HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! Looking for something to read instead? Check out our new Working Futures anthology »
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! Looking for something to read instead? Check out our new Working Futures anthology »

As Expected, EU Nations Rubber Stamp EU Copyright Directive

from the and-now-the-real-fight-begins dept

As was widely expected, the EU Council (made up of representatives of the EU member states) has officially rubber stamped the EU Copyright Directive that the EU Parliament passed a few weeks back. There had been some talk of various countries, such as Sweden, Germany and the UK possibly changing their vote. Sweden, in the end, actually did do so, but to stop the Directive, it was necessary for the UK or Germany to do so as well, and they did not.

There is some irony in the UK (still a part of the EU for the moment) voting to approve this. After the EU Parliament passed the Directive, the UK's Boris Johnson (who is somewhat famously buffoonish) tweeted about how this was yet another reason for the UK to leave the EU.

If you can't read that, it says:

The EU's new copyright law is terrible for the internet. It's a classic EU law to help the rich and powerful, and we should not apply it. It is a good example of how we can take back control.

The only problem with this is that Boris' own Tory government has been strongly supporting the law all along and, of course, voted happily for it today. Boris Johnson being full of shit is perhaps not newsworthy, but it's at least worth pointing out just how silly the whole thing has become.

A few countries besides Sweden also voted against the law: Italy, Finland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained from voting. So, basically most of the larger countries voted for it.

And, now, the big question is how will the various countries implement the law. Technically, they have two years to do so, and this should be watched closely. France's culture minister has already said he's hopeful that France will implement the law by the summertime, so that country may be the first. That would be interesting, considering that France has also been the most committed to the absolute worst ideas around the law. France may then "set the standard" for how to implement Articles 11 and 13 in a manner that some smaller countries may mimic. Of course, if France actually follows through on the dumbest of all implementations (a decent possibility), it will also make for an interesting test case to see if companies simply decide to block services in France.

Either way, once the laws are implemented, we expect there will be legal challenges to them, and then we'll have years of court battles to fight, while the EU continues to wonder why successful internet companies don't seem to ever come from the EU...

Filed Under: article 11, article 13, censorship, content filters, copyright, eu, eu commission, eu copyright directive, link tax


Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 6:42pm

    Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

    "while the EU continues to wonder why successful internet companies don't seem to ever come from the EU..."

    There are three things standing in the way of the EU realizing why their actions prevent successful Internet companies in their domains. The first has to do with money. Money that comes from legacy industries that do not comprehend how to deal with the Internet in a manner that will sustain their businesses, often due to their unwillingness to change they way they do business. How does one get advertising revenue on their site along with the users to view those ads? Their past brick and mortar practices just won't work on the Internet, but changing the way they work, or to accept new financial realities are a something they just cannot accept...yet. The government entities that go along with this are impacted by money, though I have yet to see particular evidence of this (I am also not looking for it in any substantial way), it is just not possible for EU MEP's to vote contrary to what the public has demanded without such an outside influence.

    The second also has to do with money. The money that is being paid to prevent non EU Internet companies from succeeding on their turf. It isn't their turf as the Internet does not have borders, though it sure seems like they are trying to create borders on the Internet. That won't resolve problem first (see above). It may cut off a huge amount of the world as a market.

    Third is the attitude over control. Control of money as it is processed by the Internet (though there are other forms of control at play as well). They want a greater share of money that passes through the Internet, but are not willing or able to provide something (service or content, or a way to get hard goods that isn't non EU). They need to come up with a way to show their direct constituents (EU residents) that they have something that is different and better than offerings from someplace else. If they are not careful, it won't be Amazon, but Alibaba that fills in the gaps. They need to take some risks, and do it, try it, fix it until something works, something better. Amazon has lots of faults, it wouldn't be terribly hard to be better, but it might take some effort and investment to become recognized.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 7:40pm

      "You want me to risk WHAT? Yeah, not happening."

      If they are not careful, it won't be Amazon, but Alibaba that fills in the gaps. They need to take some risks, and do it, try it, fix it until something works, something better. Amazon has lots of faults, it wouldn't be terribly hard to be better, but it might take some effort and investment to become recognized.

      Ah, but therein lies the kicker: They've ensured that the potential new startups that might have presented a competing service will never get off the ground. A large company like Amazon or Alibaba can deal with the hassles of the new laws, but a new company, without a hefty legal warchest? Not a chance.

      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, 16 Apr 2019 @ 9:32am

      Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

      Snore. YouTube is already making licensing deals, and once that happens, no one will give 2 shits about this.

      You dumb fucks and your "break the internet" bullshit.

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 9:53am

        Re: Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

        Snore. YouTube is already making licensing deals, and once that happens, no one will give 2 shits about this.

        YouTube is. What about all the other sites? YouTube was already making these kinds of deals and already had its contentID filter.

        So congrats, genius, you just locked in YouTube and locked out everyone else. Way to really "show" Google, huh? Just hand them a monopoly and insist you "beat" them. Brilliant one.

        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, 16 Apr 2019 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

          What other sites, you ridiculous jackass? What other sites are being pestered by rightsholders for fair compensation? Because that's the only way a site could have trouble-if they are contacted by the rightsholder. Let's see the list, assclown.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 6:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

            Your list of losses from piracy first, like all the inventors hurt by Techdirt.

            Supposedly thousands of inventors were hurt by Shiva Ayyadurai not inventing email and I still haven't seen a single inventor proposed.

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

          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 11:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

            What other sites, you ridiculous jackass?

            The law applies to ALL sites that host a "large amount" of copyright covered content. You know that. Otherwise, why did France and others fight so hard to disallow ANY exemption for smaller companies.

            What other sites are being pestered by rightsholders for fair compensation?

            1. Lots of sites get hit with DMCA takedowns all the time. Guess how those are about to change?
            2. You've just set up a law that says if any rightsholder approaches a site, they have to pay. Guess what, you've just incentivized a whole new class of trolls to shake down EVERY FUCKING SITE THEY CAN.

            So, we'll see how each country implements the law, but if you wanted to pass a law to just hit YouTube, you should have passed a law that just targeted YouTube. But you didn't. You passed a law that hits everyone. EVERY one.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 17 Apr 2019 @ 12:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

            "What other sites, you ridiculous jackass? "

            So, it wasn't an act, your ridiculous obsession really did blind you to the fact that this is about EVERY site on the internet, not just the one you have fever dreams about?

            Welcome to the unintended consequences we warned you about and that you demanded happen anyway, I suppose - which include handing over absolute power to YouTube since smaller sites cannot compete now according the the very texts you said were required.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re: Money, money, money with apologies to The Who

        Right. Because YT is the only service on the internet that matters and should enjoy a future without competition.

        You're heavily invested in ABC/Google/YT, aren't you?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 7:35pm

    "I don't get it, why did our economy just tank...?"

    Well, RIP the creative and tech industries in the EU, may the festering corpses and empty silence serve as a warning to other countries, hopefully enough to prevent them from also shooting their creative/tech industries in the back in an attempt to appease the eternally hungry parasites that drove this.

    Similar to as it's noted in the article, there's a hope that France really does go full-steam on this, as while they will never admit to being wrong(ever), I imagine it will nicely highlight just how bad the new legal abomination actually is, both economically and with regards to culture, given how absolutely nuts the country has been on all things internet related the past few years.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 1:17am

      Re: "I don't get it, why did our economy just tank...?"

      "Well, RIP the creative and tech industries in the EU, may the festering corpses and empty silence serve as a warning to other countries, hopefully enough to prevent them from also shooting their creative/tech industries in the back in an attempt to appease the eternally hungry parasites that drove this."

      It's at this point in time we really need to thank the French who selflessly throw their own nation under the bus in order to show the rest of us just how much shit certain ideas can be. HADOPI was watched closely and thanks to the rampaging shit-show displayed in France over it, no other country in europe ever even attempted anything similar.

      "Similar to as it's noted in the article, there's a hope that France really does go full-steam on this, as while they will never admit to being wrong(ever), I imagine it will nicely highlight just how bad the new legal abomination actually is"

      Oh, they will. They always do. Can't. Wait.

      Ten years down the road France will quietly have built more loopholes into their version of article 13 than are found in a typical colander and will be desperately trying to find some way to ensure that at least french artists will be capable of maintaining an online presence.

      It's time to grab some popcorn and lean back and watch the train wreck unfold in slow motion as the EU has removed most options for legitimate businesses to remain online.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    The Right Rev Tack O'Meter, 15 Apr 2019 @ 8:31pm

    So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

    The EU's new copyright law is terrible for the internet. It's a classic EU law to help the rich and powerful, and we should not apply it.

    I think he's wrong too.

    The internets has for far too long fostered piracy and other crime. That must change.

    interesting test case to see if companies simply decide to block services in France.

    Sheesh. So you're one of those who think that corporations will just forego all revenue in a major country? -- This isn't like Spain's very similar (at least on the snippet tax) law. This is literally Continental. If, say, Google decides to try and punish France, there's already precedent in EU for heavy fines. -- So that's actually just your petulance: "they'll be sorry!"

    My bet is that EU will move quickly from now, especially to shorten litigation. They already know that the big companies will use every trick that high-tech fiends can come up with to dodge, evade, work-around, and go slow. Patience is already nearly at end.

    By the way, all any small business has to do to stay clear is watch for OBVIOUS copyrighted content. It's not so difficult as you claim. -- Just look at how successful Reddit has been in controlling the piracy forum. Ruthless works.

    So enjoy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 8:40pm

      Re: Sup liar

      Why you still here bro?

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

    • identicon
      Jhon Smyth, 15 Apr 2019 @ 9:10pm

      Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

      The internets has for far too long fostered piracy and other crime. That must change.

      Laughable, bro. Are you the one they call "Blue Balls"?

      How does one stop "Obvious" infringement? By shutting off services. Obvious!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 9:41pm

      Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

      Sheesh. So you're one of those who think that corporations will just forego all revenue in a major country? -- This isn't like Spain's very similar (at least on the snippet tax) law. This is literally Continental. If, say, Google decides to try and punish France, there's already precedent in EU for heavy fines. -- So that's actually just your petulance: "they'll be sorry!"

      You're arguing that the EU can force Google to offer service in a country? On what do you base that?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 10:38pm

      Re:

      If, say, Google decides to try and punish France, there's already precedent in EU for heavy fines.

      Okay... you're missing the part where you explain how France gets to stop Google from leaving once they decide the money isn't worth paying. You know, like what happened when Spain and Germany decided to chase Google News away. How'd that turn out for them again?

      My bet is that EU will move quickly from now, especially to shorten litigation.

      A look at lawsuits brought forward by Sony, the RIAA, Prenda Law and Malibu Media indicate that litigation is not the end goal. It's settlement money. Your loverboy John Herrick Smith himself noted that forcing people to lawsuits would not be beneficial for "smaller content creators" (you know... the people all these copyright laws were supposedly meant to benefit), likely due to the amount of money up front they'd have to put up for suits.

      all any small business has to do to stay clear is watch for OBVIOUS copyrighted content

      Just like the time Viacom sued YouTube for allowing Viacom to upload content and the time HBO asked Google to delist and take down HBO.com. You wouldn't know "obvious" if it made you pregnant, blue!

      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, 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:40am

        Re: Re:

        Don't know who this "Herrick" is, but will say that I didn't say small content creators are against forcing people into lawsuits due to the cost, but rather that without takedown provisions, that big content creators would have no choice but to muscle small individuals.

        Indies are generally pretty nimble, and can adjust their business model to whatever the lay of the land turns out to be. What I see mostly due to piracy is a shift towards cheap culture (e.g., cellphone videos that cost little) and a patronage model (catering to wealthy fans), neither of which benefits the masses.

        I've considered the argument that piracy is simply not a sufficient reason to enact all these laws which some call censorship, and which I call necessary to protect rights, and I suppose that to many that is the case. That the "many" generally don't create IP and often pirate it makes their arguments rather self-serving.

        Google can pull out of France if it wants, but someone else will step in to make that nickel, just like someone will do the same in Spain and Germany. The larger problem is the flood of content that the internet has brought, making competition for the same pie much more difficult. "Legacy" companies suffer not because they are irrelevant (if anything they will get renewable revenue as new people come of age), but because they are BLOATED with high overhead that the lower digital revenues will ever be able to help them meet.

        Even with the Copyright Directive, this is not going to help a company that has to spend a small fortune to make a large fortune if all they can make now is a smaller fortune, whereas an indie can feast very nicely on "slivercasting" that makes say $20-50k a year with no overhead, versus say a print newspaper that used to have a monopoly and has a payroll of millions. This is also why I think the directive will help indies, because piracy hurts them exponentially more than it does the big outfits.

        Regardless of what people think of my work, I've always passively marketed it because otherwise it would just be hourly labor, and I can make more money doing that for a large corporation than as an internet indie. Piracy has definitely harmed my bottom line but I've made adjustments all the same, again much more easily than a big corporation because I'm not laying out huge amounts of money.

        Kim Dotcom made millions off what he did, so I would say there is money in running these services for people that I don't believe deserve to make a dime. If giving away something to build an audience works, that should be up to the artist, and under no circumstances is piracy acceptable.

        The debate seems to be boiling down to whether the internet or copyright is more important than the other, and I side with copyright, while many here side with the internet. I don't think either side is going to compromise, but it is clear that government is on the side that feeds it tax revenue, jobs, and does not want criminals to profit. That is why I believe the EU did the right thing.

        As for abuses of the DMCA or copyright in general, I'd like to see very stiff sanctions against the "trolls." What I had said was that these copyright trolls cause the indies to be painted with the same broad brush that empowers the anti-copyright movement.

        My side is winning this debate, so I don't really have anything to protest. I've definitely had a lot of money stolen from me, but what caused that is well above my pay grade. As an artist or creator I do not put on my publisher's hat until I have taken off my author's hat or videographer's hat. I literally do not consider finances or revenue when creating something, but retain ownership of my work so that I am the only one who profits from it. Piracy is anathema to this because it allows people who do not deserve to profit from my work to do just that, and to cost me some revenue (either a lot or a little) in the process.

        I'd rather see this debate without the personal insults constantly hurled. I am one creator in a sea of millions on the internet. This directive certainly isn't about just me. Any personal reaction I might have is wholly irrelevant to which side of the debate has the stronger argument, and those who hurl ad-hominems are doing their own side, or Masnick, any favors.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I've definitely had a lot of money stolen from me"

          I bet you really haven't.

          "I'd rather see this debate without the personal insults constantly hurled"

          Your "side" has been whining about thing for over 2 decades now, yet it's increasingly clear that the only issue is that you're been trying to keep things the way they were in the 80s rather than give customers what they want. Now, you want to destroy a huge number of other industries to try and claw back money you imagine (without proof) has been lost.

          You trying to destroy MY livelihood (which has nothing to do with your imagined losses) because you want more money without doing any more work for it deserves every insult that can be thrown.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 1:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Google can pull out of France if it wants, but someone else will step in to make that nickel, just like someone will do the same in Spain and Germany."

          Nope. Google is - no holds barred - the best at making money from any form of online business model. They walked out of Spain and Germany and no one ever even tried to pick up the slack because those markets are a lost cause.

          If Google walks out of the EU then it will be because there is no market left possible to do business in, courtesy of article 11 and 13.

          "This is also why I think the directive will help indies..."

          Delusional. If there is anyone who can not afford the startup costs under article 13 it will be those indies.
          But you'll learn. The very minute the articles go into effect in any given country, that country is a dead market for any indie producer.

          "I don't think either side is going to compromise, but it is clear that government is on the side that feeds it tax revenue, jobs, and does not want criminals to profit. That is why I believe the EU did the right thing."

          History has proven - multiple times - that any time new technology, especially communications technology, threatens a type of business model, governments try to put the new tech back in the bottle. This is not new.
          A few years down the road of governments attempting that there's a revolution and the old business model is taken out back and shot or has adapted to work with the new tech rather than against it.

          I'm afraid, Baghdad Bob, that time does not roll backward. No matter how much you holler that it will.

          "I'd rather see this debate without the personal insults constantly hurled."

          Sure. Hence why you end up losing your shit in long, ranting diatribes every time someone calls you on the flagrant and obvious lies you keep peddling.

          I think you'll stop getting attacked personally when you stop lying. And when you stop threatening random posters with SWATting and actual sexual assault. But hey, you knew that as well.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 2:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "They walked out of Spain and Germany and no one ever even tried to pick up the slack because those markets are a lost cause."

            Actually, it's because the Google News service was only ever a free add-on to the existing search and ads offerings. That "market" was Google formatting some search results and forwarding traffic to publishers for free, in the hope that they'd get more revenue from ads on the publishers' sites and offering a "sticky" reason for people to keep coming back to Google for other things.

            There was never a "market", it was only a free service that couldn't be replicated easily by anyone who didn't already have the same infrastructure. There were competing services - Bing, for example, but nobody stepped in because had they been successful, they'd be subject to the same treatment that Google got. Smaller competitors could not exist without major infrastructure investment, and that was never going to happen when the reward for being successful is going to be to fight lawsuits that Google found too much to be bothered with.

            As for Google themselves? Well, as mentioned above they never made any money directly off the service, so it's easy enough to block. This goes for the EU as a whole. They're forced to block all of the EU from the News service? They'll do that and only take a minor hit. The people who really suffer? The smaller publishers. That's what happened in Spain - Google barely blinked, but smaller publishers really suffered from the lower traffic.

            This is why these people fail. They not only do not understand the very fundamental aspects of what they are trying to manage, they fail to understand the obvious consequence of what they do.

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Apr 2019 @ 3:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "There was never a "market", it was only a free service that couldn't be replicated easily by anyone who didn't already have the same infrastructure."

              I think that's pretty clear to everyone with half an ounce of working gray matter. Not to old Baghdad bob, though.
              And thanks in part to much of the recent legislation the hurdle on mandatory initial investment to start competing with the incumbent giant is now unsurpassable.
              Unless the EU decides to double down on their shit-show and try pouring tax dollars into some government search index. That'll be a sight.

              "They're forced to block all of the EU from the News service? They'll do that and only take a minor hit. The people who really suffer? The smaller publishers."

              Oh, shush. According to Baghdad Bob getting the smaller services and independents licensed will be a cinch. Because...of his religious beliefs, apparently. Divine forces will descend and miraculously turn an incredibly complex situation of interlocked legal requirements into a problem solved by everyone getting to their knees in front of the pulpit of holy copyright and dropping a few donations into the not-so-poor box. The only way this works out well for anyone is through a collection society with the sole job of receiving money. Or, less diplomatically put, institutionalized racketeering.
              I think Baghdad Bob knows this full well.

              "This is why these people fail. They not only do not understand the very fundamental aspects of what they are trying to manage, they fail to understand the obvious consequence of what they do."

              I'm pretty sure quite a lot of the people pushing for article 11 and 13(17) are ignorant, carried by a tide of ignorant greed. However, I'm pretty sure that in the wake of the complete collapse of the independent online media markets the door will be opened for levies and the type of aforementioned collection societies we've seen so often before. And that at least may be a "benefit" the copyright cult hopes to see.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 2:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm afraid, Baghdad Bob, that time does not roll backward. No matter how much you holler that it will.

            You missed the best part, in that they are apparently still banging on on the laughable 'copyright infringement causes lost tax money' drum, despite the thing being all frame and no surface.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 2:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "they are apparently still banging on on the laughable 'copyright infringement causes lost tax money' drum, despite the thing being all frame and no surface"

              I have no doubt that some is lost, just as there is some money lost to artists through piracy.

              But, those aren't the questions. The questions are how much is truly lost, compared to the extra income gained from new customers and extra revenue from new legal offerings over the same period. People who have stopped buying CDs, but started going to more gigs will likely pay more than they used to, and more taxes.

              That's the real discussion that should be had, but instead we have wild claims about 100% losses and 0% new income, which are both easily proven false by anyone with enough brain cells to rub together.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 3:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I have no doubt that some is lost, just as there is some money lost to artists through piracy.

                The difference between the two though is that when someone downloads, rather than buys, a particular song/book/movie then that particular creator/publisher/studio doesn't get money, such that they can lose out from copyright infringement(ignoring for a moment the potential gains from future purchases that might not have otherwise happened).

                On the other hand when it comes to the government and taxes so long as the money is spent on something that is taxable what it's spent on doesn't really matter, and since copyright infringement merely means it's not being spent on one thing, not that the money involved isn't being spent, taxes aren't likely to be impacted much at all, if at all, by copyright infringement. It's not like someone downloads an album and then burns the money it would have cost, they just spend it on something else instead.

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

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 4:01am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  True, it is an even dumber argument, although with varying taxable rates between different kinds of products and services there might be a combination that would lose certain types of revenue.

                  It's a hell of a stretch, though.

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

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Apr 2019 @ 3:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "I have no doubt that some is lost, just as there is some money lost to artists through piracy."

                Nope, on both counts. Any argument that would result in counting lack of business as a "loss" would mean a logic, which extended, has competition being counted as a loss as well.

                And that just isn't the case. "losing" money means you're actually ending up with less money than you earn. Any other definition first requires imaginary math.

                The only thing you can "lose" is customers, where copyright is concerned. And that, as proven MANY times over, has very little to do with actual turnover of product and much, MUCH more to do with marketing and brand awareness. To date there have been hundreds of attempts to seriously find the market loss of piracy. And to date not a single verifiable study has even been able to determine that such a loss exists.

                "That's the real discussion that should be had, but instead we have wild claims about 100% losses and 0% new income, which are both easily proven false by anyone with enough brain cells to rub together."

                Actually, the real discussion that should be had is not about loss and new income since you need imaginary numbers to even do that math. It should be about how to configure sensible regulations for the market in question. A discussion which will remain sidelined as long as the concept of copyright has that market locked up in monopolies.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 6:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What I see mostly due to piracy is a shift towards cheap culture

          Where are you seeing this? Adjusted for inflation, major movie budgets have steadily increased, AAA video game budgets have steadily increased, major TV show budgets have steadily increased, Broadway budgets have steadily increased, music production costs for major artists have increased... the number of releases in each of these categories has also increased... I can't think of a single area of "culture" that hasn't followed this trend.

          Now, what we do see is that the number of items released on the "cheap side" has increased by many orders of magnitude. If you're particularly disingenuous, you can use this to attempt to claim that the "cost of culture" has decreased, willfully ignoring the fact that said "cheap culture" simply didn't exist in the past. There's been no decrease (and in fact, been a clear increase) in "expensive culture" simultaneous with an explosion in "cheap culture." Statistically, this phenomena is known as Simpsons' paradox.

          This, of course, assumes that 1) it is true that culture is now "cheaper" on average than it used to be and 2) that "cheap culture" is worse than "expensive culture," the first which I can't speak to, and the second which I rather disagree with personally.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:23am

      Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

      "By the way, all any small business has to do to stay clear is watch for OBVIOUS copyrighted content."

      So, you still haven't read the actual article, then?

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 1:22am

      Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

      "So you're one of those who think that corporations will just forego all revenue in a major country? -- This isn't like Spain's very similar (at least on the snippet tax) law. This is literally Continental. If, say, Google decides to try and punish France, there's already precedent in EU for heavy fines. -- So that's actually just your petulance: "they'll be sorry!""

      As usual, Baghdad bob, you're trying to reverse causal reality using free-flight imagination.

      Thanks to article 13 and 11 major corporations are now no longer able to earn revenue in any of the EU where these articles are implemented. Multiplying cost by orders of magnitude while not boosting revenue means the GM is lost.

      In addition to which anyone operating under article 13 suffers the constant legal risk of every now and then losing 4% of their gross earnings due to impossible-to-fulfill requirements.

      It's pretty clear google's smartest move is to severely curtail operations or withdraw from the EU completely because any other solution requires the company to invest more money than they stand to earn.

      But hey, in your little world no doubt a "corporation" doesn't abide by the fact that in order to survive they have to make more money than they lose in daily operation.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 2:23am

        Re: Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

        "But hey, in your little world no doubt a "corporation" doesn't abide by the fact that in order to survive they have to make more money than they lose in daily operation."

        I'm fairly sure I've seen this guy (or at least one of his like-minded brethren) claim that service like Spotify are vastly underpaying because they don't have to create the actual music. That is, because they have no front-end costs on the product, they don't have costs. You know, because things like crating the apps, websites, servers, bandwidth, search algorithms and so on are free.

        It does help make sense of their nonsense, though - they are not living in the real world. A shame that some in power are apparently living the same fantasy.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Apr 2019 @ 3:59am

          Re: Re: Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

          "I'm fairly sure I've seen this guy (or at least one of his like-minded brethren) claim that service like Spotify are vastly underpaying because they don't have to create the actual music. That is, because they have no front-end costs on the product, they don't have costs. You know, because things like crating the apps, websites, servers, bandwidth, search algorithms and so on are free."

          I've observed the same. Blue, Bobmail, Jhon...any number of sock puppet nicknames with the same delusional theory on how things work have posted both here and on Torrentfreak for years - until TF stopped accepting anons at which point he quit rather than having to keep coming up with new accounts to spam from.

          I started referring to him as "Baghdad Bob" mainly due to the way in which he so obviously fails to even briefly intersect with factual reality in his deranged rants.

          I doubt there is a "they". He only has those two ways of posting - either a pompous and patronizing wall of text where he fantasizes freely about what will happen, or, usually when people call him on his flagrant bullshit, a brief rant driven by homophobia, bigotry, and frequent threats of violent assault and/or police intervention.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 7:56am

        Re: Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

        the constant legal risk of every now and then losing 4% of their gross earnings due to impossible-to-fulfill requirements

        That's a feature, not a bug.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 3:15am

      Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

      By the way, all any small business has to do to stay clear is watch for OBVIOUS copyrighted content.

      All content is copyrighted, so should they block all user uploaded content. Or do you mean that people should be able to identify all content owned by the legacy industries at a glance? That is no likely either as no single person can be familiar with all of the content they own.

      Also, on what time scale do you expect them to react, remembering that people have to eat, and sleep, and also want a few days off now and then, and maybe want to go on holiday, attend weddings, funerals and christenings. Or are you assuming that only companies with a dozen or more people can have a website because they can provide twenty four seven monitoring of their own site.?

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

    • icon
      Draph91 (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 6:09am

      Re: So you say Boris Johnson is wrong:

      you're an idiotic fool

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 9:45pm

    You are missing the obvious thing

    France traded their objection to the Russian-German Pipeline for Germany's objection to Articles 11 and 13/17.

    Brexit just got an extension of 6 months right before this vote was up. What reason is there not to believe that the big EU countries traded the extension of Brexit for Britain not voting against the copyright directive?

    Especially since the extension came in at the last second the British may have blackmailed the rest of the EU politicians that want this directive passed with a threat of blocking it with their vote on their way out from a No Deal Brexit.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 11:44pm

      Re: You are missing the obvious thing

      The UK was never really going to vote against this as the UK Music Industry were one of the main pushers of Article 13, whilst the UK Press are all for Article 11 so what little coverage of this that was in the UK press was generally positive, and the Conservatives (and most of Labour) are all for locking down the internet.

      Which means if we do leave before this gets introduced we'll likely just end up pushing through our own version, though once we have left the EU it will be a whole lot easier for platforms to just ignore the UK which might stop them from forcing it through quickly.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: You are missing the obvious thing

        If the UK is really deadset on leaving, as it appears they are, the smart thing to do would have been to help the EU hang themselves on this front and position themselves as a tech sanctuary in Europe. I've no doubt that they'll shoot themselves in the foot to appease legacy industries, but the opportunity is there.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2019 @ 10:12pm

    Sinking Ship

    looks around at the sinking ship

    Gentlemen, it's been an honor fighting with you.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 1:35am

      Re: Sinking Ship

      "Gentlemen, it's been an honor fighting with you."

      [Looks at the sinking ship from the conn tower of the "SS Jolly roger submarine]

      Welcome aboard.

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

  • identicon
    Bonemeal, 15 Apr 2019 @ 10:43pm

    Let Them Eat ... Schmidt

    There's another possibility: when the Minister of Foie Gras chirped about his filtering fetish, there could already be A Plan afoot.

    Enter Dragonfly Lite. Pncheye, for all his chortleing before the US Congress about American Values may well have been thinking of the American Capitalistic Caste System, not actual Freedom.

    Schmidt no doubt has contacts in France dating back to the SMI days.

    Could there be A Deal here?

    Scroogle can bring a bunch of Dragonfly out of the closet (already rumored) and resume working it in earnest. France (the first domino) gets their Cultural Condom. Legacy 'entertainment' in the 'Free World' is elated: they can spooge about how this could Go Global!

    YoobTubeTV.fr anyone?

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

  • identicon
    Ann R. Key, 15 Apr 2019 @ 11:07pm

    Irony in the UK?

    So Mike wants to be Ironist? What would Johnny Rotten think?

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:02am

    From the people who told you Brexit was a good thing & would be easy.

    It is amazing how a few gatekeepers manage to have such sway over the EU, even when it is clear the citizens do not want this, have shown how it will be abused they stick their fingers in their ears going lalalalalalala its just bots online!

    When a few are able to ram through laws over the outcry of the citizens, perhaps it is time to consider that they are not your leaders, they are the puppets of those who pay them to sacrifice your life & liberty on the altar of the sky is falling (and has been for the last 300 years ignore our record profits we use to donate into your coffers).

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

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:22am

    "The only problem with this is that Boris' own Tory government has been strongly supporting the law all along and, of course, voted happily for it today."

    It's very simple - Boris, like the rest of the Brexiters, actually want most of the same things that the EU want. While they are still in a position of power within the EU, they have been pushing for a lot of things that are actively damaging to most citizens (but nicely profitable for them and their mates). Now that the shitshow is approved, they can now use the "see! We need to leave the EU because they vote for things like this!" card, safe in the knowledge that the British tabloids will parrot their words and never report the fact that the Tories not only support this crap, but will happily push for worse in the future.

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

  • identicon
    Agammamon, 16 Apr 2019 @ 1:10am

    As Expected, EU Nations Rubber Stamp EU Copyright Directive

    Of course it was expected - EU nations are, literally, not allowed to do anything except rubberstamp EU directives. Its the law that member governments must enact EU legislation as written without so much as debate.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 4:59am

    France's culture minister has already said he's hopeful that France will implement the law by the summertime, so that country may be the first. That would be interesting, considering that France has also been the most committed to the absolute worst ideas around the law. France may then "set the standard" for how to implement Articles 11 and 13 in a manner that some smaller countries may mimic.

    This is where Techdirt needs to step up. Set the standard for how to respond to Articles 11 and 13 in a manner that other websites my mimic: geoblock all of Europe until this mess is repealed. Anyone visiting from the EU gets redirected to an explanation why they can't view this content, and a list of people who voted in favor of this mess, so they'll know who to remove from power in order to get it fixed.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      Boy I'm tired of this dumbass argument.

      First: if every company with a website pulls out of Europe, congratulations, you've destabilized the world economy, you damn fool. You think global industry pulling out of one of the world's biggest economies isn't going to affect us here in America?

      Second: There are a hell of a lot of people in the EU who are opposed to this. Some of them took to the streets to protest. You're advocating in favor of punishing the entire population over a bad call made by the leadership. This "fuck you, got mine" attitude is not only selfish and unethical, it's incredibly short-sighted. The people protesting the Copyright Directive are our allies; we should be helping them. And guess what? They benefit from having websites (and other online services) where they're able to meet up with like-minded people, organize, and strategize. Kick them all off the Internet and you've made it harder for them to fight back against these destructive policies, not easier.

      "Just geoblock the entire EU!" is the knee-jerk reaction of a child. It's a "solution" that only makes sense if you have a child's understanding of how the world works. It's the equivalent of thinking governments can solve financial crises by just printing more money, or that if people are starving in Africa why don't they just move to France?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 9:02am

        Re: Re:

        This "fuck you, got mine" attitude is not only selfish and unethical, it's incredibly short-sighted.

        Your analysis of this "attitude" is also short-sighted.

        If you are not Google, Facebook, Twitter or any other multi-gazillion-dollar corporation how do you propose to take down terrorist content posted to your site, forums or blog within an hour, 24/7? How do you expect to pay for the development of effective filters, something even Google's infinite budget has thus far failed to achieve? How will you pay for the fines from the EU on your shoestring budget?

        Your only real option, should you prefer to stay in business, is to geoblock the EU. It has nothing to do with "fuck you" or "I got mine". It has everything to do with "I can't afford to have EU citizens access my services". And if enough such businesses/sites choose to take the same action then the EU is effectively geoblocked from the rest of the world save a few very large corporate sites, e.g. FB, Google, etc. They'll have access only to sites that do not accept user content, the corporate sites that sell things. Even advertising will suffer (maybe a good thing?) as no ads can be served that haven't been carefully and manually vetted. And with nowhere to go to get the word out about a new small business, creativity and SMB will be all but dead in the EU.

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you are not Google, Facebook, Twitter or any other multi-gazillion-dollar corporation how do you propose to take down terrorist content posted to your site, forums or blog within an hour, 24/7? How do you expect to pay for the development of effective filters, something even Google's infinite budget has thus far failed to achieve? How will you pay for the fines from the EU on your shoestring budget?

          Your only real option, should you prefer to stay in business, is to geoblock the EU.

          Well, for starters, unless you actually have operations that are subject to EU jurisdiction, no, you don't have to do anything to comply with EU orders.

          There are exactly two types of companies that are affected by EU law: companies that only operate in the EU, and multinational companies that operate in the EU and also operate elsewhere.

          The latter are exactly the type of company you're talking about when you mention Google and Facebook: large companies that have the resources to attempt to comply with the new laws (and also the resources to mount court challenges to them). As for the former...are you seriously advocating that companies that are physically located in the EU, and don't do any business anywhere else in the world except the EU should geoblock the EU?

          Again, you are not thinking this through.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 10:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There are exactly two types of companies that are affected by EU law: companies that only operate in the EU, and multinational companies that operate in the EU and also operate elsewhere.

            This is not true. Even this site, TechDirt, "operates" in the EU by virtue of EU citizens' ability to read this and post here. There are plenty of regular posters from the EU. Do you really think, with what has already happened as a result of this legislation, that the EU will look the other way if something is posted here that violates their new laws?

            Sure, Mike & Co. could simply ignore the fines and takedown demands but there is still punitive action taken against them. If any of them decide to take a vacation to Italy they risk being arrested, tried, fined, jailed, etc. Not wanting to expose oneself to steep fines and unreasonable filtering costs (which would likely still allow fine-able content through) doesn't mean one dislikes the EU and the countries in it.

            If I'm not thinking this through thoroughly then you're at least as guilty.

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

            • icon
              Thad (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              All of those arguments apply to the GDPR. Which Techdirt also vocally opposes, but has not chosen to geoblock the EU over.

              Can you produce any examples of heads of foreign businesses being arrested on GDPR violations on a vacation to Italy? Because it sure sounds like you started at a knee-jerk conclusion and now you're working backwards to invent hypotheticals to support it.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You either didn't read what I posted or failed to comprehend it. Either way I'll wait while you scroll up and try again.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2019 @ 7:27am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Hey, I have an idea - post your flight schedule and fly to Thailand, I think I could find (or produce) an example a head of a foreign business being arrested. No problem.

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

                • icon
                  Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 Apr 2019 @ 11:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You either didn't read what I posted or failed to comprehend it.

                  Well yeah, it's Thad. That's what he does.

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

      • icon
        Bamboo Harvester (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 10:18am

        Re: Re:

        Gotta disagree.

        They passed their laws knowing that their populations were against those laws.

        They're counting on people (such as you seem to be) not taking direct action, such as geoblocking.

        If they don't get blocked, the narrative will be "See? The sky isn't falling! Re-elect us!".

        If France is 1/10th as Facebook addicted as the US seems to be, a week-long geoblock with redirection to a "Illegal from your location" page should be enough to force a "motion" to "repeal" the law(s). While allowing the culprits to save some face by blaming it all on the E-Vile Corporations in the E-Vile United States.

        As to "only Google and Facebook can afford to...." Maybe they can. I really doubt it, the requirements of the Nerd Harder law just aren't obtainable - you're not going to see "one hour takedown" on a system with billions of users.

        And you've got to consider if those companies WANT to be there - spend billions to almost comply, and get fined billions more because compliance is impossible isn't a healthy business model.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Apr 2019 @ 4:09am

        Re: Re:

        ""Just geoblock the entire EU!" is the knee-jerk reaction of a child. It's a "solution" that only makes sense if you have a child's understanding of how the world works."

        Speaking as a european, however, it's not too unlikely that geoblocking the EU may be the sole recourse left for anyone with a website which allows uploads or commentary. Between article 11, more notably 13(17) and the "Terrorist content" regulation the legal risks incurred will be fairly chilling.

        Also, speaking as a european citizen with a VPN subscription I must say that an EU-wide geoblock of most convenience services may be just that bitter yet necessary medicine the doctor ordered to provide the wakeup call desperately needed by our bodies politic.

        Because if we've learned anything from history it is that governments with bad ideas will not stop coming up with more bad ideas until they end up in a ditch so badly they have no other recourse than to change their tune.

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

    • icon
      SarcasticWikimedian (profile), 16 Apr 2019 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      No, please. European activists need this site.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.