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The text of Article 13 and the EU Copyright Directive has been finalised (juliareda.eu)
354 points by TimWolla 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 215 comments

> What’s important to note, though: It’s not “the EU” in general that is to blame – but those who put special interests above fundamental rights who currently hold considerable power. You can change that at the polls! The anti-EU far right is trying to seize this opportunity to promote their narrow-minded nationalist agenda

The article describes how German and French financial interests pushed through the biggest BS of a law package to hit internet regulation this side of the Atlantic, despite every objection and protest, even against sensible opinions from their camp, behind closed doors, led mostly by representatives of German political power in the driving seat who were unclear on the details of what they're pushing, despite pushing it and defaming critics. After bungling so many things in relation to policy in the recent few years, I simply do not trust these countries to represent anything that's good for me or my own interests as an EU citizen.

Call me crazy, but this does sound like what the "anti-EU far right" takes issue with, more specifically the French-German political control of Europe, beholden to their financial interests. Now I'm not advocating for joining their side, against the EU, by any measure, but it seems to me that people should heed this warning and draw some sensible conclusions in time --- before they find themselves between two terrible extremes and no reasonable way out.

> Call me crazy, but this does sound like...

This comment reveals what the current social climate is most lacking: open-mindedness and the willingness to consider the nuance of an argument before labeling the person giving it as a villain. For every opinion someone has, they have to qualify it and proclaim allegiance to the in-group, lest their opinion be stripped of nuance in an effort to ascribe that person to the out-group. The end result is a gradual dulling of social discourse amongst an increasingly, inevitably polarized electorate.

I agree, but it's a bit necessary online. Psuedo-anonymity means no one really knows who you are or what you believe. You could be trolling. You could be sarcastic. You could be serious. There's tons of bad actors who seek to sow discord or steer a conversation through subtle manipulation, and it works. It doesn't even have to be politics: for the longest time here saying something negative about Rails was a death sentence for your comment score. These days suggesting Rails as an answer might have that effect. And it doesn't even have to be an entire group: some threads commenting positively about Android will bring the wrath of the people. Other threads draw a pro-iPhone crowd.

If someone mentions they're excited about the new Samsung phone and I say "yeah but isn't Android known for a malware problem?" how does anyone know if I'm seriously asking a question, if I'm trolling, or even more effective: if I'm spreading FUD by just putting the tiniest little bug in someone's ear? Someone who might see that statement enough times to say "I don't know if that's true, but a lot of people are saying it", and then they repeat it and the snowball keeps rolling.

The only way to survive in that world is to wear your allegiance on your sleeve. "I use Android, but even I've had a couple of malware issues". But now that's being co-opted too, so you have to go deeper sometimes. "I've used Android since it came out and I hate iPhone and would never use an Apple product but Google should do more about the malware issue".

Forums are weaponized now. By nations, by corporations, by interest groups of all shapes and sizes and means and goals. If something is the least bit controversial, you have no way of knowing what the person (if it was a person) actually meant by it. Which leads to people going out of their way to convince you of their sincerity. Rarely will you find this happening in the real world, unless there is a serious threat that the person's comments might be taken out of context and put on the Internet for judgement.

As a counter weight, communities are built on the assuming of good faith. If we assume a psuedo-anonymous stranger is a bad actor then it is impossible to have functional open community online.

Open communities must balance the risk of bad actors with the health of the community, and most does so through a few selected moderators which job it is to screen for bad actors. This only work as long as the remaining members continue to assume good faith in each other, including the moderators.

I would say that wearing your allegiance on your sleeve kills open communities. Dissenting views are eliminated and thus we get echo chambers. Anything slightly dissenting is seen as bad actor, and we get a oppressive environment where the perceived risk of weaponized accounts becomes a tool for control.

The key is to distinguish between reasoning and data.

If someone argues that, as a matter of logic, housing prices can't continue increase as a linear percentage of wages indefinitely, that's reasoning. It doesn't matter who they are because you don't have to trust them to validate whether it's true. You can evaluate the reasoning yourself. Then if there are holes in it you can identify them and point them out, and if there aren't, it doesn't matter if they're biased or self-interested because what they're saying is nevertheless the truth.

Whereas if someone says that Android is terrible because they got malware that one time, it still doesn't matter who they are, because they should be ignored/chastised for providing useless information in any case. At worst it's a complete fabrication, but even at best it's an anecdote with no statistical foundation. Because data needs to come from someone who both has enough of it to draw reasonable conclusions from and is known and trusted enough for you to be willing to accept that they aren't fabricating it, which is almost never the case for a rando on a message board, regardless of what disclaimers they provide.

Brilliant point, thanks for sharing (it's insightful, well-articulated comments like yours that make me love HN btw). Had never thought about it that deeply before reading your comment.

I do have one minor disagreement tho, purely based on anecdata:

> Rarely will you find this happening in the real world

I've been seeing this a ton in the real world lately (mostly at work but also in some social situations among people that don't know each other really well). This is especially true if the person is going to compliment or agree with Trump in some way (but by no means limited to Trump). "I don't like him but <insert thing> is a good idea."

I have in a few cases felt like it was clear virtue signalling, but most of the time now I think people view it as required in order to have credibility with what is about to be said.

Thank you for this.

I have been trying to consciously put in effort into explicitly delineating my actual opinion and a statement of fact. I found that adding that tiny bit of flavor into it helps spark a conversation in better online communities rather than just getting derision or down-votes. Even if it involves a bit of self-deprecation. Sometimes you have to show that you're imperfect or else I found that people don't really assume the obvious, even though they would in real life. If I didn't add something like that then I found that an entire comment just comes off like I'm trying to communicate some sort of universal truth, only to me is it self-evident that it's an opinion. I'm trying to leave less of that to subtext, to reading between the lines as a lot of that tends to get lost online.

And since in a lot of these cases we can only guess at the truth to the best of our knowledge since the facts will likely remain hidden from us.

> This comment reveals what the current social climate is most lacking: open-mindedness and the willingness to consider the nuance of an argument

Strongly disagree. The current social climate has people pushing fringe and discredited theories in droves (anti-vaccination, non-belief in climate change, white nationalism, etc, and even flat earthers seem to be making a come-back) and I do not believe I need to be willing to be open-minded or consider the nuance of those arguments.

More insidiously, the tendency to shroud poorly reasoned arguments in flowery language and pass it off as good-faith or intellectual (cf: Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson) seems to be growing.

The most powerful man in the world is currently doubling-down on an anti-scientific anti-climate-change platform; I'm not sure what being open-minded here or listening to his arguments is meant to achieve.

See here's the problem one points out Germany has been storming, weaseling and sidestepping the EU governance to push whatever legislation they needed from outside to bypass their legislative blocks at home, of which testimony is ample and wide, and suddenly the internet community bundles him with flat earthers and climate deniers

> one points out Germany has been

A comment points it out, a child comment generalizes that to a different point, and a child comment _to that_ points out what's wrong with the generalization. Where's the problem?

> Call me crazy, but this does sound like what the "anti-EU far right" takes issue with, more specifically the French-German political control of Europe, beholden to their financial interests.

The irony is that the "anti-EU far right" has helped pushed through this terrible law package. As mentioned in the article (emphasis mine):

> the anti-EU far right is trying to seize this opportunity to promote their narrow-minded nationalist agenda – when in fact without the persistent support of the far-right ENF Group (dominated by the Rassemblement/Front National) the law could have been stopped in the crucial Legal Affairs Committee and in general would not be as extreme as it is today.

The upcoming May EU elections will play a critical role in the future of the EU (and perhaps this law package). Please vote.

It is the populists (which is what they are) core gambit to yell about something everyone thinks is bad and then just use that support to do whatever they want. If at this point in history we as human beings still cannot recognise this core tenet of how they operate we deserve what's coming to us.

> It is the populists (which is what they are) core gambit to yell about something everyone thinks is bad and then just use that support to do whatever they want. If at this point in history we as human beings still cannot recognise this core tenet of how they operate we deserve what's coming to us.

The mention of the word "populist" always puts me in a state of mild amusement coupled with a slight bewilderment. This word seems to have come into the public discourse relatively recently. Perhaps it's been there all along and I wasn't paying attention. More to the point I don't quite get what it means. It generally has a negative connotation associated with regardless of the context (e.g. Italy, Brazil, France, UK, etc). I consider the HN crowd to be enlightened. Perhaps someone can explain it to me in simple terms what exactly is meant by the word populist.

Wikipedia is a decent start. Including the (inevitable) discussion of democracy-vs-populism:


In political science, the term populism has a long history of which I can only offer a small sketch. The paradigmatic cases are to be found in Latin American politics over the last century, especially the Argentinian leader Juan Peron [1]. In its classic form, the term is used to describe a wave of political parties who were neither pro-communist nor pro-capitalist, who found great success in countries that were both electorally democratic while also highly economically polarized. In countries that had traditionally been governed by a small cultural/economic/military elite, this new generation of political leaders began to win campaigns by vote-seeking from the disenfranchised through whatever means, typically through a combination of anti-status quo rhetoric and redistributive policies. This isn't just to suggest that they weren't "authentically" in favor of the poor or anything like that, but to understand how such a phenomenon can change the dynamics of democracies, where politicians are lead less by values (whether they be classically conservative, pro-market or socialist) than vote-seeking at any cost. It's also why we can find both "left-wing" and "right-wing" variants of populism, depending on exactly the types of rhetoric (anti-immigrant or anti-rich, for example) and policies (build the wall or tax the rich) that are employed.

The phenomenon is heavily connected with what is called "clientelism", ie where politics becomes ruled by relations of patronage. Imagine a situation where a particular political party literally pays for membership, with the expectation of a vote and to mobilize for certain events. Such structures are not uncommon in rural areas of developing countries, where essentially feudal relations (think the same person, who conveniently owns all the land and employs everyone in an area, has been the mayor of a town for three decades) have been converted into seemingly democratic structures [2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peronism or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism_in_Latin_America [2] https://u.osu.edu/laspoliticas/2016/10/30/clientelism-in-lat...

It's a bit ill defined but generally refers to politicians advocating whatever works with the crowd rather than policy that makes sense. 'Build The Wall' would be an example. Trump didn't use to have much of an opinion on that but it was a popular chant at rallies hence the present mess.

“Populism” is a new liberal epithet. It’s been reinterpreted to refer to common views of the “filthy masses,” among other things traditional views of self and people and place, as opposed to fealty to a trendy abstract liberal universalism.

Liberal populism is a thing, and is a goal of hipster Democratic activists. But implicit in populism is a sort of rejection of pluralism, and a notion of some will of the people that transcends the political process, which is disquieting no matter what side of the political spectrum you're on.

I think "populism" from us liberals is a euphemism for "whiteness," as in the socially constructed club called "whites." At least partially? I don't keep up with a lot of mainstream liberal writing these days.

Liberal populism on the other hand implies American patriotism and belief in actual democracy, valuing the ever-varying "melting pot" above concentrated power in corporations, law enforcement and the executive branch, and above any social differences (I think. May be misreading you!)

I think "populism" from us liberals is a euphemism for "whiteness,"

This is just a very recent and inaccurate conflation with Trumpstuff. Al Gore's 2000 campaign was often described as 'populist'. It's a pretty gooey term.

In ideologically pure liberalism, the “melting pot” is dead. We’re a salad bowl now.

Hitler was called a populist back then...

very "new", indeed.

it has always been used to describe people that just say whatever the masses want to hear, without actually doing anything to address the issues they campaigned with.

> It’s not “the EU” in general that is to blame – but those who put special interests above fundamental rights who currently hold considerable power.

While I agree with the author's point that the latter category--those who put special interests above fundamental rights--includes the far right as well as the far left, I have to disagree that "it's not the EU in general that is to blame". The problem is that the EU in general is set up to allow this sort of thing to take place. Yes, in this particular case it has bubbled up to visibility early enough to give people a chance to try to convince their representatives to say no. But how many other things are going on behind closed doors that don't get publicized? How many other special interests are being put above fundamental rights without public knowledge? If a government is so untrustworthy that citizens have to constantly micromanage what it does to avoid having their rights taken away, what's the point of having the government in the first place?

Nationalism is the problem behind that, not the solution for it:

Legislative processes in the EU are woefully under-covered by the press. That's because newspapers have offices full of reporters to work on national political stories, yet send only one person to Brussels to cover all issues there. (That in turn is one factor leading to EU political jobs being way less glamorous and desired, which in turn has an effect on who even gets sent there in the first place, etc.)

It's no wonder that when everyone's horizons end at their national borders the supra-national body will operate under too little scrutiny. We need to start thinking European – the alternative, going back to trying to regulate things like the internet in 28 different ways on a single continent, is just not a reasonable option.

> Legislative processes in the EU are woefully under-covered by the press. That's because newspapers have offices full of reporters to work on national political stories, yet send only one person to Brussels to cover all issues there.

Do actual EU citizens want the important legislation to happen at the national or EU level?

I'm not from Europe, but one of the weird things about the EU is that sometimes it seems to be trying to be a state and a not-state at the same time.

If you’re in the US: do you want legislation to happen federally, or at the state level?

It all depends on the scope of the legislation. I have a small business that sells food EU-wide, and that’s only possible because the law is aligned. It’s enough work to get certified as organic once. To do it 18 times over would be prohibitive. Same with packaging and labeling, T&Cs, payment systems, etc.

Other whole areas have stayed national, such as criminal law or most social issues (gay marriage, abortion, unemployment benefits, defense, pensions).

I can’t see a discernible difference in how much of the legislation I like that correlates with where they originate. Or, if anything, it seems like EU stuff tends to be more pro-consumers. C. f. free roaming, passengers’ rights in air travel, car emission standards.

The EU is actually somewhat more responsive if you want to talk them, if only they constantly feel threatened in their very existence.

>I'm not from Europe, but one of the weird things about the EU is that sometimes it seems to be trying to be a state and a not-state at the same time. That’s IMO the fundamental flaw of the EU — they want to be the “United States of Europe” but unlike the USA, there’s far too much history and non-shared heritage between the countries for them all to effectively shed their heritage and reshape into a cohesive whole.

Not sure why you are being downvoted, that’s a fair thing to point out IMHO.

> Do actual EU citizens want the important legislation to happen at the national or EU level?

Well, when an EU directive agrees with you and overrules your national elites, of course you are all for it; and when it's the opposite, it's "them shady eurocrats"...

We are in the middle of a transition. Consider the history of the European nation-state: it took about three centuries for France, Germany, Italy and Spain to solidify into what we now regard as nations. Still today, we have significant problems with regionalist movements almost everywhere. One could even argue the UK, that shaped the structure of relations between nation-states so much in centuries past, never even reached the full ethnically-defined description of nation-statehood...

We are now trying to further aggregate and streamline these already-shaky constructs, something we have to do if we want to have any hope of resisting demands by global superpowers. It will be a long process and it's clearly not finished yet. It might even entail the deconstruction of the ethno-state as commonly conceived, like the move to statehood did away with things like city-states and regional dialects. Instead of 28 countries, maybe we should have 100 regions. We don't really know yet.

But it's a path we just have to walk, unless we want to be a satellite territory where bigger powers come to clash - which is basically what we had become in the '60s and '70s, when the Cold War happened. We had state-sponsored terrorism across all of Europe; half the continent was literally enslaved and the other half was doomed to nuclear holocaust. Nobody who really remembers how it was, can possibly want that again.

> Well, when an EU directive agrees with you and overrules your national elites, of course you are all for it; and when it's the opposite, it's "them shady eurocrats"...

Some people just want these important decisions done at the national level, hence Brexit.

Please. Brexit is due to a number of factors, most of them fairly irrational and built over decades of lies from the British press and British politicians. The people shouting to “take back control” don’t know what that “control” even means, and most of them are completely ignorant of how their own government operates, let alone the EU. They were really complaining about the under-representation of English grievances in British politics, about the distance between London and the rest of England & Wales.

Unless, of course, you mean corrupt oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch and Arron Banks, who simply want to cut any political power to size to protect their own interests. They indeed want decisions to be taken at the lowest possible level.

> Please. Brexit is due to a number of factors, most of them fairly irrational and built over decades of lies from the British press and British politicians. The people shouting to “take back control” don’t know what that “control” even means, and most of them are completely ignorant of how their own government operates, let alone the EU.

Quite the assertion, and ironic with Project Fear in full swing. There is of course the question of how much understanding is needed of how the EU works to want to take back control. 'Can national laws override an EU law? No? We need control!'

Is it so hard to acknowledge that people you politically disagree with might actually have valid reasons and not be the vegetative idiots you assume them to be?

As usual, one wants all the benefits without its disadvantages, no matter how impossible that is.

I'd like for the EU to transform more into a state, but that will be hard unless the local powerful are willing to give up their power. The concessions that had to be made to get as far as the EU is today are also part of what is holding it back. Thankfully a significant veto power will remove itself from the EU in the coming months.

A huge reorganization such as setting up a proper new state seems easier with help of some disruptive event like e.g. a war or imminent war, something I hope the EU won't have any opportunity to take advantage of.

> I'd like for the EU to transform more into a state, but that will be hard unless the local powerful are willing to give up their power. The concessions that had to be made to get as far as the EU is today are also part of what is holding it back. Thankfully a significant veto power will remove itself from the EU in the coming months.

Okay...I'm assuming you're based somewhere in the EU. As far as you can tell does the average German want to be i the same state as the average Greek? Do Germans want to be in the same state with the French. I'm not so sure...I can imagine Germany, Austria and Switzerland working reasonably well as a single state. The same could be said about Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.

I'm sympathetic to your overall reasoning. When I look at the US it feels like a minor miracle that it has held together for as long as it has. I'm rather skeptic about the possibility of the EU ever approaching anything like that kind of union.

US speaks a common language and has common culture and well-working federal level public oversight. Federal-level elections are prestigious, the best policians are not local, but federal, and can talk to voters in all of US.

Literally none of that is true in EU. It’s not that miraculous that US holds together; it would be if EU could function the same way as a democracy.

Note that several polls over the last view years have found a large minority of people in the US (between 25-40%) view secession favorably, with higher support among millennials.

It’s a bit like with casual racism or sexism: there is a disconnect between the younger generations’ outlook and the older ones’. Stereotypes are hard to die.

Fun fact: almost half of millennials in Washington State support secession, higher than average. Regionalism is making a comeback.

If you're unhappier with the national decisions (e.g. Trump) than regional ones, regionalism starts looking better and better... I'd bet that's almost all the reason behind it, not some kind of deep ideological stance on governance.

I’d say it’s essential for a functioning democracy to have all decisions made under scrutiny. Whether that’s local or not doesn’t matter, scrutiny matters. And for better or worse, we only have somewhat functioning local scrutiny.

These days anyone who criticizes EU is labeled Putinist, “populist” (case in point: comments around here), far-right etc., but there are legitimate concerns with how EU works:

- There’s precious little public oversight, as parent post described.

- Fixing that is hard. This isn’t US, but a mishmash of countries that don’t have all that much in common: not language, not culture, not shared historical experience (e.g. “eastern” countries are bitching about EU’s heavy-left leaning because they lived through socialist experiments that young Westerners are enamored with, and are vary of repeating them; southern states don’t see economy performance the way Germany does; Poles know Russian aggression all too well and value US military presence way more than most of EU, and so on and so on).

- Cyclical course corrections, so typical for functioning democracies, are non-existent, because voting can influence precious little: voters only have direct control over EP, which is mostly a rubber-stamping body. You can observe it with this directive: wasn’t EP initiative (because at the EU level, legislative/law-making and executive branches are merged). EP still voted for, despite massive opposition, but with caveats. Didn’t matter: backdoor discussions ended the way they ended - including EP position being... not entirely compatible with plenary vote. This is typical, the EP representatives in the trialogues aren’t bound by previous EP vote and see making a deal, no matter how bad, as necessary. Next step is EP approving the result. It is extremely rare for a plenary to reject trialogue output. It probably won’t happen even with this mess, but there’s a chance it might, this time. If it does, it will be championed as the process working (people on HN said that last month when the news hit that talks broke down... not so much). For things that are not this important to this many people on the right side of the political spectrum, it just doesn’t happen.

> the alternative, going back to trying to regulate things like the internet in 28 different ways on a single continent, is just not a reasonable option.

But this was working fine! The way that it was "regulated", was that it basically wasn't.

Ineptitude in regulation seems like a feature, not a bug, when the regulation that people try to pass ends of being horrible.

28 countries acting ineffectively to regulate the internet is something that I support, not oppose.

In this case the press itself is the special interest group. Publishers are trying to protect their content by dropping A-bomb on a pest.

>Nationalism is the problem behind that, not the solution for it

I dont think nationalism plays into this. If we didnt have a supra national body with that kind of power we wouldnt have article 13. Quite a few of the regulations where proposed on national levels first, like the link tax in Germany, and rejected there. It was similar with providers being forced to collect your browsing history. The constitutional court ruled it illegal in Germany and it was then proposed via the EU and enacted there.

I see absolutely no reason to enforce any regulation that is not aimed at enabling a united market across the member states. The EU is an economic union not a United States of Europe.

The link tax was not rejected in Germany, in fact it's the law of the land there. When it failed to lead to the expected riches, the lobbyists behind it switched their attention to the EU level.

It could well be argued that all Internet regulation has to do with enabling a united market.

They changed the content of the Leistungsschutzrecht in the last phase to allow for the citation of short text segments. Its a lex google news not a link tax as it was first proposed.

>It could well be argued that all Internet regulation has to do with enabling a united market.

At the core it is a regulation about how to combat copyright violations. The argument that there needs to be one legalsystem across the EU in order to enable a united market is thin imho. Especially if the united market doesnt even have a united tax system.

> It's no wonder that when everyone's horizons end at their national borders the supra-national body will operate under too little scrutiny.

This is not necessarily true. The early United States had a relatively weak Federal Government precisely because States had quite a bit of scrutiny. It's only after the past 100 years that the U.S. Federal government's power has increased substantially.

The point I'm trying to make here is that a true union among states is not easy, but it does not necessarily lead to undue power over the long term. We'll all probably not live long enough to see how it plays out in the EU, but there is precedent for this type of coordination throughout history.

> “Call me crazy, but this does sound like what the "anti-EU far right" takes issue with, more specifically the French-German political control of Europe, beholden to their financial interests. Now I'm not advocating for joining their side, against the EU, by any measure, but it seems to me that people should heed this warning and draw some sensible conclusions in time --- before they find themselves between two terrible extremes and no reasonable way out.”

The ease with which people who show any sympathy to the idea that centralization of power in Europe has negative consequences are cowed by smears of "far right" this and "reactionary" that is precisely how the centralizers are winning.

The point of the EU is to centralize political power in Europe, and the way they've gotten to this point is by obscuring that aim just enough that they aren't rejected. You can see the purpose of the EU in the calls by the French and German true leaders of the EU to raise a transnational army, the only practical purpose of which would be to police the member states and wage unpopular wars with people who are not the enemies of any member state (otherwise they are clearly doing fine with separate but cooperative military command).

the problem is that the EU doesnt have any internet unicorns being affected by this. So they don't counter-lobby. So whatever small scale online business exists in eu, is screwed.

You're right. It was relatively easy for the US to create those companies as it in itself is a huge market with lots of people who, at least, theoretically share a large cultural identity. We don't really have it here so often Germans market to Germans, the people of the UK to the UK, etc.

I'm very concerned, especially as the future is involved, that my personal freedoms necessitate billion dollar corporations to lobby in my (and their) best interests. I don't know why I get informed on the issues that I care about and affect me and then go and do my civic duty and vote according to my conscience, then. And that's scary.

The US is incredibly lucky to have been founded on an idea that the government is for the people and not vice versa (even though, I will readily admit that the US itself is kind of an imperfect example at the moment, it's the best I see).

Just remember this crap next time anybody spouts bullshit about democracy.

It's hard to convince people that the Federal government in the USA is not really democratic in nature because media companies make billions of dollars in revenue off of every election and it's in their interest to propagandize it as much as possible.

But in the EU it should be easy to convince people it's just smoke and mirrors and that the central government only represents moneyed interests due to just how far removed it is from any and all oversight by individuals living in the EU. It's a lot more obvious in Europe that even if you got 10 million people to agree with you and sign papers and send letters the central EU government is going to be unaffected and won't really care a whole lot.

The only way to cause any change in behavior in government bureaucrats is to impact them directly and individually financially.

But since it's illegal to not pay your taxes there isn't much you can do.

Every EU law needs the approval of a majority of directly elected MEPs. They are up for reelection in May. Of course one can influence their behavior.

> Every EU law needs the approval of a majority of directly elected MEPs.

The problem with this is that MEPs are elected generally rather than for a specific competency, and then you get stuck choosing between different types of foolishness.

To use an example from the US, the Democrats have generally been the party of Hollywood and proposed a lot of problematic copyright legislation, and a lot of bureaucratic means-tested social assistance programs and loan interest subsidies that do things like inflate housing, medical and education costs. On the other hand, the Republicans have a preposterous position on climate change and the current Republican-controlled FCC is more like Verizon-controlled. So who should I vote for if I want to have a carbon tax but get rid of DMCA 1201?

A solution to this might be something like voters electing representatives on a per-committee basis, but that isn't currently what happens.

> So who should I vote for if I want to have a carbon tax but get rid of DMCA 1201?

You make sure there are opposing parties. Like the house and senate controlled by different parties. It forces them to argue and fight and compromise, but the end results are better.

This seems mostly like a fallacy of the mean. The compromise between two positions is not necessarily the best, and may be worse than either of the two.

Compromise is a necessary part of any democratic system, but because it is necessary to represent all of the constituants and balance their needs. It does not mean that it results in better decisions on any particular issue nor does it provide a good way for an individual to get a cross-section of their viewpoints represented fairly.

Seems more like the end-result is serious problems don't get addressed and only the worst laws get passed.

The average voter knows even less about how the EU works than they do about their own country. The press rarely covers EU business, except for ECB policy.

People treat them as some sort of low stakes national election and they generally penalize the governing party (let's send them a message) and the small parties get a boost. They have no idea which parties/coalitions exist at the European level and where the national party they're voting for fits.

In sum, it's a big joke, to an even larger extent than democratic elections usually are (as argued in books such as Democracy and Political Ignorance or Against Democracy).

Some of that is due to the national press (the UK for example has a disgraceful sector, the result of a classist society unbefitting of a modern country); some to voters who have forgotten the lessons of the past. Democracy, like most of civilization, has to be earnt anew every day.

in theory. eu parliament elections are no different than national elections: they are partisan and considered a gauge of the general elections and usually it becomes a dumping place for former national politicians. there is a huge disconnect between MEPs and citizens of their country. practically only lobby groups can be bothered and have the opportunity to lobby their causes. i have not heard (or told) a single word about gdpr or this new regulation from our MEPs. i very much doubt most of them know what they are voting for

All i read in your post is "citizens don't care". Every democracy will fail if citizens don't care. And I understand its natural to care less about stuff further away. But we need to organize some way how to live together, with democracy least bad option we have. We better make it work somehow.

Its fair to say that the EU is not generally seen as a big democracy, but as a large administration that lives in the background, kind of like NATO or the UN, so people don't expect to engage in EU politics in the same way they do with national politics. It is more problematic for example that the reasons why with the EC is proposing the laws are not clear, rather than why the MEPs voted for them.

So well. There isn't a 700b$ gorilla but Booking.com is Dutch and worth around 80b$, Spotify is apparently good for 26b$ (Stockholm) and Zalando of worth a single digit number of billions (Berlin).

those businesses don't deal with user-uploaded content though.

Sure they do. Booking has reviews and user uploaded pictures (the latter is somewhat limited though). But indeed, it's not Instagram.

Policies such as GDPR don't help when trying to create an online software business in the EU.

GDPR isn't meant to protect business, it's meant to protect citizens from businesses.

It's the people in the EU to blame for voting the MEPs they voted.

MEPs can only vote for/against legislation and if you've seen the videos posted on Youtube by an MEP two or three months back, it's a pretty rushed and not what I'd call rigorous process.

We did not vote in the EU commisioners who are the only ones who can initiate legislation, nor can we vote to get rid of them.

> We did not vote in the EU commisioners who are the only ones who can initiate legislation, nor can we vote to get rid of them.

And that is fine, because bad laws, in theory, can be stopped by those who we did vote for.

The unfortunately scenario when both groups are mainly from the same interest groups, which very much looks like the case now; these two groups - commissioners vs MEPs - should always be opposition to eachother for this to work.

It’s important for journalists to do everything in their power to disavow any notion that they might consider anything marginally right of center to not be the work of Satan himself, lest they find themselves out of a job.

May is near.

Britain is on their way out, so expect more of this Franco-German special interests BS. The far right has only supported the special interest groups. If this law is passed, it is with their full support. Keep that in mind when you vote in the upcoming EP elections. Hardliners will always support restrictive laws and regulations further eroding your rights and your freedoms up to the point where you become a prisoner in your own country.

I can spend days and days trying to find a legal copy of an album I can purchase in reasonable quality (read FLAC) so I don’t have to pirate (done in less than a minute). And I often fail, because the content is strictly geo-fenced and incredibly complexly licensed and as a EU-citizen I cannot have those ones and zeros.

The system is madness and sometimes impossible to navigate, even for strongly dedicated humans.

And here the EU expects that any website which has user uploads should make a “best effort” effort to try to automatically license all the copyright of anything ever.

How the fuck can they claim to mean this seriously? No really. Just how do they plan for this to work?

My findings so far for legal FLAC sources are:

bandcamp: if it's there this is the best solution, you get option of what format you want and you don't have to pay more just for lossless. Unlimited number of downloads.

7digital: technically geolocked but I can access other country stores on their site and add to checkout and pay (??). Unlimited number of downloads.

tidal.com store: everyone knows them about streaming but they have an actual store with lots of stuff and the option to get flac. Much higher prices for FLAC vs MP3. Availability depends on IP location but with a proxy in Europe I'm able to buy as if from Europe (although I use a US credit card). Only allows to download (MP3 or FLAC) once per song so better backup those copies...

And last but not least, CDs: just buy second hand CDs as cheap as you can from discogs, Amazon or ebay and rip it. If it's not heavily scratched it won't matter that it's used.

I feel with you on FLACS. Beatport makes you pay 75c extra for the FLAC (why???) and doesn't even let you download the song again after 24 hours. It's nice the FLAC is available, but seriously 24 hours availability in 2019? It's very hard to give them money for that.

Aahh, Beatport.

I once lost my huge chunk of my music library due to a hard drive corruption (and not up to date backups, whoops).

No big deal, I’ll just re-download all my purchases (in the order of hundreds of dollars): nope.

Emailed them and asked, they said no, pleaded the case, mentioned how much I’d spent and they re-enabled them all with a snarky note about always keeping backups.

I try to buy as much as I can from Bandcamp instead these days.

I pay for Spotify. I pay for concert tickets. As far as I'm concerned, this fulfills my obligation to support my favorite artists. Digitally downloaded music is thus already inherently "paid for" and can be downloaded from any source, even if some random entity considers this source "against the rules". No moral hazard, no hassle. Just music.

My point was not the moral aspects of pirating.

It was about the impossible complexity of doing anything IP by the books, even as a end-customer, as a single instance transaction.

And here the EU expects all companies out there, as intermediaries, to solve this generically and automatically.

It’s a joke surely?

It's not a joke. I think most of the people behind this are simply so naive that they can't believe the free market won't fix this.

>"the free market won't fix this."

I've been seeing a large increase in comments like this across the internet. Can you share where you learned the definition of "free market"?

> definition of "free market"?

Basic supply/demand. Many people believe that a demand for something will result in someone deciding to make money by providing the sought-after good/service.

Where did you learn about the concept of "free markets" though? Is it the school system of a certain country? A website?

I don't mean to try to hide why I am asking, it is because trying to tie a situation like this to "free markets" is ridiculous if you know it means "free of government meddling".

No worries. I learnt the concept at school, I guess? Mid or late 90's? :D

My definition is the same: Free from government meddling, although most markets obviously have some regulations on certain products and services and that they obviously aren't completely free.

Anyway, "free market" is being used by a lot of neo-liberal politicians here in the EU at least. The idea is that if you create a demand for some good or some service, then the private sector will automagically start providing the good and/or service simply because there's money in doing so.

What I meant was that I do believe that the politicians behind Article 13 think that the private sector will simply provide the 100% foolproof upload filters they're mandating, simply because they pass a law that mandates such filters.

I hope that made it a bit more clear. Some of it might have been lost in translation. English isn't my first language.

This is almost exclusively (average) americans and shielded rich right-wingers in my experience.

Why would a rich right-winger criticise free markets? Surely they benefit most from it?

Which is easier for a rich person?

1) To pay off a few politicians

2) To sell a product/service to millions of people

I'd say it is usually the first. If you are already rich and powerful it is in your interest for the government to have more control. Eg, more red tape means higher barriers to entry to your (new and smaller) competition.

I think the problem is not so much with the downloading right now but with the uploading, so kill the horse and the cart stays put. if noone can upload infringeing media then its not available to download from unauthorized services.

The fact is, you don't have a right to that FLAC copy. You're not entitled to it, and if you can't find it, that means you don't get to have it. The end.

Not saying any of this is right, but this whole entitlement attitude feels wrong too.

My point was exactly this.

If I as a dedicated individual can’t get a single license for a single concrete item, how is a general website able to automatically and generically obtain copyright-licenses for all the copyrights in the world?

It’s simply not a reasonable proposition.


Otherwise get the CD and rip it, even though that is still a gray territory even after 2 decades.

In the UK doing isn't grey, it's copyright infringement. It briefly was allowed, but Tories goin'a Tory.

There's no moral justification for not allowing ripping or any other format switching for personal use IMO.

Google should just cut off YouTube and other impacted platforms for 24 hours in the EU with a message telling them that the service is against Article 13. It might sound absurd but it would be effective, and this is the real danger with article 13.

I'm living in Germany and I think they just switch it off and keep it that way until people are pissed off enough. This law is a work of pure lobbying for a dieing industry and the people responsible for it should be shamed by a proper public outcry.

Preserving a plurality of media and news outlets is important and I agree that something has to be done to protect an independent press - but it's not this. This law reads like 'to hell with consequences'. It's rather laws that actually protect journalists from legal consequences for reporting and that secure their sources that actually strengthen the press. But those have been crippled by the same parties for the benefit of 'security'.

GEMA did not piss people enough apparently.

GEMA pissed people off greatly, but the problem wasn't that GEMA is inherently corrupt and harmful (which it is, because it's structured around the needs of large labels in a way that hurts small independent artists). The problem there was that GEMA demanded more money than YouTube was willing/able to pay, there was no clear right or wrong side to it.

Ah yes GEMA, where it looks like the employees of let's say, "security" organizations went for retirement

It's not that absurd; remember the SOPA protests of 2012? It prevented the US from enacting retarded legislation, no reason it couldn't work against EU too.

Wikipedia did this on one vote of article 11 & 13.

Yes, hence why the current text has an exception for them

(They should still campaign against it though)

Except for art 11. Art 11 is shooting news orgs themselves in the foot, as evidenced by previous experiences in Spain and Germany.

But Wikipedia is not even covered by the exceptions. They would have to fill all of the following criteria to not need apply upload filters:

1. Available to the public for less than 3 years,

2. Annual turnover below €10 million, and

3. Fewer than 5 million unique monthly visitors.

They fail 1 & 3 for certain. Possibly 2 as well (e.g. in 2017 WMF paid $33 million in staff salaries alone.)

No, read the actual text, there's an explicit exception for online encyclopedias and other non-profit websites

EU busybodies are unaccountable, unelected and practically live in another dimension. There's no way something like the SOPA protests could work here.

MEPs are elected. They are accountable via votes every 5 years.

In fact, they already did: The ACTA protests.

True. But mostly due to anti-americanism.

I was strongly against ACTA because it was kind of a black box, I supported one of the biggest events in Germany against it.

But I had hopes that we could change the way such big contracts are getting designed and agreed upon. How naively I was...

> True. But mostly due to anti-americanism.

I'd love to see you prove this.

Just listen to members of the left party or the pirate party. That was also a reason I left and quit all my political work.

As a EU citizen, I think this is not absurd at all. The law itself is absurd and it's reasonable to demonstrate that. It would really help if YouTube gave a clear explanation why the EU regions are now blocked and hopefully enough people realize that the lobbies have really screwed us over.

Why? Google already fulfills Article 13 with Content ID and now every other company that doesn't have such a system will have to buy it from Google.

Their official page -


As I understand it, YouTube, even with the biggest and best content library and matching system, can't take the risk to be held liable when copyrighted content gets through the filters. Especially with Deep Learning leading the system, they likely wouldn't be able to explain how their content ID system works if the EU asks them questions about the specifics.

Except the notion of safe harbor will die in the EU. Google is then directly liable for any content it hosts all the time. User content is basically impossible in the EU after this.

There is still a safe harbor - but it's insanely onerous. From Article 13(4)

> If no authorisation is granted, online content sharing service providers shall be liable for unauthorised acts of communication to the public of copyright protected works and other subject matter, unless the service providers demonstrate that they have:

> (a) made best efforts to obtain an authorization,

This would require YouTube to enter into license agreements with artists the same way Spotify does.

> and (b) made, in accordance with high industry standards of professional diligence, best efforts to ensure the unavailability of specific works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided the service providers with the relevant and necessary information,

This means that if Sony Pictures, for example, provided YouTube with digital copies of all of their TV shows & movies that they own YouTube would need to make their best effort to catch violations of Sony Pictures' copyrights via the "upload filter."

> and in any event (c) acted expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice by the rightholders, to remove from their websites or to disable access to the notified works and subject matters, and made best efforts to prevent their future uploads in accordance with paragraph (b).

That means once YouTube receives one takedown notice for content they're expected to include that content in their "upload filter" going forward.

True but I guess YT does all that already.

They certainly didn't effectively deal with repeat offenders (as even the DMCA requires) when one such offender was ripping off significant amounts of content from one of my businesses and uploading it over and over again with slightly different titles etc. In fact, they gave no indication of even acknowledging the problem or being at all concerned by it.

Are you a large movie studio with access to the ContentID system? Then you'd be able to just claim any video you like, with no penalty for false positives...

and it's horrible.

I'm certainly not disagreeing with you!

Safe harbor is a mostly ridiculous concept where everyone has agreed tech companies should be able to profit from illegal activity and be exempt from being penalized for doing so.

It needs to die in the EU, and it needs to die here in the US. The apocalyptic language you've seen is merely companies upset that they may have to take on... the same responsibility to follow the law as the rest of us. The idea that the whole Internet is going to be illegal and everything you know and love is going to die is silly, and pretty much every single organization claiming such is funded by big tech.

If these companies want to continue to make money (they do), they'll figure out a way to make it work.

> Safe harbor is a mostly ridiculous concept where everyone has agreed tech companies should be able to profit from illegal activity and be exempt from being penalized for doing so.

It's the same as, for instance, the phone company. Even when a drug dealer uses the phone to order an assassination, the phone company is not penalized for allowing it - and doesn't even have to return the payments it received from the drug dealer. Nobody expects the phone company to use speech recognition to drop a call when a drug deal is being discussed, or to charge more for the call when it detects music being played in the background.

What "safe harbor" is all about is treating intermediaries as nothing more than intermediaries. The responsibility for content should be on whoever actively posts it, not on someone who just provided the "place" where it was posted.

As for "everything you know and love is going to die": many of us can think of several things we love, which have a good chance of being killed by this. Many small content creators who don't have the resources and/or knowledge to self-host (and even "self-hosting" is suspicious; would renting a VPS be considered self-hosting, or would the VPS vendors be required to police the contents of the VMs they rent, making it non-viable to provide inexpensive servers to the public?). Several of them, on losing their hosting, will simply give up on creating. And that's before considering potential new content which will never see the light of day.

Here's a recent example of how safe harbor protects criminal enterprises: https://twitter.com/nicoduck/status/1091814851184377856

Amazon stole No Starch Press' books, wholesale. They printed fraudulent copies for profit and shipped them from their production facility to unwitting customers. But Amazon likely will face no punishment for this, nor will they have to give up their profits in literally producing and distributing counterfeit goods, because they didn't upload the PDF file, and can blame someone else on the Internet.

Safe harbor protects way more than "intermediaries". It protects businesses which are built around criminal activity. A better example than a "phone company", would be a company which produces encrypted communications hardware specifically geared for and marketed to drug dealers.

So you're saying this will kill creation without a big media contract?

If you want an Internet where every individual person can contribute then you need safe harbor. The alternative is nobody can contribute because any contribution could potentially be copyrighted by someone else whether it's text, audio, video, game, etc. Making every online space liable for that means that allowing individuals to contribute is simply too dangerous.

I could post all of Harry Potter to HackerNews comments one page at a time and I suppose this site is funded by "big tech" but you have some heavy biases on who this will affect and why they don't want it.

> where every individual person can contribute then you need safe harbor.

Where every individual can contribute to centralised services

If we had a personally-hosted, contributor-is-owner Internet then there would be no need for 'safe harbor'. You could post all the Harry Potter content to your own website and when it was taken offline no-one else would be affected.

Safe harbor is a magnificent tool for centralising power. Little wonder that the big corps love it.

You have to host your content somewhere. On my own dedicated servers I've personally been hit with requests to remove content that were sent directly to my data center.

So you're just wrong about no need for no 'safe harbor' for personally-hosted Internet. You always have to host somewhere or get your connection from someone. And that if that someone isn't as safe harbor they will filter or block you.

The problem is that where you draw the lines around liability at that point?

If I'm running a hosting company should I be liable if someone posts content in violation of copyright? Even if I'm trying to run an honest business and take appropriate steps to remedy the situation?

If I'm anti-google should I be able to host copyrighted material on their cloud, hoping that they get sued over it?

Eliminating safe harbors seems like a nasty can of worms to open. Especially considering how massively abused any other system (contentid) is.

It doesn't affect just them, though; something like Sandstorm Oasis or GNU Savannah or public Mastodon servers or the Internet Archive - all of them rely on Safe Harbour provisions just as much as YouTube.

I don't agree at all. All reputable law already understands conditions of intent and reasonableness. The issue is that tech companies have not just profited from, but encouraged illegal behavior that ran up their margins, and taken no action to reduce it because it was against their interests to do so.

Once these articles hopefully do pass, after the initial run of tech co panic has passed, we'll find the world has not ended, and companies doing legitimately bad things can be effectively punished.

Nope, see Playboy v Frena, a pre-DMCA (and therefore, pre-Safe Harbor) case.

George Frena ran a BBS service, and some users uploaded Playboy pictures to share, so Playboy sued. The court explicitly wrote,

"It does not matter that Defendant Frena may have been unaware of the copyright infringement. Intent to infringe is not needed to find copyright infringement."

Furthermore, they also found Frena in violation of trademark (because the file names had "Playboy" in them).

Intent is important for criminal copyright law, but you can still be sued up to the wazoo (see the Thomas-Rasset case for the absurd values it can reach) by the copyright holder.

Most analysts don't think any tech companies have profited from video hosting. And the idea that you should pay people for hyperlinking to them is against the very foundation of the Web and Fair Use.

The organizations behind these laws aren't the 'little guy' content creators, it's large rent-seeking publishing guilds that often fuck over artists and creators.

And this results in insane things like their lawyers doing blanket takedown on video game live streamers whose game happened to have some background music that was licensed.

Do you want to live in a world where you have to worry about the licenses in the transitive closure of every bit of content you've ever consumed? Human beings don't have the bandwidth for this amount of bureaucracy, it's like a nightmare Ayn Rand world where everyone must have contractual agreements between each other for microtransactions.

We used to think that the information age would remove bureaucracy and intermediary rent seekers and censors, but nearly 3 decades after the web's creation, here we are headed for a bantustan internet.


You repeatedly cite video hosting, when the amount and types of content Google lifts is so much more expansive than just video. YouTube is harmful, yes, but there are plenty of other examples. For instance, Google killing CelebrityNetWorth, by leaving them the impossible choice to either let Google steal all of their value and ad revenue by putting their content in Knowledge Graph, or blocking Google entirely and removing themselves from search: https://theoutline.com/post/1399/how-google-ate-celebritynet...

There is no "link tax", the law does not require that you pay to link to someone. One of the most incredible marketing angles here is that big tech has managed to rebrand the laws with their own preferred, and loaded terminology, and push that to the point that conversations around the law define it by the term they chose.

However, if you want to steal their value entirely, as Google Search often does with increasing frequency, Google is going to have to pay for it.

There's no copyright for factual data, and if the entire value proposition of your site can be summarized in two sentences, you've got a problem. Especially since Wikis have also been collecting this data, for example, WikiNetworth, also Wikipedia itself often has net-worth info on celebrities.

This doesn't seem like a compelling use case for onerous regulation that can do far more harm than good.

I personally think anything published on the internet that's not behind a paywall is ripe for forking and summarizing. It may be nice and polite to ask permission, but to me, the raison d'etre of the web, is that it's a communal forest for permissionless innovaton. We all harvest from it, and we should all give back to it, so that the next group of people can benefit from it.

CelebrityNetWorth themselves are guilty of taking data without acknowledgement. They don't list their sources and what information they're republishing, much of which comes from industry trade journals, where beat reporters zealously follow celebrities and publish everything from houses, cars, or other luxury goods they own, to any new publishing, actoring, or singing contracts they've acquired.

The internet should be a resource for everyone on the the planet to harvest, filter, and remix, reinterpret, and republish, and I feel like excessive copyright on these transformations violates that spirit. Not many people may share my position, but I grew up on the internet from the 80s, before large scale commercial activity arrived, back when 'information wants to be free' was the mantra, and I've never really given up on that ideal.

Eventually, lots of people are going to be turning loss NLP AIs on text all over the internet and extracting out Q&A systems. In ten years from now, it won't just be Google's fact box you have to worry about, they'll be tons of these agents around. Europe is still tooling their policy for a pre-AI world.

> If these companies want to continue to make money (they do), they'll figure out a way to make it work.

Tell that to the Spanish people who used to use Google news or the Europeans that are now getting 451 errors on various websites.

The insane near infinite copyright is what's ridiculous (patents too).

I'd say put a 5-7 or 14 year duration on works like the original copyright laws had. These constant extensions are the real absurdity.

I don't disagree with you on this point. But the fact that our copyright system went a little overboard isn't justification to allow extremely evil companies blanket immunity from prosecution for the wide variety of abuses certain major tech companies profit in. Section 230 in particular has been trotted out as a defense in far too many scenarios where no defense should have been adequate.

Extremely evil? For links with text summarization algorithms that extract a sentence or two?

As I said in another post, as if late 2016 (the latest article I could find), no analyst could determine if YouTube ever made a profit, and there's some suspicion it still is losing money because Google won't break out its earnings in quarterly reports.

And YouTube one could early at least offers a system that lets content creators takedown content, or monetize it.

In light of this, the Chapter 13 stuff is vast overkill, and quite obviously, regulatory capture.

Good. With the amount of curation, censorship, and agenda pushing Google does they're essentially a publisher. They should be treated as such.

Or replace all "infringing" videos by a public information clip on why lifelong copyright is harmful for the same period.

About a year ago, Google removed all Finnish music from YouTube because there were contractual disputes about royalties. In less than 24 hours, the dispute was settled, most likely favoring Google and YouTube. It seems to be a very powerful tactic.


A better protest: keep it up, but display information about the article 13 instead of any video against which a copyright claim has been made :>

I'm a Googler. I might try to make this suggestion. But the leadership is cautious about taking strong public positions, so it nearly certainly won't pass.

Yup, would be fine with me. They are messing with the powers that be of the internet AND with consumers - what did they expect to happen anyway? The Springer press changing everyone's mind probably. Oh boy.

To be sure I would focus on all modern media platforms (reddit, facebook, twitter, wikipedia etc.) and not focus on youtube only. It is about time to seriously do that.

At the same time, I wouldn't mind to also get rid of GDPR. GDPR alone is the worst law implementation of the decade. Not sure why those people in Brussels get paid such a great salary considering how worse they make life for people on the internet.

Would you mind elaborating on why you dislike GDPR?

I, as a German, like GDPR.

Sure it isn’t perfect but it’s better than what we had before. Now when I request the deletion of my data for example a company has to and will nearly always comply. Before GDPR it was way harder.

I tried unsuccessfully to delete my data from some services before GDPR and it often went nowhere. Sometimes I didn’t even get a reply. Now it’s just a matter of sending a single email. I hadn’t had a single company that didn’t comply within the required time frame.

Not OP, but while I do like the privacy stuff like being able to request your data and get it deleted, what I don't like is the forced default opt-out and inability to deny a user a service if they don't share some data.

I like all the free ad based services I get to use online and prefer to see relevant ads not just because they are more interesting, but because I also want the websites to make more money to fund their services even more. I fear clauses like that would put the nail in the coffin for websites going to paywalls or it would possibly cause something like article 11 which to me seems like a clear last ditch attempt by your news agencies to make some money now that GDPR has/will_when_the_lawsuits_drop effectively kill targeted advertising businesses revenue.

I'm curious, have news agencies changed much since GDPR dropped, have any fines been dealt?

My mistake, I've been too generic. What annoys me most is the GDPR cookie consent requirement which worsens the internet browsing experience for me.

I agree with you that it's great to be able to request your account deletion.

No way, push for something like GDPR to be common around the world.

or we should all just start posting infringing content everywhere

The EFF released a short tweet with additional information https://twitter.com/EFF/status/1095775278683512832

If this really applies to everything it's going to drastically change the internet.

Or split it.

Russian internet has already split itself off global one.

Chinese internet would like a word with you.

Sure, it's a logical move, just like having their own GPS system. It's fairly established the NSA has everything tapped and collecting/storing all traffic. The majority of the internet traffic still flows through the US at some point as well. Why would any nation-state logically settle for that, especially adversarial ones?

Russia isn’t doing this just because they believe an agency is watching them. It’s more about censorship and controlling the Russian people than spying. Same with China.

"It's fairly established the NSA has everything tapped and collecting/storing all traffic."

That's nonsense though. Even a basic understanding of internet technology would show that such a thing is impossible.

Hmm. People who built it, or in charge of building it, seem to disagree.



And I'm sure you've read Snowdens revelations, and lack of denials from the intelligence community, and Binney and Drake, among others, confirming, and what the gov't did to try to silence them.

No NSA program has ever been "collecting/storing all traffic". Please, I understand you think there is one, but just start to think about the bandwidth and storage needed to do something like that. You're talking about Zettabytes worth of data each and every day. Just insane levels of data.

Binney and Drake were upset because their Thinthread project was passed over and a much more advanced and expensive project was chosen (that later failed miserably).

Hayden directly refutes them in his book "Playing to the Edge". I'm sure you won't take his statements as anything, but you said there was a "lack of denial" from the intelligence community, and his book is full of them.

Do some math, nobody can build storage fast enough to storage everything flowing through the internet.

I can say from experience this is not a collection of all traffic this is a trapping of traffic with properties of interest. even then the data collection is enormous and requires a person to wade through it all for a peice of data that is germaine to a present investigation.


> why would any nation-state logically settle for that, especially adversarial ones?

Because it is my computer, and I like being able to go on websites in other parts of the world, regardless of what the opinion of the government is?

And here's a simple workaround: only post content that you've created.

I'm liking the "Ban them all and let God sort them out" approach more and more now. It looks like the service restrictions and potential penalties for serving EU customers are going to continue to increase, and we might as well get off at the beginning.

im wondering how well that would demonstrate the point. It would definitely be noticed if EU was cut off from US based services before this directive even sees legislative review and voting.

This is absolutely horrible and MEPs voting for this do not have EU citizens best interests in mind.

Politicians rarely do.

Given the implications, wouldn't be a SOPA-like website blackout be in order?

If only. So many things changed online since the SOPA times; people don't care. If they still have Instagram and Facebook, it's enough for them...

I’m pretty sure Favebook doesn’t like the new laws...

The Hargreaves Report from the UK Gov seemed a more sensible approach to copyright.


And the UK government tried to introduce a more reasonable exception along those lines, allowing private copying activities such as format shifting... which was then sunk by a judicial review, based on limits imposed under EU law and the UK government's lack of willingness to fight that battle.


This is the best thing for innovation on the decentralized web, the focus on websites in the legal text will force platforms down on the protocol level.

I wish this was true, but I'm very doubtful it will. (I work on the Copyright Directive at the EFF).

The problem is that the supporters of Article 13 strongly feel that sharing or allowing to share any material without a license is a moral and legal failing. This is why an exception for small European services was so controversial (and the primary reason the negotiations dragged on for so long). To them, SME exceptions are the equivalent to saying that there should be an exception for punishment for robbery by people who don't profit too much from it. They've been saying that this is another conspiracy by tech companies, who will immediately set up thousands of small European businesses to continue their immoral piracy.

What that means is that the decentralised Web is going ot be immediately targeted. It will be framed as a lawless area, where the principles we "all agreed on" in the Directive -- to require licenses and auto-delete anything which might be copyrighted by somebody in the world -- are now being abused by those who create these tools to evade the law. The more successful as an alternative to US companies, the more this criticism will be expressed.

Remember also that the Directive has to be transposed into national law, and the exceptions will be heavily lobbied over in those jurisdictions. It's very unlikely that France, for instance, will build strong exceptions into its law.

I realise this sounds like a lot of predictions, but we faced a similar effect in the 2000s. Lawmakers were told that stopping commercial piracy (which was said to be funding terrorism) was the goal. But when the laws were proposed, the language they used was "commercial-scale" infringement, because the rightsholders didn't just want to stop people making and selling fake DVDs and CDs, but also Internet tools and services that could conceivably be used to make multiple copies. "Commercial-scale" just became a synonym for "a service on the open Internet".

there is enough FUD regarding "deep" and "dark" web and the contagious mentality that, decentralized networking cant possibly be any thing but criminal [if your hiding then you must be doing something wrong] I think it would only be a matter of time until peer to peer networking [read as deepnets and darknets] will be somehow subject to egregious legislation. Look at what has happened with torrent networks over the recent years. A lot of people think torrent is only for pirating and nothing else.

Yes and no, I'm the author of the P2P tech behind notabug.io, d.tube, and other sites, (https://github.com/amark/gun) so I have some experience with this:

- It works as well as WebRTC does. But browser vendors (Google, Microsoft, Apple) have kept WebRTC crippled. Firefox is doing work to make this better.

- When WebRTC fails (which is like 60% of the time), you have to fallback through a DHT of IPv6 peers.

According to the law, I believe, any one of those peers could be liable.

As a result, anybody who has a consistent IPv6 address or domain winds up needing to run a peer-specific "blacklist" of :( :( :( DMCA take down or else they could possibly be sued or have their door smashed in.

We're trying to make this better by creating a network of WebRTC DHT signaling peers called AXE (check the github for more info).

This will let users comply with the law (even be protected by things like GDPR) and then transfer data directly to their friends (not using any middleman service) and this data can stay protected with encryption (see our WebCrypto wrapper that makes this easy, https://gun.eco/docs/SEA ).

This will be the best way for users to stay legally compliant while not screwing over people's freedom and property-rights.

If people will learn that (example) to view videos they must use Firefox, they'll use Firefox. Than Google and Apple will fix their browsers.

Veering off topic... I haven't found WebRTC to be that crippled by browser vendors. The fact that Apple didn't just give it the middle finger actually surprised me. I use it successfully for some things and lament that some users fall back to TURN (blame the ISPs), but w/ the webrtc adapter it works well. I too was experimenting w/ distributed signaling of late w/ IPFS [0]. That is quite crippled as well.

I'm not too concerned w/ end users' troubles with the law in a P2P sense. Even though the laws are ridiculous, it would be another level of ridiculousness to apply them to peers in such a system, akin to making Tor exit nodes and relays responsible for following this or the GDPR.

0 - https://github.com/cretz/webrtc-ipfs-signaling

I think so as well, though not because of the focus on the "website" but because of the focus on "commercial sites" and the exemption for tiny sites.

If my read is correct that means you can self-host a decentralized networked service, let users use it for free and you are not subject to art 13.

So for example the typical Mastodon instance would be fine.

the decentralized internet isnt necessarily non-commercial. in fact becoming commercial would be crucial to its success

Yep, and also support services. A service that made it easy for you to host Mastodon (and lasted longer than 3 years); or a Mastodon instance that had a Patreon attached.

We'll fight like hell to make sure these get excluded, but given the battle over excluding SMEs, it would be a tough fight. And the chilling effect would be considerable — you can expect to get automatic legal letters from rightsholders claiming that you were already liable unless you paid them licenses, and the sort of takedown blackmailing you see happen on YouTube. Even if you're legally in the right, it takes a lot for a volunteer operator to stand up to that kind of intimidation.

You can be fairly sure it'll be interpreted to apply to apps as well..

Maybe if you make a non-networked service. Good luck with that :)

What about open source chat apps if the developer can't enforce the use of copyright filters he would be liable too?

Well, FTA, you have to grow your service big first..

If you grow it big and make no money then you're likely have other problems :)

If you grow it big and make money, then you can afford to do a little filtering.

disclaimer: I'm in no way fan of this stuff.. just saying it might be as pointless as the cookie-law.

stretching out a bit here i think a chat app, that destroys "offending" content, such as [https://pastebin.com/] could be safe, but if that app allows copy pasta that might be a problem, lets say song lyrics, or movie subtitles, or leaked manuscript, or moviescripts.

> What’s important to note, though: It’s not “the EU” in general that is to blame – but those who put special interests above fundamental rights who currently hold considerable power.

Who's to blame for the general environment of encroaching information "protections" and general government oversight of the internet? You can't out of one side of your mouth decry everyone warning about slippery slopes as though they are nonexistent and then on the other side blame others for taking advantage of said slope you pretended didn't exist. The slope never had to be there. When you can't take the bad with the good of an open internet, this is what you get. Sadly with slippery slopes in either direction (whether or not people acknowledge their existence), hovering in the middle becomes unsustainable.

Freedom has consequences, regulations have consequences, many times they are mutually exclusive, so pick and accept said consequences. Only liking the good parts and not liking the bad parts, while convenient to shirk responsibility, ignores that they are often inseparable.

This Directive will make p2p greater than ever

"Napster is the future of the internet. It will come back."


im thinking p2p will be the next major target as well.

Then tor and i2p.

P2P is a much more difficult target, though.

So, if this passes, does it mean we can all go to the sites of the politicians who voted for it and post copyrighted content in their comments and then sue them?

They should just drop this garbage for good already, instead of bringing this horrible zombie back.

There is enough interest to lobby it through. And politicians are braindead sellouts..

There should be more protests like against ACTA then. I haven't seen such now.

Is EU going to survive all this? Brexit. This absurd regulation. Eurozone debts problems (Italy situation is far from being stable). This could be a hot summer for EU, especially if Euro parliament will be full of EU-hostile MPs.

This is the destruction of the internet. I don't think there's anything other than lobbying from the European media industry behind this directive. At least we can assume decentralized systems will get more attention in the future.

Link to the video of the press conference after the bill passed the EU-parlament in July 2018: https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/press-conference-on...

Somehow, this is doublespeak, somehow it make sense too..

Ok, watched it with open mind .

My impressions:

* Axel saying that Wikipedia shouldn't be against it because they added exception for them. He is missing the point so confidently...

* Missing all points raised by people not connected with Google/Amazon/Facebook. Nobody said it will be copyright issue for uploader. Everybody is saying that service owners will be more prone to removing content, just to be safe, in effect limiting access to information sharing. They also don't address existing issues YouTube has with copyright management and how it's abused by other firms.

* They are all talking about Monopolies and forgetting that such law will only strengthen them and minimize EU chance to create their own versions of google/facebook etc.

* They are focusing on newspapers/text and aggregators. If you don't want to be on google. Use robot noindex metatag. If you want to ensure your content is not aggregated further... hide it behind paywall or any other UX wall. There are technical solutions to do it. And in the end, if nothing helps, I believe if someone just copies your content 1:1, you can sue him for it. Even if it's news article.

* As for uploads and copyright detection. I hate myself for saying it... but leave it to copyright owners. Add legal tools for easier copyright challenges and arbitration. But at current state, our legal system is to slow to handle copyright management on such wide scope without hitting issues like Youtube has with many agents gaming the system. Let's maybe do some baby steps first by allowing for easier legal arbitration in general and then let's focus on also doing it for copyright issues. However... there is no money in it.

TLDR: Yes, we need changes to handle copyright management on the internet. However their approach is premature, to generic and uninformed.

Also, I wondered, maybe it could lead to an friendly facebook alternative from Europe.. That would be grand.

It seems to me like good news on the "Article 11" front, though. The way I'm reading this, "link tax" is pretty much off the table.

Do I understand correctly that leave.eu will be available shortly?


I think the discussion is a bit myopic. Yes, this is horrible news for the new aggregators of content. What about the creators of content? What if authors hodl their copyright (or else be filtered)[1]

Who keeps google, facebook and others to share the original content instead of hiding it in favor of the same or worse content taken from big media or publishers? I don't stand by this extremely stupid legislation but before it the net turned into TV.

[1] https://chorasimilarity.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/authors-hod...

of course we are not in EU but how will this effect our ability to even use HN at all if this mentality spreads here. would it be an offence to post articles from EU resources?

{adde} russia is apparently experimenting with some sort of xenophobia net, so if perfected could we even see internet partitioning based on nation of origin and destination, perhaps even internet passport and visa type of procedures complete with excise and inspection procedures to simply use the internet across international borders.

Largest segments expected: CERN-ARPA (Americas+Switzerland), BEREC-RIPE (most of Europe+most of Africa), RKnZ (EEU+OIC), OCCA (PRC). North Korea, South Korea and India will determine the future of internet by choosing which segment to join.

Hopefully this encourages the development of platform that can't be shut down by overreaching governments. There will always be new laws trying to restrict what you can and can't share online - the only true way to prevent this kind of censorship, in my opinion, is to develop platforms that are impossible (or very difficult) to censor. I've heard of lots of different decentralized social media platforms and video platforms being developed, maybe one day those will become mainstream rather than just being used mainly for extreme and illegal content.

IMHO it's not that strange of a proposition to regulate what has been a problem for copyright owners where big multi national companies monetize content that isn't theirs by looking the other way. E.g. I love watching bbc tv program uploads on Youtube but I do see that there may be a few issues with the status quo where apparently this is normal and just the way things work.

Misguided or not, this law is trying to fix some things that are broken currently. I think content fingerprinting as a technology is something that could actually provide a way out. The key challenge is coming up with good enough registries for those finger prints and making sure that they are not being abused.

My big fear with this law is that it codifies the existing practice of giving a monopoly on this to the defacto copyright monopolists that currently govern royalties in most countries. IMHO the key would be allowing others to run such registries and simply regulating the use of proof where a content owner has to prove that content with a finger print is 1) theirs and 2) their rights were violated. A registry solves that problem and as long as that registry has good processes for managing conflicts, there's nothing wrong with requiring media distributors to do reasonable due diligence in the form of checking some finger prints.

What worries is the tone in this discussion and similar discussions regarding e.g. the GDPR last year. In retrospect, the GDPR did not end the internet, probably is an improvement for end users, and is now causing very reasonable politicians elsewhere to consider similar legislation. I'd say that probably they got that one mostly right. There are some cases in the courts currently but mostly that seems to be for the right reasons like e.g. Facebook or Google violating people's privacy on a large scale for profit.

I'd say arguing how this law should be improved/fixed is the debate that needs to be happening. Instead we are getting nothing else than people trying to argue that this is some internet ending apocalyptic event based on some blog post they read. I'm seeing a lot of headless chickens and not a whole lot of good argumentation on how to fix this. That feels wrong to me. These things have a habit of coming back until some legislation is passed.

Also, people from the US singling out the EU here; the US has quite a bit of history on this front. E.g. the DMCA, software patents, mickey mouse copyright extensions, the whole net neutrality fiasco, etc. Also, there's probably more than a little bit of lobbying going on by US owned media corporations in favor of this. In fact those are probably the same corporations that got us the before mentioned stuff as well.

I 'm curious to see the "industry" that will be set up to police this directive. The gdpr has already created an industry of 'experts', consultants and lawyers who all claim to know the One True Law (though they don't agree), a bunch of agencies etc.

I and most of the privacy professionals I know (with a couple of exceptions) are pretty open about the fact that we can't be sure what a lot of the GDPR means until there's more firm guidance.

John Perry Barlow must be spinning in his grave.

I would happily assist in the destruction of any company that bends the knee to these unelected parasites by complying with their "laws." Helping to perpetuate the illusion that they deserve or possess any legitimate power makes you the enemy.

It's actually a very good thing.

It will create a huge opportunity for new decentralized (IPFS-like) tech. that will run circles around this dumb regulation and force incumbent established players (YouTube and the like) to evolve or die.

Until the copyright people, after noticing that the profits they expected aren't up to their expectations, start digging deeper in search for gold that isn't there.

From what I can see, piracy doesn't hurt profits and as long as it's available only to technologically literate people, it will pretty much fly under the radar.

Of course it doesn't hurt profits. It doesn't prevent copyright lobbyists from saying that it does, though.

and then a huge incentive to block ipfs, like they did with torrents...

the decentralization should happen anyway, as soon as the creators realize that none of the content hosts have their interests in mind first

I want to believe. I want to share this kind of optimism.

The harsh reality is that people will f off and less content will be produced. That's it.

The possible upside of this may be the decentralization of massive content silos like youtube or facebook, toward federated or self-hosting platforms where the administrators of individual "sites" can better know their users. I can see the "fediverse" (the main public ActivityPub network, notably including most Mastodon users) benefiting from this, for example, since a club/gaming clan/media company could run their own Mastodon instance and be responsible for the things posted using it.

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