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Article 13 Is Back On: Worse, Not Better (juliareda.eu)
489 points by walterbell 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 228 comments





You'd think those law makers would learn. Or maybe we're the ones who should learn.

When the original proposal was shot down, we were happy because we thought/hoped it was shot down for our reasons, but even then there were signs that some parties in the EU opposed it because it wasn't quite terrible enough. So now they made it worse.

I hope we can keep getting this shot down, but it seems to be important enough for the copyright monopolists to keep pushing this, and public opinion may eventually tire of this.

The good thing is that EU elections are coming in May. We need to know which parties support this so we can campaign against them. Let them bleed in the elections if they won't listen.


Once an unpopular proposal is shot down backers of said proposal back off for a bit. They bring up the idea repackaged some months/years later. They fight the battle again. Eventually, after enough votes the measure will pass. People can only remain vigilant for so long.

In most of these kinds of situations, the unpopular proposal is actually addressing some real problem that probably should be addressed.

Those who find the proposal terrible rally against it, but usually don't offer alternatives to address the problem. They may win, but then since the underlying problem was not addressed another proposal will arise. And since the opposition to the last one didn't contribute any new ideas to solving the problem this new proposal is usually similar to the old one.

And where is the general public in all this? The first time when they are told the proposed solution is terrible they can get behind that and call and write and sign petitions at the opposition's urging. The proposal is shelved and the public is told they won.

But they know that there still is an underlying problem to be solved, and signed on to oppose the bad proposal with the expectation that a better proposal would be offered, because the general public does actually want the underlying problem solved.

By the second or third time the now modified in small ways original proposal comes around, each time with the same "no to this, but we aren't going to offer an alternative solution" opposition, people are starting to think that maybe the proposal is the only way to solve the underlying problems because that's the only way that ever gets proposed.

This sort of thing happens with laws in a variety of fields, at all levels of government. National security, housing, transportation, crime, healthcare, education...in all of them you can find bad things eventually passed because the people vigilantly fighting those things didn't offer any answers themselves, just reasons not to accept other's proposed answers.


The problem here is that copyright protections are too strong, and the companies who based their business models on it have too much power.

This proposal does not address any of that, this proposal is a symptom of the problem. If we want the symptom to go away, we need to address the real problem.

Of course to the copyright companies, there's not really a problem, they just see people share stuff online that they believe they should be making money on. The problem is that they can't reasonably do that, so they try to do it unreasonably through this proposal. The "problem" they want to address is not really a problem; copyright companies are healthy and powerful and raking in plenty of money. They just want more of it. They see it as a problem that people are creating new content online, some of which is derivative of their content, and they want to stop it. What they see as a problem, most people see as a good thing. That's the fundamental problem here. Giving them what they want is not going to fix anything for us.


Also, by extending the time for copyrights again and again, they're eliminating the possibility of adaptation and remixing, which can fuel creativity and more the culture forward.

But, hey, Mickey MAY be in the public domain 2024! ref: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/01/a-whole-years-wo...


Where the 'problem' is that the copyright cartels, despite reaping growing, record profits, want even more money.

Maybe after this law passes, they'll decide they finally have enough, and will stop tightening copyright laws?


> In most of these kinds of situations, the unpopular proposal is actually addressing some real problem that probably should be addressed.

I agree that this happens. But I think the claim is overbroad, and the followup "[the public] know that there still is an underlying problem to be solved" is fundamentally inaccurate.

Sometimes, there's a problem affecting the public, but the laws proposed to fix it are bad. This can come from incompetent drafting, where we'd expect successive bills to improve, but it can also come from conflicting interests, meaning anything from a powerful stakeholder undermining good laws to a party split rendering coherent laws unpassable. Quite a few people have observed that American private-actor, public-mandate laws like the ACA might perform worse than private or public solutions, but are legislatively easier. This is definitely a category worth discussing. Even here, though, I think calling on a law's opponents to give an alternative solution is too restrictive. Sometimes the reason a law is bad is that we don't know how to solve the problem, or the problem is fundamentally not amenable to a legislative remedy.

But sometimes, there simply isn't public benefit available. Talking about what's a "real problem" is of course question-begging, since very few laws have literally no beneficiaries. But there are no shortage of proposed laws which benefit no one but the authors, or a few influential companies, or some unnatural constituency like "retired factory workers in two swing states".

A lot of the Article 13 provisions, like many SOPA/PIPA/CISPA/ACTA/TPP provisions, fall in that second category. They're fundamentally bad law, written only for the protectionist benefit of a few already-monopolistic businesses, or to expand government authority without better serving the public. The public becomes exhausted of these fights, too, and it's not at all a matter of wanting an underlying problem solved. They pit protracted industry lobbying against highly-visible mass action, and the use of money and access as force multipliers for lobbying enormously increases its staying power. Even that might be alright, just as corporate campaign donations sometime lose out to small-donor funding. But the legislative ratchet effect means that unlike with elections, bad laws can be pursued repeatedly with virtually no downside.

I do think your point is worth addressing for activists, though. When campaigning against a law, it's worth talking publicly not just about the law's problems but why those problems exist. Is it simply a botched bill? Is it a problem needing more study (or less gridlock) before a good law can be attempted? Or is it a fundamentally worthless law, of the sort where action is needed to prevent it from coming back like a weed? This stuff isn't easy to convey to a mass audience, but it's an important part of building for a good outcome instead of averting one bad one.


Since this is driven by the entertainment industry, a solution would be to just stop consuming entertainment. They've been fucking with copyright long enough trying to get their old business models to stop failing, why are we still giving them money?

People need to realize this - every cent you give to the copyright industry will be used against you.

Everything is copyrighted by default?

But not all copyright holders lobby for such laws.

Those copyright holders who don't lobby for this often represent 1% of 1% of content, as is the case in music, for example.

I stopped buying music from any artists whose label is a member of RIAA or IFPI many years ago.

Which labels are not members? I wasn't aware there were any.

Small labels. All kinds of niche music is not affiliated with the big associations. Ketzer Records is one, for example. That's one from the metal subgenre (Black/Pagan, Death, Doom, Ambient). I assume all niches have their own small labels.

The reason I'm surprised is because the EU must know it is becoming less and less popular by the day, so why would you insist on pushing this? I get the corporate interests, but is it worth slowly disintegrating the EU over?

Historically people either don't vote or vote blindly for a national party that is part of some block in the EU parliament without any regard for the issues. Turn out rates are usually low in any case. So as a consequence, most of the EU parliament is made up of second rate politicians who spend most of their career not interacting with or being scrutinized by voters, press, media, etc. The EU parliament is not where most countries send their best politicians currently (to put it mildly).

Last time the populists barely managed to scrape together enough votes to even form a block (there are some esoteric rules for this). For the past few decades, the christian democrat block and socialist block have dominated decision making. Those two are of course dominated by the leading parties in France and Germany, supported by their smaller sisters in other EU countries. However, both SPD and CDU/CSU in Germany are a lot smaller in the last few years an barely managed a majority nationally. In France, the socialists were completely wiped out and the current president bootstrapped a new party. Across Europe, the parties that make up these two blocks have been in decline.

So, this time, things may end up a bit more chaotic. While I don't necessarily see the rise of populism as progress, I do think shaking up the powers that be a bit may end up being a good thing in the EU.

The key lies in actually campaigning on issues and putting the pressure a bit on EU parliament members that are likely to lose their seat. As far as I understand there are a lot of currently very comfy christian democrats and socialists that are possibly not going to keep their seats due to their national parties doing less well across Europe lately. As soon as they are forced to debate and campaign on these issues, they'll be a lot less likely to commit to voting for something that is fundamentally a hard sell.

So, just start calling out EU parliament members on their voting past and put them on the spot to defend their points of view. Name names. Get them nervous. Remove their ability to hide behind the blocks + national parties they represent and whose party line they blindly toe. Make them work for a living.


The problem is, as important as issues like this are, whichever party you vote for you are likely to disagree with 20+% of their platform, so its just a game of 'best fit'. Minority interests like this lose out in that process because many more people are happy for it to be part of their own personal '20% I disagree with' (or more likely '50% I don't understand') than other big picture issues.

What's worse, theres no guarantee that theres sufficient overlap in everyone's 'parts of the platform I agree with' that ANY of their policies actually have the support of even 50% of the party's own voters. (This is the public choice theory of politics).

Party list systems then make this a bit worse because they make it easier for parties to discourage independent voices since few politicians will have sufficient personal following to be able to buck the machine over the long term.

The only realistic way in my view to get things like this changed is to buy into the system therefore - engage in lobbying of the existing parties, and have sufficient people join those parties, become involved in the party policy development mechanisms and stand for office for those parties to change them from within.

I think that's sadly something that activists for digital rights (for want of a better term) have not fully bought in to, and its why we keep seeing this pattern play out as a 'best case'.


The problem with this is that it only applies to people in some EU countries. The rest of us have to just hope that Germans see the light, because we're completely irrelevant to any German politician.

And in other news, the EU wants to do away with unanimous voting on tax issues.


They have learned. 2 decades worth of learning from the failed dmca, which basically granted Google immunity from copyright violation.

Why should companies like Google be allowed to profit off content creators' work without complying with those content creators' licenses?


The problem with this thinking is that google et al will profit! They have the resources to deal with this. Smaller companies will not be able to deal with this so easily.

Thus, we are subsidizing people with the help of google at the expense of smaller competitors (incl those in Europe). That’s a though trade-off


If Google were forced by law to pay the content creator (all revenues from ads on pirated content) times (1+0.1 times (the number of reports of infringement - 1)) and the random people on the Internet who reported the infringement 1USD per report, how long do you think until infringement stops?

How many minutes would you guess? I think less than 100 minutes.


It would stop instantly. Here's how: Google immediately blocks all content from being uploaded from the EU citing too much risk. And pretty much every other website would do the same, including HN.

Edit: "content" here includes text and code.


You forget to point out what will happen immediately after:

EU creative industry gets reset to the 1980s (what they -so desperately- want). The rest of the world doesn't stop. Not the US, not India, not China. Every EU entertainment industry business goes bankrupt because better alternatives exist to TV and EU Movies, most/all creatives in the EU are fired/out of a job ...

2 years later, all that remains of the EU creative industry is 100 vloggers and one film collective that all operate from outside the EU with material "not targeted at EU citizens" and, on rare occassions, EU governments will seriously underfund one or two movies who are mostly made by volunteers (and since every kid in every school is made to watch every such movie thrice - as a bonus these movies are hated with a passion by 90% of the population, their mere mention evokes bad memories of forceful teachers and painful, extremely tense absolute nonsense quizzes afterwards).

Youtube still reigns supreme. Amazon still reigns, Netflix still reigns. Nothing has changed, if anything these have become stronger, it's just that EU material is now never touched with a 10 foot pole by anyone on these platforms. Film students regularly come on TV, in tears, complaining about how EU copyright law means that as soon as anyone finds out where they're from, nobody returns any calls anymore and purges any video received from them from their hard drives and SSDs, drenching them in holy water 5 times afterwards in hopes of appeasing Youtube's enforcement of EU law.


I assume it would actually be worse than that. You're only looking at the entrainment industry, but most other industries would be impacted by this as well.

I know that they added an exception for source code, but that doesn't really cover all the things you would like as a developer, because sometimes you need to include additional stuff with code. Also, good luck trying to separate code from some other types of copyrighted text automatically. It probably wouldn't work.


> how long do you think until infringement stops?

And how long do you think until innovation stops?


It already has stopped. Nothing fundamentally has changed on the web in the last 10 years. Apart from the size if the major players making it more restrictive and centralized.

DeepMind is the only innovative project Google has, and that was an acquisition.

How long can they be allowed to steal data from their users and sell it, and steal content from other creators and shove and advert in front it?


Nobody but Google or Apple can push through meaningful changes to software anymore, at least on mobile, and in many ways on the desktop too. Is anyone surprised all we get is more dumb devices whose brains are in a data center?

As much as I'm no fan of Google for the way they treated me when I briefly worked there, along with DeepMind, IMO Waymo is acting as the adult in the room when it comes to self driving cars.

Cruise seems to be fine.

Innovation will never stop. Innovation existed long before Google and will continue long after.

Imagine the innovation we would see in copyright violation detection if there were an incentive to do so.


How do you propose a bot will ever understand copyright exceptions such as fair use and political speech?

This. People need to understand that the root cause of life being as terrible as it was under Soviet rule was not so much the atrocities that got reported (that, of course, had to do with it too, but it was not the direct cause of daily life being so unbearable).

But day to day, what really killed every initiative, every improvement, every little bit of relief that might have been is that bureaucrats controlling the platforms were forced to take a 0.00000001% chance of terrible personal consequences every time they said "yes you can do that".

The result was: no to EVERYTHING. Absolutely every, every, everything. This law works the same way. Youtube will be forced to do deny everything. So will facebook, reddit, ycombinator, ...

Copyright can only exist if ALL the rest of society is constantly on the lookout for violations. Sorry, but that's just not worth it.


This is really about corporations flagrantly violating people's rights for their own profit.

We aren't sending anyone to the gulag. Just wanting them to fairly compensate those who produce the content they sell ads on and otherwise benefit from.


You don't even need a bot. Just pay people to do it. It works in every other industry.

Google is too big is no excuse.


How much are you willing to pay per post to post on HN? Because that's what you're basically asking for. If you force companies to vet every single post a user makes and they have to take responsibility for it, then they'll have a rather substantial monetary value attached to each post you make.

Nothing. HN is exempt because pg doesn't profit off these posts.

Anyone care to strongman my argument? Or just strawman?


If this doesn't impact non-profits, why do you think Wikimedia is against it? Are they simply uninformed?

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2018/06/29/eu-copyright-proposal-...


Is that the current proposal or a hypothetical Gedankenexperiment?

> Why should companies like Google be allowed to profit off content creators' work without complying with those content creators' licenses?

If only it were the actual content creators and not corporations that publish the content for the content creators.


This does not in any way diminish my point. If I contract a publisher to print my book or movie is still not right for Google to steal that book or movie and put ads on it.

I don't know why society let's them get away with that.


It doesn't, though. They are obligated to immediately remove this as soon as they attain knowledge of the infringement.

You, however, are cheerleading an obligation to somehow prevent anything infringing on anyone's rights from appearing online in the first place – which is just practically impossible, and any forced attempt is bound to massively cut into free speech.

After all, there's no registry of copyrighted content. Everything creative is copyrighted automatically. If I take a photo of a tree and send it to you, according to Article 13 a service like Instagram now has to (a) make best efforts to acquire a license for that photo from me and (b) prevent you from uploading it there – how on earth should they do either?

Making platforms directly liable for all posts/uploads in practice just means they can no longer accept posts/uploads – not that artists will magically get rich.


You gave instagram a license to share your content.

I'm pretty sure, neither Adam Curtis nor the BBC gave Google a license to share Hypernormalization or sell ads on it. If I buy the DVD of it and show it with a protector outside for free on a summer evening for anyone to watch I could be arrested.

That world makes no sense to me. It's unfair and wrong.


> You gave instagram a license to share your content.

No, in the scenario you're responding to, someone sent you a photo that is not and has never been on Instagram. Instagram is now required by law to prevent you from uploading it, because you are not the copyright owner of the image. How does that make sense?


I see, yes I misunderstood, then if the image is reported as a infringing it should be taken down.

Nowhere am I suggesting prescreening material.


Right. So, Article 13 apparently requires prescreening material. That's specifically why people are up in arms.

Everyone is pretty much on board with the necessity for providers to take down content in response to infringement reports, albeit with a side argument about how current implementations of this favour big money over small creators.


You could be taken to court and ordered to pay damages if someone reports you – but not the owner of the garden you're projecting it in. And you definitely don't have copyright cops show up at your door pre-emptively everytime you turn on your projector, without whose approval nothing will even play, do you?

"You gave instagram a license to share your content."

No, that's not the flow here. A takes a picture and sends it to B. Whatever method A sends it to B can be presumed to at least have a license to do that much. Let's call it Instagram to be safe, which is a Facebook property. Google, an entirely separate entity which has never heard of this photo before in its life, is now obligated to prevent B from sending it to anybody else.

That requires Google to operate on the basis of knowledge it can't possibly have. That's not good legislation.

The solution the lawmakers will propose is a massive centralized registry. Said massive centralized registry will not be free, because it can't be; it's going to have huge operational costs if nothing else, and if it has any liabilities, it's going to need a massive war chest. (This war chest will basically be a slush fund for Big Media; when it gets big enough, lo and behold, there will be a lawsuit that coincidentally just happens to drain it, and, remarkably, the registry will basically throw the game. This can then be used to say they need even more money for the war chest, and they'll raise their fees, so the slush fund is even bigger for the next lawsuit.) When Instagram is obligated to use it, they're going to have to pass the costs on to the user. Once this all shakes out, A is going to find out that they can't send a photo to B without paying money to the copyright registry, despite their complete lack of desire or need to do so.

Eventually, when it turns out the centralized registry doesn't work either because people will start using the services that are excluded from it, the only solution will be to block people from uploading anything that could be copyrighted.

But given the expansive copyright laws that currently exist, "anything that could be copyrighted" is pretty much "anything". Don't worry, though, Big IP will have a solution to that, too; only their stuff will be worthy of being copyrighted. Probably it'll get a special "media copyright" or something, rather than contracting current copyright laws. Now big media will get special privileges that you can't have.

And copyright law will have come full circle, and instead of promoting innovation, will be 100% dedicated to protecting entrenched incumbents.

I'm don't particularly feel like I'm deploying a lot of rhetoric and trying to be scary about something that isn't going to happen. These are all very high-probability outcomes. I wouldn't be surprised the media companies behind their closed doors are totally gunning for the special privilege end games. They aren't stupid. It would incentivize them to continue to be pissy about violations, even after the registry is in place, and complain about the violations they still see, which will mystify anyone who doesn't understand the end goal.

The really sick part is that I suspect Big Media is overestimating the amount of money it will make doing this. It'll do immense damage to the societal fabric, and recover only a small portion of it, making them very heavily-stupid-trending B2 bandits by the basic laws of human stupidity: http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidit...

This will be more difficult to get anywhere with in the US, as numerous elements of what I just outlined will have massive conflict with the First Amendment. And while laws often follow the money rather than the logic, it's worth remembering that, technically, should copyright and the First Amendment come into conflict, the latter, as an amendment, would win.

(Nominally, it ought to conflict with a number of European constitutions as well, but Europe appears to believe it unsophisticated and the sign of intellectual inferiority to be too bound by what constitutions say like those vulgar Americans who are always arguing over it.)


They shouldn't. No one should also be forced to comply with law that requires the impossible to comply.

Abuse by Google is bad, but this is throwing the baby out with the bath water.


It's not impossible. Bookstores do it. Libraries do it.

I just don't understand why OSPs get a free pass while brick and mortar content curators have to obey the law while struggling to pay the bills.


This is more like owner of a noticeboard being liable of things posted there.

Either have a human verify everything nailed (the upload filter) or just remove the noticeboard. Which one will happen?

Libaries and bookstores are more comparable to online shops. I have no qualms for Steam being liable for selling a pirated game. Shops should have verification on products being sold.


Copyright is theft. It is theft of people's natural right to expression and sharing. We've seen that if you give publishers an inch, they'll take the whole 9 yards and sue you for there not being 20 yards, because their accountants predicted a 30 yard profit. At this point I don't think I can honestly support any kind of copyright law. Some limited author's right law, one that cannot be reassigned, sublicensed, etc. might work, but I have my reservations for that as well.

Big Content is certainly making a strong case that copyright law is incompatible with the internet, and arguably with any kind of freedom of expression.

  > Why should companies like Google be allowed to profit off content creators' work
  > without complying with those content creators' licenses?
If it's about profit, simply having YouTube pay all revenue from infringing videos to the real owner, might be a much better idea than to block all content.

The process might work like this: A publishes something, gets revenue from it. B claims copyright. YT suspends payment to A until the issue is settled. When B turns out to be right, B gets all the withheld revenue plus however much YT already paid to A, either to be paid by A, or to be withheld by YT from other payments to A.


Or it turns out B was wrong, willfully so, and A just lost their income. Sadly, this was A's most popular content and, since A was living paycheck to paycheck, they were unable to pay their rent and were evicted.

B went on to do the same to many other small content creators, because B has 100 million dollars in the bank.


Then A disputes the claim a YouTube asks B if the they are sure its infringing on their copyright. B lies and says yes, then YouTube sides with B while A gets a copyright strike, 3 of which and you lose your channel.

Scammers are also extorting money from Youtubers using this feature of Youtube's claim process. See: ObbyRaidz


In case of conflict, YouTube shouldn't blindly side with the most powerful party as they're currently doing. Legally the fairest way would be an impartial judge, but in practice small players can't afford the legal representation for that.

Yeah, there does need to be a way to restrict bad actors. And this is already a real problem: major corporations claiming copyright over other people's original content on YouTube, and that original content getting blocked as a result. When a company does that regularly, submits too many false positives, their ability to claim ownership should be restricted somehow. At least there should be some sort of reasonable consequence. But at the very least, the original owner should retain ownership and eventually get their money again, and that's not currently happening.

Just look at how this have been abuse in replaying public domain music.

The 1st paragraph is sounding close to something I can agree with.

In one vote in the EP, something similar was proposed as an alternative:

* Make (big) platforms provide APIs with which rightholders can check new posts for their copyrighted content and request either removal or monetisation

* Give uploaders 48 hours to contest removal requests before they are honoured, during which their uploads stay online, but may be removed from search results

* Once an infringement is identified and not contested, all earned revenue goes to the rightholders

That's rather sensible. However, it was voted down in favor of just making platforms legally liable for all uploads. https://juliareda.eu/2018/09/copyright-showdown/ (The "EPP group" proposals won – that's the Parliament position, not to be confused with the Council's, which are yet to be fully reconciled).


I'm strongly considering voting straight Pirate Party for the EP from now on. Copyright and internet freedom seems to be by far the most important concern for the Europarliament these days.

The big problem is to get the majority of voters on board.


> The big problem is to get the majority of voters on board.

Agreed, but here's one that agrees with you :-)


This has happened countless times: A very ill received proposal meets sufficient public resistance to be publicly labeled as "defeated", only to resurface in an almost identical version months/years later. It seems obvious that strong powers playing the long game are lobbying to see this passed.

This seems to have become standard operating procedure in the US, and it really kills peoples' trust of our legislative system. It's saddening to hear that the EU is not immune to it either.

The EU has been pulling this stuff for a while. Back when Ireland had a referendum whether they should ratify the Lisbon treaty the Irish voted against it. A year later they were asked to have another referendum with some concessions given by the EU.

Referendums don't really work if one side can just ask to have another one.


I would say it's standard in most western countries.

Eastern countries too, unless they're too totalitarian to hold votes.

That is probably a property of representative democracy.

It's a property of all systems. Some asshole is going to try to abuse it to enrich themselves. That's why checks on power are so important.

Just a legal version of "keep voting until we get the vote we want".

But it shouldn't be shocking that the elites get what they want. The EU was created by the elites for the benefit of the elites, not ordinary europeans.

The elites of every major region seem intent on controlling and censoring the internet ( EU, China, Russia, US, etc ). The question is towards what end? It certainly isn't for the benefit of their own people.


> The EU was created by the elites for the benefit of the elites, not ordinary europeans.

Citation needed.


I assumed it was self evident. All major organizations ( especially international organizations ) are built by the elites. Who else has the time, money, influence and knowledge to create international organizations?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_European_Union


That’s sort of a truism, then. Because obviously building a large international organization is sufficient to consider you part of the elite.

This will kill any form of free expression on the Internet in Europe. Join me in considering France, and soon the EU, as an enemy of human rights. The European Convention on Human Rights, Article 10, is dead.

I used to be in favor of the EU, but over the last decade the more I learned about how it operated and what kind of regulations they passed, the more opposed I became to it. Just the fact that they're bringing this proposal back again means that the "lawmakers" have zero respect for the general public.

I agree to an extent. If France decided to implement these laws in their own country, 30 something other countries could shrug and do their own thing, while the French could attempt to fight it on a local or regional level. While the EU has enabled plenty of good, it's also the perfect platform to implement less good policies such as this in the interest of corporations or rightsholders on an intranational level in a way that wasn't possible before. It's also much harder to be heard as a citizen on the EU-level. I'm not sure what the solution should be, since overall I support the EU.

France is an unitary state with provinces and cities. Copyrights are a national matter in unitary states.

It's not like there's a national place where you can set up shop and protest or strike. It happens on a local or regional level just because of how geography and people work. If the national government doesn't give a shit either way, then I'm not sure what I can realistically suggest here, but it's irrelevant to the point I was making.

Sounds like the reason it went away in the first place wasn't because of concerns of the public, but because Germany and France couldn't agree on the details about who is affected. Given the new proposal, it seems like booth parties might have thought the other's proposal wasn't wide enough.

No, the OP details that the German proposal was to exclude small businesses (<X million per year and <50 employees) but the french wanted the article 13 to hit everyone equally.

It’s this sort of frothing hyperbole that gets the tech community laughed out of the room in the places where decisions are made. It’s not helpful.

I care not. The copyright cartel consistently views profit over human freedom of expression. They, and their bought out politicians, must be called out for their avarice.

we're getting the the Great Firewall of Europe in small but important steps.

expect to see more "Banned because you're from Europe" messages plastered all over the Internet.

except for VPN and moving to another country, is there any other way for a European to avoiding EU regulation?


Vote. Write and talk about this. Create awareness.

We need to shoot this down again and again until they learn. We need to vote them out of office and fix this corporate corruption in our government.

Most importantly, we need to get non-geeks to care about internet freedom, because as long as they believe the talk about how this is necessary, or simply don't care, the copyright monopolists will be able to get away with pressuring governments to undermine our freedom.


I don't think we even can vote them out of office. All proposed EU laws are created by the European Commission, which is made up of unelected political appointees that aren't even meant to represent the views of ordinary citizens. We really have little say. The European Council is a little better in that it represents member governments which could be voted out of power, but unless there's a huge number of single-issue voters in multiple states who care only about this I can't see this having much effect.

Democratic accountability in the EU is incredibly weak, and the member governments seem to love it because it's great for creating laws they couldn't get away with at the national level.


> I don't think we even can vote them out of office.

Of course you can. The European Parliament has the last say on EU laws. There's an upcoming EP election in only a few months. The head of the largest faction (essentially either EPP or ESP) will become head of the commission. There's few times as good as now to contact your local MEP and voice your concerns about article 13.


Yeah, and then we have to put pressure on MEPs again and again every time the bastards who can't be voted out of office try to push some new variant through, and the moment our attention slips and we let even one through they win. Permanently, since there's absolutely nothing MEPs can do to reverse this once it passes, unlike in an actual democracy.

You mean like in the US congress? Or the UK surveillance laws? Or the Australian security law that caused controversy recently?

> Permanently, since there's absolutely nothing MEPs can do to reverse this once it passes, unlike in an actual democracy.

So how's the reversal of the net neutrality decision working out in that democracy again?


>So how's the reversal of the net neutrality decision working out in that democracy again?

What do you mean? Those laws were successfully rolled back in 2017.


> There's few times as good as now to contact your local MEP and voice your concerns about article 13.

Practical question: how do I do it?


It's super simple: https://saveyourinternet.eu/act/

Choose your country, it'll open your mail client and then you can let them know what you think.


I'm appalled to see a GroenLinks politician listed red. He's definitely going to get an email from me. The others too, but I really expect better from GL.

(The other GroenLinks politician is green, so it's likely that the red one simply missed the vote. Still bad of course, but not evil. He needs to show up next time.)


You're telling me, the only green Greek MEPs are the neonazis! What the hell is everyone else doing?

That's a tough one. Definitely mail all the red voters and explain your conundrum.

I did, twice! I hope someone read it.

Thank you. At least I have a list of MPs to vote for in the EP elections.

> unelected political appointees

This has no bearing on the legitimacy of the EU. Members of the commission are selected by the democratically elected government of their respective countries.

People that downplay the democratic legitimacy of the EU really, truly, unequivocally do not understand what they are talking about or have a malicious intention.


Legitimacy maybe, but democratic legitimacy is absolutely lacking. A country governed the way the EU is, would not be considered sufficiently democratic. The democracy for the commission is very indirect.

People vote for their national parliament. Parliament appoints a government. Those appointed governments then discuss who to appoint in the commission. Europarliament gets a say, but can only accept or reject the entire commission, not specific members in it.

The Europarliament is the only democratically elected body on the EU level, and its power is sorely lacking.


> People that downplay the democratic legitimacy of the EU really, truly, unequivocally do not understand what they are talking about or have a malicious intention.

I understand why people say this. The population have not directly voted for these commissioners. They can't simply vote them out. It feels like a step removed from the democratic process, and I'm not sure that's beneficial.


Agreed. It seems to me like claiming UK is not legitimately democratic because we don't vote for the PM nor the Cabinet members...?

There general public has means of proposing legislation which requires the support of a 1 million EU citizens. But you have to search for it find it, and it seems the EU and MEPs have no desire to let the average EU citizen know about it.

I came across it some time ago and I will probably have to look for it again.


I think another measure that could help would be to make the lobbying interests hurt. Old media companies are infamous sponsors of it. Boycott them and call for them to be split up as abusive monopolies and they might keep their heads down or die faster.

As a french i beg other european nations : please, don't let french law makers decide the future of european internet. They don't understand a thing about technology (or science in general) and have a passion for ideology and state regulation.

One of the reason we have had riots every single week for the last 3 months is because of their inability to make smart and pragmatic regulations. Don't listen to them.


French lawmakers do not decide.

EU legislation passes through majority support.

This is not a national issue so let's not try to make it one.

> One of the reason we have had riots every single week for the last 3 months is because of their inability to make smart and pragmatic regulations

Except that many rioters want a rollback on pragmatic measures for purely ideological reasons, of course.


>EU legislation passes through majority support.

Which is hugely influenced by top dog states and their behind the scenes talks.


> French lawmakers do not decide.

No, but they influence enough that they highly correlate with the outcome.


>EU legislation passes through majority support.

Due to the way the EU is set up and the "EU parties" are set up, this basically means that France and Germany have a ridiculous amount of sway on the issue.


Number of MEPs is proportional to population... That's called democracy.

And democracy is the tyranny of the majority.

Also, the way EU parties are structured, you can't even really consider it in that sense. It's possible to divide MEPs from France and Germany between EU parties in a way that voting along party lines would always give a positive outcome for Germany and France. (If you don't get what I mean by this, then think about how gerrymandering allows for a minority to take control over the majority. You can do the same with EU parliamentary groups.)


Well if you have a better alternative to democracy we're keen to hear it...

> It's possible to divide MEPs from France and Germany between EU parties in a way that voting along party lines would always give a positive outcome for Germany and France

That's not how it works.

The way it works is the same as in most countries: There are a number of MEPs per constituency and then the people vote to decide which party get those seats (proportionally to number of votes).

This has nothing to do with gerrymandering.

Your suggestion is plainly nonsensical.


Well, for example, the U.S. federal government was designed to cope with that problem: the Senate represents the states equally, regardless of population, and the President is elected by the electoral college, limiting the ability of large population centers to overwhelm the rest of the country. It's not a perfect system, and there will never be one, because humans are humans. But these problems are not new, and people were dealing with them a long time ago. Did the design of the EU not take them into account?

> and the President is elected by the electoral college, limiting the ability of large population centers to overwhelm the rest of the country

Instead a mere 30% of the US can vote on who is president and the rest doesn't get a say. [The electoral system for voting the president is so weighed that if you were to win the right states, getting about ~30% votes would be sufficient to become president].

The US voting system is broken at best and does not achieve what you think it does.


> Instead a mere 30% of the US can vote on who is president and the rest doesn't get a say. [The electoral system for voting the president is so weighed that if you were to win the right states, getting about ~30% votes would be sufficient to become president].

Has that ever happened?

In contrast, with a pure popular vote count, a few metropolitan areas could outvote the entire rest of the country. Would it be fair for NYC and LA to decide against the wishes of the rest of the nation? What do you think about this?

> The US voting system is broken at best and does not achieve what you think it does.

I said:

> limiting the ability of large population centers to overwhelm the rest of the country

So what is it that you think that I think it achieves which it actually does not? I feel like you're jumping to conclusions about what I think.


A few times, even in the last election, the popular vote did not match the election outcome.

>In contrast, with a pure popular vote count, a few metropolitan areas could outvote the entire rest of the country. Would it be fair for NYC and LA to decide against the wishes of the rest of the nation? What do you think about this?

I think that's totally fair, the federal government should be mainly concerned about issues both affecting those in and outside the city.

>So what is it that you think that I think it achieves which it actually does not? I feel like you're jumping to conclusions about what I think.

No but I doubt that "limiting the ability of large population centers to overwhelm the rest of the country" is something worthwhile to worry about at federal levels in a federated state.


> A few times, even in the last election, the popular vote did not match the election outcome.

That is not in dispute here. Why are you repeating that?

> I think that's totally fair, the federal government should be mainly concerned about issues both affecting those in and outside the city.

I don't understand how what you said makes sense as a response to my question. Why do you think it would be acceptable for large population centers to overrule the rest of the nation's sparser populations? To put it another way, why would it be acceptable for cities to overrule people who live very far away from them and whose concerns are very different?

> No but I doubt that "limiting the ability of large population centers to overwhelm the rest of the country" is something worthwhile to worry about at federal levels in a federated state.

Are you actually reading what I wrote? I asked:

> what is it that you think that I think it achieves which it actually does not?

And you answered:

> No

??? I asked "what?", not a yes-or-no question.

Then you said:

> I doubt that "limiting the ability of large population centers to overwhelm the rest of the country" is something worthwhile to worry about at federal levels in a federated state.

Are you being serious? That is one of the biggest concerns in a country that spans an entire continent with most of the population on opposite coasts and a significant cultural divide between urban coastal populations and less urban, landlocked populations in the center.

Besides that, even at the nation's founding, when it was concentrated on one coastline, the entire point of federalism was to prevent one population, one state, from overwhelming the rest.

Are you trolling? Or are you actually speaking out of so much ignorance?


The US Senate and the Presidential election processes are certainly not things to try to copy...

They can both lead to anti-democratic results. In fact the Presidential election process was originally designed purposely to avoid giving the people a direct and full say.

That being said, the EU already has something similar... the member countries represented equally by their governments.


Raw democracy can also lead to undesirable results. It's not true that whatever 51% of the population wants is right or good. Do you disagree?

> They can both lead to anti-democratic results. In fact the Presidential election process was originally designed purposely to avoid giving the people a direct and full say.

That is one way to characterize it. Another way is that the process was designed hundreds of years ago, before electronic communication, air travel, etc. It was not possible for every citizen to see and hear the presidential candidates before an election. So, like the rest of the representative government, citizens delegated their votes to delegates, who would gather in-person, see and hear the candidates, and select one.

So do you really think it's truthful to claim that the purpose of the presidential election process was to avoid giving citizens a full say?

I feel like you're being intellectually dishonest in this thread.


You asked for a better alternative to democracy. explainplease supplied one. You complain because it's anti-democratic. That seems somewhat unfair.

To quote myself:

> The EU parliament is not the main legislative body in the EU. That would be the Commission. Furthermore the Council has roughly equal power to the Parliament.

> Both the Commission and the Council are nationally controlled by the individual member states rather than directly elected.

Of course it is still democracy because each national government is elected democratically. Accountability is somewhat lacking though.


The EU parliament is not the main legislative body in the EU. That would be the Commission. Furthermore the Council has roughly equal power to the Parliament.

Both the Commission and the Council are nationally controlled by the individual member states rather than directly elected.


> This is not a national issue so let's not try to make it one.

Why not?


It's not French lawmakers (in this precise occurrence), it's the French Government.

Note that the French MEPs voted quasi-unanimously in favour of the directive, so yes that's a French issue.

The main issue IMHO is the proximity (some would way "collusion") between the French ministry of Culture and the companies (such as SACD[1]) undertaking collective rights management for authors.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soci%C3%A9t%C3%A9_des_Auteurs_...


Did anyone ever doubt that political decisions are (also) driven by (personal) economic gain? It even has a name that puts a "legal" shine on the act of corruption: lobbying.

> because of their inability to make smart and pragmatic regulations.

It didn't start 3 months ago... :D


Unfortunately with the chaos with the UK and it likely crashing out, there will be a less of vocal opposition. Though, ironically, the UK itself right now can't seem to make up its own mind up about anything.

I find it hard to understand how anyone can think this law is a good idea.

Who exactly are they claiming to protect?


Because of the structure of the EU, the process of creating new laws is extremely vulnerable to lobbying. Parliament can only vote down laws, which can only be proposed by unelected officials.

So the leverage that the average EU voter has is only applicable at one very narrow point in the process (the vote to approve), while lobbyists can always buy influence with the lawmakers all they way through the process.

And this is the result. Though it does have to be said that the same process came up with the GDPR and that was a decent (and necessary) piece of legislation.

I do wonder why FAANG aren't more active lobbying the EU, though


> I do wonder why FAANG aren't more active lobbying the EU, though

I think they know that article 13 is going to be beneficial for them. If law requires costly content ID, it will make half of companies go out of business or non profitable in Europe. I really think many companies are going to ignore Europe as a whole.


The approach that will continue to work for start-ups (both from Europe, eg Sweden is good at this, and the US), is to build out your service in the US first, monetize it there, and then push into the EU once you can afford compliance. This is already the ideal approach, anything the EU does to make regulation worse will merely increase the advantage of using the US as the springboard market. There's absolutely nothing stopping EU start-ups from first focusing on capturing the US market and then turning their focus back to the EU.

There's another approach that is less legally certain. Build up users in both the US and EU, and only monetize the US users while entirely ignoring all EU law. You allow EU citizens to sign up, and do not place any infrastructure in the EU or do any business there initially. Jurisdiction will be in the US. The monetized US users, which will remain lucrative, subsidize building out into the EU member state markets without any revenue generation. You capture the EU userbase in this approach, then later comply with EU law and monetize that userbase after you're compliant. Would work best for ad platform businesses like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.

If I'm operating a service in eg Brazil, I have zero obligation to comply with EU law (depending on treaties of course), nor do I have any responsibility to block EU citizens from signing up for my service. Let the EU users come in, comply with EU law later when you have to in order to monetize the market. Retro fines are one potential concern at scale, however that ends up being the equivalent of a speeding ticket and you own the market.

One of the mistakes that keeps being made by EU tech promoters, is thinking that they should be concerned with competing with the existing US mega platforms (such that the EU needs to build a search engine to rival Google, photo platform to rival Instagram, mobile platforms to rival iOS or Android, etc). That battle was over a decade ago or more in some cases. The focus has to be on the next inflection point opening that allows for a creation of the next mega platforms. With platforms and the Internet, if you don't capture the US market first, the winner in that market will almost always smash you (or buy you) unless you bar access to your market as in the case of China. That's due to the enormous monetary value of capturing the US market (and you pretty much get Canada with it automatically, a $1.7 trillion economy), it acts as a perpetual well of resources to over-spend on then divide and conquering other markets like the EU.


> If I'm operating a service in eg Brazil, I have zero obligation to comply with EU law (depending on treaties of course)

this is not actually true. There are lots of examples, but the best two are probably:

Yahoo (a US company operating entirely in the US) being forced to stop users from selling Nazi memorabilia because it's illegal in France.

Kim Dotcom fighting extradition to the US from New Zealand, for Mega. Everything he did is perfectly legal in New Zealand, but that doesn't seem to matter to the US legal system.

If your service reaches EU customers, then the EU will apply their laws to your service. If you break those laws, then you may find yourself facing legal problems (extradition if available, from Brazil or any country you travel to that has an extradition treaty with the EU).


> I do wonder why FAANG aren't more active lobbying the EU, though

They are quite active. I.e. Google is said to have spent 30+ millions on lobbying about the copyright reform. Facebook is lobbying too: https://www.politico.eu/article/inside-story-facebook-fight-... (although not necessarily as one would think from their public statements, it seems like they're quite happy to tout how effective upload filters are when it seems like they can use that as an argument to avoid other rules)


The 30 million figure was a downright lie by UK music publishers – it includes the entire lobbying budget (for the year 2016, bizarrely) of any industry association Google is listed as being a member of, which for some reason even includes the political think tank of the German CDU party, whose politicians are actually BEHIND the law, not opposed to it.

Here's an in-depth factual analysis of copyright lobbying:

> The limited information which is available about lobby meetings shows the intense level of lobbying taking place on the Copyright Directive, but it also interestingly exposes that the biggest lobbies were not in fact big tech companies and their associates, as many headlines claimed, but the publishers, creative industries and collecting societies.

https://corporateeurope.org/power-lobbies/2018/12/copyright-...


> came up with the GDPR and that was a decent (and necessary) piece of legislation.

Funny you say that. I'd say it's just the same kind of shitshow - badly written, vague (case in point: if Google's layers can't safely parse GDPR, nobody stands a chance to have certainty: https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/21/18191591/google-gdpr-fine...), entirely unnecessary, isolating EU from the rest of the world behind the new Great European Firewall. Not a day passes that I wouldn't encounter a site that geoblocks EU visitors because they don't want to deal with the uncertainty of GDPR. Expect much more of that if Article 13 passes.

Great for VPN services, though.


They are not interested in protecting anybody and they don't claim to.

You have no idea of the communist and fascist tendencies the EU is riddled it. They just use the enhancements of living standards that the high productivity afforded by modern technology to cover their real goals.

British people have a very good nose for this bullshit that is why they voted for Brexit.

Leopards never change their spots. The human leopards only paint them over.


Correct me if I'm wrong but from my limited viewpoint it seemed like the British mostly voted from an ideological standpoint and now they seem to regret their decision.

The vote was not ideological and the British don't regret their decision.

What you see is a significant proportion of the business and political establishment and the media trying to make out that the people who voted for Brexit regret it. They don't.

Quite simply the voters did not vote for a deal. The voted for an exit, and the Prime Minister and her cohorts are trying to get a deal from the EU that the voters did not ask for.

At its heart Brexit was a political choice. The voters just wanted out, and instead of accepting the decision and planning for Article 50, they have spent the last 2 years wrangling for some deal Brexiteers did not ask for, and now that time is up they are at a complete loss as to what to do.


It's almost unbelievable that they want to remove the single piece of protection that makes Article 13 remotely acceptable to me: exemption for SMEs. If many small European internet platforms were allowed to grow in place of the existing American megaplatforms we could have a more competitive ecosystem (i.e. platforms couldn't suddenly change their policies or UIs without risk of significant user losses) and upload filters wouldn't be a legal requirement.

But that’s been the case as we haven’t had article 13 yet, meanwhile where are all these competitive ecosystems?

Failing to overcome the network effect unfortunately. My (perhaps naive) hope for this copyright directive was that it would add a cost or limiting factor to the network effect, i.e. after your platform grows past a certain size you are accountable for every user and have to filter uploads at great cost.

I think that all data scientists can pick up the baton here. Maybe we could have a nice analysis about the evolution of Article 13 and who supported what clause. Given that elections are in May this would be valuable information. For the DS people it could be a great example of how to communicate complex ideas in a simple manner. Just a project suggestion for ones portfolio.

Personally I'm rooting for the worst possible version of Article 13.

Feed the lawyers, starve the businesses. Make the starkest possible contrast between countries where the lobbyists win, and everyone else. Sometimes you need to get bitten to learn to avoid the snake.

The EU can be to copyright law what Brexit is to internationalism and free trade. A brutal, public, and visible example that completely fucks a major economic player, to the obvious benefit of its neighbors.

The Internet is global. It is much easier to move a digital company than a bricks-and-mortar one, and this would give ample incentive. We will continue connecting the world, continue progressing, and continue making great money doing it. And all the EU citizens will be shut out of that for as long as our government can keep its eyes shut.

Their eyes will open a lot faster under visible economic pain and international embarrassment than they would on the present course.


Yeah, in a way, I hope after this Article 13, we (Europe) get blocked from all major "user generated content" sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, etc.

Try to explain it then to the general public.


What constitutes a European website ? As long as you are not accepting local currency and don't have a registered company in Europe, are you still affected by this ?

The law's not limited to "European websites": If you're making your service available to Europeans, you fall under it.

Of course, the EU can't enforce its laws on you in practice unless you have a local subsidiary (or datacenter, bank accounts, etc)... but it's possible that rightholders may get European ISPs to block offending and non-repentant sites at that level – like ThePirateBay is blocked in countries like Austria and Belgium.


Good question.

I host http://0bin.net/.

I comply to the regular take down notices, but by its very nature, I cannot filter the service since I cannot see what's been pasted.

Would it mean I'll have to move the server outside europe ? Would it mean I'll have to block european IP ?


This doesn't seem to be a for-profit service, so it's outside of the scope of the latest drafts of Article 13 thankfully. As long as you never put ads on it, you're good.

The french draft includes services older than 3 years.

The new proposal that the french are pushing has the following conditions which must ALL be met:

    Available to the public for less than 3 years
    Annual turnover below €10 million
    Fewer than 5 million unique monthly visitors

Another provision of the article limits its scope to services that "organise and promote" user-posted/uploaded content "for profit-making purposes".

The 3 criteria you quoted then further narrow which of the services matching the above provision need to deploy upload filters.

Come to think of it, the pastebin-like site is actually already excluded by the "organise and promote" criterium, regardless of whether it's profit-oriented or not.


> As long as you never put ads on it, you're good.

Nonprofit doesn't mean it can't make money.


I'm not sure this service qualifies. It's not browsable, so it's arguably more like a cloud storage service, which are explicitly exempt.

>Would it mean I'll have to move the server outside europe ?

Perhaps ?

>Would it mean I'll have to block european IP ?

Not really ? They can block you if they want (similar to how DMCA works). That gets into general censorship territory though, for which people are looking into other solutions for far more oppressive regimes than the EU. See signal in Iran, domain fronting etc.

As for currency exchange, this may be the killer app for cryptos ?


Well, from a practical perspective, if you have no operations in or other ties to a country, you are not subject to their laws.

US-centric sites ignoring GDPR compliance would be one such example.


By operation, do you mean a legal one, a financial one or a technical one ?

Probably the first two only. Financial and legal are within reach while technical requires a draconian solutions if you aren't paying anyone to carry your content or doing something home country illegal like hacking EU servers.

You can say, insult the king of Thailand all day every day on the internet and if you have no legal or financial ties you are safe.


The top-rated comment when they cancelled it last time was "seems like the system is working". So is it?

Depends on who you are and your perspective - it definitely is working for someone - just that someone is not representative of EU population.

Sadly, it is time we join the pedos and traffickers in Tor sites. Our discussion sites, our culture creation sites, all of those should be divorced from law enforcement's reach and be moved to safety. It might seem ridiculous to move a site like HN to tor, but it is ridiculous right up to the day it isn't, and then it is too late. We would also free ourselves of copyright, which in the current state only restricts creativity (the things you would put effort in, risky) and in practice fully allows duplicating complete works (effortless, no risk).

The time of running the web on the simplest paradigms (direct connection) that facilitate meddling has come to an end as any bovine lawmaker can give us impossible instructions that they do not understand themselves. It is time to assert the power of mathematics, let them stew in it a little while, let them realize they can't just shut the whole thing down anymore, and maybe in a couple generations they will have cleaned up their lawmaking act and we can try to join lawful society again. Maybe. But I expect that in time a fully torified core of sites will be considered a foundation of freedom, and not something to give up in any circumstance.


EU laws do not apply to the rest of the world. No need to spin up TOR. Put your site in California that should be enough. I don't see HN caring a rat ass about EU law, in the same way that HN did not ask for a publishing license from the Chinese department of communication.

The irony is that the French are the first ones to complain about the hegemony of sites like Google (burning tons of tax payers' money on useless projects like the Quaero search engine), but when they're given an opportunity to shoot themselves up in the foot repeatably, and to kill ANY hope of having ANY European site that EVER competes with the US then they seize on it. It's the apex of stupidity.

I'm going to write an angry mail to my French representative tonight.


I completely agree with your second paragraph. It's the same in germany.

> Put your site in California that should be enough

What if you want the strong(er) privacy protections of the EU?


Then just wait till next year when CCPA comes into effect.

CCPA will not be enough. US needs a GDPA (General Data Protection Act).

> Sadly, it is time we join the pedos and traffickers in Tor sites.

It's not that sad. There is safety in even more numbers, especially legitimate users. It's now easier than ever to spin up a Tor onion service on you own computer. While I have one I'm tinkering with on the side, surely sooner or later a service that makes easy Tor homepage (remember that word?) creation+self-hosting+sharing/linking will emerge.

> It might seem ridiculous to move a site like HN to tor, but it is ridiculous right up to the day it isn't, and then it is too late.

Also, it's the perfect model of lightweight html/css that thrives under Tor. I would ask those building Tor HTTP onion services to keep their content lightweight.


Sometimes I wish we could go back to the early 1990s, when governments didn't care about the internet, and it wasn't controlled by corporations yet. Some way to cut out the corporations and governments and run a network directly between people would be nice.

Preferably without pedos and traffickers, of course, but it's probably unavoidable that if we'd be able to do our own thing without corporate/government interference, then so would any other group. That makes this a tough problem.


Governments are constructs created by people. You can’t circumvent them.

They're also supposed to serve the people; and when they don't, it's the people's responsibility to remove them from power.

Which is just about where we are right now in many countries, at the point where that coin drops collectively.


I wonder if at some point it will just make good business sense not to offer your service / product in the EU? I imagine the cost of developing and running software to comply (plus the fines for anything but perfect compliance) would exceed potential revenue from EU customers in many cases.

Depends on your service. Something like Wechat could pretty easily decide to just not service the EU. It would be a much tougher choice for someone like Google or Amazon.

Do you mean as someone not living in the EU? More than 500M people live there and their primary market, when offering a service or a product, is indeed the European market.

Yes. Of course, if you are living in the EU, you are stuck with that market :)

Stuff like this is why I've gone from being horrified by Brexit to hoping for a hard Brexit. The UK can do better than being stuck with Article 13.

The same lobbies exist in the UK, I'd expect a copycat law to land as well.

At least they added an explanation with regard to "best efforts":

> When assessing whether an online content sharing service provider has made its best efforts according to high industry standards of professional diligence, account shall be taken of whether the service provider has taken all the steps that would be taken by a diligent operator [...] taking into account best industry practices [...]

Further, they added "future developments" to the state of the art of existing means.

Page 7, https://www.politico.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Mandate-R...


The admin of my Mastodon instance tells me he'll have to shut it down if this passes: https://nerdculture.de/@ij/101541005474837977

And they wonder why the Brits want out of this.

HackerNews with Turnitin/Copyscape would be far worse than what it is now like. Really, there are just a few companies which can implement a "copyright" filter.

For text:

  *Copyscape
  *Turnitin
For the rest:

  *Google+Amazon+Apple (ContentID)
  *Microsoft+Facebook+Netflix ("Microsoft Rights", anyone?)

to be honest, after reading this post and the julia link I understand why the law is bad but the idea it is worse simply because it applies to more groups is wrong. a bad law is always a bad law.

the small business exception merely turns a bad law into a bad law as a money grab because penalties will be assessed on a company with deeper pockets and likely increased just because of that.

the whole idea of exceptions to internet related laws recently based on size of the organization or just as worse, its "for profit" or "not for profit" method of business is just politicians moving their weaponization of laws into a new forum


Perhaps the internet is only temporary and will soon be gone, at least in some parts of the world. Perhaps it will be confined to only a few countries. Perhaps something will be developed to replace it.

This is a depressing thread. :(

Liberte fraternite egalite

(It's the other way around -- "liberté égalité fraternité")

Bravo la startup nation !



One day nobody will care about this back and forth between EU politicians and they will finally pass a law that will destroy the internet as we know it. It's inevitable because we have to win every single time, they only have to win once. My point being: Harbours for creative and intellectual people will always be under fierce attack by the common fool, and they will always have to occupy a niche, hidden from the intolerant eye.

You're entirely right. Defending against the encroaching of our rights and the freedoms afforded by the internet (or freedoms in general) requires constant vigilance. A one-time win doesn't matter - big interest groups continue to exist and continue to pour money intro ensuring their interests are disproportionately represented.

This is a losing battle for us. It's a gradual chipping away at our rights that will continue because it simply requires too much effort on the part of citizens.


On the face of it, the fix is rather simple: Vote for politicians who listen at least as much to civil society as they do to corporate lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the political system currently structurally incentivizes the opposite, especially at the EU level, about which there is little reporting because that is all organized at the national level. If Julia Reda weren't an MEP and hadn't been sounding the alarm for years now, the first you heard about Article 13 may have been after the final vote in which an even worse version of it was enacted.

At this point, the Greens/EFA group in the EP is the only one which has even taken the time to build infrastructure to voluntarily track (necessary to even hope to achieve any kind of balance!) and transparently publish their lobby meetings online. (Here's an ugly backend view, the pretty one is on individual MEPs' websites: https://lobbycal.greens-efa-service.eu/all/)


"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few."

exactly. we already did try to push back these and other directives, didn't work, stuff gets added to random articles or just passed verbatim some time later because people cannot rile up activism every single time without generating increasing apathy from the sense of helplessness.

lol this is exactly what's happening but no, -1 hive mind tries to disagree facts.


Surely there's a less inflammatory article out there discussing this?

Sometimes truth is inflammatory. Art 13. is a natural disaster in the making. I've publicly debated many proponents, even had the plesure of debating mr. Voss and ... they have no clue what they are doing. Remember the US congress deposition of Google and Faceboko CEOs and how utterly uninformed they were? Well the elected representatives in Europe are no better.

Their response to most arguments on how this will hurt creators is "we're just trying to protect creators". No counter arguments, just "our intentions are good". Yeah, I've almost given up at this point. Most legislators just don't understand how modern economy and society works ... and the political groups (like the Pirates) who do, are having a very hard time growing due to overall apathy.


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5¢ have been deposited to your Audible Magic account.

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It's not just big content. It's anyone who produces content on the Internet that Google can reach. Same goes for pinterest. All they do is use other people's content.

Why is that OK?

Imagine a used book store did that. Someone comes in with a photo copied book, the store buys and resells it. Or simply inserts their own ads for other books into it.

That store would be shut down and the owner arrested.

Google does it. crickets


That shows a fundamental technical illiteracy - they either tell people where it is or are fair use essentially why they can't demand you pay a euro every time you say "Disney" because of copyright.

If I keep a list of every bookstore in town and what they carry (all publicly disclosable and I honor their requests to stop listing) and people visit it often so much so that I can make a profit by posting ads.

If some wanker expects me to pay him to list his bookstore because I am making money on billboards and he wants a cut, telling him to piss off, delisting him and then watching him go bankrupt is perfectly legal, moral, and just.


Except this is a book store pretty much everyone on the internet visits daily. And the books aren't photo copies but small synopses and blurbs.

If you want to go further you get the whole thing on the creators page, which, surprise, is ad-supported or paywalled. Big content creators basically want the ad revenue (which they get, in large, via portals like Google) and a payment from the portals for the service of getting them that ad-revenue.

Previous such legislation in Spain and Germany was a complete disaster. Spain is now without Google News and ad-revenue is down for many content creators. Germany content producers basically caved and gave Google banket permission to list their stuff.

This is a power move originating from the biggest publishers (which will be the only ones potentially profiting). The smaller outlets are actually against it.


I just can't imagine why it sounds like you are arguing against me while describing exactly the problem.

That Google can force a comply or die decision on content producers is exactly the problem.

I don't accept the "they are too big to be required to follow the law like everyone else" argument. I don't accept that Jane's bookstore has to follow the law but Google doesn't.


Julia Reda usually is on top of this topic:

https://juliareda.eu/2019/02/article-13-worse/


Is there a less inflammatory way to discuss this?

Sure. We can pretend it doesn't exist. Or we can shout loudly LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU...

EU slowly starts to resemble old monarchies, detached from reality, "solving" problems that does not exists and totally missing important issues like Euro currency zone crisis, immigration crisis, lack of common and cohesive policy towards Russia and US, economic inequalities between old and new EU members, southern and northern EU countries.

After Lisbon treaty EU became some kind of mixture of the union of independent countries and a single organism. "The force" that is supposed to bind all countries into a single organism are EU council, EU commission and EU parliament. The real power is in the hands of the first two institutions - that's the EU bureaucracy which became a modern days "monarchy" - people does not have any power to decide who is nominated to those bodies and those bodies can do whatever they want. EU parliament is pretending to be some kind of "democratic" control, but, at the end of the day, everyone votes "properly", if not, voting is repeated again and again, MPs are disciplined, some words are replaced with their smoother version and we get what we were supposed to get.


Please don't take HN threads on generic ideological or political or national tangents. They're off topic here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Why are these articles always used for anti-EU tirades? Did people also call into question the democratic legitimacy of the United States while SOPA was on the table?

> Did people also call into question the democratic legitimacy of the United States while SOPA was on the table?

When they overstep, absolutely. All the time, constantly referencing a much more ingrained charter too. For the US the march to federalism was slower than for the EU, but the centralized large government's legitimacy of handling several matters is often called into question.

What I see more often is a deflection of real political concerns about a growing centralized government. (well, that while often the cheering on of increasing its size/reach)


The United States is pretty settled as a sovereign nation.

The EU is on a roadmap for complete integration along the model of the USA.

It's not unreasonable for people to stop and question whether this is what they want when they see that they have no power to oppose disagreeable, draconian laws like this one.


> The EU is on a roadmap for complete integration along the model of the USA.

That's news to me, especially since multiple EU sources have repeatedly denied this claim over the years. Could you provide a link to this roadmap of yours?


Not an official roadmap with regular press releases, but EU Officials (especially recently) are usually quite candid in media interviews about the direction the project is going in.

You can see this for yourself in the expansion of power and reach since formation in 1993, and in every treaty since Maastricht.

[1] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/macron-urges-gr... [2] https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-emmanuel-macro... [3] https://www.ft.com/content/18eb3400-989b-11e7-a652-cde3f882d...


Has there ever been a time when the EU has devolved power back to the nations within it?

I can't ever recall something like that happening. But every decade or so there's a new EU treaty that transfers more power to the EU, eventually you end up with something that looks like the EU as the country and the old nation states as the provinces, but it happens so slowly over time that nobody really stops and asks if that's what everyone wants.


In France they did ask. In 1992 there was a referendum about Maastricht, where the 'yes' had a tiny lead over the 'no'. In 2005 the French people voted a resounding 'no' to the European consitution , so did the Dutch if I remember well. EU then modified minor things and renamed it the Lisbon treaty, which has been ratified by parliamentary procedure. So even when people opinion is being asked, it's completely circumvented. It is very clear that EU has never been about building a democracy, those that believe that are very naive.

> In 2005 the French people voted a resounding 'no' to the European consitution , so did the Dutch if I remember well.

Along with this, The Irish were forced to vote a second time. Whether the same happens in Britain remains to be seen.


There are differences with the US model, which is obviously to be expected.

A key one for me is that US president is elected by the people. The EU does not have that degree of democratic accountability. Some may think that a good thing.

But without reforming aspects such as this, or at least offering to, I think it natural that the EU will continue to face questions over its democracy legitimacy when stories perceived to be unpopular arise.


Why would people downvote this, seriously?

Was it too close to criticism of the EU, why is that even an issue for some people?


I don't know about downvoting, but want to point out that the US presidential election is actually indirect.

The President of the USA is elected by the members of the Electoral College. The voting population votes electors into that Electoral College.

The expectation is that the electors vote for who they said they would, but there have been "faithless electors".


At the Commission level (where legislation originates and the power really lies), the democratic link is so weak it's homeopathic democracy.

One of the problems is, to my understanding, that many people do not really understand how the EU Commission and Parliament relate to each other.

As a result, they come up with theories about how things work with "undemocratic ways" and other such misunderstandings.

In short, the Parliament is voted directly, the formation of the Commission is done with a kind of proxy (national goverments are in the loop). There is a control loop between the Parliament and the Commission; the Parliament has to OK the new Commission and if the Commission goes haywire, the Parliament can pull the plug.

As for integration, now that Great Britain is finally removing itself from the EU, we can expect more tighter structures to emerge. One of these is the European army, which has been floating around on an idea level for a long time, only to be continuously torpedoed by Great Britain. With president Trump casting serious doubts over the future of NATO and the core premise of the entire defence alliance (the idea that everyone is in it together, i.e. attack against one is an attack against all), it is only logical that Europe formulates its own pan-European defence mechanisms.

For the EU, as one of the supernational geopolitical power players, it also makes sense to tighten the co-operation on other areas, too. One of these is security. Probably one of these will be economical, and so on.


I'm not sure that understanding how the EU Commission and Parliament relate to each other will help convince people the EU is democractic. In particular, the president of the European Commission is currently chosen by some really weird ostensibly-democratic insider political trading: https://www.politico.eu/article/spitzenkandidat-jean-claude-...

Well, again, the directly voted European Parliament 1. elects the President of the Commission, 2. acks/nacks the contents of the Commission and 3. can force the Commission to resign.

I mean, it's not like a wink, wink, handshake and some random person gets installed just like that as the President of the European Commission.

The Parliament really has to approve the person, whoever it is and however the person is found.


That's fair, but it still strikes me as a democratically weaker system for it.

Has the Parliament ever exercised their veto against a president?


No. The closest was in 1999, when the Commission lead by Jacques Santer dropped out voluntarily before the Parliament forced them to go.

> The EU is on a roadmap for complete integration along the model of the USA.

The USA federal government has exceptionally well defined limits. The EU can legislate on whatever the hell it wants. Quite the difference there.


"why people getting punched write anti-bullying tirades?"

because EU is overstepping a lot recently. that's why. the EU could be made to work, but the decision making actors need to be brought far far closer to the constituent than they are now. they basically rule with the detached impunity of who doesn't need consensus to rule, and that's not going to work nor in the short term with these kind of powerplay nor in the long term with the stability of they whole eurozone.


Perhaps because the European common market seemed to operate successfully for 40 years without such legislation?

If the EU was purely about trade, like the EC&SC and EEC were, then we wouldn't be having this conversation or even Brexit. But such opportunities are useful to remind EU citizens that they are part of something much more daunting and profound.


> monarchy

I think you mean oligarchy.

> parliament is pretending to be some kind of "democratic" control, but, at the end of the day, everyone votes "properly", if not, voting is repeated again and again

Isn't this true for most countries anyway? The gov ministers are the ones who tend to create articles to be voted, while the MPs only vote on them.


I'd like to see that reversed: let parliament make the laws (that's what it's supposed to do, isn't it?) while government merely executes it. Power has become too centralised in the hands of the executive branches.

Most democratic countries allow ordinary elected representatives to propose laws, I think. It's mostly a question of whether they can get enough votes, which is easier if the current government supports them. The fact that the EU-level elected representatives have no power to make new laws whatsoever is quite unusual.

Which non-existent problems monarchies were trying to solve?

Article 13 looks like a really nice foundation for censorship.

It’s interesting for me to see how EU socialistic tendencies correlate with things like “right to be forgotten”, “article 13” and other initiatives. It’s as if party nomenclature is worried about their self preservation already.

It’s also telling to see how little effect citizens of EU have over these decisions.


Theses are the same law makers who passed Net Neutrality too and laughed at Brexit.



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