This is the most hilarious quote in the article. The only thing this will do is entrench massive players like Google and Facebook who already have these systems in place. I honestly cannot comprehend how anyone could support this law while having any understanding of how the internet works. Do these politicians really not understand the awful implications of these filtering systems for free speech and fair use? Just look at the abuses that already happen with the existing systems and now we have to spread this across the entire web, absolutely insane.
A truly sad day for the future of a free internet in Europe.
> is intended to give publishers and papers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories
So Google should pay you when they send you more traffic? More traffic = more money. Most companies would be overjoyed if someone sends them free business. Google and countless others even provide tools like Adwords so you can monetize your site if you can't figure out how to do it yourself.
I wonder how long until companies outside of Europe decide it's easier just to block all traffic from Europe in protest.
This is a weakening of safe harbor provisions. This law makes it extremely difficult to have a platform with any kind of user generated content. As long as a company is taking reasonable measures to combat piracy, hate speech, etc, they need to be granted indemnity from the actions of rogue users.
Exactly this. I already hit error 451 when trying to read some local news in US when browsing from Europe (I don't remember name of the page now). This happened after GPDR came into effect.
I can totally relate with companies who don't want to deal with legal mess related with GPDR and other nonsense from EU an prefer to just show the user error 451 page.
I'm pretty sure VPN providers and huge companies like Google will benefit from this legislation.
Many US newspapers now redirect to tronc.com for a standard disclaimer.
For example, the LA Times redirects to http://www.tronc.com/gdpr/latimes.com/, which says this.
Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.
The Frederick News Post of Frederick, Maryland does this.
Whats happening in real i think is that EU realized it will never be able to chop Google or Facebook in pieces so they make it harder for these companies to exist on local market. At the end of the day free market still rules in Europe - if Facebook disappears their hole will be quickly filled in with 20 other social networks “made in European Union”.
EU laws already cover EU companies as a matter of domicile.
GPDR only applies the rules of service delivery already present in EU.
EU service delivery rules say that a service is delivery point is considered the place where the service consumer is, not where the provider is domiciled.
YouTube regularly blocks fair-use videos (remixes, criticism, etc) because the automated filter finds something that matches and can't recognize context.
Google regularly gets DMCA takedown requests for search results that go to official websites and YouTube ads/trailers.
My Facebook feed is covered with old acquaintances sharing news links and other such content.
It seems like it would be really easy for Facebook to run afoul of this, just due to others' incompetence.
Mark my words: if this were enforced, people and most companies would simply stop linking these sites. What I think will happen instead is that many websites would not want this kind of situation, so we will add a new clause to the robots.txt permitting linking and small snippets, and most websites would enable it rather than lose the link and search traffic. Then we'd be back where we started.
By the way, what happens when an European newspaper is hosted in US? What laws apply?
Maybe search engines could adopt some sort of standard that would allow pages to provide their desired description using meta tags if they don't want an automated summary. I could see a problem with pages using dishonest summaries, but perhaps that could be addressed by penalizing the page rank if the provided summary is too different than the summary that Google would have generated.
They believe what their wealthy donors tell them to believe. It won't affect the well connected politicians in any measurable way, they'll still be wealthy. Meanwhile, independent organizations will suffer while the big players get all the sweet licensing deals. Regulations are ALWAYS about punishing the smaller firms to make the barrier to market entry prohibitively expensive.
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
I guess it’s true that some people in positions of power view themselves as rules over others, but I always thought that most people here in the western world held the view that the government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Is this not the case?
There is plenty of things the government can spend their time on that is actually beneficial to its people, including:
- Regulating industry where necessary to protect employees and the public from harm; physical, economical, psychological, privacy, or otherwise.
- Negotiate with other countries so that mutually beneficial agreements are reached with regards to import and export of goods, as well as immigration, emigration and travel relating to the exchange of labor forces.
- Creating and enforcing laws for how the public is allowed to act so as not to cause harm. Things like laws that prohibiting DUI etc.
- Coming up with ways to protect and help people that get sick or have permanent illnesses or handicaps, to ensure that everyone can have quality of life.
That is what government should be about, not about control for the sake of control itself.
You can say that it exists to serve people but then you have to say which people exactly :) Because I think the willingness of the government to serve people is directly proportional to the depth of the pockets of the people in question.
This just isn't true. The rest is garbage in, garbage out.
But there are many, many lobbyists active in the EU, and some of them have a surprising amount of influence over politicians. There has even been a case where two different parties, independently from each other, introduced the exact same bill, which had been written by a lobbyist.
There's lots of dark international money slushing around out there that happens to make it into someone's wife's friend's company.
The leverage they use is their relationships with other politicians to engage in vote trading.
In the current case this is done because the industry interest groups backing the legislation are predominantly European content rights owners. Whereas the interest groups opposing the legislation appear mostly organised by non-EU groups, and therefore thus are less of a concern for EU legislators, and potentially don’t have the same kind of immediate access to them.
Some do, some don't. But in some ways that's not the motivation behind these laws.
There's a growing power struggle between Silicon Valley tech companies and government. Governments are losing control and they are lashing out. We're going to see a lot more of it in the future as governments lose more and more control.
I was doing a web development gig in a southern US state back in 1998, and the manager was completely of the mindset that you had to ask permission to link somewhere. For some people who don't get it, this is their natural mindset.
For other people, the whole point is to work against free speech and fair use, in order to control the public.
Not exactly. Small and micro platforms are excluded from directive’s scope.
From legislation: In particular, small and micro enterprises as defined in Title I of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, should be expected to be subject to less burdensome obligations than larger service providers. Therefore, taking into account the state of the art and the availability of technologies and their costs, in specific cases it may not be proportionate to expect small and micro enterprises to apply preventive measures and that therefore in such cases these enterprises should only be expected to expeditiously remove specific unauthorised works and other subject matter upon notification by rightholders
As to what small is, Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC Article 2.2 states:
Within the SME category, a small enterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 50 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed EUR 10 million
All this does is to put a token nod in place that we don't want to kill the SMEs outright but once they grow enough to be "dangerous", they better start paying or else. And if they can't, tough luck ...
No, this means that when you get over 10 mil euro, then you have enough money to pay for third party solution to content filtering. This costs couple of thousands a month and you are covered. You don't need to create your own ContentID platform to comply with the law.
It will also speed up development of a new web which is impossible to regulate. So I rejoice. When they block entire services for days, I cry in joy. A 10 days blackout is what we need...
People communicating very freely has presented many challenges to those same politicians.
Forcing liability makes a choke point, and better control.
At least China is completely overt about these things. That is not a statement of support, quite the opposite. It is a statement as to how weasely politicians are about these things. They want a lot more control, and people want a greater check on authority.
I can't help but notice strong self interest factors in play here.
What's happening here is the EU is seeing every other major power lock down their internet, so why would they leave theirs open which would also allow foreign meddling?
Additionally the tech megacorps are trying to claim that they are open platforms and so shouldn't be responsible for user posted data while censoring and removing user posted data when it suits their economic means.
I'm a proponent of free speech, but the internet stopped being a bastion of free speech year ago. It's crazy to think that the EU was going to sit their and let companies do what they please, when those same companies we're already preventing users/EU citizens from doing so
It's easy to be trite, but it doesn't change the fact that foreign companies and governments were taking advantage of the EU while simultaneously having a different set of rules at home for EU companies. I think the EU overreacted her, hut it's hardly surprising that they had some sort of response
I think arguing over who has the most censored internet or the worst corporations is probably starting to veer off topic.
I think its all stemming from the same response as a portion of people who voted for Trump, or why the GPDR was enacted. The status quo was being abused by the major players and now they are going to do _something_ to shake up the system. Whether their approach is the right thing to do is up for debate
2. Forcing social media firms to delete specific kinds of content is another (albeit controversial) example.
3. Redacting all info about Saudi involvement in the 9-11 reports is a great example of censorship under the pretext of national security.
4. The SESTA/FOSTA bills are a recent (but again somewhat controversial) example.
5. Plenty of movies have been censored. One can easily google examples of this.
6. Many works of music too. Just ask the rappers.
7. Forbidding swear words in public/recorded speech is/was a great example. Although it is also an example of self-censorship among Americans.
All of your other examples involve private censorship (which can be rephrased as "people and companies exercising their property rights and freedom of association"), not government censorship.
Definitely an example of mandated censorship, corruption, and maybe some kind of conspiracy. Maybe protecting politicians' and Saudi's interests at everyone else's expense. Even if it kills a bunch of us. If that's how they use the power, they don't deserve to have it.
"4. The SESTA/FOSTA bills are a recent (but again somewhat controversial) example."
Where exactly is that private censorship?
Who do you think has their arm up the politicians' ass and making them talk?
They know exactly what they're voting for, and say whatever is necessary to convince everyone that they're working to protect their constituents.
At least in the US, the vast majority of our politicians have graduated from prestigious law schools and passed the notoriously difficult BAR exam. Unless politicians on the other side of the pond are somehow primarily composed of MUCH dumber people, they're probably similarly intelligent.
They know what they're voting for, and they pretend to be totally ignorant to the "scary new world" of tech so they get a free pass on voting in dumb shit laws like this.
These are the same politicians that brought us the law that forces every website to ask EU visitors permission to store cookies with a big fat modal dialog, so I don't think you need to worry that people who any understanding of how the internet works supported this law. Imagine all the time wasted on those modal dialogs and add up the total cost in human lives. I bet none of them have any clue that the functionality to block cookies is built right into your web browser.
The funny part is that they're doing this copyright law out of jealousy of Silicon valley and they don't realise that these types of regulations and attitudes are the very reason why Silicon valley is not located in the EU, and why the next Silicon valley won't be either, and that this law will make it harder for new companies to compete with Youtube and Facebook.
No it doesn't. For example
Does not have any such dialog
How do I know? I don't. Maybe it does track users. But the website was used as a counter example to "forces every website", and a hypothetical news.ycombinator.eu which doesn't track users or keep any PII on them (conceivable by any reasonable person) is acceptable as a counter argument.
The point stands. GDPR doesn't force anything. It just prevents you from tracking people silently.
Exactly. The only thing that every EU-based website should have is a data protection statement. The one on my blog is short and stout:
> No system under my control records any personal data of users of this website.
I also have an imprint because German law requires it. The regulation is clearly aimed at businesses, for private websites it just makes doxxing easy since I'm required to put my post address on there. (I considered getting a PO box, but going to the post office to empty it is pretty tedious.)
GMAFB, nobody is dying because they're being asked to consent or refuse cookie tracking. If you are worried about that then why haven't I see you complaining about the modal dialogs and umpteen other other impositions inflicted upon users by marketing departments?
Real regulations about this stuff require real technical expertise, and it's going to be at least a generation before that expertise exists in the political class. The alternative is to let the tech lobby write the regulations, but booooooooo.
They do, and free speech and fair use are important issues to them.
The German law that is related to what US citizens call "copyright law" (Urheberrechtsgesetz) (note that I use this careful formulation, since Urheberrecht and copyright are based on different ideas) has no concept of "fair use".
Also, traditionally, in Germany, there is culturally a different understanding of what US citizens call "free speech" (freie Meinungsäußerung).
"Freie Meinungsäußerung", for example, does not include defamation criticism or libel.
So free speech in the US sense is no important issue for these politicians, because this concept is simply not ingrained in German culture.
To all the US free speech advocates: why is posting a copyrighted file in the internet not considered free speech and thus copyright law is to be abolished?
The Congress shall have Power To... ...To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
Congress shall make no law... ...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
So it's implied (by the constitution not being tautological) that there's a balance between the right of the people (free speech) and an power of congress (to implement copyright). Note also that that defamation/libel are not protected by the first amendment, but the theshold for proving it is high - information has to be known to be false to the speaker, and inflict an actual injury. For public figures and politicians, the speaker has to have "actual malice". These are not often proven. For example, "sell more newspapers" would not rise to the level of "actual malice".
The legal argument for that, rather, is that all rights are implicitly limited, and that, depending on how important the right in question is, how small the limitation is in scope, and how important the social objective that the limitation is intended to enable, it can be constitutional - with courts being the arbiters of what's important and what's small. The fact that the colonies had slander and libel laws on the book even as they passed the Constitution is often cited as a justification for this point of view.
I think it's a case of parallel construction. The original First Amendment was not a problem to libel and slander because it simply didn't apply to the states at all, only the federal government, same as all others until they were incorporated via 14A. It does, however, clearly conflict with copyright, and there's nothing in the text of the Constitution that resolves that conflict one way or the other, or even sets clear guidelines on how you'd do so. So what we have in practice is mostly judicial precedent - and most of it is constructed out of necessity to make things work (i.e. "we've always done it this way", or "bad things happen if we don't do it this way"). So you have a patchwork of concepts like fair use, creative expression etc.
The most convincing argument that I have heard is that freedom of speech is about freedom to express ideas, not freedom to use specific words to express those ideas. Since copyright only applies to the latter, it's not an infringement. I'm not sure I fully buy it, but it does highlight an important distinction. Stuff like fair use stems from that, to enable you to express an idea that's criticism of someone else's words.
Here's an interesting read on the subject:
Like so much of Anglo-American law, Free Speech and Freedom of the Press is an application of the fundamental concept of Due Process of law. One facet of Due Process says that the government cannot single out individuals, groups, or specific types of behaviors unless there's a compelling reason and the targeting is necessary. All laws should be generally applicable and targeted to addressing identifiable harms, on the one hand, or achieving some broader policy objective on the other.
A.V. Dicey's 19th-century treatise on the British Constitution said that there was no need for an independent doctrine of Free Speech or Freedom of the Press because British law never had (at least, not in the then-recent history) and never would attempt to suppress speech as speech, or to single out newspapers as such. Libel, defamation, copyright and other so-called limitations on Free Speech aren't limitations at all because Free Speech isn't about freedom from the consequences of speech or prohibiting the government from remedying ill effects of speech or restricting them from activities that may incidentally limit speech. Those so-called limitations apply equally to everybody, so how could they operate to suppress particular ideas, opinions, or methods of communication? Likewise, Copyright doesn't favor anyone or any idea in particular, so it's not injurious to Free Speech, either.
So why did the Americans feel the need to singularly identify Free Speech and Freedom of the Press? Because continental Europe, and France in particular, had a history of laws that specifically and more strictly regulated the press, and regulated or prohibited particular opinions and ideas. Singling out Free Speech and Freedom of the Press was a way to explicitly reject the continental European approach. Remember, many colonists expressed the view that the enumeration of these and other rights in the Federal and State constitutions was, technically speaking, unnecessary because they were, strictly speaking, already protected by traditional legal doctrines and by the structures of government. The Bill of Rights was a boots & suspenders approach to constitutional law making.
None of this is to say that Parliament didn't pass laws that had the effect of limiting free speech. But how they did so mattered. Note that Free Speech and Freedom of the Press rights were also expressly put into many State constitutions. For well over a hundred years States regularly passed laws that heavily suppressed speech, but they were almost always upheld by State courts because the laws were expressed in terms of general applicability. In modern terminology they were "facially neutral", and there didn't exist a theory of judicial power that permitted courts to look beyond the face of the laws. (At least, not a theory that was widely held or that was thought useful to apply to speech issues.) And courts were far more credulous of State arguments that their laws were trying to prevent violence and mobs.
It wouldn't be until the 20th century that legal interpretations began to shift. Justices Brandeis and then Holmes propounded a novel (even radical) theory of Free Speech which demanded stricter scrutiny of laws and their effect on speech. It's adoption and application by SCOTUS has unfolded over the past nearly 100 years. This process continues today; scrutiny of laws effecting speech has become stricter and stricter every decade, even every year it seems. Moreover, what constitutes speech has expanded dramatically.
Make no mistake: Free Speech as understood in America today, and as defined by modern jurisprudence, is absolutely not an originalist interpretation of the constitution. If you like your modern Free Speech rights (as I do), don't thank the Founders; thank Brandeis and Holmes and their judicial activism.
Germany has "Urheberrecht" and "Verwertungsrecht", neither of which is exactly copyright, even though that's the most practical translation of either. German law may not have fair use, but it does have §51 UrHG "Zitate", which serves the same purpose, at least in the context of reporting on news articles.
> So free speech in the US sense is no important issue for these politicians
The Eurocrats do not want free speech to establish itself in the EU. That's very important to them.
There is indeed an exception for quotes (Zitate) and parodies (for the latter cf. https://www.ferner-alsdorf.de/urheberrecht__urheberrecht-zur... since it is not written down explicitly in the law). But, for example, memes fall into neither category and are thus typically illegal under German law, but legal under US copyright because of fair use.
Sure, there are limitations to it, e.g. denying the Holocaust or using Nazi symbols in Germany, and with regards to defamation. But otherwise just about any opinion can be voiced freely. Thid doesn't mean that thios particular EU law is any good, it just screams big media corporation lobbyism all over it. And yes, this implies some future potential limitations to free speech,l either by technically limiting the reech of smaller players (regardless of what the law states) and by giving governmants a tool to keep things of the internet. Especially the last part is troubling.
Free Speech doesn't mean having the right to say bad things about the government. It means having the right to say anything you want.
It's delusional to think that the U.S. has unrestricted free speech, or to think that "free" implies completely "unconstrained".
>Free Speech doesn't mean having the right to say bad things about the government. It means having the right to say anything you want.
This is a strawman. No EU country restricts free speech to speech criticizing the government.
...but perhaps if instead you offered a compelling argument to the counter?
The EFF has laid out a lot of reasons this is problematic, and they are very familiar with the situation.
Having one hour to remove offending content, draconian fines and no, absolutely no exceptions for small content providers would, I think, end the internet as we know it in Europe. I see no way to host any kind of content under such jurisdiction and surely all non European content providers would just block the EU rather then take on a task that even giants like facebook and google can barely manage.
Why the EU specifically? I'd say, most states and groups of states have this attitude nowadays.
Commenting narrowly on just the EU implies nothing, in any way, shape, form, or manner, about other entities.
As far as the one-hour-rule goes; if I get an email about taking down content at 01:00AM, then I will naturally be unable to respond for atleast another 5 hours, German courts atleast agree that for such things, it counts when you are first aware of the illegal/infringing content, even if it's weeks after (though you already have an obligation to operate a contact through which you can be quickly reached when you operate in germany atleast, IIRC this proposal will introduce that EU-wide which is good IMO).
This implies that you are going to have to go to court because you got an email at 1am and didn't reply right away...in order to fight off potentially serious fines. Whether it's accurate or not it's still very expensive to prove it's inaccuracy (in time alone, not including financially and stress).
This has very serious consequences for small and even medium businesses.
No it doesn't, it means that if you get dragged to court because you got the email at 1AM and you were asleep, then you're not guilty of anything.
No judge will put up a fine for that.
Getting dragged to court is disruptive, unsettling and expensive.
Most of EU has judges that are interested in a just resolution, not just being "an independent arbiter" of two researchers.
What? No you can’t. Is this entire thread disclaimed by your “sometimes I lie” line in your profile description?
This all sounds quite lucrative for the lawyers and notaries. It remains disruptive, unsettling and expensive, not to mention unnecessary, for everyone else. Depending on which of the EU’s 28 member states’ courts one finds oneself dragged into, what you’re proposing could be years of distraction.
Nobody will do this, no sane legal department signs this off or approves of such behavior. Doing otherwise is a great way to incinerate their legal licenses. There are fines for behavior like that.
The best outcome for the suing party of such a scenario is a 5 minute court room appearance in which the judge slaps you with a restraining order and closes the case.
This has literally never been an escalating problem in european courtrooms to my experience because judges don't like that behavior and laws exist to prevent it.
In theory, there are. In practice, the abuse of both copyright and offensive content notifications is rampant and almost never punished. You have to get to real hardcore crime on massive scale before judicial system starts noticing, and even then it can take years and a lot of effort to get it to do anything. In most cases, such abuse is completely unpunished or gets slap on the wrist.
Dubious. The other lawyer will claim they believed you had read the complaint and therefore that they were acting in good faith, and will see no punishment at all.
Or I just ban Tor users from creating reports, I'm not forced to enable abuse, if they have an actual complaint they can use their real internet connection. End of story.
If you are on holiday at that time, the court will in almost all cases instruct the other party to wait until you return at which point you can respond to the C&D.
> No judge will put up a fine for that.
You're contradicting yourself...you have to go to court to get charges dropped by a judge.
This could happen 100x (or even thousands) for any mid-sized content platform. Most of these things are automated these days.
Besides there's no guarantee the parties will automatically act rationally and drop the claims of infringement before threatening court, merely because you claim you were sleeping. And you specifically said a judge won't pursue it, but even that is a maybe.
As mentioned multiple times, if they did this the judge would simply deny the entire fine and suit and they'd have to pay you damages and they'd likely receive a cease&desist order from the court.
You must inform parties of violations and allow for adequate time to react to them. Sending an email is already a nono for legal notices as there is no guarantee that the other party even received the mail properly.
The only way to properly and legally verifiably send them is to have a write-in mail which the receiver must sign with their signature before receiving. For everything else you might as well send money in an envelope ahead of time.
This is not a mere fact this is established procedure.
>Besides there's no guarantee the parties will automatically act rationally and drop the claims of infringement before threatening court, merely because you claim you were sleeping.
That's not what I've been saying, I've been saying that the infringement still needs to be dealt with but you can obviously not react when you are asleep.
In practice though, most of EU gov-burocracy, incl. courts, prosecutors, statisticians, taxation, food-control, cultural/educational, whoever, esp. in recently-joined former-this-or-that countries, exist mostly in order to make work to each other = i.e. support/keep the whole system. Sadly, that is the reality.
And yes, they may charge u of (inexisting) offense (and even without sending u email), if that has any chance of putting oil in the cogwheels for some years. No matter what, the state does not lose.. it just somebody's nerves and taxpayers money wasted, but who cares.
>it just somebody's nerves and taxpayers money wasted, but who cares.
Courts in the area I live in tend to dislike such behavior a lot.
That mostly doesn't operate like that, even in US.
If you take it to court and the court finds the complaint invalid then they can (and usually do) force the party that sent the C&D to pay your expenses and damages (ie, lost business due to you having to turn up to court) and usually a restraining order with hefty fines on it.
Atleast in germany it is expected that disputes are resolved via C&D and letter correspondence, court is a last resort.
To my knowledge, the court system in other countries varies but is not that different...
Agreed. It was a much better place.
Web 2.0, [...] refers to World Wide Web websites that emphasize user-generated content [...]
So while in the beginning most users were also authors, there was a time between when there were a lot of websites which served content, but didn't let users add theirs. At that time guestbooks were to only place you could add content to someone elses website. To some degree message boards where the start of the Web 2.0.
One way to ensure your citizen don't read them "foreign propaganda websites".
The law is specifically for big media publishers with huge legal support to increase bycatch IP enforcement in a broad manner.
It will improve absolutely nothing and is in general a bad law that has a huge potential to seriously hurt innovative content creators.
And I don't think that sticking it to fly-by-night operations is a socially desired outcome. That is heavily in opinion-land and I simply disagree.
Any "innovative content creator" that uses large chunks of other people's content, is by definition not innovative and not a creator.
As far as it goes... EU laws typically follow the rules that require express permission with the right to take away that permission.
If you want Google to index you, you are free to put up an explicit permission.
Let's say, a small player allows their users to make a copyright statement with the "proof of original content" (not necessarily 100% valid, just something like "I, Max Mustermann, confirm that this work is my original content produced on 13.09 in Berlin..."), possibly, automatically. This statement will identify copyright holder of the content and mark it valid, since copyright holder himself uploaded the content. This may (but not necessarily will) mean that other filters/copyright checks may not be executed, because the platform allows the participation only of original content creators.
One more option (assuming that the national law will take amendment 149 into account) is to implement a filter as an API call to the server designated by the right holder and expect the claim/"no infringement" response with some reasonable timeout (1 sec) and detailed response in extended time frame (10 min). It's a cheap "now it's your problem" solution, that might actually be allowed.
Maybe I’m just sleepy, but is this supposed to be sarcasm?
...the EFF argue that the idea of what constitutes a link is not fully defined. I'm not sure what they're talking about. Recitals 31-36 set out the concepts in article 11, fairly clearly. They make it clear that what is being protected is substantial or harmful copying of significant portions of the text. They also make it clear what organisations this will affect - press organisations - with a fairly clear description of what a press organisation might constitute. (FWIW, memes are not covered, and anyone you hear talking about "banning memes" is getting their news from very poor sources.)
You can read the recitals this commenter is describing here, including the latest amendments that were voted in the Parliamentary plenary. As you'd imagine, I disagree with his interpretation.
Firstly, these are just recitals. They're not a binding part of the Directive, they just lay out the justifications for the law.
If you do read the listed recitals, they mention links once, and don't define the term at all. When they do, the context is that "the act of hyperlinking" is not protected (ie the new ancillary right does not explicitly cover the act of hyperlinking).
This is an attempt to refute an argument that no-one is making (though the language echoes a previous fight that rightsholders are still pursuing, which is links to infringing content should be punished as strongly as hosting content itself. That's what the "communication to the public" is about, and has been ongoing, but that's another story.)
The concern over Article 11 isn't that it would criminalise linking to a news item; it's that if you use any text of an article, including its title, you can be sued or made to sign a license. Such snippets of text are usually used when linking to a news article, especially when you're doing it automatically, so that's where the threat to linking to stories.
A couple of other things to note in these amendments. One of the earlier arguments as to why Article 11 isn't so bad we heard is that there are already exemptions in copyright for quotation and critical review. We argued that under EU law, these exemptions are entirely optional at the national level, and news publishers will lobby to limit the effect of them on this new IP right. If you look at the amendment for Recital 34, this is now being explicitly set up to happen: the Recital now says that member states can apply these exceptions, instead of should.
Just because the recitals aren't law, doesn't mean you can't use them to better understand the motives and justifications of the drafters.
As others have noted, the "banning memes" line is about Article 13. An amendment proposed by a Parliamentary committee to create a "fair use"-style exception for user-generated content, specifically to protect remixes and memes, was struck down in today's vote.
By contrast, an entirely new provision that gave organizers of sports events complete ownership of the IP rights to their games was voted in. https://juliareda.eu/2018/09/copyright-sports-fans/
Basically, this directive remains an IP maximalists' dream. A bunch of new IP rights, some of which only apply online, with clear signals that they should be interpreted as broadly as possible.
This seems a great place to use automated translation technology, but into the same language. Link to the news article, but rewrite it using a similar meaning, with different words.
(I am an EU citizen and I think this is major overreach by the legislator who thinks they are saving the newspapers, but have no clue as to what effect they will have on the current system, but it still will not save the papers.)
As an example note that this very website heavily prefers the original title for the link text, only changing it when substantial updates are made or the original title is heavily biased.
Depends on how you define "better".
I would argue that a rewritten title you can read is "better" than an un-rewritten title you can't read because the site couldn't "link" it without risking a lawsuit or signing an agreement.
Original title: Hurricane Florence’s Path: Winds of Category 2 Storm Hit Carolina Coast
Alternat title for the link: Hurricane Florence hit Carolina coat, category two
Would that really be the same as translating someone’s book? I’d argue that if I can’t do this then I can’t link at all (without paying a license) and that breaks the web. Which I realise is the argument against the legislstion, but I don’t think is the intent, albeit that the intent is shortsighted.
There was a story in a similar direction a few years back: A state court in Hamburg decided that when you set a link to some other website, you have to check whether that website contains any illegal content.
The fine journalists at Heise wanted to link to the verdict, and because they are law-abiding citizens, they inquired with the court if they can guarantee that all content on the court website was legal. The request was denied.
Have you ever been in a courtroom in EU? Explanations for the laws are guides to judges to rule on the laws. Judges cannot go against the explanation and apply just the technical bit, their decisions will be overturned 100%.
Sure... This directive is hardly perfect, but it's also only the first step in the process.
When it comes to can vs should, you should know that both are optional. And copyright groups do try to limit the multiple exemptions from copyright every single day.
The entire point of art. 11 is to transfer money from Google News (and other aggregators, like Facebook) to publishers. This also covers search.
The latest version of Google News has already solved this: it only shows the title and the image, not a single sentence from the article itself, – which was the main concern in Spain and Germany when the relevant laws were introduced.
Facebook and Twitter shouldn't face any issues as well, because they only display the value of the og:description meta tag, set by the publishers themselves.
Google got a free license in Germany while Yahoo did not. Even if they ban the free license (which is a whole nother set of even bigger problems) Google can just not list them at all. It's not like they care about Google News all that much.
The problem is, what revenue? News aggregation is not a huge profit center to begin with. Then you take that already-small amount of money and split it between thousands of independent news organizations, each of which requires its own transaction costs, and the transaction costs sink the whole enterprise.
They own the most, but it's not 80% (perhaps they cover 80% of listening markets). They own about 850 stations out of roughly 10,000 commercial stations. However, your point does stand as the second largest owner, Cumulus Media at 455 stations also filed for bankruptcy.
and than, should they force google to pay instead of cutting these publishers off?
in no way would that be legal.
you can't force somebody to pay something, by forcing them to obey.
That's the expected (and fair) outcome. To be fair, why should a multinational be entitled to profit from unauthirized access and distribution of third-party content while the content creators are left with the bill of creating it?
Why should news organizations be entitled to profit from unauthorized access and distribution of third-party content while the creators are left with the bill of creating it? Shouldn't they be paying the celebrities they gossip about for doing all the "noteworthy" things they do and giving them something to drive readership with?
The obvious flaw is that it's a symbiotic relationship. News organizations want traffic from Google in the way that celebrities and companies and politicians want news coverage (in the "no such thing as bad press" sense). They see Google's market cap and think they're making all this money, but the money isn't from news aggregation. That's peanuts. And if you're making a dime and they're making a nickel and you demand a dollar more, you don't get a dollar more, you get a dime less.
That's a good question, and it seems to me that's the whole point of this legislation.
Currently there is a mega-multinational company which posts record profits for services that consist of scraping and unauthorized distribution of third-party content, and in a manner that even eliminates any traffic from the content creator's site.
So in the current state of affairs only the scraper gets paid, and the content creators are left with the bill.
How is that fair?
> Why should news organizations be entitled to profit from unauthorized access and distribution of third-party content while the creators are left with the bill of creating it?
For some reason you've invented this silly idea that researching and developing a newspiece is, somehow, the same as scraping websites.
I'm sure that we can agree that journalism and web scraping have nothing in common, just like xeroxing a book is not the same thing as writing a novel.
Googlebot respects robots.txt. Anyone who doesn't want to be indexed, isn't. For some reason they still seem to want to be.
> I'm sure that we can agree that journalism and web scraping have nothing in common, just like xeroxing a book is not the same thing as writing a novel.
What do you mean? It's basically the same thing. When a reporter interviews some guy, they put his words in their story -- without compensation. How is that fair?
Not true at all. They actually increase traffic. https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-google-news-effect-spain-r...
And you seem to have developed your own silly idea that quoting one or two sentences of a news piece is the same as xeroxing it.
I'm quite convinced that people wanting micropayments to be solved are pretty much like friends who say they would give you money if they won the lottery. In other words, these are people who just don't want to do anything for you, but don't want to admit to that. So they latch onto some implausible scenario and enthusiastically swear up and down that should lightening strike, they will absolutely do X, knowing the odds are very long against that happening.
Are you referring to wholesale reproduction of the content?
Or hyperlinks and short excerpts?
How exactly is it "unauthorized"?
Honestly, it doesn't seem a bad thing to me. But lat's see how Google plays it out.
I mean, I think the link tax is backwards, but a vague emotional appeal to the health of... a mom and pop internet news site...(?) is not the argument I'd use.
HN runs on one server and is moderated by just a couple of people typically. It is in fact the definition of a mom & pop operation. It does not have a zillion dollar budget, either for operations or promoting itself. It doesn't need it, the value proposition is the content, community and standards.
I can semi-trivially set up an HN clone for any given industry or concept. It'll be up to me to promote it and garner attention to it, however the point is that it's extremely inexpensive and easy (few regulations, hurdles, compliance issues, etc) to open up that type of expression platform. That's what the parent is referring to.
There are a lot of IT people here. This, unfortunately, sometimes convinces some individuals that that's all there is here, which is an inaccurate assumption.
The internet has the attention economy, which follows a power law of popularity, with a long tail of unpopular content that has <50 readers. I would not consider that 'prosperous'.
In this scenario, I'm not sure if society should encourage little mom and pop scrapers to spawn while leaving the people who actually created the content with any way to protect their work.
"Publishers" (newspapers) are 99% simply reprinting news they get from "the wire" (Reuters for example, or Bloomberg, or ...), or a few wire services. One way to look at Facebook and Google News is that they are better versions of these wires, available for end users of the content instead of just paying subscribers (Reuters' wire is a subscription service)
The way it works is this: let's say I feel the need to put out a press release. I have an employee write the news (heavily favoring me) and "put out the press release", meaning I submit the article to a news agency , including image and text online, paying 35$ for the privilege of having it appear on the feeds newspapers use to put out news. This is why even the BBC is full of "researchers working for IBM have saved the world again".
There are a number of issues. Of course 99% of the news is not exactly neutral or even a little bit researched, because it's just press releases. 1% is, but is produced by reporters working for the news agencies (only huge places like BBC still have their own reporters). And Google is a lot better than even the BBC (which is very high quality) at finding and presenting press releases to the public. Hell, it's actually better at deciding the trustworthiness of them than news desks (mostly because they, for profit reasons, refuse to give humans even half an hour to check things). Furthermore, those algorithms run so cheaply that they actually provide a personalized version of the news of the day based on both your interests and the news. I assume Jeff Bezos has the same service by a newspapers, but I imagine few others do.
So the underlying issue newspapers are having is "Google automated and Facebook crowdsources what we do, and their automated algorithms are much more successful than our humans, please outlaw them".
> To be fair, google and the like have been living off scraping third-party content and making it available in a way that only the scrapers see any traffic from that content, thus earn anything that is there to be earned.
Yeah there is no value at all in having a searchable index, content summaries, and it's unfair that people get paid for that. Furthermore newspapers just use humans to do what Google news does with algorithms. Never mind that that's what people want.
And as pointed out, people see more value in the aggregated, summarized and algorithmically curated versions of the same data.
Did you ever use the phonebook ? Did it have ads or not ? Should we outlaw the phonebook too ? Did you ever use an encyclopedia or a dictionary ? Did you pay for it ?
I feel like your argument has some shortcomings.
The wording is less relevant than the application of it. You can argue that something is outside of scope, according to the wording, and be correct while at the same time I can argue that the same is covered on how is expected to be applied.
Given my understanding of the copyright lobbying-state officials work in the EU, Google News will be covered. Why? Because news organizations having being crying for long and have strong political connections.
They want their own "article version" of Spotify, where they get a set amount for every article read. Obviously that's difficult to implement given the current way of the Internet (= Facebook sharing) and this is their attempt at getting their dream.
Is this a good idea? You could say it may improve news reporting if it was well implemented. Or it could be completely abused. Anyway, looking at it like this, explains some of the legalese in article 11.
"Parliament’s text also strengthens the negotiating rights of authors and performers, by enabling them to “claim” additional remuneration from the party exploiting their rights when the remuneration originally agreed is “disproportionately” low compared to the benefits derived."
"The text adds that these benefits should include “indirect revenues”. It would also empower authors and performers to revoke or terminate the exclusivity of an exploitation licence for their work if the party holding the exploitation rights is deemed not to be exercising this right."
In particular, the phrase "This protection does not extend to acts of hyperlinking which do not constitute communication to the public." It is all over the text and amendments. What is the exact legal effect of that?