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EU copyright law proposal rejected (twitter.com/senficon)
1847 points by iMerNibor on July 5, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 314 comments

It is extremely important not to lose focus on the problem because they're going to try again and again to pass it, one way or another. They'll never stop: it's about profit both for the corporations bribing for those laws and the politicians being bribed to push for them, so they'll just keep pushing until they find the right weapon of mass distraction to keep the public attention away.

Also it is important to keep in mind the old tricks used to pass bad laws: they push initially for worse laws then after public protest they slowly step back to the initial goal to pretend people were listened to, so that not only they get what they wanted, but the public is also being fooled into believing their protest were successful and they have politicians who actually listen to them. How lucky!

{quote} Also it is important to keep in mind the old tricks used to pass bad laws: they push initially for worse laws then after public protest they slowly step back to the initial goal to pretend people were listened to, so that not only they get what they wanted, but the public is also being fooled into believing their protest were successful and they have politicians who actually listen to them. {end quote}

That's called haggling or bargaining and is old as the notion of trade.

Yes, GP even specifically referred to them as "old tricks". But even though the strategy is old, many people do not perceive the process that way so it's worth pointing out.

Sounds more like a paranoid description of how almost all political change, positive or negative, happens. You push for what you want, but if that gets too much opposition, you moderate your proposal the next go-round.

The other approach, of course, is to pursue incremental change. In the same "ZOMG tricks" lens, that's boiling-the-frog-slowly.

You push for what you want

No, you push for massive overreach. You never start negotiations asking for what you want.

Then it goes to an "election", the "opposition" party (come on, they all drink at the same bars, do lines of coke in the same toilets) wins, and the "watered down" bill basses with bipartisan support.

We don't live in democracies. Two reasons:

1. regular employees don't get a "winter break"


2. Until we have real time visibility of political donations, filtered through an anti-corruption body, we can't know whether the people in government deserve, or are eligible, to be there.

> 1. regular employees don't get a "winter break"

We're talking about the EU here, everyone gets 4-6 weeks off a year

Indeed. I find the ignorance about the European labor market amazing.

Not only do most Europeans get our 4-6 weeks of paid vacation. We also don't subtract any sick days from vacation days as is common in the US. We also get paid while sick. In some places by the employer, in some places by the government. Sometimes full pay, sometimes a reduced amount. We also have excellent government paid health care. We also have long termination notices. We have protection for temporary workers (so generally few Europeans work in Amazon jobs with day laborers picked up in the outskirts of the cities). Working weeks are typically 35-40 hours. We have protection for part time workers too. They can not be discriminated against. We have 1-3 years paid maternity leave. In some countries it's paid by employer (with refund from government), in other places it's paid by government directly. Usually the pay is part of salary. We have high participation of women in the labor market. We have paid paternity or parental leaves that are often longer than the American maternity leaves. We have government or labor union set minimum wages but most people make more than the minimum wages. Very few Europeans hold two jobs. If we lose our job, we have various welfare payouts and most importantly; we don't lose healthcare. At the end of working life, Europeans retire with public pensions and private supplements.

Now, there are variations from country to country since not all of the above is EU based; actually little of it is. I am speaking as someone who live in Denmark, Spain, the US and now Bulgaria. Every country in Europe has more of one thing and less of another. In Denmark, for example, the paid maternity leave is only at around one year, and women get paid what amounts to only a small fraction of their salary. In Bulgaria it's up to 3 years, of the first is 90 percent of salary, the second is around minimum wage and the third is without pay.

But generally speaking, European workers live a very sheltered and, I would say, privileged working life. I have yet to meet Europeans fearing loosing a job the way Americans do.


Please don't break the HN guidelines by calling names.


I didn't call anyone a name. I characterized the "nowhere is a real democracy" rhetoric as anarchist wank. It's a spiel I have no time for, after talking to enough of these people.

The US at least is barely a democracy. We are much closer to an oligopoly than anything else.

If you really think we are a democracy, then do you think someone in the US could win the presidency with a good platform and no money, versus someone with a bad platform and a lot of money?

Trump’s election was the most democratic thing in perhaps the history of US politics. Maybe 1% of oligopolists supported him before the primaries and many prominent Republicans didn’t even support him when he had the nomination. In the wake of 2016 one could easily argue that US politics has become far more democratic (the founding fathers intended it to be much less democratic than it has become).

This shows that “democracy” is not a synonym for “good governance.”

>>> This shows that “democracy” is not a synonym for “good governance.”

much like law and justice...

"Laws change depending on who's making them, but justice is justice." -- Odo (A Man Alone)

Star Trek has lots of wisdom, growing up in the 90s was a great time

Its much more interesting to see somebody neither party wanted win the presidency.

But it makes for horrible, horrible governance.

If you can't convince HN, confuse them? On topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window Now please allow me to smear you with terrorism or tin foil hats in case i can't find any further arguments. It's only fair since you dropped the paranoid smear already. ;-)

These two are both as old as the hills and well known to people who read sales manuals as the "door in the face" and "foot in the door" techniques respectively.


> problem because they're going to try again and again to pass it, one way or another.

Err, this simply means that EP didn’t rubber-stamp the proposal, as happens most of the time, but that the plenary will vote on it in September, and MEPs may propose amendments.

I.e. what should be a standard democratic process, but isn’t in EU for some time how.

They will not “try again” - attempt one is still ongoing and may very well succeed due to gross misunderstandings of the process and the general impression among people that the battle was won and it’s over.

It really isn’t just yet.

Wow, thanks for clearing this up. It reminds me very much of the AT&T thing regarding net neutrality in California. I thought it was over there too, but at they suddenly slipped in a win for themselves at the last minute.

There are many people who are paid to get up every morning and get this law passed in one form or another. They do it every day for the rest of their lives and they get paid handsomely for it. That's why they never give up.

I recall seeing a tweet this morning stating the same for ethics committees in academic research papers. Students are being taught to put questionable things in - that are easy to excise. They get challenged, remove the red herring, and are approved since the "offended party" feels appeased.

Anyways, Interesting analog. Intellectual dishonestly aside...

I have no first hand knowledge, but it seems highly probable.

Students are being taught to put questionable things in - that are easy to excise. They get challenged, remove the red herring, and are approved since the "offended party" feels appeased.

I've heard similar stories with regards to censors. I've also seen it at work with release reviews. Pointy-haired management was given something obvious to correct, to keep them from thinking of something out of left field.

It's a weak strategy. If you make an obvious error in many contexts you are very likely to (at best) invite a cascade of critique that otherwise would have been skipped. At worst, you'll be written off permanently as a fool, fired and/or sued.

It's a weak strategy. If you make an obvious error in many contexts you are very likely to (at best) invite a cascade of critique that otherwise would have been skipped.

It depends on who is on the other end. Against someone who isn't that intelligent, who prioritizes and really just wants to show their dominance, it can work great. Against a genuinely observant and intelligent perfectionist, it's the wrong move.

I've seen it done with alignment and spelling errors. The pointy haired boss feels superior and useful in their attention to detail, and everyone has their needs fulfilled.

It's probably better to not include an 'obvious' error, but a plausible error that has some degree of subjectivity.

Hah, that is a great story.

Reminds me of ancedotes of devs intentionally wasting ram in old school console game development; locking it up in some obscure way; just so that at the 11th hour, you can remove it and claim "amazing optimizations". ;)

I've done it in code reviews, especially with picky people.

This is the origin of the term "bike-shedding"!

Sounds like they learn from Influence by Caldini. Ask for a far-fetched goal then conceded to what you want originally.

Well, it's a very old trick. Probably several thousand years, as long as people have traded. Don't give credit to Caldini just because he wrote a popular book!

That's basic negotiating 101. Probably older than the pyramids.

Which chapter is that in? I don't remember that from the book.

We need liquid democracy. This current system is broken.

The EU are masters at this. See: the Lisbon treaty.

Bad example. The Lisbon treaty was voted down by the Irish in the first referendum. But then the EU made changes in the controversial areas and then the Irish were asked again. And they were happy with the changes and as such with the 2.0 of the treaty.

My point is: changes.

They had a second referendum? France wasn't so lucky. Our government in its unfathomable wisdom foresaw that the people wouldn't listen to reason if they were entrusted with this decision a second time (we voted no the first time, by a wide margin). So they did the smart thing, and asked the parliament instead. The result was as predictable as it was different.

So yeah, changes. Not just what, though. Who. You gotta ask the right person to have the right answer, democracy be dammed.

(Just to be clear, I will resent them for a long time for this. Representatives should not be able to override the people's direct decisions.)

> Representatives should not be able to override the people's direct decisions

So if you want to get something passed, you brainwash 1/4 of the population to demand it.

I'd rather my laws were divorced from manipulated emotion

It seems time for a double-jeopardy type law for laws. If a law tries and fails to pass, there should be a cooldown period. Possibly a decade.

Aside from the obvious loopholes (how do you define two laws as being the same -- and what stops your opponent from intentionally sabotaging a law they know you'd want to pass?) there are some other practical issues.

If it applied to all laws, you could pretty easily imagine some negative consequences (attempts for marriage equality or suffrage could have been delayed by decades if the opposition tried to introduce laws in a way that would be guaranteed to not pass). And what if the circumstances change within that decade so that an old law proposal now makes much more sense.

I do think that the law-making process should have quite a few more safeguards. The way that after-the-fact amendments work (in America or Australia for instance) is quite scary -- though Australia does have double dissolution which intends to prevent deadlocks and the Senate changing laws without authority from the House of Representatives.

This would mean you get into endless discussion about whether a new proposal is covering the same topic or not. Politicians try to game every system if it helps their cause. And then there are the corner cases where the underlying situation changes enough to warrant action even though it fell through one or two years prior.

We are seeing how legislation lags behind AI (self-driving, facial recognition etc.), we seriously don't want to make that even worse.

The problem is more that the lawmakers need something to do... EU is producing a torrent of regulations, which is a bit absurd since it's layered on top of a substantial amount of already existing legislation in the member states.

It's not so much about "harmonizing the markets" - it's just full speed ahead, high and low, idealistic, corporatistic, amateurish or razor sharp, but all the time relentless building the superstate.

Yes. People need to understand that are whole teams of people whose full time jobs are to get this kind of thing passed. They don't care what's right or wrong. The Nuremberg defence is perfectly acceptable in business, unfortunately.

Where do we get the names of these people?

You can search the EU transparency register. For some EU lobbying activities participation in the register is mandatory.


Lobyplag publishes the documents different companies/govs hand out: https://lobbyplag.eu/docs

Sonnenborn and his "Die Partei" are a blessing in disguise.

It's also extremely weird how a satire political party regularly makes the most sense by bluntly stating like it is.

Maybe that's the actual secret to proper politics: Saying it like it is, spiced up with some fun.

Unfortunately that doesn't match 100% with the official roll call vote results.

On the EU their front-line must be registered, doesn't it?

It's a matter of finding out how; you can probably just ask the right people and you will have your answer.

We need more thinking like this.

Plus names of the businesses who support these destructive laws, so their products can be avoided.

Just look up any movies showing in cinemas, music on the radio and reviews in newspapers. That is the same companies behind the lobbying.

Peacefully petitioning the government for redress of grievences -- whether you agree with them or not -- should be respected.

It's not clear what you intend to do with these names, but I don't see anything good coming out of it.

While I recognize and admire the sentiment, I'm not sure I agree with the practice in law. Legislation should be as transparent as possible since it affects a populace and doesn't exist in a vacuum among involved parties.

As to what intent there is with those names, it could be boycotting products/services from certain organizations -- which is a very valid and legal form of protest.

Why do you need the names of people to boycott? Just get the names of the companies involved.

Having names are useful to force them to have some skin in the game.

You shouldn’t be able to hide when you’re assisting with the dismantling of democracy.

If you’re fearful of your name being public, associated with this line of work, you should probably reevaluate your actions.

If you support or participate in the further tightening of copyright (when considering how extreme copyright law already is), you are the enemy, and citizens are well within their rights to publicly document your actions.

When you make bad ideas your enemy, you can promote real change and bring more people peaceably to your side. When you make people your enemy, you are likely to make things worse.

So what are your thoughts on the “war on terror,” the “war on drugs,” and the “war on poverty?”

When has attacking an abstract idea ever accomplished anything?

How about womens' suffrage?

Who was the enemy in that movement? Did making lists of enemies help? Or was it more battle of ideas where people's minds were changed pver time?

A worthwhile counterexample at the time, but imagine how it would play out today. If the suffrage advocates didn't turn it into a personal fight, the other side would. The opponents would win some battles, then they would lose some bigger ones... and then they'd do what's necessary to take over institutions ranging from market-leading TV news channels to the Supreme Court, and fix the "problem" once and for all. These days, anyone who tries to take the high road in politics finds that it ends at the top of a cliff.

Unfortunately I have a feeling we're about to see this scenario unfold with respect to gay marriage and LGBTQ issues in general. Theocrats do not like to lose, any more than copyright maximalists do.

This has not been my experience engaging in the political process in the US, both on individual campaigns and when working on specific issues (drug decriminalization and incarceration and gerrymandering, specifically).

Whether people are married to their ideas through money or ideology, you are left with little recourse. History is written by the victor, not the noble.

Think beyond the single issue and realize that making enemies of people has cascading effects that ultimately polarize the nation and close you off to any possibility of modifying your opinions or learning new things.

At least with my nation, the US, while neither side is really for the people one side is so vastly against the interests of the majority in general and the interests of me and mine in particular that I expect there is no reasonable middle ground.

When one group wants people like yourself to lose medical care and die where is the middle position?

Ultimately I expect them to eventually react violently to losing power and have to be put down by force in order to preserve some notion of democracy.

On perhaps your side of the pond it seems that one side wants to strangle the medium for culture and civilization in order to make a few bucks in hopes that a fraction will stick to their hands. These people are surely personally your enemy whether you recognize it or not.

They aren't peacefully petitioning; the're bribing lawmakers. Also, that's a right that people have, not corporations.

Then get a list of the names of the corporations not the people. Maybe that can lead to a boycott, which is fine.

It's kind of scary to start assembling lists of peoples' names that are your opponents.

>assembling lists of peoples' names that are your opponents

If you want to defeat your opponents, a great thing to do. Keep track of them. The best service you can give to an enemy, is to forget him.

>My opponents are bad laws and bad ideas. Let's make lists of those.

Don't you think that bad ideas are possessed by bad people?

In my view of the world, the root of all good and bad are the people. People's deeds and ideas don't live separate lives from physical human beings having/doing them.

My opponents are bad laws and bad ideas. Let's make lists of those.

Individual people may have both good ideas and bad ideas, and those may change over time.

Lists of opponents' names are a really bad solution because they ignore the distinction between people and ideas.

Ideas can’t be shamed or ostracized. Ideas don’t respond to incentives. Ideas can’t engage in debate. Trying to fight ideas is futile without also opposing the people with boots on the ground implementing the ideas.

Corporations don’t do things. People within corporations do things. You’re not going to get anywhere with a protest website that says: “BigMediaCorp is trying to take away your rights!” But, if it says “Mark Smith, VP Government Affairs at BigMediaCorp, who lives at 155 Spruce St., Los Angeles, leads the team that lobbies to take away your rights!” ...you’ve got a real person to oppose who does real things.

I'd publish the name and maybe a small photo of the person so that he/she can get opinions by people he/she happens to see during the day, but adding any personal address would be like inviting criminals to stalk the person. No matter how much we hate those corrupt lowlives, we must fight them from within the law fence. Keep in mind that those people control most of the information sources, and those they don't control are mostly aligned on their side anyway, so it is safe to assume that everything will be used against us. A news announcement such as: "Activist burns politician's house. All safe including their loved puppy" (cue photos showing the puppy big sweet eyes) won't bring a single person to sympathize with the cause, but rather make even more enemies. This is a war where every move has to be planned with extreme care; hic sunt leones.

Politicians don't really deserve any privacy. These people should be under public scrutiny at all times. This isn't some private company that you can choose not to do business with if you don't like it. They have the power to pass laws that will apply to everyone. People should keep track of them and denounce them publicly and loudly when they do things people don't like.

What's scary about it? The risk individual (natural) persons might be rude to each other based on political opinions?

Dude — already happening.

Yes, like that guy was "rude" to several people on the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis on June 28.

It's ludicrous to believe that publishing the names of people and companies requesting a change in law is somehow nefarious. People should be happy to have their names associated with laws they support, and if they aren't, that definitely speaks to the desirability of the law for the rest of us.

I fully agree any protest should be peaceful, but transparency is important.

Let's imagine a world where as you suggest, corporation names are revealed but not individuals. Well, where does that leave us? Maybe I'll just go as myself instead of my company. I won't represent my company, I just happen to be its CEO, its chief lobbyist, or whatever.

So no, we'd need full transparency. This kind of thing is common among various branches of democratic governments. Presidents' schedules are usually mostly public, fundings of various sorts are public, etc.

Opaqueness leads to darkness.

>It's not clear what you intend to do with these names, but I don't see anything good coming out of it.

Just demonstrating that you know a lot of even remotely private information about somebody is a very effective intimidation method.


Hmm..next elections for the European Parliament are in May 2019.

While I appreciate the sentiment, justicedemocrats has exactly nothing to do with (this) European law proposal.

>Visit justicedemocrats.com for details on how to vote this November.

Keep this US-biased political crap out of articles in general, but even more so on articles about European policy.

I doubt it's about profit. The internet is the only mass medium not being completely controlled by corporations. It's the only medium where truth can still be found about the real reasons why things occur.

Link tax and other new laws will make sure that networks that spread truths goes underground.

Sounds like that's about profit to me.

Profits and censorship. The oligarchs want money and want to shut the mouths of those who denounce their crimes. And yes, it isn't only Russia who has a problem with oligarchs.

Sounds like tinfoil hattery to me. Simple greed and technological illiteracy seem much more straightforward and don't involve a conspiracy about "the real reasons why things occur" [creepy music in the background]. It's especially ridiculous since of late the internet seems to have been much more efficient at shoveling garbage to gullible people than enlightening the proletariat.

I've even seen some proponents of the bill lament that the lobbying by the "GAFA" (google, apple, facebook and amazon) won, so I'm sure some of them actually believe that they're fighting the good fight against the multinational behemoths who are trying to pillage European resources. It's relatively easy to justify the bill if you take it purely at face value without thinking about the consequences: the big players like Google make a ton of money by linking to other people's work without redistributing any of the profits to the creators, let's fix that. Of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and clueless politicians.

That or it's the Illuminati, who knows.

Clueless politicians are not magically immune from the illuminati's influence, rather they are prime targets.

Nonsense. Its mainly cat pictures and porn. If you're interested in learning how things work, read a lot of books. (non-fiction obviously)

The truth about the fuckedupedness of our civilization is all readily available for you to read. Just no-one cares.

Did you mean ebooks and blogs by books? IEEE and other research papers in electronic form?

I haven't found a book even close to state of the art... For a reasonable price.

Springer research collections come close but they're very expensive. Journals are expensive and worse...

Precisely! 66% of Millennials don't know what Auschwitz is and 40% don't know that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust based on a recent study. This is astounding.

Even more insane is that the overwhelming majority of society (not just Millennials) thinks that the Holocaust was the most deadly mass murder in the 20th century.

That is absurdly high. Do you have a link to that study?

Sure: http://cc-69bd.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Holocaus...

The "40% don't know that 6 million Jews died" is technically accurate (page 2) but slightly misleading. They thought less than 2 million people died, which is still pretty crazy. The phrasing I provided was how I saw it in the new article(s) that pop up. And that's for the people who actually have heard of it. Apparently 22% have never heard of the Holocaust at all or aren't sure they have ever heard of it (also page 2). However, the 66% stat is straight off of page 4 and not misleading in the slightest.

The Holocaust is the largest genocide of the 20th century. Only the Chinese Great Leap Forward could be comparable in overall deaths, many of which resulted from famine and policy in a way that makes it very hard to compare with genocidal murder. Overall, I’d say it’s quite reasonable if most people register the Holocaust as the largest event of “mass murder.”

< https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genocides_by_death_t... >

Yes, but my phrasing was specifically mass murder. In terms of genocide, I agree. But that list explicitly excludes non-genocide mass murders. In terms of the Chinese Great Leap Forward, if you exclude the policy/famine based deaths that still leaves you with at least 13 million murders, and that's just the property owners that were slaughtered for their land by the impoverished peasants. That doesn't even include anyone else.

>It's the only medium where truth can still be found about the real reasons why things occur.

So.. flat earth, anti-vax, 9/11 truther, NWO, aliens or... what? What's your poison?

You're looking at all the wrong places

This battle is nowhere near over, copyright holders are constantly bribing and pushing towards more and more draconian laws to keep competition out and maximize profits.

Having said that, it's good to see EU didn't sell us out at the first chance.

The copyright holders and their lobbyists are untiring in their push, because they only need their proposals to be successful once to go through, but we need to continuously get them voted down to retain our freedoms.

It's very much an uphill battle.

Can’t laws that are equivalent but opposite be formulated? Laws that specify what is legal and should not be considered infringing. Similar to US constitutional formulations “congress shall pass no law..”?

Such contra-laws are would be 'only' useful for casual citizens, so there's no way to get multi-million lobbying support for them by mega corporations.

This is why we need to support organizations like EFF. Even if they are not multi-billion, they may be strong enough sometimes.

That's one of the reasons wealth inequality is problematic.

This is a scandal it has reached so high up. I think authorities should investigate everyone involved in conceiving this directive.

The good thing also is, that the Worldcup will be over when the law is discussed again. You can spot pretty easily how laws like this are always pushed in a time where most people are occupied with something else, usually around summer. It's ridiculous how often that happens. Let's hope we don't have a big distraction coming up in September.

It's funny you should mention The World Cup, FIFA are hugely annoying when it comes to copyright.

It's only just making the normal news[0], but their pettiness has plagued the sharing of small clips and highlights.

Do they really want me to wait for an incident to be televised before I can discuss it online? Should I have to track down specific moments in a game using my own recording in order to be able to discuss it? FIFA, the World's Most Corrupt Organisation™, should realise that fans enjoying and discussing their events adds a lot of value and will drive more viewers.

[0] https://inews.co.uk/video/fifa-delete-twitter-video-of-boy-c...

> Do they really want me to wait for an incident to be televised before I can discuss it online?

Yes. They sold the exclusive right for lot's of money. In some countries even with a Multi-Laser approach where one station is allowed to transmit live and another station is the first one being allowed to use snippets for summaries.

> Should I have to track down specific moments in a game using my own recording in order to be able to discuss it?

No. You are not supposed to track it. You are supposed to see the programs so they get high ratings and refinance their license.

That's how the deal works and it's a constant battle, whether this is a private entertainment event or something of newsworthy character ... intermixed with international copyright law.

> No. You are not supposed to track it. You are supposed to see the programs so they get high ratings and refinance their license.

That's the thing though, I do watch the games live. I also like to follow and discuss key events on Reddit match threads (which are fantastic, informative, funny and insightful).

They wouldn't be possible without easily accessible clips; there are no official alternatives and with the rights situation the way there are, it's unlikely to happen legally (even with a fee) any time soon.

FIFA (and UEFA, and the FA) are simply unable to compete without rethinking the way their licencing works. They are simply being left behind.

> They wouldn't be possible without easily accessible clips; there are no official alternatives and with the rights situation the way there are, it's unlikely to happen legally (even with a fee) any time soon.

This is not true for Germany and maybe other national license holders. In Germany the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have the whole matches and summaries online for free (i.e. https://www.sportschau.de/fifa-wm-2018/video/index.html ) But that's geo-blocked from other countries as they only have a national license.

At least over here streaming is a large part of this (best way to reach people in offices for matches in the afternoon) and they pay a lot of money for that to FIFA, where FIFA then ensures the exclusivity.

It ain't nice and too much money involved to really free that up.

FIA are pretty in the dark ages with F1 too. FE is slightly different and seems to be where they're experimenting. GTE is getting better too.

FIA doesn’t hold the commercial rights to F1 so everything related to clips etc is not handled by them. This has been getting better in F1 too after Liberty Media bought the commercial rights from Bernie. Formula One Group being be entity that holds the rights and was sold to Liberty Media for 4.4 billion in 2016.

And don't even mention the Olympics! No ... seriously ... don't mention them ... You'll get sued.

F1 hasn't been too bad; you can access live recordings of the Grand Prix, race highlights and sometimes even links through to third party retrospectives through their Youtube channel.

Yeah sure - I bet if you live in a region where no company has bought exclusive television rights to F1. In my country, a pay channel owns exclusive rights to all F1 broadcasting, so all official F1 content on YouTube etc. is simply blocked here (shows the infamous "This content is not available in your country" error.)

They have gone to great lengths to ensure the only way I can view live F1 GPs legally is to pay 25€/mon subscription to the cable company. If I had a choice, I would actually be happy to subscribe to UK's Sky Sports F1 channel, who for 20€/mon have much more extensive coverage of the whole GP weekend, with world-class commentators in studio and on track-side, including retired F1 drivers' title holders. The cable company broadcasting in my country has lower quality and less content, so I don't feel like paying them each month more than I pay to my ISP.

But of course, due to the very same geo-blocking rules, Sky Sports F1 is unable to sell their subscription to my country, because they only have rights for UK broadcasting. Same thing applies to Netflix etc., where some content may be available in one EU country but not in another.

This is actually a violation of the EU's core single market principle (customers should be able to freely procure services from providers in any EU country, not just providers in their home country). And a few years ago, the EU Parliament was actually bullish about abolishing the whole practice of digital content geo-blocking within EU.[1] They eventually did pass new digital market regulations, but of course the content industry was able to water it down so that it doesn't actually apply to them at all![2]

[1]: https://torrentfreak.com/europe-will-abolish-geo-blocking-an...

[2]: https://juliareda.eu/2018/02/eu-did-not-end-geoblocking/

It was bad enough for me to lose interest in the sport.

That, and the crap Vettel pulled to get past Webber in Malaysia in ... 2013? How time flies..!

This is one (of many) areas where the NBA has done it right. Social media, clip sharing, fan produced highlight reels on YouTube - all good.

No surprise that the NBA is huge and fast growing in younger demographics!

If FIFA are so uptight about copyright, why continue to support them by consuming and discussing their 'product'?

Go out and create your own content. Until that becomes predominant they have no reason to care. And frankly neither do I; it has never been easier to make videos, take photos, make podcasts and broadcast them.

This whole copyright-law furore has really highlighted the entitled attitude of most Internet users nowadays.

> If FIFA are so uptight about copyright, why continue to support them by consuming and discussing their 'product'?

Make my own international football sporting competition? Or buy tickets and stream on Periscope, a practice that is heavily frowned upon and The Premier League are actively looking to ban.

Anyway, the reason I hold my viewpoint is that FIFA are meant to be a non-profit organisation. They are meant to exist for the good of the game; to most people that means the more people watching, playing, engaging with and talking about it, the better.

It's clear that over the last thirty or forty years FIFA officials became more interested about lining their pockets. That's how Russia and Qatar managed to buy World Cups; it's how decision makers at every level received bungs and suitcases full of cash; it's how FIFA's rights management division went on the warpath; it's even responsible for the swathes of empty 'VIP' seats you see in prime positions at high profile games (even more after half time while prawn sandwiches are on sale in the exclusive bar).

It's disgusting behaviour, they need to get back to their original ethos and allow the game to flourish.

Every Organization needs a meat-grinder- a mechanism that swallows contributing individuals after a certain time and removes them from the organization.

In a democracy, that usually is a far away parliament, that removes the elected individual out of touch with the worries of those elected, so he/ she is not reelected.

Fifa should give every fan a vote.

Yes, and I still remember how they tried to adopt software patents, without a vote, at a fishery meeting on 24 Jan 2005. So be on the lookout for any similar fishy business.

Though in that particular case the "fishiness" led to rather a lot of journalists reporting on the general hilarity of the situation, which probably helped it fail. The bad guys will have learnt from that and will probably avoid any obvious fish-connections in future.

> Though in that particular case the "fishiness" led to rather a lot of journalists reporting on the general hilarity of the situation ...

Hilarious, but this is how they should have done it properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGBZnfB46es

# How much is the fish!? The bigger fish keeps eating all the smaller ones. It's not like anyone cares. Nah, let's just go watch some football, shall we.

There are very few weeks in the year when something "Big" isn't happening somewhere in Europe, so this is an easy accusation to level. I doubt its coordinated.

I went to the BBC site thinking Erdogan's re-election would be on the homepage (a day or two after the election IIRC), nope, nearly all World Cup. So, it would certainly be on the News section, er nope; not in the European news subsection either. Searched and found one video which was propaganda level of support for Erdogan.

Might've been just me.

I don't quite see how the World Cup is more than a small news story. Why isn't it one item in News and then all the detailed stuff in Sport section.

(Yes, I'm watching it, yes I enjoy it, yes I love football; no I don't think the BBC should devote half the resources they are to it.)

Erdoğan approved an act forbidding presidential candidates being financed by political parties but not president itself financed by means of state, during electoral propaganda. It is not unexpected that Erdoğan has got himself re-elected with unequal opportunity of propaganda, favoring himself.

There were 5 news stories published on July 25th about the results. This story was (for a while) top story on the morning the resuklts came in https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44596072

July 25th?

On June 25th the Ten O'Clock news running order was Heathrow, Grenfell, Migrants, Student Suicide, Swansea Lagoon, NHS, Turkey (1m20), Prince William doing something, then finally the World Cup which was 3 minutes at the end of the program (England had played the previous day)

On June 26th I don't think there was any world cup.

The Ten's running order (tweeted daily by https://twitter.com/paulroyall) is an indication of what the BBC thinks was important that day (where Today's running order is what the BBC thinks will be important that day)

18 Million people watched the last England game on BBC One, 3 million watched live on iplayer.

That's the most number of viewers for anything since the 2012 olympics. 1 in 3 people in the UK was glued to their screen watching, and that was the first round. Tomorrows quarter final I'm sure will be even higher.

This world cup is major news for the UK - even for those like me that don't watch football. My understanding is that the BBC coverage is better than ITVs too.

(BTW, the BBC's facilities in Moscow are dwarfed by Fox Sports, and the U.S. isn't even in the competition!)

This is the bbc news page I see. World Cup is below the fold: http://imgur.com/c2mkpAkl.png

An ongoing, popular sporting event is always going to be higher priority than an election that is two days old and only minorly relevant to a UK audience (which the BBC serves).

That was my thought as well, there's always something "big" going on. IMO, it would be difficult, near impossible, to coordinate votes with events, going through the bureaucracy involved etc.

For several EU countries including Germany, the World Cup was already over as of this vote. Moreover, this vote happened precisely during a two-day "pause" before the quarterfinals in which there are no games. If the intention was to push this law while people were distracted with the games, whoever did that had rotten timing.

The point isn't that the vote itself was held in the middle of the World Cup, the point is that the time during which the public would have had informed itself about the issue and news coverage might have featured it overlapped with the time during which headlines are typically dominated by the World Cup.

This isn't unusual and it doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see a pattern. In fact, if you don't want too much public scrutiny, this is exactly what you would want to do. Actually Germany provides a good example for where this might work because historically Germany always made it past the group stage and Germans in general tend to follow their World Cup coverage fairly closely -- and it would have worked this time, too, hadn't it been for those meddling South Koreans.

Brexit was pushed through while loads of people from the UK that could have voted were in France at matches for the Euros.

why the downvotes?

Maybe david Cameron reckoned England football supporters would more likely to be pro-Brexit?

That doesn't make sense though... Because the plan was NOT to brexit.

Whoever ensured the referendum was in the Tory election manifesto certainly was planning on Brexit happening.

You don't pay millions in to Tory funds, employ MPs and give pensions to ex-MPs and not get your way.

Whose plan? Cameron's plan for sure, but it's not all that far fetched to believe he was ill advised and manipulated by his party (a lot of Eurosceptics in the Tory party). Ever watched Yes Minister? I know it's satire, but it's more than believable.

The leading faces of the Brexit movement--people like Boris Johnston or Nigel Farage--were completely caught off-guard by the victory. Cameron's decision to resign immediately after the referendum loss also meant that the Brexit negotiations would be completely owned by the Brexiteers, as they ran out of people who could be blamed if/when things go south.

What was desired by these leading anti-EU folks was not a victory, but a very close loss. They get to keep blaming the EU for every problem (useful, when the biggest gripe--immigration--was entirely under the control of the UK, not the EU). They get to demonstrate that they have too much support to be ignored, but they don't have the responsibility of actually enacting the agenda.

> why the downvotes?

I did not downvote you, but I think you are getting beaten because you brought up a potential hot topic (brexit) in a way that is unrelated to the discussion topic (copyright). The argument that parties could have been using similar tactics is IMO irrelevant even if true (and that is not clear to me either).

Brexit wasn't "pushed through". Everyone was pretty confident that they'll stay in the EU.

As I recall, there was a pretty even split amongst the population. Approximately half my friends wanted to stay, and half wanted to leave.

Which pretty much mirrored the actual result. It was very close.

When GP says "Everyone was confident", they probably mean that everyone in the government was confident.

That might very well be the case, but it was not quite portraited that way in the media for what I saw.

While many voting to move away never got the point that EU institutions currently located in UK, require to be in a EU country, so they are now moving away and their employees get to choose to search for job somewhere else or go along.

And the way things are going it's looking like Britain will be brexiting in name only.

That's the least worst option, but I'm still hoping that someone will join the dots and realise that giving up our vote and participation is a pointless idea and that we should just cancel it.

Well, from the point of view of UK's economy that would be the best solution but for the EU that could be bad in the long run. One good thing about the Brexit would have been that UK politicians could no longer blame the EU for everything. As it looks now, they will continue to find new, creative ways to make the EU the scapegoat for their mistakes.

You think so? AFAICT there isn't even such a proposal being negotiated, and it had better be ready for signing this year. BINO looks like it might fail through simple lack of time.

It will all be decided only at the last moment as is the custom for this sort of thing! (I hope)

.. but in the meantime businesses have to have their contingency plans in place, at considerable trouble and expense, which may include pre-emptively moving operations to the EU.

(But either all the current disorganisation is keyfabe or this lot couldn't plan their way out of a paper bag, which is going to result in us taking whatever we can get)

We can only hope. The alternatives are too dismal to contemplate.

And if you do contemplate them, you'll be accused of participating in project fear.

Project fear didn't go far enough.

With such laws as this, and giant cookie consent banners, I'm surprised Brexit wasn't/isn't more popular.

Edit: apparently I'm not surprised. Or not allowed to be.

The cookie consent banners were never really a requirement, more a band-aid for the advertising industry's continued surveillance.

As we've seen with GDPR, not being in the EU wouldn't actually help much with this because almost all websites would still want to sell into (or even be run from) the EU.

You shouldn't be surprised. It's not like the UK is taking a substantially different position on copyrights, and many UK consumers do welcome the protections afforded by GDPR.

The Labour MEP on the legal affairs committee voted in favor of the copyright directive. The conservative member abstained.

Best i can tell, copyright is a topic that allows up and comping politicians to virtue signal and/or for the economic powers that be to test the allegiance of rising political stars.

It is also a dry subject that most people don't care about until they get a sour letter from some lawyer because Timmy discovered bittorrent.

It is a dry subject, but make no mistake, this is not just a pet subject of individual MPs/MEPs.

The "value gap" argument used to justify the EU copyright directive is right there in the 2017 Labour manifesto: https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/labour-mani...

The conservatives have used similar but more general language as well.

Online privacy regulation restraining the non-consensual tracking of private individuals; impingement of widescale manipulation of the public via social media ... how awful for us all in Europe, eh?

How dare Europe even try and protect the rights of private individuals. /s

I didn't downvote you. But maybe other people have because of the huge difference between leaving a union of states and peoples (which has a lot of impact, e.g. freedom of movement and trade) and clicking on a banner which is slightly annoying at most.

I think HN is generally anti-Brexit, so the downvotes are likely to be expressing that opinion rather than any specific complaint about the post

> I think HN is generally anti-Brexit

As best i can tell, you can draw clear EU sentiments based on age and education. Younger and better educated are largely pro-EU as they are in a position to seek employment within the euro-sphere virtually at will (and may had friends all over thanks to various EU education programs).

Others have watched local industry either moving their activities abroad, or simply running a skeleton crew between contracts. And when a contract hits, most of the people working there may not even speak a language the locals understand.

Yes that may sound like racism, and the extremists can score some cheap points on it, but for the most part the issue is one of livelihood.

Where as previous generations could count on their industrial or service job to carry them through setting up a home and starting a family, now they can't. And they see the EU as the reason why by eroding their access to jobs.

I am always impressed by the support efforts to curb copyright expansion, as it relates to practical freedoms of expression, information and control over the internet. It's a nuanced issue, international and unrelated directly to any major political wing or ideology. So, the fact that it attracts a dedicated and effective activist base is both surprising and heartening. This for the "cause" least likely to get you laid.

Thank you to whoever is involved. You are fighting for me and I appreciate it. I'm going to make a habit of writing MEPs and generally getting behind you guys. I want my next comment on the subject to be in the first person (we).


I feel like we're at a real structural disadvantage. Copyrights (up generally) are under constant expansive efforts. Expanding rights. Expanding duratii. Expanding enforcement. Practical enforcement edforts that will result in dragnets (like this, now defeated proposal).

The saintly activists are working to defeat restrictions, but they can't win every fight. This proposal will be back, in modified form. It's a ratchet. Sometimes we don't lose. Other times we lose. There are no wins, just defense against loss.

For a practical example: YouTube is the biggest video site, and it does not honour fair use. You can't (easily, anyway) automate fair use detection, so it gets caught in the copyright violation dragnets. In practice this weakens fair use rights. I'm sure pressure from copyright holders played a role on YouTube's policy decisions.

Is there (or can there be) an activist effort that puts pressure on YouTube (just for example) to protect fair use rights, and freedom of expression generally.

Are there wins we can aim for? Is an effort to shorten copyright duration feasible? I think the economic argument is on our side, even if we accept the other side's premises. Is a fair use expansion campaign possible?

People need to lobby for laws protecting consumer interests. There just isn’t any large coporation willing to foot the bill here.

We need new business models for new media, which are not based on artificial scarcity. Then new media can afford to outspend old media. It's unfortunate that the current flag-bearers for new media are funded by advertising, rather than creativity and innovation unlocked by fair use and remix culture.

I hope efforts like the Dutch De Correspondent works out in the long run. I know readers that love their work and happily pays for it.


If you'd ask me personally I think Article 15 is far worse than Article 13. Computer programs are also copyrighted so this would make really hard time for anyone trying to maintain the business once it grows. If this is passed (if I understand this correctly) a subcontractor could sue you for extra money you gained on some of his contributions. It's like contracts no longer define how much you owe to people because everything may change if you succeed. How do you reinvest the money in such conditions? Do you hold some cash just in case someone pops up demanding more money?

I think that when you hire someone you are not:

  entering into a contract for the exploitation of the rights
because you are the of the rights yourself. The person you hired to write a program for you doesn't have any rights to it. That being said, the whole article is ridiculous. If it passes you will be on the hook for % of the profits you make possibly forever if you licensed any kind of work to run your business. Maybe they should add another article where you can apply to get some of your money back if you don't make or lose money trying to run your business.

Thanks for slightly optimistic reply in this regard. But I think it will all come down to how this will be implemented in member states (and I'm sure it will be far from common in EU), here where I live not all rights are transferred as part of the contract, some rights are non-transferable. Nevertheless it's scary how this is developing, I wonder who will be deciding about "fairness" of compensation, will it be courts deciding how much some services are worth... I wonder if UK will accept it, if not I'd expected lots of business moving there from EU.

"Work for hire" rights have been enshrined for a long, long time, and don't affect just software. It would affect every memo, marketing campaign, advertisement, or drawing made for pay. Something that would destroy the entire white collar economy would get fixed pretty fast.

Or, we could avoid breaking the economy while hoping that it can be fixed quickly.

Yes, the general impression is that proposal articles almost feel being written under somebody's dictation, for the benefit of a single market player.

perhaps it just means that you have to pay in equity.

As things stand right now insofar as I can recollect, copyright is inalienable in the EU. That is, in contrast to the US, you can't give it away. But that's fine in practice, because you can still grant an exclusive royalty-free license. Is article 15 changing that?

I believe you can still transfer copyright to somebody else in the EU. Only certain "moral rights" are inalienable.

I don't know of any copyright law in any country that provides a way to "destroy" copyright before its term has elapsed. In the US, it seems to be held to be possible by legal tradition.

Yes but public domain release usually requires government initiative in EU.

That's a load of nonsense, no idea where you picked that up, but you can assign copyright in the EU and it is written into contracts with contractors.

My bad; this might be specific to France (and some other countries) rather than the EU as a whole:



> L'auteur jouit du droit au respect de son nom, de sa qualité et de son oeuvre.

> Ce droit est attaché à sa personne.

> Il est perpétuel, inaliénable et imprescriptible.

I cannot find the text of article 15 anywhere online.

My comment was basing on this: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CEL...

But AFAIK they have already changed that and this text doesn't reflect the recent changes (it's the proposal of the comission AFAIK).

So don’t hire an EU contractor.

I have to say (and I am not a fan of modern copyright law at all) that I'm undecided about this law.

I guess the contrarian in me requires more analysis and reasoning than I've found in the top google search results or following some of the links posted here on Hacker News. In fact I'm aware that I often take positions based on disliking the presentation of arguments and this is a personal flaw.

But I have to say most of the pieces I read rub me up the wrong way by seemingly just repeating arguments from authority or presenting interpretations without any logical reasoning built on primary sources (i.e. the text of the directive).

Many of the pieces, even by respected sources, seem very click-baity where it seems there is competition to come up with the most apocalyptic claims. The directive will lead to the end of the internet itself seems to be the bar.

When I finally found a piece which actually quoted text from article 13, for example, it didn't seem to explicitly support many of the claims. Is there a mandate or even reference to upload filters in the text of the article? Does it reference memes at all? I'm happy to be correct if there is. But if there isn't, I don't see an obvious path from the primary text to these sort of claims.

The actual text of the article that I've seen quoted seems to simply codify the status quo that currently exists in nearly all countries. Which is that content aggregators are oblidged to cooperate with copyright holders to block copyright infringement. Google, youtube, eBay, etc., etc. have been doing this for years without "killing the internet". Don't all countries with copyright laws already provide legal mechanisms for holder to force content aggregators to remove infringing material?

If that's the case, then this is simply a typical EU directive - which just represents some sort of minimum standard based on the existing laws in the 28 countries.

As I said, I'm happy to be corrected if someone can provide an argument based on the text. Please reply with links or references instead of down voting :)

I would argue that controversial laws have to be at least delayed in order for all the points to be address.

I would rather not change anything instead of risking broken legislation that does more harm than good.

> Google, youtube, eBay, etc., etc. have been doing this for years without "killing the internet".

Google has the infrastructure and resources to do so with YouTube, going out of its way to detect copyright infringement and to react automatically to take down notices. Smaller players don't have Google's resources.

This is not the same issue as with GDPR. Even if companies need to invest resources in being GDPR compliant, it can be argued that business models relying on the ignorance of users are criminal enterprises and that GDPR-style consent should have been asked for without having a law for it, being common sense in a world where people don't understand the repercussion of their actions when using technology.

But copyright? That's a government granted monopoly and like all government granted monopolies it can do more harm than good. It can be argued that copyright is flawed, especially given the forever extending duration, currently being life plus 70 to 120 years, which is absolutely ridiculous. Give us 20 years, like patents and then we can discuss about extra protections otherwise fuck media companies lobbying for even more protections.

> > Google, youtube, eBay, etc., etc. have been doing this for years without "killing the internet".

> Google has the infrastructure and resources to do so with YouTube, going out of its way to detect copyright infringement and to react automatically to take down notices. Smaller players don't have Google's resources.

Worse, even Google sucks at it. There are so many original creators whose youtube video get slapped ads on because someone else used their music in a Youtube video before the original author did. Google wrote a fully automated, non-appealable copyright judge and jury. This is scary shit! I don't understand how anyone can look at stuff like that and think "wow, awesome, we need more of that!"

> Google wrote a fully automated, non-appealable copyright judge and jury.

And executioner. Because they remove accounts over this.

I'm not sure the analogy extends that far. Sure, Google auto-vaporizes accounts and that's terrible, but they'd do that too if they didn't have Content ID. It's not very related to copyright anymore, just to The Google Suck.

I am not a big fan of government meddling, but when companies are so crucial for so many people I am starting (maybe it's me getting older) to think it would be a good thing if there would be special rules made for companies like that. If 100s of millions of people use your product, it kind of be becomes a common good; I don't say it should be gov owned, but some law that they cannot, without recourse other than expensive trials which you won't win, remove something of yours and then not answer the phone. I know too many people who gambled on facebook, google, oracle(yes...) and others for their livelihood; invested their time and money into it just to get tossed out by a not very good algorithm. I am one of those, but in hindsight I am actually happy about it; it taught me never to have anything depend on any company where I cannot directly contact the CEO or CTO for business. It helps my current company a great deal to work like that; every company we work with, I can pick up the phone and call a c-level exec. Guess what; we almost never have to.

That's interesting! If I may ask, where do you host your email? And where do you hose your product? And do you use services like Intercom, GitHub, Basecamp, Trello, whatever?

Curious about your choices with stuff like this.

Like I said, I really dislike current copyright law as it exists in most countries, so you wont find me arguing in favour of extending copyright powers at all.

But article 13 does not seem to represent an extension of copyright powers since it looks weaker than any of the existing national laws.

> Google has the infrastructure and resources to do so with YouTube, going out of its way to detect copyright infringement and to react automatically to take down notices. Smaller players don't have Google's resources.

I've read this argument and it doesn't really convince me. Google and the rest run sophisticated copyright infringement detection not because they CAN or have the resources, they do it because they are obliged by US copyright law. The same US law applies to smaller players and it doesn't seem to have broken the internet in America. Try launching an app that allows streaming video torrents for example - even a teenager working from a bedroom has to comply if they are going to offer such a service.

> Google and the rest run sophisticated copyright infringement detection not because they CAN or have the resources, they do it because they are obliged by US copyright law.

No, they are not obliged to do so. The DMCA obliges people to remove infringement on request of the copyright owner, i.e., it requires that websites be reactive instead of proactive. This is notable because Content ID is actually more restrictive than what the DMCA requires (particularly with regards to fair use exceptions).

I suspect it's actually their contracts with music producers and large content providers that forced YouTube to implement these filters.

Some of these sites, like Google's Youtube, have made deals with copyright holders to do more than the law requires. In the US, a site only needs to take down user content in response to DMCA demands.

Perhaps this will help you understand why the somewhat obscure and guarded legal language in the proposal is interpreted the way it is: https://juliareda.eu/2018/06/article-11-13-vote/

The upshot (wrt upload filters) is that the proposal makes platforms directly liable for the actions of their users. This follows from the text in the proposal where hosting user content is defined as an act of communication to the public.

The specific issue with Article 13 is that it requires hosting services that allow user-uploaded content to be published to ensure that copyrighted content is not made available. The specific wording in the law is "non-availability". This is different from takedown mechanisms (that already exist) in that it requires the service to screen the content before the fact, or become liable for the content. The current situation is that the service is not liable for copyright infringement as long as they implement a takedown mechanism - that is, allow rightsholders to complain and have the content taken down. The new situation would be that the service becomes liable at the time of publication. This shift in liability is what constitutes the most significant change, and because there is no punishment for false positives (failing to publish non-infringing content) but there is a punishment for false negatives (failing to stop the publication of infringing content) this will lead to a chilling effect. If you run a service that allows users to upload any kind of content, you would become liable for their copyright infringements.

The talk about filters comes directly from Voss's (the law's author's) blog, where he explains the law and what is intended with it. There is a specific reference to google's content id as an example of the kind of measures services are expected to implement. In the law text these are refered to as "effective technologies". The specifics of how the filter is implemented is not exactly relevant in this case, but another aspect is - currently nobody except google has an implementation of this technology, and google's implementation has very bad recognition rates and is also easily circumvented. So if you run a service that allows user-uploaded content, you now either pre-screen each post manually, license a buggy filter from google, take the risk of being sued for something your users posted, or block user-submitted content entirely. The last one is the only option for things like small forums.

Reading specifically into the law's author's blog post about this, they state that if something is wrongly filtered, the recourse is attempting to force the service to accept the upload by taking them to court. Clearly this is not something you can do on a routine basis, so if your content gets wrongly identified as infringing (and of course automated systems cannot recognize parody, or remixes, or similar but unrelated content as non-infringing) you'll end up effectively prevented from posting it.

So yes, you're right that there are already mechanisms to take down infringing material. The added change in this law is that it makes publishing infringing material the point of liability, and so each service becomes responsible for all the content that its users post. This is the significant change.

Ok I'll look for Voss's blog.

Because, here is the full text of the infamous article 13 and there is nothing in it that I can read as "makes the publishing infringing material the point of liability": 1.Information society service providers that store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users shall, in cooperation with rightholders, take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders for the use of their works or other subject-matter or to prevent the availability on their services of works or other subject-matter identified by rightholders through the cooperation with the service providers. Those measures, such as the use of effective content recognition technologies, shall be appropriate and proportionate. The service providers shall provide rightholders with adequate information on the functioning and the deployment of the measures, as well as, when relevant, adequate reporting on the recognition and use of the works and other subject-matter. 2.Member States shall ensure that the service providers referred to in paragraph 1 put in place complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case of disputes over the application of the measures referred to in paragraph 1. 3.Member States shall facilitate, where appropriate, the cooperation between the information society service providers and rightholders through stakeholder dialogues to define best practices, such as appropriate and proportionate content recognition technologies, taking into account, among others, the nature of the services, the availability of the technologies and their effectiveness in light of technological developments.

You don't need to look for it, here's a link to the specific post I'm referring to: https://www.axel-voss-europa.de/2018/06/18/stellungnahme-zur... (it's in German, unfortunately)

Looks like the text has changed a bit since it was last in committee ("non-availability" changed to "prevent the availability") but in this case the issue is:

"[...] service providers [...] shall [...] take measures [...] to prevent the availability [...] of works or other subject-matter identified by rightholders [...]"

This is a bit technical but "shall" here has the legal effect of "are under obligation to". This is what makes responsibility for content a matter for the service provider, whereas previously the service provider was not required to prevent availability, only to take content down when requested. The current situation is that the USER is responsible for copyright infringement, and the service provider is not, for user-provided content, but the service provider has to respond to and act on takedown requests. This is what's being changed.

And "effective content recognition technologies" is what other people are referring to as "upload filters". This "content recognition technology" (which Voss specifies to be google's content id or something very like it) is given as an example, but there are no criteria here other than appropriateness and proportionality, which are not defined anywhere (is it proportional in terms of effort for the rightholder, the user, or the service provider?) and it's unclear what the alternative to said technology could be. Practically if it's your responsibility to prevent the availability of content you need to screen it before publication, either manually or automatically, and somehow allow rightholders to prevent its publication. This could mean comparing against a list of all copyrighted works, but that would cause difficulties in compiling such a list, keeping it up to date, and deciding how close a match it is. Voss, in his post, says that publishers will provide service providers with such lists, but the comparison operation itself is computationally heavy, especially for video, and also error-prone. It's also subject to abuse as anyone who claims to be a rightholder can effectively censor anyone else's content by putting it on said list. Youtube is the only implementation I'm aware of of such a technology, and their filter is terrible in terms of recognition, both in false positives and false negatives. The law as written effectively gives no alternatives to content recognition technology (are you going to manually check that everything everyone uploads is not on a large and growing list of works?). In the end, whatever implementation is picked, it will effectively prevent the publication of a large category of legitimate content.

Putting the matter of whether the whole thing is a good idea aside, it's also bad law, in that it's an unclear formulation of requirements that leaves a lot open. It leaves the question of what is appropriate and proportional to member states, and ultimately to the courts, because it doesn't specify any criteria. It gives a specific technical solution as an example but doesn't specify what makes it appropriate or not, making it, again, a matter for the courts to decide whether specific implementations are appropriate or not. It doesn't even specify what qualifies as "large amounts" of works.

Thank you for this very good summary. This is the most factual recount I've seen in numerous HN threads to date (which have been quite unhinged frankly). However I don't see how this forces content filtering. Service provider has to take responsibility for served content by having a process to help the complainant in the cleanup in contrast to just hiding behind users with a token “sorry for that, we'll now allow you to play hide and seek with them, sorry again”. Apart from shifting that burden, which I find reasonable, I see no difference to current mechanisms.

In particular I see no preventing publication, and the rightholder has to actively take part to indicate/identify the matter.

Beisde, the most recent text I see http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mo... is a wasteland. Articles 13a, 13b and 13c popped up into existence, article 13 got itself a point -1 (that's a minus one). No wonder the Parliament requested further work. Which is what it did contrary to misleading reporting of rejecting anything (in particular any of the articles specifically).

Also, the text functions in a whole context of European law and reuses lots of notions. For example who is a commercial service provider seems to be lifted directly from a law being in force since the year 2000.

Most European law is peppered with calls to scale and proportion you take issue with, and yet they exist and live on with little problem.

> In particular I see no preventing publication, and the rightholder has to actively take part to indicate/identify the matter.

Sorry, that's inaccurate.

The rightholder has to provide the service provider with a list of content and the service provider has to prevent anything on the list from becoming available. How do you propose to do this except by filtering content before publication? As soon as something that is infringing is published, the service provider is on the hook. So either you filter or you're in violation.

As a proposal of a proportional way to do the same without opening the door to active censorship, there could be a content identification system that identifies content to the rightholder on upload, and then allows them to file a takedown request. This solves the problem of automated blocking of misidentified uploads, and leaves room for fair use by the mechanisms of existing takedown claim and counter-claim processes. But that's not what the law requires - it requires preventing availability.

But I see no mention of lists, much less preventive lists. Yup, this is one of the possible mechanisms, but nowhere do I see it mandated as THE mechanism. For me it's business as usual just that now I fingerprint all files and maybe have a cron job for reuploads. I don't even see myself having to be accurate, just take care. I'm liable if negligent.

The most unfortunate thing I find about this is that's just a broad directive for each of the member states to implement its own way. But that's a general argument about every EU regulation.

The mention of lists is from Voss's blog post, where he says that the rightholders will provide inputs to the filters, and the filters will filter only what the rightsholders told them to filter (which is a problematic statement in itself, but I'll take it at face value because eh if the author of the law doesn't know what he's talking about I don't know where to start)

> This is a bit technical but "shall" here has the legal effect of "are under obligation to".

On legal technicalities, the article doesn’t impose on publishers the obligation to “prevent” the availability of copyrighted content, only to “take measures” toward that aim. The rest of the article further elaborates on the requirements and the process to define proportionate and appropriate measures.

Upload filter implements a proactive measure to avoid contents violating copyright.

It requires a lot of knowledge of the context and some pretty hard work of crossreferencing several legislative texts to really get to what's going on here, although I think that the text by Julia Reda does it justice pretty well.


In what follows, I'll say a bit about Article 11, because it's the part of the debate that I have been following more closely, and the one that I actually care about.

There is some context to this. This is a change that media corporations have been pushing for for many many years. When they did so at the level of national law in several European countries, they weren't quite as good as they are this time around at concealing their dark design. They basically came straight out and said: "We want to create an organization representing all of us in collective bargaining against the likes of Google. We want that organization to collect money from Google, compensating us for displaying headlines, webpage titles, and automatically generated summaries in search results and on Google news. And we want to change copyright so as to make it so."

Some of the legislative text that was passed around on the national level in several European countries, such as Germany, Austria, and Spain, actually made explicit mention of automatically generated summaries of copyrighted material, or use of copyrighted material by search engines and content aggregators etc.

In Germany, such a law actually entered into effect. Here is some more reading on that:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancillary_copyright_for_press_... http://www.taz.de/!5064771/ (in German)

Then Google set up an online platform that press publishers can use to declare that they are okay with Google continuing to use their stuff for free. Content by any press publisher that's covered by this ancillary copyright who has not entered into this agreement with Google then disappeared from the index.

Guess what happened next? Everyone signed the agreement.

So, it's essentially dead law now. It doesn't affect Google, as everyone signed the agreement. So far, the media aren't going after the smaller content aggregators, stepping lightly around the touchy subject, but it's certainly creating a lot of legal uncertainty for search engines and content aggregators who aren't Google.

But they're still hard at work, trying to make this into a "world revolution", the hope being that, one day, enough material will be subject to this ancillary copyright that Google will no longer be willing to lose all that content and therefore the threat of just taking it out of the index will have lost its sting.

Now about what's going on in Brussels: Back in September 2016, the Commission set up a draft for this new Copyright directive, which read pretty innocuously. It had an Article 11 that basically just said: "We want press publishers to be able to have some kind of a copyright in their material." From a U.S.-perspective, you probably wouldn't understand what this is even about, as, in the U.S., this has always been the way copyright worked. An employee would routinely say, in their employment contract, something along the lines of "for copyright purposes, my employer is the creator of any work I create" and that's that. In Europe, copyright is non-transferable. The only way you can be the creator of work is if you actually created it, e.g. an individual journalist or programmer, not a media or tech company. So, the way this article actually read was so as to imply that, for the special case of press publications, the Commission wants Member states to implement copyright to allow for stuff to happen that already routinely happens in the U.S. So it was fairly technical, uninteresting lawmaking.

Then, between September 2016 and now, secretive, intransparent, corrupt bullshit took place behind closed doors. A committee was formed. The committee voted in changes to the proposal of a Directive to be voted on in parliament. Nobody friggin new what the changes actually were, as a text wasn't published at the time the vote was taken. Then, on June 29th, leaving only three full workdays to when the draft directive was supposed to be voted on in parliament, they published the text, and did so in a completely unreadable format.

You have to read it as a meta-meta-meta-level document. The document wasn't law. It was changes to be made to a proposal about things that the Commission was going to force Memberstates to implement into law.

Where it previously said:

"Member States shall provide publishers of press publications with the rights provided for in Article 2 and Article 3(2) of Directive 2001/29/EC for the digital use of their press publications [i.e. with an ancillary copyright].""

It was now going to say:

"Member States shall provide publishers of press publications with the rights provided for in Article 2 and Article 3(2) of Directive 2001/29/EC [i.e. with an ancillary copyright] so that they may obtain fair and proportionate remuneration for the digital use of their press publications by information society service providers."

So, previously, you could have read it like this: Well, publishers are now going to have copyrights, but copyright is already pretty clear on hosting exceptions, quoting exception, etc., so nothing will change for search engines and content aggregators. Now that reading was definitely out! Now, the directive made it clear that this was going to be an ancillary copyright, an additional right that should have the effect that search engines, content aggregators etc should pay press publishers for something extra, something not already provided for under current copyright.

And Julia Reda makes the point, which, I believe, is very valid, that, since the proposal made it clear that this was going to be a new/extra right, it was not clear at all, that certain limitations that apply to copyright also apply to this ancillary copyright. In particular, Reda notes that, to be the creator of a copyrightable work, you need to create work that crosses some threshold of originality. But in order to enjoy this ancillary right, all you need to do is to be a press publisher. So this is the way, that, this time around, they snuck back in the idea of "A headline is not too short to enjoy protection", or "If Google shows the bits about our content that have the search term in it, with dots in between, that doesn't mean the content doesn't still enjoy protection" etc. etc.

Hope this was helpful in clarifying a few things.

Here is a link to the whole proposal:


You will probably need to search for a few formal definitions, but in my opinion it's relatively easy to understand.

The vote was worryingly close though:

    In favour: 278
    Against:   318
The pessimist in me can't see this getting rejected a second time :(

What I'm reading is that they'll mostly just adjust some part of this proposal until it does pass; whether Article 11 or 13 make it (which are the most controversial) then is to be seen.

Yet, I'm worried now that those articles were just ludicrous distractions for the real problem. That is, it shouldn't pass without those articles, but those that would oppose it normally would now vote in favor of it because "at least it doesn't have those articles anymore".

like how [politics] the current political climate and news coverage is pushing what used to be extreme-right standpoints more towards the more acceptable political middle. As in,"well at least we're not separating kids from parents anymore"[/politics]

"US Congress quietly slips cloud-spying powers into page 2,201 of spending mega-bill"[1].

Could the EU copyright law be slipped in the same way?

[1] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/23/cloud_act_spending_...

Technically: maybe. But the EU legislative process is very transparent (which is partially caused by the different legislative bodies that need to participate) and the European Parliament would probably not approve of such a hidden policy change.

Actually they did (in 2005) try to slip a vote on software patents in by scheduling it for an "Agriculture and Fishery" meeting. Luckily, they failed.


> pushing what used to be extreme-right standpoints more towards the more acceptable political middle


It's a political tactic used since at least Roman days.

Why can't we create copyright abolition proposal to do the same the other way?

Because you need funding (and popular support).

The only way to match the funding behind copyright increase is to appeal to the public, but the opposite lobby control the media which most of the public feeds on as if it were manna from heaven.

Reduce copyright to 15 years? B-but Mickey will die, and we'll be so poor at EvilMedia Corp. we won't be able to make any more Marvel or Star Wars.

Both copyright and patent should be reformed to have the same duration, 21 years (until you are replaced by your descendant's apprentices):

1. For copyright, these 21 years should be organised as 4-12yr granted (varying on the work, lack of registration meaning public domain by default) and renewable every six months with an exponentially increasing maintenance fee (first maintainance fee might be placed in the ballpark of £8192).

2. For patents, these 21 years should be organised as 3½ years after grant (this will encourage to file as soon as possible to get protection), renewable every 3½ years with an exponentially increasing maintenance fee (first maintainance fee might be placed in the ballpark of £1,048,576).

3. For sculptures and buildings, these copyright should cease one year after construction is completed, but with a limitation that protection not allowed to exceed 7 years in total.

Who do I vote for in order to make this happen?

In some European coutnries there is Pirate Party in the parliament. They are focused on fighting oppresive intelectual property and copyright laws.

> B-but Mickey will die, and we'll be so poor at EvilMedia Corp. we won't be able to make any more Marvel or Star Wars.

None of these are European, though. Should be easy to sell, especially now that UK is exiting.

And the route to proposing laws in the EU is ... ?

I have no idea. Probably buy a coffee to some europarliament member and talk to him about it.

Unlike the US Congress, The European Parliament cannot initiate legislation.


At least judging from the description on Wikipedia, the other articles seem mostly reasonable: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_on_Copyright_in_the_...

The text and data mining restrictions are anything but reasonable. Why on earth should there be an additional copyright for processing data automatically when you already have the right to process the same data manually?

This kills European AI startups or drives them away.

They're copyright exceptions, not restrictions, meaning you don't need a license to process copyrighted data for scientific research.

They are exceptions for research and restrictions for startups at the same time.

I don't get it. How is giving more rights to researchers restricting startups?

More rights compared to what?

What matters is that EU AI startups are more restricted than US startups.

I'm pretty sure US startups also have to respect copyright law when mining data on the internet?

The U.S. has Fair Use, which adapts to novel cases. The EU has enumerated exceptions to copyright.

As a simple example ripping a CD is tortuous in the UK. It was briefly allowed for format shifting, but that was deemed too antithetical to capitalism, or some shit.

Schools have to have PRS (songwriters) and PPL (musicians) collection agency licenses if they have TV because the license they pay for TV doesn't cover the music "performamce" eg of an adverts soundtrack.

Individual solo workers can't listen to a radio at work unless they're unable to be accessed by the public.

You can time-shift a TV show (say), but you're only allowed to watch it alone, and you can't watch it twice.

UK is draconian in the extreme.

Personally I'd favour a 15 year term, and only for works that have an identical un-protected copy lodged with a central agency (at a high cost), or are DRM free. Transfer/download rights for copies bought on streaming services; format shifting, relaxed time-shifting, more educational use rights, etc..

Of course they do, but US startups are facing far fewer restrictions on mining data published in their home market.

Large internet companies like Google and Facebook will face even fewer restrictions because they have the clout to force economically viable terms on publishers.

EU needs reason for having more bureacrats. More regulations - more bribery, more people involved - diminished responsibility. I am glad UK decided to pull the plug just at the right moment.

The UK has two members on the legal affairs committee. The Labour member voted in favor of the copyright directive. The conservative member abstained.

There is very little chance that the UK will have substantially better rules than the EU post Brexit.

Have you read it? It's pretty reasonable without those articles.

It is a shame people don't even question if that was necessary at all...

As a side note, I've spent quite some time calling the offices and sending individually personalised e-mails to most of the PPE abstain voters. I guess normally they would've voted in favour. Maybe it's possible to have some small effect in the end?

A special award goes to a Slovenian NGO for making this hilarious vote tracking page:


Yes. Where can one see who voted what? We have European elections coming up soon, I'd like to use this vote to inform mine.

page 7 of this has the details of who voted what. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2f...


We said the same about software patents.

The realist in me can't imagine the outrage will be any smaller the next time they try to pass it.

Yes, and the breakout by party is disturbing too.[0]

Greens, Regionalists, Pirate, Left and Eurosceptic Populists were strongly against, but only have 120 votes total. Eurosceptic Conservatives and Liberals were mostly against, but only have 124 total. Social Democrats (167) and Far Right (32) split evenly. And Far Right (177) were strongly in favor.

I'm guessing that Eurosceptics are mainly against more EU laws. And that it's largely Social Democrats that have the votes to pass a weaker version.

0) https://twitter.com/Senficon/status/1014914337763418112

That's the democracy in the EU - things get voted until there is desirable outcome.

I think that current implementations of update filters are not ready and satisfactory to make internet a better place, thus I am glad that it is rejected for now.

When youtube content id matches 10 seconds of black screen as a copyrighted material, it shows that these systems are nowhere near production ready.

I am all for fair use and credits when it comes to creators getting paid for what they deserve but, when you need couple of lawyers to dispute something as a student on internet against enterprises, then freedom and equality of Internet disappears.

> I think that current implementations of update filters are not ready

There's no one filter nor any way to do this. YouTube designed and implemented a system. Some other sites might have their own design. Most have nothing.

Try to think about what's needed to create something like a filter. It's quickly obvious that it's a massive undertaking (expensive). If I'd be Google, I'd actually be happy with a strict law as YouTube has a filter. All other competitors would immediately have a huge disadvantage.

Note: I quite like Formula 1 and I've noticed that people quite easily get around the YouTube filter. They make the video a bit smaller, add some moving stuff around it and they're done. This while the filter blocks valid use cases.

Interesting how The Guardian are choosing to report this: "YouTube and Facebook could escape billions in copyright payouts after EU vote" https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/05/youtube-c...

I think they're right to point out that there are corporate interests on both sides, but I also think they're doing the public a disservice by failing to mention the effect on smaller companies and even on regular internet users.

...listening to BBC Radio 6 today, I was pretty shocked about how they only portrayed it in a positive light. Their spin was that it's all about making sure YouTube can no longer pretend they're not benefitting from copyrighted material being uploaded illegally, and how Paul McCartney thinks that's a great thing for artists.

Radio 4's Today show had Jimmy Wales and William Orbit on with Justin Webb (08:32 GMT). Rory Cellan-Jones introduced it pretty well as the Beeb's Tech correspondent. Their thoughts, roughly summarised: copyright is good as creators need to get paid; mandatory upload filters aren't going to work and will certainly be a barrier for smaller players. Generally an excellent discussion. Wales said we needed to look at how artists are being paid by, for instance, Google but as they already have upload filters in place this isn't useful leverage.

You can listen here. Just skip to 2:33 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b85mct#play

Hint: BBC is media. They'll be benefited by the change, supposedly.

They prefer to screenshot and summarise other media.


The only long term solution is to create law that scuttles these kinds of articles in the future. When you play on the defensive you are leaving the definition power to the copyright lobby.

What are precedent laws or legal principles that adopted this approach, in any country, for copyright or licensing?

e.g. trade agreement, national constitution, fair use, orphan works, compulsory licensing, RAND licensing, creative commons, public domain, freedom of speech, freedom of information act, right to know, accessibility for blind/deaf, access by libraries and archives, educational use, citation rights, remix models, national incentives for creativity and innovation, ...?

The fundamental problem is that EU law can basically ride roughshod over existing member laws undoing decades of organic law creation in each member country. This means that you have to kind of pass those laws at the EU level to ensure they don't get wiped out by something like article 11 and 13.

An interesting experiment would be for a group of EU countries to agree on a modern innovation/copyright regime, for which they would prioritize national enforcement resources.

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