If the legislation as written is going to make it impossible to do business in the region, then that's what these companies are facing eventually anyways. This sucks for them, sucks for users, sucks for everyone. So let's have a taste of what that looks like. A preview.
Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Instagram, TwitchTV, etc. All the websites where the content is made by users. As a group, shut down for 24 hours within the EU, instead displaying a simple page explaining the problem and what can do done about it.
Until they're willing to do that, the users don't know or care what they're talking about. Legislators are relying on a population who is too distracted to care what they're doing. Well, fine, let's take away the distractions.
Google already has upload filters. They do this voluntarily.
Re: Facebook I agree it has hurt, nay scourged, the Web—that's undeniable—but that has also created room to innovate how we share content on the surface web.
I enjoyed YouTube until I tested the effectiveness of ContentID and was banned under their ToS. May they burn in hell under the new EU regs.
but isn't being monetized and sold for profit also market forces?
They're even smaller, with less resources.. wouldn't they have even more incentive to block the EU?
I'm also puzzled by the people saying it's difficult to comprehend. The hardest part is mentally joining the diffs in amendments to the static copy before a document is updated. EU legislation is not nearly as weasely as US, and likes to use precise terms it defines earlier in the document. Such is the case with the terms 'information society service' and 'online content sharing service provider' , whose exact definitions are relevant.
 search for 'Amendment 150' in http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&langua...
> SMEs are defined by the European Commission as having less than 250 persons employed. They should also have an annual turnover of up to EUR 50 million, or a balance sheet total of no more than EUR 43 million (Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003). These definitions are important when assessing which enterprises may benefit from EU funding programmes aimed at promoting SMEs, as well as in relation to certain policies such as SME-specific competition rules.
Making even further cutouts for SMEs seems unreasonable, after all the individual citzen has similar impact from a data breach in a medium sized company compared to a data breach in a large enterprise.
Yet, through the lobbying of interested parties the message becomes deliberately muddled. Sites like Reddit spread the FUD because were it not for their status as a small enterprise, the letter of the law could threaten their business model of aggregating large amounts of user-submitted content and profiting off of ads surfaced adjacent to them -- ironically, the old Reddit before ads would likely be exempt entirely. They see this law as an existential threat and lobby against it; this I can understand.
What puzzles me is parties like the EFF and Wikimedia Foundation spreading the FUD. Wikimedia would clearly be exempt. What gives?
So we talk a little a bit about this earlier this week: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/11/yes-eus-new-copyrightd...
I've mentioned this in Hacker News threads before, but here are the few things to bare in mind.
Firstly, the SME exemption (as well as the specific exceptions for Wikipedia and Github) was put in at the last moment in an attempt to win enough votes to get the Directive through the plenary following widespread opposition. It only exists in the European Parliament text, which is currently being negotiated with the original Council text. The news from the trilogues is that there's lots of lobbying to get it removed.
The exemptions sound good for Github and Wikipedia on paper: but Github and Wikipedia are the services that currently exist, and have been effectively grandparented in. It doesn't speak for all the other potential services that we can't describe, because they don't exist yet -- and won't exist if there's a liability regime that would have stopped Github and Wikipedia in their tracks if it had written before.
Thirdly, we know from experience that these exemptions don't work. In the European Parliament text, we have a blanket liability regime, which means that rightsholders can sue you, or your provider, by default. You can argue back, "oh it's okay, we're covered by this exemption", but you have to prove that you're really covered by the exemption -- and the expression of that exemption in each of the 28 implementations of the Directive in the member states. It creates a default of liability, and then fences of a small section of the Internet where you may be protected.
In the mean time, you -- as a person who hasn't paid up for a licensing arrangement with the major rightsholders -- will be on the receiving end of repeated orders to take down content, with the understanding if you don't successfully argue against that exemption, or the moment you cross that SME line, you'll be liable to an unbounded extent.
Why would you take that risk? How could you protect yourself against that risk?
Also note that many of these exemptions are expressed in the Recitals, which merely indicate the spirit of the law, the specific rules for transposition in the Articles themselves. Generally speaking, if you are threat-modelling new law, you might as well ignore the Recitals, because there is a substantial lobbying and legal community who have a big financial incentive to guide lawmakers, and deploy lawsuits in such a way as to sideline those non-binding commitments.
The exemption language was an attempt by lawmakers taken aback by the force of the opposition to Article 13 and 11, to both win over votes in the Parliament, and stop GitHub, Wikimedia and its users from complaining. The reason why Github, and Wikimedia and their users continue to complain is that they don't believe they can act in the future as though these exemptions will really work for them — and they have an interest in maintaining the rest of the Internet ecosystem, which will be still left out in the cold.
Remember too, that almost every platform we use to communicate online has been accused (and sued) as a method to encourage infringement. The music industry attempted to sue the MP3 player out of existence as an infringing device (https://www.zdnet.com/article/stop-the-music-diamond-multime... ), the movie industry sued YouTube claiming that it was primarily a device for piracy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viacom_International_Inc._v._Y....
>"The definition of online content sharing service providers under this Directive does not cover microenterprises and small sized enterprises within the meaning of Title I of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC and service providers that act in a non-commercial purpose capacity such as online encyclopaedia, and providers of online services where the content is uploaded with the authorisation of all right holders concerned, such as educational or scientific repositories. Providers of cloud services for individual use which do not provide direct access to the public, open source software developing platforms, and online market places whose main activity is online retail of physical goods, should not be considered online content sharing service providers within the meaning of this Directive."
Does the service trust the uploader about this? There will inevitably be disputes about that self declaration.
It's also impossible to know which are all the rightholder of a piece of content. There might always be one more making a claim later on. Any system, automated or manual, is going to have many false positives and negatives.
On the other side, this system is already in place for traditional media. It's dealt with litigation. Again, no need to create special legislation for the internet. The blame must be passed over to the content creator, not to the distributor. This means that the creator must be identifiable, to know who to sue.
However this means that the supposed rightholder is going to automatically sue a zillion of people, with false negatives. This is unfair. I propose that in case of false negatives they lose the right on the content.
It's May and they play the final of the Champions League (this is about the EU). People will post the highlights. The rightholder will manually identify some hundreds of those videos, sue the uploaders and win. This will teach people not to upload those kind of videos next time. But if they sue a guy because they mistake him playing with friends as the Champions-League final, they'll lose all the rights on it. They'll be very careful about who to sue, people will be careful about what they upload, I won't see highlights anymore on YouTube but I can live with that. It seems fair for everybody.
The part about losing the rights is not going to happen though so I wasted your time, sorry.
Are they really assuming all online encyclopaedias are non-commercial?
Host only original content of which you or your registered users are the declared copyright holders.
Flickr, Smugmug and other enthusiast photo gallery sites seem to have walked this line quite successfully. Imgur and its ilk haven't because they've never really had a reason to care. Now they do.
So YouTube wouldn't be the massive entity it is now if it were truly YouTube and forbade uploading of any derived content. But perhaps that would be better.
MP3 sites might be more like SoundCloud with original content.
I find it difficult to be moved by the protests of people who just want to post other people's creations. Link to it, don't copy it.
And what magic spell do you expect publishers to cast to distinguish the two when you allow users to post content? Do you have the faintest idea how absurd what you're saying is?
How would a company go about being certain of this, do you think? I can't think of a way to do it with uploaded content that doesn't have a nasty error rate. Obviously it becomes trivial if you take the Netflix approach and source everything from the owners directly, which means working only with the biggest providers who have legal departments and such. With restrictions like this, even SoundCloud can't exist - almost everything on there is a derived work!
Have I missed something? Can you help me understand how a site can be certain it hosts only original or otherwise authorized content without taking a Netflix-type approach? I would love to be wrong, and for there to be an easy, cost-efficient approach that offers a suitably low error rate and enables protecting content creators while preventing abuses.
Good luck proving what copyright everything that your users upload has. Such systems cost billions of dollars to develop and are prone to abuse.
> it were truly YouTube and forbade uploading of any derived content
Most content is in some way derived. Forbidding such things would effectively eliminate gaming channels, political channels, music channels, review channels, podcasts etc.
> MP3 sites might be more like SoundCloud
You do realize the RIAA is not particularly happy about SoundCloud either, right? And much content on there can still be described as 'derived'.
> I find it difficult to be moved by the protests of people who just want to post other people's creations.
I find it difficult to be moved by copyright maximalists, who used other people's work to get where thy are, but now insist that they should profit from a piece of work 70+ years after the author is dead.
I am opposed, and will remain so, until such time as the big players either demonstrate real harm, or recognize the many benefits they get.
And they do benefit significantly.
What they claim is always the same,"billions lost", yet fail ti explain where all that money actually comes from.
Entertainment dollars for the vast majority are largely fixed. There aren't those dollars actually out there.
What I find particularly onerous is the idea of not actually being able to put material out there intended to be shared freely. Did that make it into this mess?
Google and YouTube already do this via ContentID, a system which only abuses small time creators. I don't see how expanding this EU-wide helps small businesses. Do you?
> What gives?
Room for abuse? Who do you think pushed for this? It wasn't your friendly neighborhood photographer. It was the RIAA/MPA etc. Just look at the DMCA.
> What puzzles me is parties like the EFF and Wikimedia Foundation spreading the FUD
What puzzles me is why would anyone who is not a dinosaur gatekeeper be for this?
I think they're making a moral or equality standing. If it's wrong for one company to do something just because they're large, why is it ok for another org to do the same just because they're "small"? And what do small companies strive to be? Usually bigger companies. The law doesn't make sense to begin with. By exempting smaller entities, they're basically saying it's not "really" illegal and it's more of just a free money grab to take from larger producers. You basically said it yourself when you said it's "clearly worded to target the likes of Google and YouTube without calling them out by name". And why are they "targeted???" Because they have deep pockets, and that's it. This has nothing to actually do with copyright other than a subjective means to go after some companies while exempting others. It's either wrong, or it's not. The size shouldn't come into play.
Have you read the text? Nowhere does it target only the likes of Alphabet (Google and YouTube). The exemption threshold for small companies (50m revenue, 43m balance sheet, or 250 headcount) is orders of magnitude below Alphabet's revenue and headcount. Sure, hobbyists and truly small companies are exempt, but the threshold is so low that far far more companies than just the tech giants will be affected.
If Reddit didn't exist and their traffic was driven to niche forums/websites then you could expect hundreds of thousands of jobs.
And I don't think it's great that you have one site controlled by an evil company and filled with low quality content/discussion about every niche topic when you could instead visit 2-10 websites about the niche content you care about.
The directive outlaws content sharing websites, regardless of who's running those websites.
It was in a reference to another law, already passed years ago and only referenced by its number. So you had to look that up and any references it had, too.
And at the end of it, you're still left with a deep unease that you've probably missed a lot of data and meaning because these things don't seem to be written in a way non-layers can understand.
Except for /r/WorldNews or /r/news or /r/programming or ...
The phenomenon certainly exists where hundreds of people will debate an article without ever reading more than the title and maybe seeing a picture. Sometimes the entire article will be copied into the discussion, even. Whether this phenomenon causes harm and requires correction is unclear.
I won't deny that it have happened, but it's certainly nowhere even close to the norm.
Reddit's whole business model requires that other people create and host the content.
There's nothing wrong with that. Bars hire bands to come play, lots of business models revolve around using other people's works. But at what level should royalties come into play? Certainly never isn't the answer. Only the most unhinged reading of the EU legislation thinks it applies immediately at linking.
Arguably the external content is next to worthless to reddit because they could just make the website text and image posts only and nothing would be lost.
More to point, I think the phenomenon is somewhat irrelevant to what the EU is trying to achieve, which is what I was alluding to. Even the intended experience of Reddit is to profit off the creations of others without paying royalties. There is obviously arguments to be made on whether that is good or not. The EU seems to believe that it is not just and probably does not believe that moving to a more just approach will not destroy Reddit.
Or it might devolve into political debate with an unhealthy mix of bot generated content and trolls.
That the EU starts doing copyright law like this is due to pressure and lobbying mainly from USA.
They have already "militarized" copyright enforcement in Germany with GEMA (though not in the Kim DotCom way)
> We're sorry. Due to pending legislation in the European Union Parliament, we will soon be unable to maintain this website for European users. Today, we are testing our block and giving a users a preview of what it's going to look like. We're sorry that this is interrupting your usage- we don't want that to happen either.
> There is still time to prevent this from becoming permanent. Click here to learn more about why this is happening, and click here to contact your MEP to ask them to please help prevent this from happening.
> Again, we are so sorry that we've had to block you today. We hope you'll help us fight to keep the internet open.
But then, I'm Canadian so most of my sentences start with "Sorry".
Best I can think of based on what I know about the law is that perhaps links can't be active for EU users until the domain they go to has an agreement with the site and goes onto the whitelist. This would need to apply to both comments and stories, based on my what I know.
Would that work?
Also for a long time I've been frustrated with the content policing that American companies enforce on European users. As a German user I have always been confused by the fact that a topless woman is going to get her account closed while some guy with a burning cross in his backyard and a swastika on his forehead can post merrily.
Maybe the result of this is social media in Europe more closely aligned with people's values over here. I've never been a fan of Zuckerberg's 'connect the world' mentality.
What they need to do is work together in a unified manner like the media and the politicians have done. Instead, they are bickering and fighting against each other while the journalists and politicians form a unified front against freedom and free speech.
> Legislators are relying on a population who is too distracted to care what they're doing.
Exactly. They rely on a lazy populace and of course relentless anti-tech propaganda from news organizations.
This is not a solution. This is just allowing beauracrats the power to make us voluntarily erect borders in cyberspace where none are required.
Blocking entire geographic regions is the worst possible response.
I agree when it's only on principles (not everyone there is guilty). However, blocking entire geographic regions is entirely reasonable for small businesses unwilling to comply with those rules. I'm glad that governments haven't completely disallowed companies the freedom to choose their regions. I have no doubt this will be attempted at some point via treaty.
You can ignore other countries laws. You don't have to bow down to the EU.
Edit I don't get why people hate this, but it is a reality.
They'll be fined millions of not billions. The interest will add up on the fine if they don't pay, then assets will be ceased. This isn't a reasonable way to do business in Europe. Either follow the law or effectively shut down.
I don't know the details and decisions of my company, but I guess I shouldn't travel to Europe in that case.
There are multiple things that could be done. The EU could deny entry to employees of the company. They could ask the country of the company to press charges there. Of course the country could also ignore the EU, but than it would risk its good relationship with the EU.
Most sites are out of the scope of the regulation
I've noticed this persistent attitude that somehow eu regulations are globally applicable, in reality they are not.
No, your local news site won't get fined by the EU
This seems like a deeply cowardly move. The courageous and virtuous move is to simply ignore the law and continue as usual - to challenge the state to do what, if we all unite in support of each other and our basic freedoms, it will be unable to do.
You can probably imagine why that would be a problem from Reddit.
I don't personally care if companies like reddit get to face the harshest possible fines from the EU, they are morally bankrupt after all. I mean, almost every image posed on reddit is a form of piracy, and very rarely does the original content creators actually benefit from having their works shared or altered on reddit, and that's not even touching their shady political and commercial manipulation. On the other hand, I really doubt that EU legislation will ever be successful in stopping people from sharing dank memes.
Also, I'm guessing this only applies to the desktop version of reddit, because would be impossible to see anything on the mobile version anyway since everything is blocked by all those "USE OUR APP" banners.
The idea that there is moral obligation to pay authors for their writing was itself a tactic used by the publishing industry to establish copyright law when it was first being debated. As you point out, publishers almost always receive the bulk of the money while creators receive little if any compensation. Copyright has always been about business interests and not about morality.
Make sure to tell your boss.
I mean, we've all laughed at the "you wouldn't steal a car" commercials, and the truth is, if you could download and 3D print a car, risk free, you probably would steal it.
The underlying social part of that statement is both true and interesting though. Because the reason you wouldn't steal a car is because of the social contract you have with other members of society. We don't steal from each other, and if we do, society punishes us.
That's basically what the EU is doing with this legislation, and sure, its annoying, but I have a hard time seeing how it's wrong.
That's why I'm 100% in favor of counterfeiting money, since that has the same properties: no one is deprived of the money they already have.
except counterfeit money can cause higher inflation. "Counterfeit" media doesn't.
Usurping somebody's mineral rights sounds like straight up theft.
As for mineral rights, "theft" is not so clear at least based on the history of oil exploration. If I drill a well on my property to tap reserves that span the ground beneath both of our properties, is it really "theft" if I do not pay you a share? Historically the problem was that people were generally incentivized to drill their own land, which led to over-exploitation of petroleum reserves and giant messes in places like Los Angeles. Mineral rights were created to solve that problem by regulating the petroleum industry in a way that minimally disrupts property rights as they are generally understood.
In both cases there is nothing fundamental underlying the regulations. There would be nothing particularly wrong with a system that ignores the ownership of land above a petroleum reserve -- that is how air traffic is regulated in the US (nobody can demand compensation for the airplanes that fly over their property above a certain height). Copyright law has been changed many times since the Statute of Anne, and the original motivation for copyrights was to restore the publishing monopoly that had existed under a previous regulation system (the Licensing of the Press act, which was actually intended to enforce censorship). The rules are mostly arbitrary, and I would argue that in the case of copyright the goal of the regulation is also arbitrary (i.e. copyright was not established to solve an actual problem facing society).
Digital products are easy to replicate, so they're obviously different, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with them. Well you can, because it's extremely hard to regulate, but that frankly doesn't make it any better from a moral point of view.
You've deprived them from selling those specific gallons of milk to someone else and caused them a direct monetary loss. Conflating that with brand is intellectually dishonest.
> but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with them. Well you can, because it's extremely hard to regulate, but that frankly doesn't make it any better from a moral point of view.
Yes it does, it's hard to regulate because it's stupid precisely because you haven't actually deprived them of anything which makes it morally not wrong.
The reason those commercials were funny is that they were a transparent attempt to pretend that copyright infringement was theft. It is not, either in law, or in effect. Copyright is a time-limited grant by a government over a category of items. It is not ownership of an item.
If someone could download and 3D print a car, the most important reason that they wouldn't steal it is that usage of the car would not be theft.
I am not claiming that the EU legislation is "wrong," I just want people to stop pretending that it is motivated by some high-minded ideal or that it addresses a fundamentally important issue for society. It is nothing more than a regulation imposed on one industry for the benefit of another industry. Copyright has always been about business interests, and the notion that a poor author somewhere is the real beneficiary of copyright is just a nice story publishers have told people since they started lobbying for the Statute of Anne.
Wouldn't it be awesome if we could just 3D print ourselves all kinds of nice things we'd like to have?
If we could actually pull off such utopia, why should society as a whole consider it acceptable to artificially restrict this capability?
When the legal situation around monopoly rights is holding us back, maybe the time is ripe to come up with a new social contract that is actually beneficial to society?
That wouldn't be theft, that would be making your own care. Theft necessarily involves depriving the person you stole something from of having it. It'd be theft if you downloaded the blueprint and then deleted it from their servers so you had the only remaining copy; that's theft. Copying is not theft.
The morality around payment for work is an attribute of the work having been done "for hire". It has nothing to do with the type of work, the effort involved, the skill of the worker, or the value of the benefit received. Everything is contingent on whether the work was done as a this-for-that exchange.
Copyright has nothing at all to do with work, or payment for work. Copyright turns the expression of your thoughts into property, and allows you to make rules about how that expression of ideas can be used, including selling that expression as if it were a good, or even selling the right to make the rules. It's a weird system when you think about it.
Whether or not you think this system is reasonable depends on whether or not you think that the expression of thoughts is itself property, independent of the tangible objects you create in the process.
What is NOT part of the discussion is whether or not people can or should get paid for being creative. Work-for-hire does not depend on intellectual property rights; people have been getting paid to write and draw and paint and sculpt for thousands of years before copyright ever was even a concept.
The model that works under such constraints is a hard, high paywall guarding differentiated content. A consequence of such regulation is one having to pay for content with dollars, not eyeballs.
Why should the packagers and distributors of other people's work always have the power? Google is the ultimate middleman.
You might think that your title communicates the most import part of your hard work but 99.9% of the value consists of the fact that you have no right no NOT your clever presentation of such.
Most content owners even big companies like Disney choose to allow (or maybe just ignore) the memes and likenesses because it's free advertising. So in a way they are getting value.
In practical terms, this leads to the creation of entities - media companies, that do not care for morality and are entirely built to maximise profits from the rents they control. Which in turn creates other problems, since those same entities can amass enough wealth and power in order to bend our information exchange technologies in amoral ways, all in the pursuit of perfect rent exploitation. So while the concept of "artist gets paid a fair sum for creating art" is commendable, the current implementation has very detrimental side effects. And you can't fight the side-effects with policy, because free information exchange generates less revenue than the rent on information exchange the media companies seek to extract, so you have less money to lobby for laws against the people trying to restrict your freedom of speech.
Just because something has widespread use doesn't mean it's actually worth anything.
I don't personally think the laws are wrong though. I'm a content creator myself, and while much of the code I write is open source, and I'm happy to see people use it to build cool things, I also don't want anyone to steal it and pretend it's their own, and I certainly wouldn't want a social media company to make money from it being shared.
So I like the law, and I think it should apply equally to you as it should to a social media company. Reddit shouldn't be above the law, and it makes me proud to be a European citizen when our politicians stand up and tell these companies that they aren't.
If you can't handle things like this, you basically can't handle platforms that allow others to share things openly. You'll never have an open environment for anyone to create platforms if you also want to pick and choose communication outlets because it effectively devolves to prior restraint like it has here.
Freedom comes at a price, be it sharing your stuff or whatever, and every effort to curb its ills, no matter how noble, reduces the freedom. Sadly, the rest of the world has to suffer these freedom tradeoffs so some can feel proud they are standing up to some companies they don't like.
I'm perfectly fine with that.
The general approach that Europe seems to take is to protect old industries from any challenge, even at the expense of new industries. I see that as a big reason for the sad state of the European tech industry. Europe is falling further and further behind America and China in terms of tech industry leadership and relevance, and with each new effort to "stand up" to tech companies Europe makes it harder for small tech startups. Where is the European answer to Reddit, or to Google, or Facebook or Tencent or Weibo? At this point it looks like European politicians have given up and are just trying to get as much money out of foreign tech companies as they can.
Reddit/etc make money because of their platform not content. All of the content on reddit is available via api for free. So its definitely not the content.
> When I call them morally bankrupt, it is because of meddling with democracy
To say that, you have to affirm that the people in your democracy are unable to decode various forms of information. It happened in East Germany because East Germany didn’t have the freedom of information, so people were gullible (or so said historians). Your remedy is to... what, shut down Reddit, so only information controlled by the state is published.
Despite being a bad idea from the get go, let’s analyse what people usually criticize as fake news. Statistics about criminality. Statistics that don’t comfort the idea that women are oppressed. Remember that you can write a 10-page document citing sources and having it backed by 5 scientists across the world and be fired by Google for fake newsing.
So in the end you’re just advocating to shut down information that doesn’t comfort your ideas. And you’re using the argument of « morally corrupt » for it.
I think freedom of information will actually do better without them, though.
Penalizing reddit for doing so would not result in more revenue for the creators of the source material.
Very often, when a gif taken from a video is shared, for example, the top comment will be a link to the source video. In even more cases, such a comment is near the top of the thread. That absolutely benefits the content creator.
Your arguments would effectively turn the internet into nothing more than a text messaging service seeing as Google indexing and mirroring images is also "piracy".
P.S. - Maybe we should ditch the old MPAA/RIAA propaganda lingo? No one is talking about robbing a sea faring vessel.
yes, sad to see people on here using that bollocks speech still. This is far more complex and subtle than stealing doubloons on all sides of the argument.
You mean copyright infringement? You know there's an infinite amount of debate as to how much copyright protection costs society vs its actual benefits (most of the said benefits go to big cartels rather than individual creators anyway).
> almost every image
Really? You have any source to prove your extraordinary claim?
> very rarely does the original content creators actually benefit from having their works shared or altered on reddit,
Erm... ever heard of publicity?
Publicity doesn’t pay the bills, and it only works if the original author is mentioned.
Let's not forget why Hollywood is in Hollywood after all.
Thats the clear case, it gets difficult with stuff like Star Wars memes. Disney probably doesn't mind someone using Darth Vader to tell a joke, they probably don't care if you stole the image and uploaded it as your own either, and they probably don't care if your joke is distributed on reddit either or whether they make money from it. Because at the end of the day, thet's sort of a free commercial.
Under the law though, you have to ask permission.
It's annoying to be honest. I give a lot of presentations, and not having every image on the internet available to me, is just annoying. But I work for a municipality, and it can potentially be held accountable if I use proprietary images without having permission to do so.
It's been like that for a long while by the way, but internet companies like Reddit have somehow gotten away with doing what the rest of us cannot. In fact they've build a big part of their business model around it, and now the EU is telling them they aren't above the law, so of course they're unhappy.
It is so unfortunate to see a lack of enforcement of existing statutes justify increasing the number of statutes. "Somehow" your company/municipality is subject to a law Reddit is not? And you wonder why that subjectivity exists? And instead of questioning the efficacy of the law or its enforcement you defend doubling down with the same approach?
And surely you recognize that an employee violating an existing law is different than a user of that company's materials doing so? Shall we go after copy machine companies next for not checking whether something can be copied before transferring it to paper?
It would strengthen your point to remove “download them and then”. When reading through this, I stopped to mentally argue with this at that point (since having viewed the image implies downloading already), but that part is incidental to your argument.
Almost every time I stumble upon a picture I really like I tineye it to find more works of the same author and a hi-res version perhaps. Some times this leads to discovering amazing artists on resources like DeviantArt and popularizing them everywhere continuously and even considering buying a print. I can see no reason how sharing a low to medium resolution version of a picture even without mentioning the author means any harm to the author but in cases when they prefer to keep their work secret. In fact I believe forcing everybody to contact the author to request a formal approval is much more harm to them and their profits.
This statement seems questionable and needs to be backed up by statistics. Looking at the front-page, the most entertaining items are original content contributed by the users. Clearly, piracy is happening too, perhaps in the total uploads more so than what reaches the front-page, but I distrust the notion that this is associated with substantial economic loss. And in the utilitarian analysis of the problem it matters whether it is substantial because of the implications on freedom of speech that may come from an automated filter.
The number of people in the audience its being shared with ? If I show someone what I have locally I have doubled that audience.
Remember the double a penny math ?
If everyone shared a photo with 1 person effectively doubling the sharing, in 40 days you are going to have the entire world covered.
The entire premise of IP and copyright is broken when it is so cheap the common method of presenting material is to copy it and render it locally.
No it's not. It's called fair use. As long as it is changed or altered in some way as a means of commentary/criticism/etc.
Using your logic, everything is piracy, even "original" content.
Aren't there repeated statements in the text that links are not covered?
> the use of existing content for creative new purposes (r/photoshopbattles, anyone?) would suddenly become questionable under the law
What's actually changed about the law here? AFAIK the rights for fair use aren't changed, and using copyrighted content otherwise is already legally questionable.
It seems to me that all of the problems here stem from the fact that there's a centralized entity that is profiting from the re-use of links.
If you have a peer-to-peer protocol with no-one to "go after" so to speak, what happens then?
On the face of it this legislation looks bad, but could it be seen as a good thing if it sows the seeds for decentralized platforms to outcompete centralized ones (because they have a competitive advantage due to lower cost)?
The users themselves don't seem to be committing any crime by posting the links - it seems like the website, owned by a company or individual, ends up being chased after. So what if they don't exist?
Here's the truth: no one knows. Not a single person. No one knows how even existing laws like the DMCA and CDA in the US apply to decentralized platforms. E.g. The DMCA and CDA both Utilize the term "service provider" - who is a service provider in a decentralized network? Under existing law, a service provider is supposed to at least be running a server.
This doesn't cover the European issues, but here's a ten page memo on this topic prepared pro bono by Cardozo Law on how the CDA/DMCA apply to my company: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2oudj04lCTJOFZ5V1g5dG9tR2N...
It is substantially similar to memos I've spent far more money on.
I agree that the likely outcome is that decentralised systems get better, and I agree that that outcome would be a good thing. I still don't think the end justifies the means, and would rather see politicians just leave the internet alone: https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence
Perhaps I'm just jaded; it seems obvious to me that the political view on copyright is radically out of touch with constituents, and copyright law is morphing from something that's a bit weird, to probably OTT, to evil, and eventually into complete absurdity as a result.
The entire system benefits a tiny number of elite players whilst the man on the street ignores copyright completely - unless their choice is restricted (e.g. DRM) they won't even think about violating it, it's "not a thing" to them.
If I thought that the legal system accurately represented the desires of the population, centralized entities wouldn't be anywhere near as much of a problem. It blatantly obviously doesn't, though.
Unfortunately this can't happen because too many can't take the bad with the good. As a global platform, those who prefer their governments take control will affect everyone, often killing liberty with thunderous applause. GDPR wasn't enough, people gave givernments a mandate, implicitly promoted anti-web news blitzes, and generally helped build an enemy out of the internet as a projection of disagreements with elections and society in general.
I don't know a whole lot about it, but from what I have read so far it doesn't seem that bad. It doesn't help that it's Reddit complaining. It's hard to feel any sympathy for them.
"The proposal makes explicit that this does not include private cloud storage services, non-profit encyclopedias (such as Wikipedia), non-profit educational or scientific repositories, nor a variety of other cases."
The directive says:
"The definition of an online content sharing service provider under this Directive targets only online services which play an important role on the online content market by competing with other online content services, such as online audio and video streaming services, for the same audiences. The services covered by this intervention are those the main or one of the main
purposes of which is to provide access to a large amount of copyright
-protected content uploaded by their users with the purpose of obtaining profit therefrom, either directly or indirectly, by organising it and promoting it in order to attract more audiences. Organising and promoting content involves for example indexing the content, presenting it in a certain manner and categorising it, as well as using targeted promotion on it. The definition does not include services whose main purpose is not to provide access to copyright protected content with the purpose of obtaining profit from this activity. These include, for instance, electronic communication services within the meaning of Regulation 2015/2120/EU, including internet access providers, as well as providers of cloud services which allow users, to upload content for their own use, such as cyberlockers, or online marketplaces whose main activity is online retail and not giving access to copyright protected content. Nor does this definition cover websites which store and provide access to content for non-for-profit purposes, such as online encyclopaedias, scientific or educational repositories or open source software developing platforms which do not store and give access to content for profit making purposes. In order to ensure the high level of copyright protection and to avoid the possible application of the liability exemption mechanism provided for in this Directive, this Directive should not apply to services the main purpose of which is to engage in or to facilitate copyright piracy."
Suddenly, via P2P everyone becomes their own client _and_ server, and the _only_ way to remove content is to ensure everyone in the pool no longer has it.
Good luck with that.
That's already how the world works (it's not limited to the Internet).
Public information is public. Someone has already saved it.
Isn't that exactly the point of distributed services? There's no difference between the horror scenario you're describing and the ideal that other people are striving for. If you removed your opening and closing sentence, I'd have no way to tell whether this was an advertisement or a criticism.
Distributed services really are an area where one person's meat is another person's poison.
slightly OT, but is Reddit really a small / medium-sized company? or are they seriously downplaying it to get sympathy?
I keep using reddit but I have to admit the content quality has decreased. I keep going on it just like people like to go to facebook, just to entertain myself.
If reddit was blocked, I guess I would just give up using it.
I also bet a lot of publications are going to miss the traffic it gives them.
Thousand, maybe millions, of Youtube videos by small channels are re-uploaded to FB everyday and essentially stolen.
Watch this, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7tA3NNKF0Q
This law just says: ehm no Facebook, you ARE responsible for this, and you can't just say 'talk to the user / page who stole it'.
The way Reddit and others interpret it is just because they don't want to be legally beholden to laws that protect people smaller than they are. And they're calling it a 'ban on memes' to get people online to protest it like useful idiots.
No one read the texts but everyone is angry.
How is Reddit supposed to filter all of it?
The morally correct response, as an organisation outside of the EU in terms of its presence and activities, would be to ignore the Directive, just as thousands of other bits of local legislation are by routine and convention.
Unfortunately, Reddit is a subsidiary of Advance Publications, which I expect has physical operations in the EU and can therefore become subject to ransom locally. In which case, perhaps banning EU citizens in the EU from accessing Reddit is the most viable and proportionate moral response after all. It would mean I lose access, but I strongly believe that the European Commission monster must be tamed and cut down to size.
Internet users in general have become used to unlimited free content and use. Unfortunately free platforms are paid for with ads and the revenue per user, with the exception of a few behemoths, is very slim. It is pretty easy to put things in the red if you decrease the value of ads and increase general legal compliance costs. If your bank account isn’t full of money, it is over when derived providers shut down your accounts.
There have been a lot of accusations made about companies which have chosen to block EU users. The companies choosing to do so are optimistic that they may be able to open to EU users in the future. They respect the laws of the EU and expect the system to continue to exist for some time. Unlike, say, a large number of countries where the sitting head of government could be publicly hung and no one would be surprised.
Now, the thought about "the EU attempting to regulate the internet" is rather myopic. EU is not initiating anything, the EU is simply continuing a process which was started long ago.
This is part of the same copyright enforcement continuum which ("long" ago) caused the US organization MPAA to work with the US government to exert political pressure on Sweden to shut down the The Pirate Bay (BitTorrent tracker).
The argument then was The Pirate Bay was helping people distribute copyright-protected content while getting money from this process.
Now, there are companies which do substantially the same thing: users upload copyright protected content to the service, the service disseminates the content back to users while the service is monetized e.g. with advertisements. In some cases the content is individual pictures, in some cases music tracks or albums or even entire movies.
Now, either this mechanism as a whole is OK or it is not OK. The EU is basically saying that the mechanism is not OK within EU regardless of whether the company is from USA or not.
If you observe this development over time, it has been about tightening of copyright enforcement everywhere. From that perspective it makes sense to tick-tock two of the biggest players in turn, to tighten the law in one, then make the other one follow.
I hope I'm wrong. Looking forward to see Mickey Mouse in public domain.
The EU has put out a series of regulations and proposals including this, GDPR, and the proposed terrorist content regulation. It looks like a pattern to me. I know the EU is not the only government trying to do this sort of thing, but so far, it seems to have had the most impact.
This isn't just about copyright. It seems to me that it's a popular opinion in Europe that American internet companies have too much power, and the EU ought to rein them in any way it can.
Oh, and you don't want mickey mouse in the public domain. We already have characters like him in it, Betty Boop and Max Fleischer versions of superman are in it, and you can go buy a DVD for under $10 usa that has hundreds of public domain cartoons.
What happens when something is put in the public domain is often no one has any incentive to care for, advertise, curate, or promote the characters. Yes, you can view the content for free, but it's almost always done in a basic or slapdash form, maybe a bad vhs rip or ebook with scanning errors. You often very rarely see actual new works based on the properties, because no company has an existing interest to keep the brand fresh.
Honestly copyright is the only reason some characters even endure. Woody Woodpecker would have died out had lantz not sold the shorts to universal, for example.
I do. I don't care about Mickey Mouse per se, but I don't think copyrights should be indefinite, or substantially longer than an average human lifespan. Mickey Mouse is 90 years old. Its creator has been dead for 52 years.
I don't have a strong opinion about whether that should happen now (90 years after creation), in 10 years (100 years after creation), two years ago (50 years after the death of the author), or some other roughly similar timeframe, but creative works should pass into the commons after the creator has had a reasonable opportunity to profit from them.
The ultimate goal is to lay ground work for filtering/shadow banning political content. But that will happen slowly, not overnight.
This helps big tech players at the little guys' expense. Big companies can build their own content filters. Small companies can't, and are forced to buy content filtering software or services from the big companies.
There's a big difference between a DMCA system where the content host has the responsibility to take down copyrighted content in a reasonable time frame, while having safe harbor protection in cases where content gets through, versus a "non-safe harbor" law where you literally cannot allow any copyrighted content _on upload_, or you can be held liable. It would be impossible to decide who owns what, even for Google, and so they would need to have some other system that is not user generated content (who knows what).
User-generated content is the life blood of the web, it's why everyone can communicate and we have this new world, we simply need it I think. I really disagree with others who try to frame this as if Google and Reddit are simply another company trying to defend their turf. This is a real blunder for the EU and completely misinformed IMO
And one wonders why the serious players only roll the their eyes when “the internet community” is mentioned.
Having the best intentions is not enough when defining laws for complex technology with broad application, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of it and the scope of it's reach - they clearly do not.
In other words, I think the motivations here have very little to do with author's rights and everything to do with lobbying for European business.
That moat is so big that even EU companies can't cross it. Our hands are tied even more than foreign companies.
But yes, I think you are right and the intended goal will be a wide miss.
Is the EU going to go after member nation companies? Yeah, probably, if it wants legislation to have teeth.
My guess is it would mean things like news publishers would send copies of the main text to reddit and reddit would be required to filter out comments that contain some significant chunk of them unless there's some agreement made. Currently most paywalled articles have the entire text pasted into a comment within.
The natural solution are paywalls but those don't work since people end up just copying the content and pasting it elsewhere. Shit, even journalists themselves rip off each others stories, paraphrasing the whole thing and then linking back to the source website. It's so prevalent that hacker news even has a rule about posting the original link to a story.