- an Internet platform
- that organizes and promotes large amounts of posts
- which are copyright-protected works uploaded by their users
- in order to make a profit as it is an advertisement for y combinator.
What is 'meant' is irrelevant. Important is the letter of the law. Besides, 'meant' is a very dangerous word when used by politicians as jaded as the EU folks. It is a way to whitewash unpopular laws, and make them look reasonable when they are in fact the complete opposite.
Fundamentally, laws have jurisdictions that they are valid in. Imposition of a law outside of a jurisdiction is problematic at best, as it enables some bad actor countries (pick and choose who you want to consider to be in this group) to export their internal battles globally.
A great example of this is the US's FATCA rules, which have resulted (at least initially) in many non-US banks denying banking options to US citizens. Due to the threat built into the law, of being unable to leverage US banking system, if they fail to comply.
As someone else commented, the road to hell is paved with "good intentions". Solutions will emerge to route around the liabilities and costs this creates, but probably not initially.
And it will certainly be in trouble people decided to use it to post an entire Harry Potter novel and it becomes the go-to place to read it.
But Hacker News has moderators, and in practice, these posts are aren't likely to stay long, therefore fulfilling Article 13 obligations.
I'm pretty sure that movie quotes are not copyright-protected. And the last point in the article seems to be there to protects such uses explicitly.
As for the potential for abuse, I don't know, I am not a lawyer. But as I said before, it is just a directive, not a law, and it is incomplete. The spirit is all we have now, there is still a lot of work to be done on the letter.
They are almost certainly copyright protected, with copyright law provisions granted for certain fair use purposes.
Interestingly, the U.S. is slowly moving toward a more continental-style legal system while the E.U. is actually moving toward a more judge-made law system. That's because fragmented jurisdictional power in the E.U. has forced European judges (at both the national and EU level) to embrace de facto law making powers, and increasingly embracing doctrines that look exactly like stare decisis. (French-style civil law is a relatively recent development, anyhow; Europe isn't adopting the English system so much as reaching back into their own legal traditions to find a similar model of jurisprudence.)
By contrast, the bitterly partisan, winner take all politics in the U.S. has seen both the Democrats and Republicans attempt to centralize more power, both at the state and federal level. And judges, especially at the Federal level, increasingly eschew their law making role (albeit inconsistently). This is, arguably, why many common law copyright doctrines long relied upon by the open source community have begun falling to the wayside; judges increasingly prefer sticking to the strict letter of the statutes, effectively discarding the old doctrines that channeled and constrained their application.
"Judicial Conservatives" in the US disagree with "Judicial Activists" on whether (or to what extent) it is OK to creatively interpret laws (including the Constitution) to get preferred outcomes.
But all common law systems take for granted that judges fill in the inevitable gaps in the law by setting precedents. They can't just interpret it ab initio each time (which in principle is what they are supposed to do on the Continent, though I don't know about practice).
So for example, suppose a city bans anti-abortion pamphleteers from operating on the street outside an abortion clinic. Does that violate the 1st Amendment? Does it matter whether the pamphleteers are quiet or noisy? Does it matter if the exclusion zone is 10 feet vs. 1000 feet?
The text of the constitution is too compressed to answer those edge questions directly. Instead judges have come up with finer-grained rules to satisfy the general requirement of the text, and try (or claim to try) to apply them consistently. Developing these rules is lawmaking.
UPDATE: To be clear, I am very much against this law. The collateral damage will be immense. But the politicians who want this law, they simply dont care.
 e.g. https://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre/articles/fair-use-c... for UK and https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html for US
Romania has already deployed GDPR as a weapon against its press . I also have a short list of anecdotes of economic activity (start-ups and other new market entrants) that would have happened in the EU but, in large part due to compliance costs–including GDPR–wound up happening outside the EU.
Giving people in power broad discretion with the law and then counting on them being nice is a delicate strategy. It counts on every administration being benevolent.
> Romania could just have used another law or just made a new one to harass the press
There is a big difference between using the authority of the EU, through an EU regulation, and passing a domestic law to go after people you don't like.
More broadly, this argument can be made against any over-reaching law. Just because some hypothetical law could be bad doesn't make an ambiguous law granting widespread power to select bureaucrats okay.
The information is requested by the national GDPR enforcer so it bypasses the prevention written in the GDPR about news leaks.
Now there's a trial going around with this which blocked any further spread of that information until it's solved. It can be easily seen how the GDPR can be weaponized.
So the pretext they're using is that they want to see the information to make sure that the news organisation is not selling it or mishandling it to other third parties. In the process, they'll be able to get the information and maybe it will go to the people involved in the corruption charges (which is the head of one part of the Parliament).
For example, can't you check for all data to verify that the business is not doing anything with forbidden individuals or countries? (think OFAC)
I don't think GDPR allows anything more than any other law.
It's like a factory that dumped toxic waste into a river complaining that, because of a ban on dumping toxic waste into rivers, they now "have to" dump them to nearby meadows instead, and that makes local customers unhappy.
"Detrimental effect on user experience" is an intended effect that clearly signals the company doesn't want to stop abusing its users.
Every business: "Stuff in here causes cancer."
Every customer: "Okay."
Every customer: "OK."
They're not required to unless they're using cookies for something other than providing better experience. Also, that's cookie laws, not GDPR.
It's more like:
GDPR: "We see you doing X, Y and Z which are pretty abusive. We want you to not do X, Y and Z, but if you absolutely must, you can only do that to volunteers and you can't deny service to people who do not volunteer. Oh, and it really must be opt-in."
Every business: "Hey, we do X, Y and Z. That okay? [x] no >>> [ ] <<< !! YES PRETTY PLEASE".
GDPR is a massive win for the individual.
Cookies are a separate law and entirely unrelated to GDPR.
Also the annoying "this is what we are doing, you have to agree to this to proceed" is explicitly forbidden for the GDPR. So your criticism does not apply.
The status quo where corporations make vast profits peddling ever finer-grained user data unbeknownst to the consumer with no oversight is not good. A cultural shift is necessary. I'm glad to see the EU has the stones to tackle the issue because there is zero political will stateside for any political action other than driving corporate profits masked by populist appeals to xenophobia and whatever other irrelevant distractions they can cook up.
As an American who spends a lot of time in Europe, what I have noticed is that a majority of local news sites in the US block me from accessing them using IP geolocation.
The problem comes when a nation decides to use those rules in a way that is detrimental to the populace or a service they see as troublesome.
AFAIK, no independent lawyer can sue you for violating the GDPR. Only the German regulatory body could sue them.
Now I don't know German law, as I'm not German, but it felt like they were really afraid that it could happen.
law need to be tested trough time, because it will be used by the next party in power for hundreds years, whether you like the party in power or not.
the only reasonable way to reason about law is full on pessimism.
it's like we already forgot the tyranny that was going on less than a century ago and was acquired through escalating legal abuse.
I don't get it. How is GDPR an attack on general purpose computing?
They are not blocked. They have chosen to take their services offline because they don’t think changing their business model such that it no longer depends on aggressively tracking their users is worthwhile or cost-effective. Which is fine by me imho.
I don't agree that if a business chooses not to operate in a country, because it's unwilling to spend the money required to comply with the country's laws, that that is equivalent to censorship.
Another person's personal information is not protected speech.
I was fine with that transaction. In fact, I would rather have them sell my data instead of charging money.
Consumers have a choice on whether or not they want to go to these sites, it's not like they are forced to give away their personal information to news sites.
I would say the GDPR blocking news sites is a net negative because it denies consumers the choice to read news stories.
And I always thought (back in my more naïve days) that I read the site in exchange for being advertised to. Point being, the exact details of the transaction were never shown to the visitors. GDPR fixes that by forcing companies to state the terms of this transaction explicitly, and actually ask the visitors if they're willing to participate in it.
GDPR isn't blocking any sites, it's only disallowing a very particular way of getting users to give up their data and then monetizing that data. Nobody is entitled to their business model working forever, and some companies prefer to shut off a large segment of their market instead of updating their business model. It's their choice.
*metaphors can get quite silly
Self blocking in response to a law to avoid the penalties under the law is being blocked by the law.
That's all there is to it. GDPR isn't banning news sites, or other companies; it's banning a very particular set of antisocial business practices.
The problem isn't only adjusting business models. It's proving you've adjusted your business model to twenty-eight EU regulators. If one of them misbehaves, you now have to wage a legal fight in a foreign jurisdiction. Against those costs and risks is a minimum required revenue. If that revenue doesn't exist, it doesn't make sense to serve that market. Regardless of your business model.
There's just one large company that decided to block EU visitors: Tribune Publishing. Yes, them blocking Europe is bad. Them owning so many local newspapers that this decision even makes an impact is a bigger problem.
I'm not saying that they're the only ones blocking Europe, but I am saying that we wouldn't think of it to be as wide spread if it weren't for Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and LA Times (among others).
* Tribune have troncked Europe because their data control is jazzy.
* Google should really tronc China - fight the Firewall!
If anything, major players deciding not to compete in a market is good to my mind, as a means of increasing a diversity of business styles. Laws like this make businesses pay for the actual cost of thier hidden externalities.
More seriously, GDPR should not extend beyond its jurisdiction. It does though, and there are consequences. Blocking european IPs cost (loss of revenue) must be balanced against compliance costs.
Claims that "they've had N years to prepare" are specicious, if for no other reason than they aren't bound by the specific law. Meanwhile the law introduces a new, potentially large, liability. Which results in companies self censoring by geolocation.
This is what you call an unintended consequence. Remote access to quite a few resources outside of Europe is likely to be restricted should this pass into EU law. As we like to say here, elections have consequences.
FWIW, I support the aims of GDPR, and wish we would get a sane law on this here in the US as well. But I don't want our law extending to others. That would be unfair to them.
The US is probably the biggest "exporter" of laws that are forced down the throaths of all other countries.
HN does not organize large amounts of copyright-protected works, nor are the links to articles an 'upload'. If HN organized PDFs of the linked articles so you could just skip heading to a third party site then we'd be talking.
'meant' is not a dangerous word. All laws require interpretation, which is why most countries have specific interpretation guidelines for legislation and even then sometimes it takes a few cracks at the can to get it right.
That's not something 'dangerous', although it can and does go wrong from time to time. But it's a standard risk of rulemaking as it's the standard process for courts interfacing with legislation or other rule-making texts.
Comment content is governable in the site ToS, where copyright assignment or other methods of defining the respective user/site rights can be dealt with.
Even if it wasn't, your performance in posting implies consent to provide at the very least a limited license to publish content you posted.
So where's the beef here?
Which is probably non-binding or invalid in most non-US jurisdictions and does not address the problem.
> Even if it wasn't, your performance in posting implies consent to provide at the very least a limited license to publish content you posted.
That is like claiming a random user uploading Star Wars movies on youtube is no problem because that user gave them a limited license. That "license" is obviously invalid and Disney can claim copyright infringement. The proposed law now discusses whether "random user" or youtube or both are liable for this.
(1) In a hypothetical world where this law has unbounded jurisdiction
What's the scary remedy for a copyright holder if they already provided a license to publish the published content?
User posts don't make every forum into pornhub. Calm down.
The core problem this law is trying to address is that website users are, en masse, contributing content to websites when they don’t have a license to do so. This behavior is against pretty much all websites’ terms of service.
As there are many users with no money all putting illegitimate content onto a few websites with a lot of money, this law seeks to shift the burden of liability onto the websites. As a policy, it’s not completely unreasonable, but makes the mass content-farm websites like YouTube unfeasable.
The lawmakers fear for their jobs if YouTube shuts down because of their new law, so they carve out a bunch of exceptions to let key sectors of the internet continue operating (with some work to comply).
The broadest of these, implementing automated content filters, is expensive and unreliable. Operators of smaller websites, such as a typical Internet forum, have their own exception. The problem is that the boundaries here are vague and (potentially) poorly drawn, leaving sites like HN (if it were in EU jurisdiction) with a bad set of options:
* Hope nobody notices
* Accept the liability and vigorously police the site manually, probably buying insurance against a judgment
* Rely on judges allowing them the small-volume or non-profit-seeking exemptions
* Implement content filters that are expensive and a terrible user experience
...? Where are you getting this?
Have you read the current copy of the draft proposal? I did.
None of the restrictions are going to kill sites like Youtube (let alone HN). The proportionality element alone makes the 'we need to invest 200% of our revenue into content blocking' myth absurd.
Will some margin need to be shunted into mitigating unauthorized distribution of works that profit the platform? Yes. But that's already the law. It's literally unjust enrichment 101.
My imagination, mostly. Note the policy being referred to in that sentence is meant to be a hypothetical one that was never actually proposed, which shifts liability without any of the safeguards. The second clause is the justification for the various limitations and exemptions bolted onto the basic concept.
> Have you read the current copy?
Not the current copy, no. Last time this came up I tried, but I had a hard time slogging through the European legalese to get to the meat, which I’m not used to reading. That’s why I’ve tried to keep my analysis here in the small, only considering the particular clause that started this discussion thread.
Given how hard it is to read, and the general unhelpfulness of the community (1), it’s probably a good assumption that effectively no one has read the actual text, and instead is relying on the reporting, which feels extremely biased to me on this one.
> The proportionality element alone makes the 'we need to invest 200% of our revenue into content blocking' myth absurd.
You should consider making this the lede instead of burying it three replies deep. This shows that the entire discussion about the other clause is moot, as there won’t be a problem in our scenario regardless of the result of that analysis.
(1) When I did ask for some help getting through the citations last time, the only substantive advice was “just skip that stuff, it doesn’t matter.” If I have learned anything, it’s that everything written into legislation matters.
As an aside, my original reply to you was simply trying to correct your statement “HN does not organize large amounts of copyright-protected works” by means of a counter-example. I think you may be reading things between my lines that aren’t there.
I am, and always have been, calm on this matter. I don’t find the situation scary in any way. I simply enjoy exploring the logical consequences of various lines of thought through the medium of writing, even to the point of playing the devil’s advocate for the purpose of a more thorough exploration of the various issues.
I’m really not sure where my opinions lie on this one, so I’ve been free-wheeling a bit more than usual. I’d like to apologize if my mental wandering caused you any distress. It was not intended.
It's just that there's a big disconnect between what people have read out of the article regarding it's applicability and what remedies actually flow out of it.
Hence the ...so what?
Large sites will have a tool like photoDNA or ContentID to be able to flag works so you can't do something like repeatedly upload something like Aquaman an hour after release. That's reasonable. With respect to a site like HN, it's highly probable the entire article literally has zero impact, unless people take to posting book chapters in comments constantly (and if that happened, you'd expect they should take action in some way).
The proportionality requirement alone alleviates almost EVERY concern people are bringing up. I don't think the legislation is perfect, but it's pretty good, fairly clear, and very easily suited to judicial interpretation to create fair results in unanticipated situations.
EU has a different jurisprudence system based on guidelines and interpretation.
There is a wide range of options philosophically. Confucian courts are even farther from what you might recognize.
So, the short version of the question, in regard to your original comment, how so..?
Those are all copyright-protected works. Literally everything of any substance is automatically copyrighted.
So even reproducing the full title of a news article would likely be an infringement, and then that becomes another thing platforms take liability for/need to filter under Article 13. Whether there's a link or not would be irrelevant.
(It's meant to allow EU news publishers to bill Google and the social networks for distributing snippets/link previews of their content.)
I see this as an unreasonable reduction of previously established fair use. The fact that most of the companies linking to news articles using snippets are American, like Google and Facebook, while many news publishers involved are EU-based hints at a geopolitical motivation rather than any fundamental change to the fairness of this sort of use.
The behavior of publishers in countries where they won this battle is telling: a when laws were passed in Belgium and Spain requiring aggregators to license even small excerpts, Google stopped, and the publishers didn't take very long to offer free licenses.
 Here's one slightly dated example: https://www.sistrix.com/blog/new-data-is-google-or-facebook-...
-- Die Hard
Hold on, that's not true.
The intent of law matters and is codified in various ways, including stating the intent of the law directly in its text. This in turn informs judges (including appellate judges!) of how to evaluate a specific case. In jurisprudential systems, this in turn becomes case-law which further cements the intent of the law as a binding legal construct.
I agree the letter of the law is more strongly binding, but to dismiss intent as irrelevant suggests you don't understand the difference between law and computer code.
Intents may be pretenses which are cheap and mean nothing. The USSR was "for the people" and killed record ammounts of them. Even if ungrounded in displayed maliciousness a "how will this be abused" mindset is its own tradition and I argue a good thing when considering and writing laws.
Since writing a law meant to allow self defense that has text which allows shooting jaywalkers from your backyard is a bad law "to stop offenses in progress" is a bad law. Even if "reasonableness" is applied that leads to more judiciary work, uncertainty and the possibility of injust absurdities holding. Like bashing the head man who is stabbing you right now into the tile wasn't self defense because wood could have stopped him with less force. Explicit text definitions could have stopped the absurdity with say "threat of lethal force by an invading interloper may be met with lethal force" or "proportionate force" even.
I recognize EU law holds different principles but it isn't treating law as computer code. The opposite in my opinion - you are clinically paranoid if you think your compiler will try to twist your code in its favor. You are accurate when describing people and the law.
C compilers have been known to "optimize" code with undefined behavior in such a way as to introduce a security vulnerability that would not exist in the most direct translation of the C code to machine code.
The ONLY person that can use this law is the EU executive (commission). They get to sue, essentially any site they want on the internet. You, EU citizen or not, do not get to sue anyone else, no matter how much copyright infringement, how much damage. You can politely ask the (no doubt up to 10 person) EU agency that the commission puts in charge of this law, but that's it.
The EU commission is not just the only party that can use the law, they are also arbiter of this law. They never have to build a case before court, and of course in practice this means you're declared guilty and punished before your first chance to see a court.
In other words: they can prevent any site they like from getting sued at all and they can sue any site and convict. Then you can fight that decision in court (after, of course, penalties are extracted). In court, you start from an extremely disadvantaged position: you have been tried and found guilty. Effectively, in court you only get an appeal option.
I mean I know the EU is a dictatorship (because the both the positive and negative legislative power is in exclusive hands of the executive alone, the EU commission and council: they can enact any law they like with or without parliament approval and they can prevent any law from becoming law, no matter how much parliament wants it. Or they can change it at will, or ...
But this is even worse than that. This law does not just give them dictatorial power, but essentially makes them an international public prosecutor for internet sites, who does NOT report to any elected government (only reports to the commission which is not elected).
I agree, but that's a matter of opinion. What's factual is that the parent post builds an argument on a false premise.
Further for your info: Hacker News does not "need a filter lest you quote a sentence from some movie", it only needs to take responsibility of you commit copyright infringement by doing so.
I’d happily let Hacker News go if it means other such platforms go with it.
I'll take as a given that many platforms are profiting from copyrighted content uploaded by users, but I very much doubt that the copyright owners would secure any of those profits for themselves if the platforms in question were driven out of existence.
Do you believe otherwise? If so, why?
CENTURION: Has what, sir?
CENTURION: Yes. He did, sir.
PILATE: No, no. Spiwit, siw. Um, bwavado. A touch of dewwing-do.
CENTURION: Oh. Ahh, about eleven, sir.
PILATE: So, you dare to waid us.
BRIAN: To what, sir?
PILATE: Stwike him, Centuwion, vewy woughly!
The movie studio could now hold HN liable.
Well, except that HN is not under EU jurisdiction, so it could probably choose to ignore EU court decisions against it. Bigger platforms of course won't have that luxury, so they'd need to come up with some way of limiting or avoiding that liability... or maybe just blocking EU users.
He's using the quote to make an unrelated point. This wouldn't be considered copyright infringement anywhere you have an impartial judiciary.