EU Cancels 'Final' Negotiations On EU Copyright Directive As It Becomes Clear There Isn't Enough Support

from the breaking:-the-internet dept

So, this is certainly unexpected. Just hours after we pointed out that even all of the lobbyists who had written/pushed for Article 13 in the EU Copyright Directive were now abandoning their support for it (basically because the EU was considering making it just slightly less awful), it appears that Monday's negotiations have been called off entirely:

Apparently multiple countries -- including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland -- made it clear they would not support the latest text put forth by Romania, and therefore would have blocked it from moving forward. Monday's negotiations were supposed to have been the "final" negotiations (after the previous "final" negotiations that didn't accomplish much) around a "compromise" bill that then would have gone out to be voted on by the EU Council, the EU Committee and the EU Parliament in the next few months. However, with the news of all those countries (via the EU Council) deciding to vote against the proposal, it effectively blocks it for now.

MEP Julia Reda now has the full breakdown of the votes, noting that 11 countries voted against the "compromise" text: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Slovenia, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Croatia, Luxembourg and Portugal. That's... a pretty big list. Reda points out that most of those countries were concerned about the impact on users' rights (Portugal and Croatia appear to be outliers). That's pretty big -- as it means that any new text (if there is one) should move in a better direction, not worse.

As Reda notes, this does not mean that the Copyright Directive or Article 13 are dead. They could certainly be revived with new negotiations (and that could happen soon). But, it certainly makes the path forward a lot more difficult. Throughout all of this, as we've seen in the past, the legacy copyright players plowed forward, accepting no compromise and basically going for broke as fast as they could, in the hopes that no one would stop them. They've hit something of a stumbling block here. It won't stop them from still trying, but for now this is good news. The next step is making sure Article 13 is truly dead and cannot come back. The EU has done a big thing badly in even letting things get this far. Now let's hope they fix this mess by dumping Articles 11 and 13.

Filed Under: article 13, copyright, eu, eu copyright directive, eu council, intermediary liability, safe harbors


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  1. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 18 Jan 2019 @ 11:21am

    This is good news. It does seem that momentum is on the good guys' side, for the moment at least.

    This would be a good time to start pushing back, to remind lawmakers that there are other, more important stakeholders in the whole process, and try and get some of the existing bad laws repealed.

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

  2. icon
    hij (profile), 18 Jan 2019 @ 12:25pm

    MP and proportional voting

    The European MPs are supposed to represent the variation within the states they represent. For example, Poland's MP's are based on proportion of the parties' votes.The idea that countries are voting as blocs on this should be disappointing and does not represent the complexities of the countries they are supposed to be representing.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2019 @ 12:36pm

    i notice that the UK and France were not opposed to it! the UK is one of the worst countries on the Planet now, doing whatever it is told to do by the copyright maximalists! when you consider it has a dedicated police force, just for copyright infringements, it shows that there is no consideration for the rights or privacy of the people! typical of the current government that has done whatever it can to reduce if not totally obliterate any rights of the people in favor of ensuring the companies and bosses stay in control and rich while the population become more and more poverty-stricken! disgraceful!!

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

  4. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 18 Jan 2019 @ 12:40pm

    Re: MP and proportional voting

    I'm not too familiar with the EU structure but based on my reading of this blog by a member of the EU Parliment, this was not a breakdown in parliment, and therefore not an action of the MPs. This was a negotiation of the EU council and so is a negotiation between the governments, not the parliament representing the people. So acting as a nation bloc is entirely appropriate.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2019 @ 12:58pm

    Re: MP and proportional voting

    This isn't something done by MEPs. This sounds (from the not terribly clear reporting) like the European council, which consists of representatives of the member states. The EU has a tricameral legislature- the Parliament which is elected and represents the people, the Council, which represents the member states ( or at least, their current government) and the Commission ( which is the Executive body of the EU, and does not represent any state, and is not elected)

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

  6. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Jan 2019 @ 2:21pm

    Re: MP and proportional voting

    The European MPs are supposed to represent the variation within the states they represent. For example, Poland's MP's are based on proportion of the parties' votes.The idea that countries are voting as blocs on this should be disappointing and does not represent the complexities of the countries they are supposed to be representing.

    As others are noting -- and as perhaps I should have been clearer in my post -- this was not the EU Parliament/MEPs voting. This was the EU Council, in which the member countries themselves vote as a country.

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

  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jan 2019 @ 10:07pm

    That sound you hear is John Smith/horse with no name/MyNameHere/Mr. The-Fact-that-Section-230-Exists-Makes-Me-Piss-in-My-Panties angrily grinding his teeth in self-righteous protest.

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

  8. identicon
    David, 19 Jan 2019 @ 1:00am

    Copyright maximalists were not able to get their way.

    That means a period of contemplation and consensus finding is needed. It's the forces of corporatism against sanity. Whorehouses, resorts, bankrollers prepare the best their professions can deliver for achieving consensus on giving the public the laws they deserve.

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

  9. identicon
    David, 19 Jan 2019 @ 11:07am

    Re:

    Momentum does not ultimately survive against a countercurrent of money.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2019 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    the UK is one of the worst countries on the Planet now

    Yes - we look longingly towards Syria, Sudan, Yemen, China, North Korea, Russia etc., such is the horrendous state of the nation. You are totally correct with your entirely proportional and rational comment.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2019 @ 3:56pm

    Even if websites blocked EU users, bypassing IP bans does break any laws.

    Circumventing IP bans does not break any laws.

    One example was around 10 years ago, when I had sonic.net and I upgraded my service, the new static IP address I was assigned was banned by Justin.tv, because a previous user of that IP address did something that violated their terms of service.

    I bypassed the IP ban by using a VPN to circumvent that.

    When I did that, 10 years ago, I was not breaking any laws by using a VPN to bypass the ban on that IP address that was put there because of what a previous user that IP address did.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2019 @ 5:47pm

    Re:

    Why was this truth reported?

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2019 @ 8:03pm

    Re:

    Well that would make a great defense for anyone facing five years in prison for violating the DMCA if they were doing it to defend their right to steal creative works.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2019 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunately for you the DMCA does not exist in Europe.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2019 @ 8:37pm

    The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    The simple fact is that the baby years of the internet are well past over and it's time you children grew up.

    There are hundreds of piracy "blogs", where the blogger uploads copyrighted material to third party services (fileshares). Under current laws this is completely legal and you cannot even get the webhost to take the site down, all you can do is request that the fileshares take down the copyrighted material.

    NOTE: You can't even do that now... thanks to childish tantrum throwing only actual Copyright HOLDERS can go after copyrighted material and report it. Victory for the Pirates (Ahem, the buisness model of hosting largely stolen content and putting ads in it)

    In real life, this is akin to starting up a Business called "Stolen Cars R Us", claiming that only the original car owners can request their car be returned and saying "absolutely nothing illegal is going on here because everything illegal is happening somewhere else"

    Only an absolute retard (meaning 99.9% of all netizens) would actually argue this FUD claiming that writing laws so that other preexisting laws can actually be enforced is a bad thing.

    All the players are bad faith players, Google, Jimbo, DotCom, they KNOW they're in violation and that is why they're fighting hard with absurd FUD.

    First thing YouTube would have to do is bring back the ability to report copyrighted content as a normal user. OBVIOUSLY, they can easily crowd source and have a video be held until verified by the crowd it isn't copyrighted, punishing those who elect to vote "yet this is valid" when it isn't and reward those who vote correctly (A few dollars here, a few dollars there, with harsher monetary penalties than rewards but you'll find plenty of people who will farm money on youtube).

    The whole point of this is to stop bad faith actors (and Google is definitely a bad faith actor) who do everything in their power to do absolutely nothing and ignore the problem until they get legal action being pushed against them.

    It's time to grow up and take your spanking. You've had 30 years to clean up your act and failed completely. Grow up Internet, because you people are sickening.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jan 2019 @ 8:52pm

    Don't you mean Bad Guy's side?

    There is nothing "good" about piracy.

    Of course, we could always pass laws that make it easier for others to steal things you own so long as they return them after you send them a letter asking them to (Take down notice).

    Just like SOPA wasn't inherently wrong, article 13 isn't inherently wrong. Neither were going to break the internet, but people spread FUD faster than wildfire... and when the Truth gets up more people believe FUD cause it got there first.

    This is eventually going to happen, but the longer we wait the bigger the hammer is going to be WHEN it happens. There are too many bad faith actors; but we will eventually support having a lawful internet in the end. It may take another 30 years but things are only going to be getting worse from here.

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

  17. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 22 Jan 2019 @ 2:34am

    Re: Don't you mean Bad Guy's side?

    Just... stop. You're on the wrong side of history and the people are getting wise to you.

    Try making money from actual work rather than mere rent-seeking.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 4:09am

    Re: Don't you mean Bad Guy's side?

    Nothing is inherently wrong or right. Laws are tools and the ultimate judgement from time will depend on how they are wielded.

    However, there are real concerns about how to delineate the laws. Article 13 has a meaningful level of collateral (the laws the AI would have to follow are subjective and culturally dependend. Two things any psychopathic and sociopathic AI can't deal with!)
    Furthermore it is going to be hard to enforce it in a way that doesn't meet the legal "arbitrary and capricious"-clause a democratic judiciary so desperately wants to avoid given the scaling of cost problems.

    As for finding a solution, it is more important to find the right solution, than a fast solution. Moving enforcement away from partisan letter-lawyers, breaking ethical code by advising potential opposing clients on settlements, is a first step. Crystalizing a more coherent TRIPS/WIPO and moving the subject matter towards more objective standardized measures would be the way to go. SOPA had some good ideas (legal recourse) and some absolute no-goes (like banning DNS-choice and thus VPNs, as well as a deep-seeded scope-mess etc.).

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

  19. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 22 Jan 2019 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re:

    "Why was this truth reported?"

    Probably because the angry pro-copyright shill well known by so many around here had his army of sock puppets pressing the "I Object" button on his behalf.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re:

    In order for it to be a felony under the DMCA, it has to be for commercial or private financial gain, and bypassing the IP ban that was on the IP I had, on account of a previous user of that IP address is financial gain of any kind.

    Bypassing an IP ban is not commercial or private gain, so it is not a felony under the DMCA.

    Another example is when Eurovsion had the EU rights to the Olympics from 2002 through 2012. When I used proxies and VPNs to bypass the region blocks to get coverage that is way better than NBC and CBS had, that was not a felony becuase I was not doing it for any kind of financial gain.

    Bypassing IP bans on websites is not theft.

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re:

    Bypassing IP restrictions does not break any laws.

    When I take road trips to Mexico, and I tell my phone log in to the VPN on my home computer to listen iHeart, Pandora, or SirusXM while I am driving down there does not break Mexican law.

    I just log my phone onto my home network, and then tune into iHeart, and that does not break any laws in Mexico.

    When I am on Mexican soil, I am only to Mexican laws. So I am only subject to Mexican laws while I am down there, and US laws do not apply to whatever I do in Mexico.

    Mexico does not have any laws right now restricting VPN use, so it is fully legal in Mexico for me to use my computer back home to bypass region locks to get my favourite music channels, while I am driving on the roads in Mexico.

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

  22. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 22 Jan 2019 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re: Don't you mean Bad Guy's side?

    Yeah...

    Due process or GTFO.

    If we're going to characterise copyright infringement as theft let's go the whole hog, then:

    1. Prove you have ownership of the copyright prior to making complaints, i.e. register it with some kind of registration agency. As it stands, copyright is automatically assigned the moment a work appears in a fixed medium. This reply is copyrighted whether I like it or not. I don't; it shouldn't be.
    2. Prove the infringement before applying sanctions or punishment.
    3. The burden of proof should be on the plaintiff alone.
    4. If Ford, etc., aren't responsible for bank robbers or burglars driving away with their ill-gotten gains, platforms are not responsible for content uploaded by the public.
    5. If you're liable for taxes on physical property, you're liable for taxes on copyrighted items.

    Do that, then... all the problems go away, don't they?

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

  23. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 22 Jan 2019 @ 5:42am

    Re: UK and France...

    The outright deification of copyright in the mind of those governments is entirely non-partisan. Socialists are every bit as bad (something something hand or brain) as the right wing element (but it's properteeeeee!). And liberals... something something free market. Except that there's not one.

    It's not so much the sucking up to the lobbyists that's the problem, it's the constraints of their ideological positions on actually thinking this though... in the public interest.

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

  24. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 22 Jan 2019 @ 6:10am

    Re: The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    The simple fact is that the baby years of the ~internet~ copyright maximalist regime are well past over and it's time you children grew up.

    There are hundreds of piracy "blogs", where the blogger ~uploads copyrighted material~ posts utter bullcrap about copyright serving as a life insurance, life assurance, trust fund, and ever-flowing fountain of money... or would if it wasn't for those pesky kids. Ruh-roh! ~to third party services (fileshares).~ For the perusal of their fellow echo chamber members. Under current laws this is completely legal and you cannot even get the webhost to take the site down, all you can do is ~request that the fileshares take down the copyrighted material~ take the everlasting mickey out of maximalists on those websites that permit it.

    NOTE: You can't even do that now... thanks to childish tantrum throwing only actual Copyright HOLDERS can go after copyrighted material and report it *and the buggers insist on making me prove I am the actual copyright owner, not a nefarious toerag trying to suppress comments that paint me in a negative light. Victory for the Pirates (Ahem, the buisness model of hosting largely stolen content in a bag marked "SWAG" and putting ads in it where they can't be seen.)

    In real life, this is akin to starting up a Business called "Stolen Cars R Us", claiming that only the original car owners can request their car be returned and saying "absolutely nothing illegal is going on here because everything illegal is happening somewhere else" Which is the neatest wheeze I ever heard of. Where can I get free cars by announcing that they're mine without having to prove it?

    Only an absolute retard (meaning 99.9% of all netizens) would actually argue this FUD claiming that writing laws so that other preexisting laws can actually be enforced is a bad thing. Assuming there are laws floating about in which people who don't own stuff can claim ownership over them.

    All the players are bad faith players, Google, Jimbo, DotCom, they KNOW they're in violation and that is why they're fighting hard with absurd FUD. (Fluttering under doors? Flippin' unbelieveable dorks? Frying ulcerated doody? That's about as absurd as I get, people.).*

    First thing YouTube would have to do is bring back the ability to report copyrighted content as a normal user since nobody would every report someone else's video out of malice or for lulz. OBVIOUSLY, they can easily crowd source rabid penguins and have a video be held in Guantanamo Bay until verified by the crowd that totally wouldn't emanate from 4Chan or one of the darker corners of the internet it isn't copyrighted, punishing those who elect to vote "yet this is valid" to the third and fourth generation or 170 years, whichever is longer when it isn't and reward those who vote correctly (A few dollars here, a few dollars there, a few dollars more, dinner with Clint Eastwood with harsher monetary penalties than rewards but one find day in the middle of the night you'll find plenty of people who will farm money on youtube since it actually does grow on trees.).

    The whole point of this is to stop bad faith actors by enabling the hell out of them (and Google is definitely a bad faith actor because it's the only search engine this AC knows of) who do everything in their power to do absolutely nothing working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do and ignore the problem until they get legal action being pushed against them in the creepiest way possible by a leering pervert.

    It's time to grow up and take your spanking terms and conditions apply. Yogurt*

    ~Strikethrough~

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 6:37am

    Re: The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    "You've had 30 years to clean up your act and failed completely."

    30 years you've had to sue the right people instead of relying on randomly generated IP addresses to get your meal ticket.

    Prenda Law was the straw that broke the camel's back. You chose not to actually pursue but dismiss cases without prejudice. Not our problem.

    And seriously? Only the original copyright holders being able to report infringement of their works - that's what sticks out as a problem to you? Don't you need to go bitch about how Masnick's ninja pirates were raping your house?

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Either that or animal abuse...

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 9:18am

    Re: The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    it is people like you that are sickening, in that you demand that third parties offering a valuable service, like search the Internet, or publish you video here, take on the role of preventing infringement. Google does not decide what will be published, but you want to make them liable for what is published. You do not care what you want will destroy the Internet as we know it, and put corporations in charge of all published speech, because if they are liable for content they will only allow what they can vet and be certain of to be published.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    this is a very confusing comment to read because of the bad formatting

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2019 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Don't you mean Bad Guy's side?

    If Article 13 wasn't inherently wrong, then why did the copyright side reject it?

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

  30. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Jan 2019 @ 2:31am

    Re: Re: Re: The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    The strikethrough feature is not available on TD's iteration of Markdown. My sporking of the comment above mine would have made more sense if it was.

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

  31. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 23 Jan 2019 @ 2:33am

    Re: Re: The facts are clear, the FUD is not

    He's all about the gatekeepers, and like all authoritarians he's not interested in the details, he just wants wants wants.

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


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