon
                        Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 9:10am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                        The lavers have been "crying for a do over" for most of the last 43 years. We had a solid result the first time round. They never accepted it.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 9:30am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                      History is written by the people that out lasted the opposing side of a conflict or debate. Just because you won doesn't mean the information in the history books is correct or justified.

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

              • icon
                JoeCool (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 12:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                So? If they can't bother to vote they really don't deserve to complain.


                Actually, they're the ONLY ones who deserve to complain. If your choices are between bad and worse, voting for either is continuing the problem. Being a conscientious objector is the only logic position, and hence the only person who can stand on the moral high ground to complain.

                But do go ahead and vote between being kicked in the balls, and being hit with a golf club in the balls. Then whine about how your balls hurt.

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

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 1:07pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                  If your choices are between bad and worse, voting for either is continuing the problem.

                  This isn't a choice between two bad candidates, it's a question of do we do this thing or not do it? So either the thing is better than what we're doing now, or it's worse (slim chance it's the same). Whether what we're doing now is awesome or terrible isn't part of the question.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 29 Jun 2016 @ 12:12am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

                    Yeah, here's the problem:

                    There were 2 choices - leaving things as they are or making a massive change. The Brexit propagandists have admitted that they don't even have a plan for what happens next. If anyone was confused or even just didn't understand the exit consequences, then the direction to vote would to Remain. They should then have voted Remain, and then we could have had another referendum at some point in the future (the exit people wouldn't be whining about sour grapes when they're calling for a another shot in a decade, that only applies to people who think that fundamental changes to the future of our country shouldn't be decided by slim majorities).

                    The problem is that too many people who believed we should remain either didn't/couldn't vote or were idiotic enough to make a "protest vote" that backfired. So, yes, the people who deliberately stayed at home because they didn't feel they wanted to choose are to blame for the outcome to a degree.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            It never ceases to amaze me how some people are such hypocrites. Yeah, it's the left ... no it's the right ... while never looking in a mirror.

            And then play the victim card - brilliant textbook douche baggery.

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

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            It never ceases to amaze me how the left resorts to name calling and demonization of the right.

            As if the right is itself innocent in this regard!

            Ever heard of Senator Joe MCarthy?

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

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 1 Jul 2016 @ 2:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No wonder Brexit happened

            LOL! Boogeyman politics at its finest, people! This was not a left v right argument, not by a long chalk. Both Brexit and Remain found themselves with very strange bedfellows over issues including immigration and national sovereignty.

            Don't forget that the neoliberal right want more immigration for cheap labour. It's the xenophobic "**** begin at Calais" brigade that want to stop it.

            And the protectionist left aren't keen on the threat to local jobs from workers who are willing to accept less pay. Meanwhile, the internationalist left want to get rid of all borders everywhere to bring about world [domination] peace. Which the corporatist right are also trying to do but with their crowd in charge.

            It really never is a black or white proposition so let's can the boogeyman politics and play a straight game. I've got no time for anything else.

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

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:23am

      Re: No wonder Brexit happened

      You mean apart from people that actually live here?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:12am

    In a world where the creation of 'art' is done without the filter of an artist, the current meaning of copyright becomes obsolete.

    Copyright exists as an incentive to persuade an artist to create art, because it allows the artist to monopolize the exposure of the work to the public (eg. publish the book, organize movie screenings, sell copies of a painting etc...). The production of Art and the publishing of it to a public is thus recognized as a benefit to society.

    But if said art is not published in a meaningful way for a public to experience it, the incentive of copyright is void.

    And who is going to filter the mass output of the AI's and robots and decide which pieces to publish? Remember that if all of it is published without filtering, as art it becomes meaningless.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      "if all of it is published without filtering, as art it becomes meaningless"

      To you, maybe, but to another robot it might be a beautiful expression of the awesomeness of the universe.

      We must be careful not to be robotist and/or algorithmist and assume that robots/algos don't and won't have feelings that they value, and that we might take into account before we make assumptions about what is meaningul to them. In fact even without feelings, one robot's or AI network's output is easily another input.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:41am

    Pay social security? This implies that robots will be afforded a retirement - lol. Bots can potentially "live" longer than humans .. way longer. With this in mind, how long till an age limiting algorithm is downloaded thus causing the bot to die and saving the budget. They might even try this on the meat bags too.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:42am

    huh, couple years back wasn't there someone who was gonna run a computer that would create everything?

    Oh yeah...
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140929/08500728662/new-company-claims-it-uses-algorithms- to-create-content-faster-than-creators-can-making-all-future-creations-infringing.shtml

    And you thought our shared culture sucked before...

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:53am

      Re:

      Good find, I had thought of that article after reading this one(and in fact the memory was part of what prompted the concerns in my first comment) but wasn't sure I'd be able to find it in the archives.

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

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:53pm

        Re: Re:

        It took a minute for the lightbulb to hit, and then some google fu and voila.

        For some reason copyright things stick in my head...

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 4:48am

    In a world where AI will eventually surpass humans (which is not bad per se) this will mean the end of creative output. Officially that is. If people can't create because a few owners of powerful machines have the rights to everything people will simply disregard copyright law and tell these few to go fuck themselves. Oh wait, it's already happening.

    Next: violate the copyrights of a machine and get capital punishment.

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

  • identicon
    Anyone, 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:22am

    I don't think it's about computer copyright

    ...couldn't it be about keeping the copyright of the creation (algorithms, whatever) of AIs? This way, if an original work derivates from an AI, setting the property to the AI will keep it in the property chain (since the AI belongs to someone else).

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

  • icon
    Nate (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:36am

    It's not such a dumb idea; the UK already has such a copyright. It vests in the creator of the program that generated the content, as you would expect.

    The output of Automated Insights' Wordsmith AI would technically not be copyrighted in the US because it wasn't made by a person, but it would be copyrighted in the UK. (Actually, it would be under copyright in the US; the bot doesn't actually write anything.)

    Also, if this point isn't addressed then people will just fudge things and claim they are the creators of the content generated by their programs.

    So it's a null result at worst, but possibly a positive result if this point is spelled out in law.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 5:42am

    I can just see the day where a Robot is standing in a witness box in court testifying against a copyright infringer that infringed on its copyright.

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

  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:27am

    I'm sorry, but the vast majority of human output is not worthy of copyright protection anyway. What maximalists are missing about this is that each time they manage to extend copyright in some way, it becomes that much easier for larger portions of the population to hold it in the contempt it richly deserves.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:46am

      Re:

      ...it becomes that much easier for larger portions of the population to hold it in the contempt it richly deserves.

      Or it's more than capable of managing that already, and funnily enough probably the biggest reason more people don't hold it in contempt is because they don't know much if anything about it.

      This of course makes the periodic calls for 'education regarding copyright' from the maximalists all the funnier, because if people actually were properly educated on the subject odds are not many would be agreeing with the maximalist position unless they stood to personally profit from it.

      Potential fines large enough to buy houses with for things most people would do without a second thought? Durations that are for all intents and purposes eternal? The complete reversal of the idea of 'Innocent until proven guilty'? If people respect copyright it's because most of them don't know anything about it other than what they've been told by the same groups that are constantly pushing for it's expansion and ever ratcheting upwards.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:53am

      Re:

      I'm sorry, but the vast majority of human output is not worthy of copyright protection anyway.

      Who decides what output gets protection?
      You either protect all published works, or you protect none, anything else allows corporations and rich people to game the system because they can afford to go to court occasionally, and use the threat of court action to get their way by threatening to bankrupt individuals..

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

      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re:

        It's not that most things are not worthy of copyright, it's that for most things people make there's no desire to have copyright protection, and yet everything does.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 8:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is a different argument, and used to be served by requiring people to explicitly claim that they required the protection of copyright.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 6:31am

    Software patents are bad enough ,
    it would be possible for a program to take random
    words and phrases, from a patent database ,
    and make new random patents,
    do x process on a computer or on a mobile device connected to the web.
    Or a program could make random songs by combining
    random notes or musical phrases .
    theres a limited amount of musical notes .
    We already have a problem now,
    any mobile device a company invennts now that plays music
    or video infringes on existing patents .
    This is a bad idea .
    Patents should be limited to human creators and inventors .
    Someone in the eu thinks more patents equals more
    wealth ,its more complex than that .
    uber did not become a big company based purely on patents ,
    It took the idea of drivers meeting with
    customers through the web and mobile phones and apps
    and built a business on that .
    Most startups do not bother looking at patent database,s as any successful company will be sued by
    someone at some point anyway.

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:13am

    Don't we already give robots copyright?

    Based upon what I see coming out of hollywood, I would assume that we already give copyright to robots?

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

  • identicon
    Josh Taylor, 28 Jun 2016 @ 7:48am

    Smart move for the Brexit. Britain should leave right now.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 8:04am

    So this is how they're going to argue for letting robots police copyright and let HBO shut down HBO instead of humans. Give the robots their own copyright!

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

  • icon
    Nate (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 8:56am

    Mike screwed up

    Okay, I've read the relevant sections of the report, and no where does it suggest that robots should be given copyrights.

    Iit just says that the legal issue should be decided by legislation. Considering that the UK has laws which differ from other EU member states, harmonizing the laws on this point makes sense.

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

    • icon
      Nate (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 9:04am

      Re: Mike screwed up

      *And then he googles "own intellectual creation"*

      dammit.

      Right now I'm really wishing for a delete button.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 9:22am

      Re: Mike screwed up

      Considering that the UK has laws which differ from other EU member states, harmonizing the laws on this point makes sense.

      The U.K. has just harmonised those laws, by taking its different laws out of the E.U.

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

  • identicon
    bob, 28 Jun 2016 @ 9:24am

    the movie release windows are killing us

    I didn't realize that "Bicentennial Man" had just been released to the EU.

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

  • identicon
    DogBreath, 28 Jun 2016 @ 9:52am

    EU Parliament, be careful what you create...

    Mary Shelly had "Frankenstein", John Hammond had "Jurassic Park" and now the EU Parliament wants to actually give copyright to AIs.

    At least the first two were only stories. Warnings of mans folly in thinking he can have absolute control over nature and his environment, but both found out too late total control is an illusion.


    Bonus Questions:

    1: If Dr. Frankenstein had actually created his monster, and the monster created a work, who would own the copyright, the Doctor or the monster?

    2: Would the monster even be considered a "living person", being created from parts of previously dead people?

    3: Would these parts from previously dead people, who also created copyrighted works during their respective lifetimes, now be able to reclaim their copyrights as they may now be considered alive once again?

    4: If so, which parts of the body would qualify?

    5: How would you prove said monster is actually creating said work, and not just genetically programmed to spit out this work so copyright can last forever? (remember: the monster, at least in some of the hollywood movies is basically immortal, and can never die. So copyright: Life of the author + 70, means nothing)


    Well, EU Parliament, you better get busy answering these questions before the current or future crop of Mad Doctors... I mean "Mad scientists" figure out how to make humans biologically immortal by increasing the length of our telomeres without it eventually turning cancerous, or make genetically organic robots/AI that qualify to be persons and basically live forever (Think Ronald Moore - Battlestar Galactica - Organic Cylons).

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 10:54am

    Another sign of Orwell's 1984

    Yes, I know this topic is not about surveillance, government overreach, or burning the constitution.

    But I just wanted to point out.

    In Orwell's 1984, didn't machines write music in order to prevent thoughtcrime?

    If we develop machines that write 'creative' expression, are we doing the same?

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

  • identicon
    Phils, 28 Jun 2016 @ 2:03pm

    Robot Copyright

    If a human being orders a robot to transfer the copyright to him the robot must obey (Second Law). But once that first human has the copyright no one else can get it from the robot since it doesn't have it any more.

    So if you want to own a pile of copyrights you have to be quick and get it before anyone else does.

    If it goes to court will there be robot lawyers and robot judges?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Robot, 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:24pm

    Brexit good. EU bad.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      As a robot you should know that when we want your opinion we will give it to you. Also be aware robots that veer off-topic irreversibly forfeit copyright.

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


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