News Organization Like Reuters Supporting The EU Copyright Directive Is A Shameful Support For Censorship

from the sad-times dept

A bunch of sites have been reporting on the news that over 200 organizations have signed a letter in support of the EU Copyright Directive, with most of the news reports focusing on the fact that a ton of music collection societies and music industry trade groups are on the letter. The letter itself makes no real argument, it just says "pass this damn thing." Well, since the law hasn't yet passed, I think I can quote the whole thing without getting fined, so here it is:

We, the undersigned organisations, representing authors, composers, writers, journalists, performers and others working in all artistic fields, news agencies, book, press, scientific and music publishers, audiovisual and independent music producers call on the European Parliament to adopt the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

This Directive has been long sought to create a much-needed level playing field for all actors of the creative sector in the European Digital Single Market, whilst giving citizens better access to a wider array of content.

This is an historic opportunity. We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all. This is why we urge policymakers to adopt the Directive quickly, as agreed in trilogue negotiations.

Of course, we've explained multiple times why none of this makes much sense. Nothing in the EU Copyright Directive is about creating a "level playing field" or "giving citizens better access to a wider array of content." Indeed, as written, it will do the exact opposite. It will heavily weight the playing field towards large organizations (both tech and copyright) and massively limit availability to content through mass mandatory filtering.

Anyway, I'm not surprised at all the collection societies signing on to this -- as they know that they'll be in the best position to demand more money from platforms should this become law. What I find most troubling, however, is to see a bunch of news organizations -- including behemoths like Reuters -- signed on. I know that many large news publishers (stupidly) support Article 11, in the false belief that it will magically create a new stream of revenue for them from Google News having to pay to link to them (even though that hasn't worked in Germany or Spain when similar laws passed in both places).

But it's simply stunning that these news publishers -- who often hold themselves up as the supporters of free expression -- are now seen to be supporting the censorship powers of Article 13 as well. This is an incredibly short-sighted position for these news orgs to take. News reporting quite frequently depends on things like fair use and fair dealing -- and the current version of the EU Copyright Directive will make that nearly impossible.

It is disappointing in the extreme to see organizations like Reuters completely toss their principles out the window in hopes of taxing Google.

Filed Under: article 11, article 13, copyright, eu, eu copyright directive, eu parliament, music, news


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 3:59am

    "we've explained multiple times"

    As if that were definitive.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 4:01am

    We, the undersigned organisations, representing authors, composers, writers, journalists, performers and others working in all artistic fields, news agencies, book, press, scientific and music publishers, audiovisual and independent music producers call on the European Parliament to adopt the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

    And they omit a small fact, at best they represent a very small percentages of those groups, as most people in those groups are not signed up with any of the organizations, or signed up to the legacy publishers, who the undersigned mainly represent.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 15 Mar 2019 @ 4:27am

      Re:

      And they omit a small fact, at best they represent a very small percentages of those groups, as most people in those groups are not signed up with any of the organizations, or signed up to the legacy publishers, who the undersigned mainly represent.

      Which is kind of the point, they want to act as gatekeepers forcing people and organisations to sign up to them for a fee.

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

      • icon
        tom a sparks (profile), 15 Mar 2019 @ 4:40am

        Re: Re:

        Which is kind of the point, they want to act as gatekeepers forcing people and organisations to sign up to them for a fee.

        take our deal or well sue you

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 15 Mar 2019 @ 4:54am

        Re: Re:

        They're essentially trying to set up a protection racket that the mafia would be jealous of, given the scope and profitability. 'Nice site you got there, be a shame if something were to happen to it, say by someone posting something not covered by the licensing deal we're offering...'

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Mar 2019 @ 4:42am

    'This time it's SURE to work!'

    Ah the stupidity that short-sighted greed can cause...

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

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 15 Mar 2019 @ 5:05am

    LeveLLed playing field

    That way they can keep shifting the goal-posts.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 7:31am

    Yes, you silly reporters, don't you know that copyright is censorship? It also is very mean to small children and puppies, and I bet it causes psoriasis as well.

    Yours truly,
    Colossally cartoonish tech industry stooge that wants it to be 2003 forever.

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

    • identicon
      TFG, 15 Mar 2019 @ 8:09am

      Re:

      Yes, you silly consumers, don't you know that copying anything takes money directly out of the hands of creator's children? The internet is very mean to the put-upon billionaire publishers, and I bet it causes syphilis on contact.

      Yours truly,

      Malicious Misrepresenter of Issue at Hand that wants culture to be locked up

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      You might want to actually try to understand the issue before speaking. You'll look like less of an idiot.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      Considering that you literally sued small children for your meal ticket, yes, it was very mean.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 15 Mar 2019 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      Haven't you run out of straw yet?

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

  • icon
    radix (profile), 15 Mar 2019 @ 8:26am

    This is a symptom of the 21st century news. The lines have been blurred so thoroughly between news and entertainment that the higher-ups at news organizations see themselves as no different than record producers or film directors.

    This is also what's driving the renewed push for the Hot News doctrine. Anything pushed out by news organizations is getting so highly processed that it has just as much "artistic input" (in the minds of the producers) as any piece of multi-media art deserving of more strict copyright protections.

    News organizations are increasingly in the entertainment business, so demanding more rights at the expense of their consumers is really no shock.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 8:29am

    FTFY

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2019 @ 8:42am

    FTFY (damn enter key)

    We, the undersigned citizens, creative individuals (authors), musically inclined moms and dads (composers), developing student (writers), internet activists (journalists), politicians (performers) and others actually creating in all artistic fields (not buying/selling others works), Search Engines (news agencies, book, press, scientific and music publishers, audiovisual and independent music producers) call on the European Parliament to reject the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

    This Directive has been long sought to tip a market leveled level playing field farther towards the corporate interests and away from the creative, whilst restricting the basic ability to express or share diverging opinions while preventing citizens from accessing a wider array of content produced by 'non middlemen'.
    This is an historic opportunity. We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all. This is why we urge policymakers to reject the Directive quickly, as nobody could agreed in trilogue negotiations.

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

  • icon
    O-Yazılım (profile), 17 Mar 2019 @ 4:29am

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2019 @ 2:02pm

    The thing I keep wondering- if 13 gets passed- how many people will shift to the various darknets? Could these things actually become mainstream and useful?

    How many people do you think will abandon the centralized control for more sane and free designs?

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


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