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Today, Europe Lost The Internet. Now, We Fight Back (eff.org)
432 points by DiabloD3 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 123 comments





Here's a quote from this excellent article:

> An error rate of even one percent will still mean tens of millions of acts of arbitrary censorship, every day.

And a redundant -- positively defiant -- link and page title:

"Today, Europe Lost The Internet. Now, We Fight Back." https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/09/today-europe-lost-inte...

Firms with 50 or less employees should stay that small, really.

VPN providers in North and South America FTW.


A "quote" you say? That'll be $100.

This is not entirely accurate. One thing that doesn't seem to get much publicity, is that this law also fixes the broken DMCA process.

Platforms are expected not only to avoid taking down the wrong content, but they are obligated to have stuff (not computers) that rapidly examine any complaints about unlawful take-downs and re-instate the content.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20180906IPR...


A "fix" for DMCA is small civil penalties for obviously invalid takedown requests. Small ones. $1 to the carrier and $1 to the content poster and $1 to the bureaucracy. Enough to push back on the automated takedown shotgun and make inaccuracy expensive. Little risk to some dude defending his garage band's IP because he's going to be careful, lots of risk to big content's robot army.

You call that a "fix"? Sounds like a windfall for incumbent media companies.

That link certainly seems to tell a completely different story. It's good that there are exceptions for small platforms, wikipedia and github.

That doesn't change the fact that the upload filter in particular is something that even Google can't seem to get right, so it's highly questionable what they really expect from this.


I guess what I hope about, is that right now the DMCA doesn't provide a good incentive to tackle wrong take-downs. Maybe by making this into a law, the process can get better. Companies will always do the absolute minimum required —and as a shareholder, this would be what I would demand as well. So it's up to us to set this minimum to an acceptable level.

Of course, I understand there are many ways this could go wrong. Law most of the time plays catch-up...


So this increases the burden on victims rather than the people making invalid takedown requests, who continue to be given free rein.

> Europe lost the internet.

That is a bit much, it is not close to becoming a regulation yet. True, the EU Parliament could have stopped this regulation. However now it moves on to the national governments to be argued over.


Err, no, you really don’t understand the EU legislative process at all.

This Directive, once approved by EU parliament in the spring (this is just rubber-stamping, it extremely rarely goes the other way), member states will be required to implement the directive. That too is just rubber-stamping at the nation level: there’s sometimes some wiggle room in phrasing and details, but everything the directive clearly spells out has to be implement exactly that way.


>Consultation

The European Parliament may approve or reject a legislative proposal, or propose amendments to it. The Council is not legally obliged to take account of Parliament’s opinion but in line with the case-law of the Court of Justice, it must not take a decision without having received it.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/about-parliament/en/powers-and...


I'm really curious what the german government will do. As far as I know they (CDU and SPD) have a paragraph about being against upload filters in their coalition agreement.

Interestingly the one who spearheaded article 11 and 13 - Axel Voss - is a german CDU politician. Preach water and drink wine?


> I'm really curious what the german government will do. As far as I know they (CDU and SPD) have a paragraph about being against upload filters in their coalition agreement.

It will happen what always happens: they tell you that they are against it, but were obligated by the EU to pass such a national law.


I would not be surprised if CDU pushes it through while the SPD mostly looks on, maybe complaining quietly and ineffectively. (There's individuals I expect to speak up, but not really the leadership)

And there's me thinking the EU wasn't democratic. Not only can elected MEPs stop it, but so can the each member government (or at least enough of them).

Democracy isn't that great if the people vote for politicians who implement bad laws. What I'm afraid of is that the majority of Europeans actually think this law is good.

I see no evidence of that, not including ill-informed politicians

European here.

Anecdotally, I don't know anyone personally who thinks this is a good thing.

I do however know many that are in great approval of GDPR (as I am).


Another European here.

Anecdotally, I don't know anyone personally who's actually paid any amount of attention to the details of this.


> VPN providers in North and South America FTW.

Article 13 will affect the entire Internet, not just people in Europe. Most people on the Internet use large, multinational platforms. Those platforms will set rules according to the lowest common denominator, because it's the easiest to implement.

This means that people all over the world are going to have a much more difficult time with any user-generated content. That's true even for user-created content, even if there is no other copyright holder involved (look at how badly Content ID has played out).


Or they just stop doing business in Europe.

Since europe is a quite big market, maybe not an option and easier to geolocate and restrict just EU-Traffic

Or just not, if there's no nexus to europe. I suspect for a small business, the right thing to do would be to simply ignore EU directives. I would not be surprised if the US passes a law to make judgements against US companies without a European nexus (users in Europe would not count) unenforceable in the US. That was done with the SPEECH act to stop libel tourism.

Technically, the phrase "Useful Arts and Sciences" in the Copyright Clause of the US Constitution applies to just that; the definitions of which have coincidentally changed over the years.

The harms to Freedom of Speech -- i.e. impossible 99% accuracy in content filtering still results in far too much censorship -- so significantly outweigh the benefits for a limited number of special interests intending to thwart inferior American information services which also currently host "art" and content pertaining to the "useful arts"; that it's hard to believe this new policy will have it's intended effects.

Haven't there been multiple studies which show that free marketing from e.g. content piracy -- people who experience and recommended said goods at $0 -- is actually a net positive for the large corporate entertainment industry? That, unimpeded, content spreads like the common cold through word of mouth; resulting in greater number of artful impressions.


How can they not anticipate de-listing of EU content from news and academic article aggregators as an outcome of these new policies? (Resulting in even greater outsized impact on one possible front page that consumers can choose to consume)

For countries in the EU with less than 300 million voters, if you want:

- time for your headline: $

- time for your snippet: $$

- time for your og:description: $$

- free video hosting: $$$

- video revenue: $$$$

- < 30% American content: $$$$$

Pay your bill.

And what of academic article aggregators? Can they still index schema:ScholarlyArticle titles and provide a value-added information service for science?


That's not quite 'one global world' we were told about a decade ago.

Yea, well we were promised flying cars by now too.

> Communism in 20 years was a slogan put forth by Nikita Khrushchev at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1961.

> In his speech, Khrushchev promised that communism will be built "in the main" by 1980. His phrase "The current generation of Soviet people will live under communism" was the final phrase of the new Program of the CPSU adopted at the congress.

> The latter political slogan is attributed to Kremlin speechwriter Elizar Kuskov, who allegedly quipped "this slogan will survive centuries".


I'm still waiting for my hoverboard.

50 is a magic number in the U.S. as well.

The Affordable Care Act and Family Medical Leave Act both kick in at 50.


I was so excited over how the EU managed to get GDPR so right, that I couldn't believe that the EU would get something else about the internet so wrong immediately afterwards.

The GDPR was basically a legislative accident, in that the a member of the Greens and strong proponent of privacy and data protection was made rapporteur to the European Parlament for the proposal [0]. There is an interesting documentary on that ("Democracy", 2015, by David Bernet).

This new Copyright Directive seems to be an accident in the opposite direction, with Axel Voss as rapporteur.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Philipp_Albrecht


> This new Copyright Directive seems to be an accident in the opposite direction, with Axel Voss as rapporteur.

It's not an accident. Look who will profit from the link tax the most... the Axel Springer Verlag, owner of many large publications in Germany, especially the tabloid BILD. The boss of ASV is Friede Springer... who happens to be good friends with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Axel Voss is in the same party (CDU). Now add in that for a very long time the BILD was considered to be the "inofficial voice" of the CDU/CSU (the refugee influx changed that a bit, as BILD heavily went down the racist route and attacking Merkel's refugee politics but still, the paper is leaning heavily conservative).

Sascha Lobo, German journalist for SPIEGEL, has outlined the entire stuff here (in German, though): http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/leistungsschutzre...


I agree, I mean accident in the sense that the extreme position of the EU Parlament is a breakdown of it's democratic function, caused by a negligent and uninformed majority which allows a strongly opinionated group to take over the legislative process via the rapporteur. If someone like Axel Voss is handed the keys to the castle, this is what you get.

Off topic, but how is attacking refugee policy “racist?” Are debates of such policy not allowed? Germany had the exact same debates over Serbian and Bosnian refugees during those wars. Syrian refugees were treated better legally than Bosnians and Serbs — Bosnians and Serbs were granted “temporary protection” status and not permitted to stay permanently and they were informed of that policy upon arrival, unlike Syrian refugees which have the opportunity for permenant resettlement.

If it’s “racist” to debate that, then racism as a word has lost all meaning. If anything Syrian refugees have been granted greater privileges than Bosnian-Serbs. It would seem that policy could, be considered racist. Folks have bent over backwards to be as “unracist” as possible and thus, bad policy has happened because any debate on the topic is automatically shut down as racism. You can’t have a legitimate policy debate without being called a racist anymore.


> Off topic, but how is attacking refugee policy “racist?”

The narrative pushed by BILD was that for anything from antisemitism over rising housing costs to "rises" in criminality was caused by refugees (and refugees alone, never mind still dominant Nazi antisemitism, capitalism and fabricated statistics), that refugees are dangerous, that Islam is dangerous and other stuff that basically echoed what the local right-wing extremist party AfD also said.

It's perfectly valid to debate refugee (or other) politics, but if one crosses that thin line of feeding the population outright lies or incite hatred, one deserves to be called a racist hate monger.


Is calling out the dangers of radical Islam “racist hate mongering”, in your view?

> Is calling out the dangers of radical Islam “racist hate mongering”, in your view?

There is nothing wrong in calling out the bullshit represented in certain Islamic groups (e.g. Salafism or Wahhabism).

What BILD (and a boatload of other racist outlets) do, however, is throwing all the millions of Turks, the refugees and other Muslims in Germany, in the same boat as ISIS, Saudi-Arabia and al-Quaeda. This is the hate mongering that's really dangerous for societies.


I had the opposite opinion of the GDPR and have the same opinion about this legislation (namely heavy-handed internet governance, which is not unique to EU, is problematic regardless of original intention).

Any sort of legislation is problematic if the people responsible for legislating do not understand that which is being legislated.

GDPR has been an UX disaster in practice. Now they're also going after content.

It's only a UX disaster because it makes it obvious what horrible things you now have to accept just to read some mildly interesting thing on some crappy site. That may be bad UX for the site but it's actually good UX for the user. Makes you consume less crap.

No it doesn't. It teaches you after about 20 times, that all sites are equally bad and now I can just safely ignore these popup notices.

It promotes apathy.


Speak for yourself, please. I like it and am happy not to waste my time any more on sites that traffic heavily in clickbait.

Still, as it prohibits opt-ins by default, it protects your privacy. Even if you just click the popups away.

The UX disaster is that apparently some sites use third-party cookies to store my preferences regarding to what cookies I will allow and which I refuse.

Because my browser rejects all third-party cookies (obviously), they keep losing these preferences and I have to keep telling them that I don't want these cookies.


That’s the thing. Too many websites don’t care about you and just add a random library they didn’t even test. Also these libraries are just made to make something - not to solve a problem. They could test if the can set a cookie before showing anything and assume nothing is accepted by default.

No. It makes me click a lot more checkboxes to do the same stuff I was prepared to do beforehand.

Actually the UX is just mirroring the privacy handling of the page you visit. As we now see most pages just want to track everything about you and sell it to any 3rd party. This was bad before, but now you see it.

Search, social, aggregators, and adtech's growing bite out of the whole advertising and media sales pie has been hurting the profits of older, lower-tech content companies. About a decade ago, it became apparent that Silicon Valley was "front-running" Hollywood and eating their lunch. This is an attempt to reverse that trend.

The newspaper, sporting event, TV, and movie library companies went to their buddies at the EU and got GDPR passed which banned modern adtech under the guise of privacy and data nationalism. Now they've changed copyright law to place restrictions on social, search, and aggregators.

Might as well call it the FIFA Fucks FAANG Act of 2018.


This is a very interesting point of view. They could be two products of the same lobbying interests, and they just manged to pass the most user-palatable one first.

>I was so excited over how the EU managed to get GDPR so right

Agreed, though I could really have done without every damn site having an extra popup that gives me a choice that isn't a choice...click accept.


That's actually a point of proof in favor of the GDPR, it shows clearly that companies are still trying to work their way around reasonable controls placed on the privacy of their end users. The fact that they resort to implicit blackmail to force your consent (which isn't consent if it is forced...) is interesting.

"Accept our terms or do your business elsewhere" is how markets have always operated.

It's not "blackmailing" and it's not "forcing your consent." The EU looks like it's turning more and more into a non-free regime. And your comment, among many others, signals that it's exactly what many Europeans want. Which is sad.


I don't see how you managed to go from the curbing of the free-for-all with respect to private individuals data and the management thereof to a 'non-free regime', it's rather the opposite. As a result of the GDPR I have the ability to stand up to companies that abuse my data, which effectively makes me more free (at their expense). So yes, those companies are engaging in forcing of consent, and forced or coerced consent is no consent.

They are not forcing anything. In a free market you are free not to buy their product, and they should be free to offer it with the terms they like. But freedom is a scarce resource these days.

So you would be okay to sell bread and water in exchance for a first born? Or would it be better to have some basic rules, like privacy, and every business has to follow these rules?

How are they engaging in “forcing of consent”?

> Agreed, though I could really have done without every damn site having an extra popup that gives me a choice that isn't a choice...click accept.

That would be a violation of the GDPR, this is the site owners actively ignoring the rule and just being a dick.

Also, since opting-out has to be as easy as opting-in those popups should be displayed on every page view after you've accepted.


But this has only passed the EU parliament, that is a long way from becoming a regulation.

This is an embarrassment and totally changes the colour of my view of brexit in one fell swoop.

I would not want to be a member state of an organization that thinks this is remotely ok either.


Agreed, but Britain also has a pretty bad track record when it comes to surveillance, basic liberties, and Internet freedom. I would not be surprised if they independently pass a similar law in the future.

At least you have the ability as a nation to fight back within your nation. With the EU you could convince everyone in your country to vote correctly but still be out of luck unless you convince everyone in 10 others countries as well.

This only really works with governments which give a damn about public perception.

If rolling strikes on national infrastructure and marches in the streets won't do it, where next?


Lets build a gigantic bureaucracy and allow the most technologically illiterate people to decide weighty matters they haven't the foggiest clue about. What could go possibly go wrong?

May I use this everytime I describe the Politics+Tech situation in India!

I think you just wrote "A Brief History of the World since 1689".

It hasn't been decided yet. The EU parliament can stop a law, but not force one through. It is still a long way from being ratified

You've mentioned this multiple times in this thread, unnecessarily. The comment you are responding to said nothing about ratification, only "an organization that thinks this is remotely ok" which qualifies (domestic government hypocrisy notwithstanding).

It is one rubber-stamping, always done, step from becoming law. Closed-doors tri-dialogs always reach a compromise in practice. The parliament always rubber-stamps the outcome (“always” as in there was one case of compromise rejection in years).

I wonder how UK voted...it seems they supported the this law from the beginning.

The UK hasn't had it's say yet. MEPs from the UK can vote how they like, but the European Parliament is but one stage in the process. National governments go next...

>> The UK hasn't had it's say yet. MEPs from the UK can vote how they like

I assumed that MEPs from the UK represent the UK. Isn't that the case?


They represent parts of the UK, and are unlikely to vote as a bloc, representing all sides of political spectrum. The UK is represented as a country on the Council, not in the parliament.

>> They represent parts of the UK, and are unlikely to vote as a bloc, representing all sides of political spectrum.

I don't think this changes the fact that UK people voted those MPs and they are expecting to be represented by them in the EU Parliament and vote on laws(i.e. this law) on their behalf.


National governments are obligated to ratify, and turn into national laws directives and laws coming from Brussels. If they don't they get fined after a certain period of time.

My point was that UK MPs voted/supported this law so it's not really like this law will be forced upon UK thus the argument about Brexit is pointless. I'm pretty sure it will be translated into national law after Brexit.

Except it was supported by both Labour and the Conservatives, so we apparently would be more than happy to introduce the law for ourselves should the EU not have.

I am hugely pro-european but things like this make me despair.


I wasn't a Brexit fan but the EU seems to make boneheaded decisions like this pretty often. It really does suggest some fundamental structural reform could be in order.

The EU in its current shape seems almost purpose-built to detach the decision making process from public scrutiny, influence, and accountability. At the same time, it facilitates lobbying by private interests to a dangerous degree.

I don't know whether those responsible for creating it did so on purpose, or by incompetence.


It hasn't made a decision. The EU parliament is just one step.

When the EU tried to regulate cucumber shapes and tea kettles, that’s when they lost me.

"It is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws; we need to protect ourselves with mathematics. Encryption is too important to be left solely to governments." -- Bruce Schneier

> In the meantime, there are upcoming EU elections, in which EU politicians will have to fight for their jobs. There aren't many places where a prospective Member of the European Parliament can win an election by boasting about expansions of copyright, but there are lots of potential electoral opponents who will be too happy to campaign on "Vote for me, my opponent just broke the Internet."

The problem is, in countries like France, EVERY elected official (and EVERY political candidate) is in favor of this, and the public doesn't seem to care at all...


These last few days I was very surprise to hear repeatedly on France Info (big national news radio) the side of the artists against Youtube and not once hear about the consequences for the Internet.

I am not surprised. I have been following copyright and "digital" law for about two decades. Most people just haven't changed their minds on copyright, wiretaps or many other things. If you want to convince people it has to be better than "it ruins the Internet". Because a lot of people don't even like the Internet that much. They already see it as run by large companies, trash social media and various malicious things that may affect their kids or get them scammed. A lot of people that are "pro" Internet just haven't given it much thought, they are mainly accepting their own chosen status quo. And that is getting worse every year. All these things we are talking about like remixing, encryption and social media have been studied and talked about in the past. Unfortunately few people care about a solution, they are happy if they read Reddit, watch some porn and "fight" by clicking some links every couple of years. I guess that sound cynical, but if one side is saying what is in-line with the rest of society and the other doesn't really have a story then it is going to be what it is.

Europe, oh brother.

Hysterics are always directed towards America, but time and time again it is Europe that falls flat on its face.


I think there's sufficient blame around for everyone to go home with a prize.

Trade our shitty copyright for your shitty healthcare. :)


You are getting downvoted, but it's true, as an European it's appalling to see Europe constantly sabotaging itself when it comes to tech.

Interesting: Is foreign judicial sabotage a thing in intelligence circles?

Mercantile liberalism leads to such ridiculous outcomes the world over (and time and time again).

Between GPDR and the copyright law it seems like the Internet is effectively read-only for European citizens and companies, at least below a certain size.

It's curious how Internet regulations in EU end up with effects rather similar to those achieved bu regulations in Russia, or Turkey, or some other not-quite-free country — though the intentions are allegedly different.

It's not curious. To me it's quite obvious. The intentions are not much different either: protect the interests of a few against those of the many. Sometimes they may use words that signal a different intent, to assuage the populace, but the reality is all too obvious, in every single regulation that came out of that monstrosity.

Why is it curious? Russia modeled their censorship regime off of germany's censorship regime.

Reporters Without Borders had a nice write-up about it.

https://rsf.org/en/news/russian-bill-copy-and-paste-germanys...

For some odd reason, we think that europe ( which gave us nazism, fascism and communism ) is some bastion of freedom. It's not. It's never been. And it looks like it never will be.

It's not europe catching up to russia, china or turkey when it comes to censorship or surveillance. It's actually russia, china and turkey catching up to europe.


The second part is too harsh, unless you go back 80 years.

What are the effects? Do you happen to have data and some kind of comparison?

Looks like Europeans can no longer hang over our American heads that our politicians are crazy. Turns out theirs are crazy too.

On average, ours have less nuclear options.

well USA has many nuclear weapons all over the Europe

Is there a list with EU MPs and how they voted on this issue? I want to consider it when voting in the next EU Parliament election.


Tech giants must pay for work of artists and journalists which they use Small and micro platforms excluded from directive’s scope Hyperlinks, “accompanied by “individual words” can be shared freely Journalists must get a share of any copyright-related remuneration obtained by their publishing house

Doesn't sound so bad...

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20180906IPR...


I don't like this law, but I don't think that the ones who made it are as stupid as most people here think it is.

They are just ignorant of all the fallout and they care much more about, that this is directed against the "tech-giants", who happen to be mostly US companys. "We maybe cannot compete on internet technology, but we can regulate you". Plus, there is also allmost a economy war going on right now ...

And of course to set up censorship in general. To start to fight hate speech, fake news, terror propaganda ... and whatever else might be inconvinient.


I think you might find that US media firms are the ones lobbying for this in the first place. I don't think this is an anti-US regulation at heart.

Btw, there are plenty of steps after the EU parliament before this becomes law.


Lawmakers should appreciate the risk of unintended consequences - especially on this scale.

I think "stupid" is a fairly reasonable appraisal.


> And of course to set up censorship in general. To start to fight hate speech, fake news, terror propaganda ... and whatever else might be inconvinient.

This is what it’s really about. They’re trying to ram through legislation that requires content providers to remove “extremist content” (as defined by our benevolent overlords) within an hour: http://www.13abc.com/content/news/EU-to-give-internet-firms-...


> stupid as most people here think … They are just ignorant

two words, one similar meaning


Out of context.

Ignorant of some negative sides when you want something else is not necessarily stupid.


So would these laws apply only to servers physically in Europe?

Or companies based in Europe... so move your server farm and HQ to the US, stick up a handy "451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons" linking to a "find your MSP and email them about this" page... and you're done.

Or maybe move the servers to Switzerland :)

Please weight your words. Europe didn't lose its Internet today.

As to the content of this article:

> Article 13: the Copyright Filters. All but the smallest platforms will have to defensively adopt copyright filters that examine everything you post and censor anything judged to be a copyright infringement.

It's worth to mention what is smallest.

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. [4]

They will not censor anything that is not copyrighted material and you have right to dispute that censoring (it's also in article 13) in case you have copyright to material posted/it's not copyrighted material. In which case they can't stop you posting that based on this law.

Any action taken by platforms to check that uploads do not breach copyright rules must be designed in such a way as to avoid catching non-infringing works. As stated in

Article 13.2a: Member States shall provide that where right holders do not wish to conclude licensing agreements, online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorised protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services. Cooperation between online content service providers and right holders shall not lead to preventing the availability of non-infringing works or other protected subject matter, including those covered by an exception or limitation to copyright. [1]

These platforms will moreover be required to establish rapid redress systems (operated by the platform’s staff, not algorithms) through which complaints can be lodged when an upload is wrongly taken down.

As stated in article 13.2b: Members States shall ensure that online content sharing service providers referred to in paragraph 1 put in place effective and expeditious complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case the cooperation referred to in paragraph 2a leads to unjustified removals of their content. Any complaint filed under such mechanisms shall be processed without undue delay and be subject to human review. Right holders shall reasonably justify their decisions to avoid arbitrary dismissal of complaints. Moreover, in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC, Directive 2002/58/EC and the General Data Protection Regulation, the cooperation shall not lead to any identification of individual users nor the processing of their personal data. Member States shall also ensure that users have access to an independent body for the resolution of disputes as well as to a court or another relevant judicial authority to assert the use of an exception or limitation to copyright rules [1]

> Article 11: Linking to the news using more than one word from the article is prohibited unless you're using a service that bought a license from the news site you want to link to.

This is wrong unless you make money of what you do, which point 1a clearly states:

Article 11.1a: The rights referred to in paragraph 1 shall not prevent legitimate private and non-commercial use of press publications by individual users. [1]

Additionally if you make money of it you can link to the article and include individual words:

Article 11.2a: The rights referred to in paragraph 1 shall not extend to mere hyperlinks which are accompanied by individual words. [1]

> Article 12a: No posting your own photos or videos of sports matches. Only the "organisers" of sports matches will have the right to publicly post any kind of record of the match. No posting your selfies, or short videos of exciting plays. You are the audience, your job is to sit where you're told, passively watch the game and go home.

You know that exactly the same law applies to artists on concerts? You can legally record that and make selfies for your personal use but you can't share recordings publicly without consent? Most artists/copyright holders ignore that, this is why you see recordings on social media, youtube etc. But if they wanted to they could sue you.

But sports at the moment is different. Some EU countries introduce protection of sports events on national level but not all.

Look at ECJ (European Court of Justice) decision in Premier League v QC Leisure [2] in which court stated that sports events as such (notably football games) do not qualify as protected subject matter under EU copyright law. The Court explained that in order to be classified as a “work of authorship” the subject-matter concerned would have to be original in the sense of the author’s own intellectual creation. However, sporting events cannot be regarded as intellectual creations within the meaning of the EU Information Society Directive. This applies in particular to football matches, which are subject to rules of the game which leave no room for creative expressive freedom. The Court went even further and stated that sports events are not protected by European Union law on any other basis in the field of intellectual property, excluding therefore neighbouring or related rights to copyright (including database suigeneris rights) as well. [3]

Terms and conditions of access attached to sport event tickets have nowadays developed into quite lengthy lists of contractual obligations, which can vary depending on the type of event and on its commercial relevance. By way of illustration, together with the prohibition to carry into the stadium items considered dangerous or otherwise inappropriate, the use of recording and broadcasting equipment, the unauthorized transmission and/or recording through mobile phones or other recording devices, and sometimes even flash photography are explicitly forbidden. These rules are purely contractual. Therefore, in the case in which a spectator has, without authorization, succeeded in recording the match on a personal device such as a smartphone and has uploaded the video on an online platform, a third party acting in good faith (such as the online platform) will not be bound by that contractual agreement. It follows that the platform operator, as well as any other third party, cannot be forced merely on this contractual basis to take down the content from the platform. Whereas it has been argued that amateur recordings do not really pose serious commercial threats to sports organisers (and in any case they still represent a breach of contract), the gap in the “house right” based legal protection of sports organisers is in the absence of third-party effects. [3]

This is the reason why article 12.a was introduced, not someone personal selfies. Context is really important when commenting on law.

[1] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//...

[2] 403/08 and 429/08 Football Association Premier League Ltd and others v QC Leisure and others and Karen Murphy v Media Protection Services Ltd (2011) ECR-I-9083.

[3] Margoni, T. (2016) The protection of sports events in the EU: Property,intellectual property, unfair competition and special forms of protection.

[4] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:...


>Linking to the news using more than one word from the article is prohibited

What if someone write app that rewrite article using most common synonyms not present in the article?


Gotta say, I wonder what the Brexit reaction to this will be?

To make a UK version of the law.

Rubbish. Both major parties would be sensitive to the backlash, as neither is in a particularly strong position. 'U-turn' is an integral part of the UK political lexicon.

That's the benefit of a working democracy where decisions are taken within the reach of the people.

When legislation like this is steamrollered through the EU, it's obvious that resistance is futile.


It is far from 'clear' or 'obvious' that the Directive is a bad deal for content producers. Read it yourself - especially Articles 11 and 13.

The narrative funded through GOOGL (and its affiliate EFF) and other big platforms is that this is evil doing of big content distribution monopolies.

What is missing in this picture is that this Directive gives affordable enforcement muscle to all content producers, including the smallest ones.

This Directive is the death knell for these platforms, which peddle content produced by 'nobodies' (their users) without any remuneration. There is nothing natural, just or given about it.


What is missing in this picture is that this Directive gives affordable enforcement muscle to all copyright owners*, including the smallest ones.

It promises that muscle over the backs of people creating platforms, though. How is a small company going to ever create an upload filter that has little to none false positives and false negatives when even the FAANGs are not able to do this?

All content producers are copyright owners by definition, except insofar as they have contracted deals about the content in question prior to production.

It's awkward when government decisions are not subject to persuasive lobbying.

Just to be clear, as bad as this is, passing the European Parliament stage does not make it law. Now the national governments get their say. Plenty to fight for yet.



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