Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
EU Countries Back Copyright Reforms Aimed at Google, Facebook (reuters.com)
161 points by d0ne 28 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 176 comments



This is sad and disgusting, our speech is being limited completely unfairly and without our consent and we're being told that it's a good thing.

The fact that they're trying to package it as some sort of well-deserved revenge against silicon valley big tech is just tasteless. The EU's big gripe against these companies is their tax situation, if they really wanted to change that then they'd be looking into a unified approach to taxing companies within the EU borders, not hitting the final nail into the coffin of fair use in Europe.

I really envy the US for its constitution sometimes.


Europe has a long history of shooting itself in the foot with respect to copyright. No need to blame the EU in this case.

Relatively short copyrights are good for culture. You need a common understanding to build upon to produce new works. A long time ago, Europe moved to have lifetime-plus copyright terms.

Its not all bad though. For a long time, the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material was expensive. Digital media and the internet mostly solved those issues.

Long copyright terms remain a problem, but there are plenty of opportunities for smaller parties to distribute content.


I wanted to add that, in the US, it isn't primarily the constitution that protects its freedoms, but rather the structure of their government and how it's been setup for gridlock among all the parties involved (not that that property has been preserved too well of late). Antonin Scalia explained it really well in one of his appearances in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggz_gd--UO0

I admit to not fully understanding the intricacies of the EU system but, on the surface, it does appear to be setup for much lower friction when attempting to pass sweeping legislation like this one.


> I wanted to add that, in the US, it isn't primarily the constitution that protects its freedoms, but rather the structure of their government and how it's been setup for gridlock among all the parties involved

That protects established injustices as much as it protects established freedoms. Perhaps more, since the fundamental structure incorporates a number of injustices.


> That protects established injustices as much as it protects established freedoms. Perhaps more, since the fundamental structure incorporates a number of injustices.

Not really. The legislature had to pass a law creating slavery, the executive had to sign it, the courts had to uphold it. Any of them could have said no. The same was true of laws prohibiting women from working, or Jim Crow laws, or laws excluding same sex marriage, etc. To enforce any of these things required broad assent, as designed, and they mostly fell to individual branches having enough. Lincoln unilaterally ended slavery, the courts struck down laws against same sex marriage, etc.

There is only a very thin range of things checks and balances actually prevent. First it has to be something the government has to act to prevent rather than merely cease to prop up, which as injustices go is pretty rare in its own right. Then you need at the same time enough support to prohibit it in a simple majority system but not enough support to prohibit it in a system of checks and balances, which crosses off all the most egregious ones -- there is >80% support for laws requiring schools to accept black students, so checks and balances don't prevent those laws from existing, and they do.

What you're left with is the things with 50%+1 support but not e.g. 67% support. But that's what checks and balances are supposed to do -- prevent you from passing laws against things nearly half the country doesn't support having a law against. If you want that law then you need to convince more people first. Is that really so bad?


> Not really. The legislature had to pass a law creating slavery, the executive had to sign it, the courts had to uphold it

Um, no. They didn't have to do that under the system established by the US Constitution. Because slavery predated that system, and was protected by it.

What would have taken positive action under the Constitution was abolishing slavery. But not only were there explicit protections for slavery in the Constitution (the first clause of Article I, Section 9; the next to last clause of Article V), but indirect protection against abolition was also provided by the mechanism the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives (where having slaves gave extra representation), by the allocation of seats in the Senate (equal per State representation gave disproportionate power to the enfranchised citizens of slave states (who chose the government that chose the Senators, prior to direct election of Senators), and the electoral college (which as well enfranchised citizens in any state that disenfranchised any people through indirect election, blended the apportionment systems of the Senate and House, both of which favored slave states.)

> Lincoln unilaterally ended slavery

No, he didn't; slavery was ended (as a matter of law, and aside from penal slavery) by the 13th Amendment, which not only wasn't a unilateral Presidential act, but it wasn't even an act in which the President has a formal role.

And the abolition of slavery didn't abolish all of the structural injustices put in place to protect it.

> What you're left with is the things with 50%+1 support but not e.g. 67% support. But that's what checks and balances are supposed to do -- prevent you from passing laws against things nearly half the country doesn't support having a law against. If

The system the US has allows control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency without majority support of the voting population, especially easily if the geographic distribution of your support favors small states. So not only does it not require supermajority and not prevent laws which have a mere majority support, it actually facilitates laws with minority support as long as it is the structurally favored minority. And it creates a very high bar which requires broad active support by the strucurally favored minority to reverse that arrangements, as it requires a Constitutional Amendment, a process in which the disapprobation of citizens of smaller states is even stronger than their disproportionate power in choosing the political branches of the federal government, and thus setting federal legislation.


> Um, no. They didn't have to do that under the system established by the US Constitution. Because slavery predated that system, and was protected by it.

Predating the constitution doesn't preclude violating it. Lese majeste laws predate the constitution but have been clearly unconstitutional since at least the Bill of Rights, arguably even before (since enacting them was not an enumerated power of the government). Moreover, it still only takes one branch to knock it out. The courts can refuse to uphold it, the executive can refuse to enforce it, and a sufficient majority in the legislature can repeal it even over a veto.

> No, he didn't

He did, most famously in this way:

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

The executive branch can also do so by not enforcing the law, as was often the case with the Fugitive Slave Act. The governments commonly spent no resources looking for runaway slaves in Northern states.

But what one executive branch administration does the next can undo. What the 13th Amendment did was to make it stick.

> And the abolition of slavery didn't abolish all of the structural injustices put in place to protect it.

Because now you're talking about racism rather than slavery, which isn't a single problem, it's many separate ones. But we've been chipping away at them for more than a century now, making progress, and mostly as a result of individual branches -- Brown v. Board of Education in the courts, the Civil Rights Act in Congress, the ouster of mayors and governors who turned firehouses on protestors in favor of those who now don't, etc.

And the remainder of your objections are not about gridlock or checks and balances but about apportionment of representation. Those are reasonable complaints, but you could still have three branches of government and plenty of gridlock even if the President was elected by popular vote and each Senator's vote was in proportion to the number of constituents represented.


> He did

No he didn't; The Emancipation Proclamation did not abolish slavery.

> Because now you're talking about racism rather than slavery,

No, I'm talking about the distorted structures I listed that are features of the design of our political system that were placed in the Constitution to protect slavery. The ones that directly dealt with slavery were removed; the ones which were put in to tilt the balance of political power to resistance abolition were not, even after abolition, which is why our federal political system is still heavily tilted toward voters in less populated slates and still heavily rewards the remaining voters in states which effectively disenfranchise other citizens (though, to be fair, the last part was in theory directly addressed by provisions in the 14th Amendment directly calling for loss of representation for doing that, which would counteract that effect, but those provisions have never been enforced even against the most blatant systematic disenfranchisement, leaving the old imbalance fully in effect.)

Racism is a different problem (though one that frequently is involved in leveraging those systematic imbalances.)


> That protects established injustices as much as it protects established freedoms. Perhaps more, since the fundamental structure incorporates a number of injustices.

Such as?


Believe me, there is way more friction in the EU system, especially due to the principle of subsidiarity. This copyright directive enjoys the benefit of only requiring a qualified majority in the Council (legislative chamber representing the national governments). Most sensitive issues require unanimity, meaning that every member state has the power to veto legislation.


Don't frame this as a free speech issue. Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more.

Freedom of speech in Europe is not just an EU question, but also - and mainly - up to constitutions and legislation of the member states. So of course it varies. But there is less surveillance in Europe on what citizens say online, European media is less centralized than American, there are more parties with opposing views in parliaments, much less political correctness in both politics, business life, and social life. Most importantly, European courts is most member states uphold the protection of the individuals' freedom of speech.

This is legislation aimed at Google and Facebook, and other large companies, yes. Go back 15-20 years, and nobody would have thought that Google would get away with using the creations of content providers without paying a fair share. I don't see anything wrong in Google or Facebook being forced to apply filters. We have gotten used to what is truly an disgusting situation where creators of music, journalism etc. don't get paid and their works are put out on Youtube, Facebook etc. I would have liked to see a higher threshold so that only truly large companies had to worry about filters, but again; these filters will likely be easy to find in 10 different versions for free on GitHub in a couple of years, and better ones you can license for a small fee.

But I agree, Europe should finally start to tax Facebook, Google, Amazon etc.


> Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more

It is absolutely not. That's a preposterous assumption. If it was the case then no European state could send people to prison or fine them for having an opinion, yet look at France, where insulting the president is a crime and denying "official" history has landed people in jail (I don't condone either of these, it's just about principle).

There is absolutely no equivalent to the US first amendment anywhere else on the planet.


It absolutely is, depending on your p.o.v.

I know the U.S. is big on their "freedom of speech" since it's one of the few things all citizens agree on, an All American Shibboleth, so to speak, but National Security trumps everything.

There are plenty of things you can say at the border that will get you on the next plane back home.

There may or may not be people being held in captivity without access to a lawyer for their speech. We don't know because the proceedings are secret.

Someone who practiced his freedom of speech is currently in hiding in liberty-loving Russia of all places. That's about treason, you might say, but with enough restrictions any speech can be classified as treason.

Speech in the U.S. only seems to be free when it doesn't matter. If it matters there are a lot of restrictions and there can be dire consequences.


This comment seems like an entirely disingenuous argument for me. I'm sorry if it's not, truly, but it's an argument fit for a Fox News editorial.

> There are plenty of things you can say at the border that will get you on the next plane back home.

Do you mean there are things that non-citizens can say at the border of entry to the US that might prohibit entry into the US? That does not seem like a limitation of free speech within the US to US citizens to me.

> There may or may not be people being held in captivity without access to a lawyer for their speech. We don't know because the proceedings are secret.

What a convenient, non-falsifiable "rebuttal" that takes no position on the matter.

> Someone who practiced his freedom of speech is currently in hiding in liberty-loving Russia of all places.

I'm a defender of Edward Snowden and think it's sad that he has to live in Russia to avoid prosecution. And yet, this doesn't seem like an argument about "free speech" made in good faith, particularly the relative merits of free speech. Which country permits their citizens to disclose highly classified information with not repercussions, however unjust those repercussions may ultimately be?


>> Which country permits their citizens to disclose highly classified information with not repercussions, however unjust those repercussions may ultimately be?

Yeah, its free speech, as long as it doesn't fall under some bullshit definition of "classified" (how convenient that the classified information also includes unilateral infringement of another country's rights, e.g. the downright creepy snooping on the phones of world leaders who are supposed allies). And of course, you should also understand that you _might_ die saying certain things, but hey, otherwise its free speech. And finally, as long as you understand the "relative" merits of the case (i.e. one rule for me, another for you), we can all agree that free speech is what is being practiced in the USA.


> There are plenty of things you can say at the border that will get you on the next plane back home.

Which is not really the same thing as being fined or imprisoned.

> There may or may not be people being held in captivity without access to a lawyer for their speech. We don't know because the proceedings are secret.

And there's a fair argument that doing so is unconstitutional and will be found as such once the ongoing challenges to it have concluded.

The law doesn't protect you from criminals, even when they work for the government. At best it punishes them after the fact and allows you to recover damages. And some people never get justice, but that only means they were the victims of a crime that the perpetrator got away with, not that they weren't entitled to it under the law.

> Someone who practiced his freedom of speech is currently in hiding in liberty-loving Russia of all places.

What Snowden would be charged with is the government equivalent of violating an NDA. The main reason that law is messed up is that with a normal NDA (i.e. a contract), contracts covering criminal activity are generally unenforceable, but the security clearance system doesn't work like that -- which is problematic when it's then used to cover up criminal activity.

But the reason he can be charged is that he agreed to those terms to begin with. It's a matter of contracts being [too] enforceable, not a matter of punishment for speech. Notice that the newspapers that published the Snowden documents weren't convicted of a crime, because they never agreed not to.


As a rule of law or constitutional principle freedom of speech in the US just is a lot more protected than it is in the EU countries I am familiar with. The limits of freedom of speech are a lot bigger in EU countries than in the US-limits mentioned.

> There are plenty of things you can say at the border that will get you on the next plane back home.

That's a really bad example. If you get send home you are not an US citizen and you might not have the rights US citizens enjoy, which is what they are talking about when freedom of speech is referenced.

> Someone who practiced his freedom of speech is currently in hiding in liberty-loving Russia of all places

Snowden leaked secrets. The USA is very bad in protecting that, right. But it's not a simple question of freedom of speech, it has a a lot more with how authoritarian the government is. It's not surprising that a war mongering USA that tries to achieve complete surveillance, tortures prisoners and and kidnaps citizens of other and allied countries to put them without trial for forever into the hellhole that is Guantanamo might have a limit on what dissident actions it accepts. But that does not mean that the protection of freedom of speech in a general area is stronger than elsewhere.


> If it matters there are a lot of restrictions and there can be dire consequences.

That's blatantly incorrect. Name a bunch of examples of that please. It's the very rare exception that you can't publish something in the US.

You mention Snowden: he was able to publish the documents in the US. Numerous US media outlets published documents from the Snowden cache. It got non-stop coverage for most of that year in the US as the reveals rolled on. That the media can publish such doesn't mean the action of stealing classified documents from the government should be legal, that would be absurd.

The US Government is almost entirely powerless to prevent very embarrassing things from coming out, such as Abu Ghraib as one dramatic example. If they could do what you're claiming they can, they would have shut all of that down immediately and it would have never been published across basically all media in the US for a year.

Nixon, watergate and the pentagon papers is another obvious example where the substantial US protections for the press won out.

COINTELPRO and the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI is another example. The US media was able to publish the stolen documents.

We're got a President that is at 'war' with the press on a daily basis. They hate him, he hates them. He's almost entirely powerless to do anything about them. It's clear that Trump would heavily restrict the media if he could, what greater proof could one possibly need of just how potent the protections for speech / press / expression are? Trump's administration has been leaking like crazy since day one, and the media has been publishing those leaks at will. The government can't do anything about it. They have no power to stop the Washington Post or NY Times from publishing such leaks.

The US is the only country on earth that can support a Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress or Hacker News, precisely because we're free to say all sorts of disagreeable or hateful things on most of those platforms. And if not, I can always build my own new site or platform. Even the most liberal speech supporting nations in Europe don't allow what the US does when it comes to speech areas that involve things such as religion, government and politics.

I can insult the police in the US on HN, and I won't be arrested for it. That isn't true in the UK as one example. They put people in jail for insulting the police on social media there.

I can insult the US President in any number of various ways across countless US platforms. Snoop Dogg killed him in a music video; they made his wife a stripper in another music video. You can mock-up his chopped off head and put it on the cover of a magazine, you won't go to jail for that. There are very few countries that afford you such expression luxury, even when it's detestable expression (the most important kind to protect).

Online in the US I can disagree with Islam, Christianity, Judaism, their followers, their practices, and so on, at will, in almost any manner I see fit. There are few countries where that remains true other than the US. Most of Europe now categories such as hate speech, or otherwise restricted speech, and will arrest you for it.

The reason the US dominates online platforms, is precisely because the US is the sole country where they can thrive when it comes to aggressively enshrined freedom of speech & expression. You can't build a Reddit in Europe and will never be able to. With the draconian copyright laws the EU is passing, it's only going to get that much worse.


The US has the "glorious" principle of explicitly allowing people to heckle a gay soldier's funeral.

That was a while ago, but it just goes to show that the US 1st amendment leads to equally preposterous scenarios.

> I don't condone either of these, it's just about principle

But being respectful to people at funerals is also a principle. By which I mean "it's about principle" is not at all a clear signal on whether something should be allowed even when not condoned.

Personally, over the years I've taken an interest in this, I've seen the US's extreme stance on freedom of speech hurt more often than I've seen the EU's more relaxed stance on freedom of speech hurt. But even then I suppose you could argue the principle of the thing, that the one time our "loose" freedom of speech does hurt in the EU, it's going to hurt disproportionally more. Except I'd argue against that, it's a risk that is always there and it's not strictly controlled by strict freedom of speech, that's just one symptom of things going south.


Its not exactly the same but its a felony to threaten the president in the US. US freedom of speech is not close to absolute with all kinds of exceptions made over the years, from yelling fire in a theater to verbal harassment.


> from yelling fire in a theater

I don't understand why so many people think this isn't protected. The courts ruled it was.


Because while you have a right to yell it, you will still be charged with disturbing the peace and inciting a riot.


I highly recommend the podcast "Make No Law" [1] to help understand the US's 1st Amendment. There's a whole episode on yelling fire in a crowded theater.

[1]: https://legaltalknetwork.com/podcasts/make-no-law/


Nothing you've posted is accurate or true.

Like, literally nothing.

There won't be "10 different versions" of these filters on Github for free. How do you even imagine that will work? There will need to be a constantly updated and massive database of signatures for all copyrighted materials. That's not something that can be done for free and you can guarantee it will have a significant price tag attached

Free speech in the EU is not as protected as in the US. Full stop.

There is no surveillance of what citizens say online in the US. People in the EU are arrested for mean tweets.

There are many uses of copyrighted material that are covered under free use in the US. You can, for instance, critique a movie while using segments of that movie.

Journalists aren't not getting paid because Google has a small blurb underneath a link to their article. Google is driving traffic to their articles.

Europe should tax Amazon? Huh?


Even though you are correct, this issue is still not a matter of free speech.

We've had copyright protections for some time, they're now being enforced.

I don't agree with it, but neither this is not about free speech or 'media spin' on the story.


If it restricts what you can say, how you can say it, or who you can say it to, it's a free speech issue. The restrictions being "copyright" doesn't change that fact.


|Don't frame this as a free speech issue. Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more.

Short of making a call to violence, I will never hear from an authority about anything I say or post online. The same can't be said for much of Europe. In fact, didn't the EU courts just rule that criticism of Mohamed should be banned?


> In fact, didn't the EU courts just rule that criticism of Mohamed should be banned?

No.

https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment/2018/10/26/q-have-e...


Per the article, the EU court ruled that EU nations are individually permitted to ban criticism of Mohammed, as long as the criticism is ruled less valuable than the feelings of the people who dislike the criticism.

It's legal to call Hitler a murderer in Austria, but not to call Mohammed child molester.


The truth of the matter is that this woman said Mohammed was a paedophile for fucking a 9 year old (which is even correct according to the Quran). She was convicted in Austria for blasphemy. The EU said the conviction was correct.

This should be terrifying to anybody who supports free speech. The ECHR is supposed to be a human rights court but they are allowing member states to convict people for blasphemy.


As much as the Austrian conviction and this whole discussion about blasphemy and "religious freedom" makes me P.O., she was convicted of paying 500 Euros.


So her speech isn't free as in liberty or as in beer, eh?


So, like Java?

I'd say the case was good to highlight the absurdity of it. And sometimes speaking your mind has a cost.


Let's not conflate fundamental rights with programming languages.

|And sometimes speaking your mind has a cost.

Wait, you think this was acceptable? The fine for speaking is outrageous, and it will only get worse if it turns out it's not enough of a deterrent.


Let's just say there are worse ways of paying it and that speech in this website is limited as well

> Let's not conflate fundamental rights with programming languages

If you r_smart you should have noticed the jest in this statement


|If you r_smart you should have noticed the jest in this statement

It's my name. I make no claims about my intellect :)

It didn't read like a joke to me, and rereading it as a joke, it seems like, at best, a quip. I stand by my previous sanctimonious tone.

edit: Oh, and lastly, a small curtailment on free speech is the first step to a large one. Why wait until it's illegal to complain?


That's the point of free speech: the state shouldn't put a cost on speaking your mind.


> Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more.

As an American, this example tells me very differently. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-43478925


Try making jokes about Catholic church or Catholicism in Spain.


> Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more... Most importantly, European courts in most member states uphold the protection of the individuals' freedom of speech.

This is a really strong statement, and one that seems incredibly difficult to defend.

It is a good point that free speech is a matter not only of what is legally permitted but what is possible to carry out; online privacy and varied, independent media are major factors in speech actually being heard. Both regulatory and economic factors have done real harm to the US media landscape, although the claim that online speech is less surveilled in Europe is depends on exactly what one checks - and is largely a matter of US companies rejecting foreign subpoenas, not a lack of effort on Europe's part.

Beyond that, though... a strong context for speech isn't enough either, if speech isn't actually legal. Europe falls far behind the US on legal speech protections of all kinds. In the general case, libel and defamation rules are extremely narrow in the US, and far broader in most of Europe. In terms of specific speech, I pretty often see people suggest that EU countries haven't banned anything except hate speech, and more specifically that Germany banned Nazi iconography without restricting speech in general. Let's ignore those cases, and ignore the usual debates around when criticism of religion crosses into hate speech.

Even so, the First Amendment is genuinely unique:

- France can assess high fines and years in prison for the "positive presentation of drugs", and regularly uses this law against drug reform advocates, including politicians. Meanwhile, the US refused to implement Article 3 of the UN Narcotic Drugs Convention (banning promotion of drugs) on Constitutional grounds.

- At least four countries (and until recently Germany) have general lese majeste laws protecting all heads of state from insult, which is about the clearest restriction of legitimate and valuable speech I can think of. Several other countries ban insult to their own heads of state. The Netherlands in particular actually enforce their law regularly, in excess of the protections accorded to any non-royalty. Meanwhile, heads of state are not only not specially protected in the US, but receive less libel protection than nonpublic figures.

- Poland past a law against making factually-accurate statements about the history of the Holocaust in Poland, and only after international outcry did they remove criminal penalties for those statements. Enough said.

- Germany convicts more than 20,000 people per year under its ban on 'insult' alone. §86a, its widely praised law against Nazi iconography, also bans not just Communist iconography but Kurdish military symbols. It was repeatedly used against anti-Nazi content containing broken or crossed-out symbols, a practice that ended only in 2007, after a lawmaker reported herself to the police for the offense as a protest.

- German internet law is uniquely restrictive. It includes a list of several thousand banned websites, judged by an unelected agency to be harmful to minors, many of them mislabeled or improperly banned. The errors have gone unchallenged because there's no appeal process, and in fact the list itself is aggressively censored. Discounting national security letters, I believe that's the only standardized secret law censorship in any developed country. The 2017 ban on fake news, 'NetzDG', has been condemned as unconstitutional and unethical by virtually every academic or free speech organization to address the topic, with the UN singling it out as "endangering human rights".

This is not a happy list, and those are only brief highlights. Privacy and free media are valuable for making speech visible, but so is permitting free speech. Intrinsic rights to speech aside, that list includes an awful lot of moral, pro-social things which can't be said.


>Don't frame this as a free speech issue. Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more.

Yeah, no. This (blasphemy laws) would be unthinkable in the US:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/its-not-fr...


Again, Europe is many different legal systems, and blasphemy laws are not everywhere. I don't like that limitation to freedom of speech anymore than you, but all countries, including the US have limitations such as libel, slander, pornography, obscenity, etc.


>Freedom of speech is as protected in the EU as it is in the US, possibly more.

The EU is a legal entity. Europe is the continent/area. The EU does not protect freedom of speech more than the U.S.


The EU is not a country and does not have its own laws. Things like this copyright directive will get turned into 28 distict member state level laws. Directives only set the common denominator for these laws.

Also, the EHCR is an organization of the Council of Europe which is entirely unrelated to the EU. This is a weaker association of states including Turkey and Russia.


>The EU is not a country and does not have its own laws. Things like this copyright directive will get turned into 28 distict member state level laws. Directives only set the common denominator for these laws.

So the EU could have a directive that guarantees freedom of speech across the board? Seems like your just arguing semantics.


Not just semantics. The state level laws resulting from directives are different from each other, sometimes substantially so.

Also, the EU cannot regulate everything. I think that a directive about free speech is not possible. However, there is the Charta of Human Rights that is signed by all member states of the EU that guarantees freedom of speech. Again, this construct has the wrinkle that this charter demands the individual states to uphold these rights. It institutes the European Court of Justice as the highest court in matters concerning this charta.


Libel and slander aren't illegal, they're civil matters.


As is copyright law.


Compulsory licensing schemes are enforced according to criminal procedure.


This and the "insult the president" sound both like cases of the offender being an asshole.

I mean, there is a difference between criticizing an idea - or a person - and being purposefully insulting about it. Surely there is a way to draw a line in between that preserves free and civilized discourse.


How do you draw the line when it comes to satire for instance? Should you not be allowed to ridicule rulers just because they might find it insulting? Insulting the powerful has always been part of normal democratic discourse.


Civility and tone policing is the refuge of the privileged scoundrel. It's akin to the literacy tests that prevented black people from voting in the US, which used to be legal in the US that


> This and the "insult the president" sound both like cases of the offender being an asshole.

I fully agree. I think we should start jailing all the people who called Trump an idiot or a racist. That's no way to talk about the President!


Or the Thai king or Turkmenbashi:)


It is not the job of the government to preserve "civilised discourse". It is a government, not the moderator of an Internet forum.

I must be able to say whatever I want, and you must be able to ignore me or openly disagree.


And yet with this primitive outlook we are stuck with fake news horse shit spewing all over the internet. We need a more robust approach to improve discourse.


It absolutely is the job of the government to regulate interactions between its citizens. That's literally why people let them exist. We're arguing here about extent of that regulation.

No sane government will prevent you from generally moving around. But try to run around the town naked, and see how long it'll take before you get in trouble. Being naked is a form of expression too - one that's almost universally frowned upon when not confined to private spaces in presence of adults only.

(Also, no reasonable government is tone-policing discourse in general. Some governments choose to demand respectful behavior towards the institution of government, including in particular towards officials while holding office. That's a far cry from being oppressive or constraining the marketplace of ideas.)


This argument suffers from both the "no sane government" and the "no reasonable government" fallacies.


6 of the 8 MEPs representing me have consented to it.

Are you in favour of direct democracy on every single vote of every single law at every single level of government?


The place where direct democracy works is as a veto. If the legislature passes a law and you collect X number of signatures against it, it goes up for popular vote. If the people don't approve, it doesn't pass.

Then you mitigate populism creating ill-conceived laws, because the legislature has to introduce and pass them first, but then the legislature can't as easily pass corrupt laws because they can be challenged and shot down by the people.

It would also be pretty great if you could challenge existing laws in this way, e.g. for any that hasn't been challenged this way in five years and you get the signatures again, it can be used for repeal.


We have unpopular laws that populism would like to see repealed - in the UK, the human rights act for example.


That is what constitutions are for. You can have things that require a supermajority to enact and therefore a supermajority to repeal.


If you do that, you get stuff like Brexit.


[flagged]


> see all of the various cruel and malicious acts and positions EU leaders take against Britain for deigning to resist the expansion of EU powers

I have yet to see even one example of that, given how many opt-outs the UK was granted and how much the UK actively encouraged the expansion of the EU.

Heck, the mere existence of Article 50 as an option puts it ahead of the behaviour of the federal government of the USA in the American Civil War.

It’s not the fault of Brussels or Berlin that the single largest party in Westminster:

* Invoked article 50, a 2-year process, a few months after it’s own Permanent Representative to the EU wrote that it would take ten years

* Followed this with a surprise general election, which unnecessarily lost them seats

* Set a bunch of “red lines” which were incompatible with their own goals

* Made no attempt to win over any skeptics in their own party, or in their opposition, after losing seats

* Spent 18 months trying to negotiate a withdrawal agreement, where the “Irish backstop” was their own solution to the RoI/NI border, because of their own red lines and the red lines of their supply and confidence partner, the DUP, who they only needed the support of because of losing seats in an election they didn’t need to call

* Chosen as Foreign Secretary a man who later said “fuck business” because they didn’t like his plan

* Were then surprised by the Westminster MPs, who had fairly consistently been ignored and lied to by the UK government, voting down the agreement by the largest margin on record

* Was unable to agree with itself if it did or didn’t need to plan for no deal because the conversations typically went “they need us more than we need them” “no” “that’s just project fear”

* Only seriously considered “no deal” in December 2018, describing it as “unforeseeable” despite having been warned of it for about two years continuously; and as a result contracted a ferry company with no money and no ferries who copied their terms and conditions from a fast food delivery company, to run services between a mothballed UK port that needed dredging and an already-at-capacity EU port

* Just had 3 (plus 8 opposition, total 11) MPs resign, including one Tory from a Tory safe seat, whose goal is now the destruction of the Tory party

What the EU has done is, apparently, start planning to send food parcels to the UK. The Express newspaper apparently calls that plan “blackmail”. I don’t even understand how anyone can say that without breaking into laughter.


> Spent 18 months trying to negotiate a withdrawal agreement, where the “Irish backstop” was their own solution to the RoI/NI border

The Irish backstop was the EU's solution, not the UK's. The talking point you're probably thinking of is that the UK-wide backstop was the UK's doing, which is technically true because the EU wanted the backstop to apply only to Northern Ireland - the UK negotiators objected because this would make a huge mess of the Good Friday Agreement (not to mention pissing off the DUP). I can't say I blame you for getting this wrong, since the whole point of this talking point was to leave people with the false impression that the backstop was the UK's doing.


It’s complicated. The border options are “none”, “NI/RoI border customs checks etc”, and “Irish Sea custons checks etc” (given nobody even suggested “customs checks etc on Sinn Fein/DUP constituency borders” AFAIK).

“None” was ruled out by making it a red line to leave the customs union and single market even though that was originally something quite of leave campaigners thought was a silly idea. And it was ruled in by the WA backstop if the UK couldn’t figure out how to leave the Single Market without violating the Good Friday Agreement.

NI/RoI seems to violate the Good Friday Agreement. People argue about if it really does, but ultimately what matters is if the situation no longer satisfies the parties involved, and Sinn Fein says it doesn’t.

Irish Sea enrages the DUP because they want to be identical to the UK mainland (except for abortion laws and gay marriage etc).

It’s a mess.


Oh, I forgot to add this before and now it’s too late to edit:

One “solution” I’ve seen leavers suggest is for RoI to re-join the UK. The is generally met with derision by RoI commentators.


Well, it isn't surprising if you consider that the European Union was build based on an organization called « European Coal and Steel Community ». Basically Coal-Steel syndicate controlled by European Oligarchs. That's the nature of the EU.


The final vote hasn't happened yet as stated in the article. If you're an EU citizen there's still time to contact your representatives to ensure they understand the many issues with Article 11 (the link tax, though now it is now more akin to a publisher controlled fee for showing snippets of articles) and Article 13 (the copyright upload filter).

I've already e-mailed my representatives and have gotten responses stating that they will not support Article 11 or Article 13 in the upcoming vote (and they have in previous votes voted against this reform).


May I ask which country you are from?


Sweden. Out of 20 Swedish representatives 18 are against and 2 have no track record (neither clearly against or supporting): https://saveyourinternet.eu/se/

You can see how representatives in other countries voted by navigating from https://saveyourinternet.eu/act/


Unfortunately, out of the 13 Danish MEPs, only 2 are against with 1 having no track record.

:(


Let’s be optimistic.

This will severely impact social media. It will be censored like never before, and attacking opponents by “reporting” their posts will be more effective than ever. Trolls will have a EU-sanctioned field-day.

And what real users are going to bother staying on a platform like that?

Maybe this will revitalize hosting of personal websites where there’s no “platform” to censor your free speech?


Not gonna happen in Germany. In Germany if you own a website, you're obliged to tell the world your home address. (That is, by the way, why everyone knows where Lennart Poettering lives).


That's not true.

You need to provide an impression if your website has a commercial or journalistic character. Yes, it's vague and up to the interpretation of a court.


> Yes, it's vague and up to the interpretation of a court.

Exactly. Depends on how much risk you're eager to take. And as a non-lawyer I'd prefer to take none. Most guides for laymen I've found stated that if it's not just about your kittens or vacation, it's not "purely private" any more.

For instance, aforementioned Lennart who writes about his open source projects preferred to provide this info.

I've also heard that the lawyers in this extortion business know some tricks to make the case land on a judge with "correct" interpretations of the related paragraphs. But that's not for sure, I've never been sued in Germany luckily.


Oh, you're the guy behind zturn-stuff =) Thanks a lot, that's given me a great starting point to hack with this board. I hope I'll convince meta-xilinx maintainers to add support for it soon.


Why do you mention him specifically? Did something happen because his address was known?


Would decentralized platforms be liable? Something like Mastodon still requires a host, so I assume the host would be expected to meet these standards. I suppose you could have shift towards human-curated platforms rather than platforms operating at scale.


> Maybe this will revitalize hosting of personal websites where there’s no “platform” to censor your free speech?

Then you have basically unlimited liability, as far as I can tell; hardly seems like an upside.


No, not unless you allow user uploads from other users.


Like having a comment form on your blog?


>Maybe this will revitalize hosting of personal websites where there’s no “platform” to censor your free speech?

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland you are required to disclose your full name, address, telephone number and more if you publish a personal website. This makes it impossible to keep a personal and anonymous website.

That is why having platforms is important.


What if you host your German language site targeting readers in Germany outside of Germany? Is it against the law? There are plenty of hosting choices around the world. I don't see why anyone would host a site in Germany with this condition.


I've dug into that topic a bit. The summary is if you're a German resident OR you're making a website aimed at German residents, you might be successfully sued. Where is it hosted, or whether it is in German at all doesn't matter much.

There is of course always an option to use anonymous hosting and make it hard to identify you from the website content. Then people whose business is to sue other people on the internet will probably leave you alone. But that also destroys the social value of your page.


> Where is it hosted, or whether it is in German at all doesn't matter much

Well, it matters in that if you don't live in the EU, it is unlikely that they will be able to target you for anything.

People in America don't spend much time worrying about the fact that in Saudi Arabia it is illegal to be gay, so I don't see why they would worry the much about copywrite laws in the EU.


> Well, it matters in that if you don't live in the EU, it is unlikely that they will be able to target you for anything.

I guess he means you can't escape the law simply by hosting the site outside of Germany, if you still want to live in Germany, because then they can sue you, even if the country where your site is hosted does not require you to display your home address, phone, etc.


I'm pretty sure that using a Facebook page instead of your own web site does not absolve you of any disclosure obligations that you would otherwise have.


Huh? If anything, the reform codifies systems like Content ID and makes it horribly expensive to compete with Google and Facebook. And all that to cater to US copyright industry - a fine example of EU shooting itself in the foot.


All we need now is an independent content id system that companies might use to check content against. Doing nothing will leave this to the wrong parties to implement and turn into a control point.

IMHO a simple open platform could allow content creators to register their content. Anyone could then choose to check content id against such a platform. In case of conflicts, that platform would be the place to resolve things with escalation options and arbitration built into the platform. Basically getting to a world where people register ownership of content they created would make sharing that content safe.

IMHO this is a very sane solution to this problem. Right now the problem is that we rely on content id based on databases provided by the media industry. Any conflict in these systems means the wrong decisions get taken. With an open platform, you could argue that you checked and in case of conflicts with competing systems decide even document the outcome of any manual evaluation of ownership.

IMHO this would be in the spirit of this law, protect content owners against abuse of their content, and do so in a fair and transparent way where all sides have a chance to get their rights respected. The only problem with the current way of doing content id is that it is unfair and biased towards whatever version of the truth big media companies push as the truth.


How about instead of spending billions of man hours and dollars on an antiquated conception like intellectual property when the fundamental assumptions of its premise have changed (primarily, that information was not functionally free to store and transmit instantly to anyone, anywhere) you say "hey, maybe it doesn't make sense to create artificial state run monopolies for an imaginary incentives structure we have no evidence actually works and could try something else, including nothing, and see how that goes".


Good luck with that debate. In the real world copyright, trademarks, patents, international treaties, etc. and the national laws of hundreds of countries governing those are a reality. This stuff is super complicated. Within the context of all of that, coming up with a pragmatic way forward is the only debate worth having.


A pragmatic way forward is absolutely to ramp down the institution over time as obsolete. When the car came out farriers did not lobby the government that they needed their institution protected because that is just the way things are.

Its the same argument that was constantly used in defense of segregation, slavery, imperialism, colonialism, feudalism, the belief in the humors, the prohibition of drugs, why housing prices are out of control, etc - its always "thats the way things are and they cannot change". Which is total bollocks.


But there already is a solution to this in the USA.

The solution is DMCA safe harbor laws, and putting the burden of enforcement on the copywrite holder.

ie, platforms get immunity, and effective non enforcement in all but obvious cases of infringement.

This is the solution that we use in the real world, and it is working fairly well.

And it forces the copywrite holders to be the ones who have to put in the work to enforce things.


The problem with automated systems is that they can't distinguish between copyright infringement and legitimate use, for example for satire.


I'd say there are established rules on this for fair use. You might adding some meta information with attribution and doing automated checks on e.g. the scope of the use in the context of the new work. This is a greenfield currently; people are very sloppy with attributing or even acknowledging each other's content. Also, rights to the content is something you could manage in a registry by e.g. stating that content reuse with attribution is allowed by the content owner.

All I see in discussions on this topic right now is this apocalyptic thinking which in my view is not a productive, at all. Where's the counter solution or the improved proposal? The debate on this only seems to get going when legislation is about to be passed; which is typically too late. Youtube as a victim is not going to cause me to shed tears.

Vague amateur interpretations of interpretations of what somebody said on a blog leading to ridiculous conclusions about what it all means are just noise. This is not the end of free speech, satire, or the internet. Wasn't the case for GDPR either. I see this as just a necessary step to get out of the abusive mess that is the status quo of today where people just do whatever without regard for copyright.

Sure this proposal is less than ideal and the process for creating it is flawed. There are probably many ways things can be improved further; how the impact for honest businesses and individuals can be mitigated; etc. Lets have that debate instead of doing nothing and hoping this topic goes away (which of course it won't). In my view concrete improvements might be a lot easier to get support for in the EU and other countries like the US with powerful lobbies for changing the law on this front (this is not an EU problem) than arguing for nothing to happen.


> ...makes it horribly expensive to compete with Google and Facebook

And despite this, YouTube thinks that even their incredibly sophisticated rights management system is too lenient to comply with Article 13 and not be subject to immense damages.


ContentID won't be enough, but google has the finances to get a blanked license with most distributors. Anything not from those distributors will be blocked.

That's a feature, not a bug. Perfectly as intended because now Google has to pay for a license from Springer.


ContentID+Copyscape+MOSS


> makes it horribly expensive to compete with Google and Facebook

there is no serious competition to Google or Facebook, in Europe. (or really the US either for that matter). How is this a shot in the foot if the industry is absent anyway?

In fact if Europe wanted to compete they would need to go the Chinese route. Double/Triple down on the regulation to the point where you make operation impossible and rebuild a national IT sector.


If their automated systems can't work properly, they shall be fined/taxed accordingly per infringement.

Alternatively they can pay workers or have knowledgeable volunteers pre-moderate the user submitted content before it appears publicly.


I have been searching for this but couldn't find any answer, let's say a company has a generic public platform where people can upload text, images, videos, audio, ... how are they supposed to be able to check for copyright infringment against every single upload?

I know that Youtube has its own content id system, but for anyone without YT's resouces, is ther any 3rd party service to which you can pass content and get back a yes/no answer to "anyone copyrighted this thing?", if yes, what are the costs? the effectiveness?


> how are they supposed to be able to check for copyright infringment against every single upload?

They aren't. You can't. I'm not sure if this is an oversight, or deliberate -- the law was written by lots of people, so the truth is probably in-between -- but your best bet is to avoid the EU, or stick to major hosting providers like YouTube.


i deeply hope, as a EU citizen, that reddit, youtube, and all other platforms kill access by EU citizens the day this law takes effect.

Shouldn't take longer than a Week to get this rolled back.


This is still not final, but startups and small business should be exempted from the law. But I guess there are still many platforms in the middle: big enough to not fall in the exempted category, but too small to build their own content id system. Paradoxically, Google/Facebook could profit A LOT from this.


> This is still not final, but startups and small business should be exempted from the law

For 3 years


I heard that voiced as a worry, and the logic goes something like this: A small organisation that does not have the capability (money or otherwise) to implement their own content filter, have to look elsewhere for it. Where to go? Probably Google, etc, once they start selling those services. So the net effect will not be negative for the big companies (if those now are the actual target for the copyright directive), since they will now instead have a new market to exploit; small organisations burdened by the content filter requirements demanded by the copyright directive.


> how are they supposed to be able to check for copyright infringment against every single upload?

"Did you create this item from your own efforts without the inclusion of material copyright to other entities? Y / N"

That's a filter. Not a particularly sophisticated one, but the majority of websites shouldn't be hosting anything that answers N to that anyhow. Little Northville Cycling Club, for example, probably shouldn't be hosting satire based on copyright works. It's just too legally risky.


> how are they supposed to be able to check for copyright infringment against every single upload?

With an upload filter, which is obvious to technically inclined people (I'm not talking about you) and is denied by the supporters of this

BTW thank France for wanting ridiculous exceptions and Germany (#Merkelfilter) for caving up to them


What a bullshit title. It is not aimed at Google and Facebook. Those are the companies that have more than enough resources to be compliant. It's the small and aspiring companies that are not yet established that would suffer the most from this directive. Googles, Amazons and Facebooks would be just fine, safer then ever since the barrier to entry is bigger and bigger with every new directive.


You're right about the consequences, and the title is misleading, but I think the exact words are probably true.

This is aimed at Google and Facebook, in the sense that the people voting for it cite Google and Facebook as targets, and the companies advocating it view Google as decreasing their profits. That's where publishers are hoping to find new revenues, and where lawmakers are using public anger to garner support.

Unfortunately, the people drafting the law have terrible aim, so it's going to hit primarily startups and not-for-profit sites, raising Facebook's staffing costs slightly while crippling creativity and public access to information. Presumably the people looking to profit on Google links simply don't care about that, although I can't tell whether the lawmakers supporting this don't care about the harms or are genuinely too incompetent to understand what they're doing.


"‘online content sharing service provider’ means a provider of an information society service whose main or one of the main purposes is to store and give the public access to a large amount of copyright protected works or other protected subject-matter uploaded by its users which it organises and promotes for profit-making purposes. Providers of services such as not-for profit online encyclopedias, not-for profit educational and scientific repositories, open source software developing and sharing platforms, electronic communication service providers as defined in Directive 2018/1972 establishing the European Communications Code, online marketplaces and business-to business cloud services and cloud services which allow users to upload content for their own use shall not be considered online content sharing service providers within the meaning of this Directive." https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Art_13_unoff...


They are supposedly aimed at Google and Facebook but have enough range to burn most of other services in the European Internet in the process.


This seems to me like it will have exactly the opposite intended effect, that the large players are the only ones who will be able to operate under this new regulatory burden.


> ...the large players are the only ones who will be able to operate under this new regulatory burden.

And even YouTube is pretty sure they'll struggle to comply, despite having the most sophisticated and error-resistant rights management system on the market.


Beside ML and AI hugely based on farms in Indonesia watching everything reported... Its proven that its impossible to track whole content of ytb because simply it is "too much of data and ppl always try to screw over your detection system"


Create. Produce original content. Keep the copyright. Don't consume canned content.


Fair use exists. This law makes it illegal to use clips of a movie in critiquing it, or cut snippets of images to form a collage, or point to examples of art, film, and music in an educational setting.

Copyright was never intended to be pervasive and absolute. Copyright is supposed to protect the commercial potential of the original work by keeping people from making copies that supplant the market for the original, ie, piracy. Content filters and link taxes are a bastardization of Copyright.


> This law makes it illegal to use clips of a movie in critiquing it, or cut snippets of images to form a collage, or point to examples of art, film, and music in an educational setting

Not quite. This law makes it prohibitively expensive to host content like that. The effect is the same, but from a PR standpoint its a huge difference.


> This law makes it illegal to use clips of a movie in critiquing it, or cut snippets of images to form a collage, or point to examples of art, film, and music in an educational setting.

Really? It specifically says it shall in no way affect legitimate uses

Which specific part are you referring to which prevents this?


The law will effectively eliminate any content uploading. Whether it is 100% originally created by the uploader or containing copyrightes material, covered by fair use or not. As the platform owner carries the whole risk for damages, only a few large industrial platforms like youtube might survive. But only with extremely stringend upload filters which mean the end of any content containg possibly copyrighted material.


Will I be able to, with this law 1) Go to linode and buy a VPS 2) Upload my own reviews of a movie (including scenes from the movie as appropiate) which are allowed under existing copyright law 3) Make those reviews available to everyone?

My understanding is yes

Will I be able to, with this law 1) Go to linode and buy a VPS 2) Allow others to upload their own reviews of a movie (including scenes from the movie as appropiate) 3) Allow me to review them to ensure that they are allowed under existing copyright law 4) Make those reviews available to everyone?

My understanding is yes

So I don't understand how "This law makes it illegal to use clips of a movie in critiquing it". It simply ensures that those breaking copyright law have the weight of the law upon them.


Your ability to self-host is not affected at all. But self-hosting is getting more and more rare as few people have the resources (both financial and time-wise) to set up their own site and administrate it. Also, it is much more difficult to be discovered when not on a site with large user count. So the first szenario is absolutely possible.

The second szenario puts you at a huge risk. You would have to review every single submission to your site for copyrighted material. This means you can accept like 1 submission per day? And still you would have to make sure (and bear the whole financial risk if wrong), that the submission is completely legal.

This might work in a very few specific szenarios, but you could not run a site like a photography forum. If users have the ability to upload content, starting with their writing but even more so when uploading photographs. There is simply no way for the site administrator to find out whether the uploader holds the copyrights to the uploaded photograph. If the uploader does not, you are liable for the copyright violation.

In the end, even hacker news probably becomes unavailable in Europe. If a user would paste a newspaper article into a comment, hacker news could be sued for this copyright violation.


> Your ability to self-host is not affected at all.

Phew, I thought I'd misread it

So the law doesn't "make it illegal to use clips of a movie in critiquing it".

> In the end, even hacker news probably becomes unavailable in Europe. If a user would paste a newspaper article into a comment, hacker news could be sued for this copyright violation.

It's already illegal for HN to host copyright material.


> > Your ability to self-host is not affected at all.

> Phew, I thought I'd misread it

> So the law doesn't "make it illegal to use clips of a movie in critiquing it".

Not more or less than before. But you won't be able to find a platform for doing so, unless you self-host.

> > In the end, even hacker news probably becomes unavailable in Europe. If a user would paste a newspaper article into a comment, hacker news could be sued for this copyright violation.

> It's already illegal for HN to host copyright material.

Yes, but so far, they only had to remove it, when they got a complaint. Now they bear the full liability for the copyright violation. So it is the same game as with file sharing: value of the material times the number of downloads, so we are easily talking about claims in the range of millions.


> Not more or less than before. But you won't be able to find a platform for doing so, unless you self-host.

Sounds like a gap in the market then.

> Yes, but so far, they only had to remove it, when they got a complaint.

Kim Dot Com hosted infringing material and had far more serious impact than "had to remove it"


"Providers of services such as not-for profit online encyclopedias, not-for profit educational and scientific repositories, open source software developing and sharing platforms, electronic communication service providers as defined in Directive 2018/1972 establishing the European Communications Code, online marketplaces and business-to business cloud services and cloud services which allow users to upload content for their own use shall not be considered online content sharing service providers within the meaning of this Directive." https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Art_13_unoff...


I can't compute "educational setting" and "copyright" in the same comment.


No it does not. This is the GDPR discussion all over again. "This will kill the internet" and "All sites will be subscription only" etc. I'm not for the proposed law but it does not does not block fair use.


The law doesn't block fair use, but the only way for content platforms to be compliant is rampant overfiltering which will kill fair use.


>rampant overfiltering which will kill fair use

True! However, according to the draft of the Article 13, this may happen in the case of providers "of an information society service whose main or one of the main purposes is to store and give the public access to a large amount of copyright protected works or other protected subject-matter uploaded by its users which it organises and promotes for profit-making purposes." [1]

This is not an argument in favor of upload filters. Maybe we should push for legislation about the obligation to make any upload filter completely transparent (program source).

[1] definition from the top of the document https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Art_13_unoff...


It is impossible to write a program that distinguishes between legit and illegit uploads. Basically everything created in the last 90 years is copyrighted. Be it video, picture or writing. How should an upload filter identify an uploader als the legit copyright owner?


> "This will kill the internet"

In a small way, it kind of did, didn't it? I see people on reddit and hackernews constantly complaining how they can't access some random local news website in the US because they've chosen to simply not deal with GDPR.


Does anyone have a link to the actual law? All I can find are news stories with too little information.


i assume ther are multiple drafts and such based on various negotiations. here’s a press release that features one draft: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018...

but i found the wikipedia article to be very informative: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_on_Copyright_in_th...


The current draft compromise is not yet published. Article 11[0] and 13[1] have been leaked by Julia Reda, though.

[0]: https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Art_11_unoff...

[1]: https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Art_13_unoff...


Nobody complaining about the law has actually read the law. Julia Reda doesn't want you to read the law she's opposed to, she wants you to be opposed to it based on the "link tax" and "upload filter" nicknames that have been coined for it.


> Julia Reda doesn't want you to read the law she's opposed to, she wants you to be opposed to it

I've skimmed the relevant passages and it didn't seem to me like she's claiming anything that's not true. You can play the word game of if that particular phrase was there or not, but the intent is clear for anyone, except perhaps those with vested interest in having this passed.


>I've skimmed the relevant passages and it didn't seem to me like she's claiming anything that's not true.

The "link tax" is certainly a false claim. Paragraph 1 of Article 11[0] clearly states:

>The protection granted under the first subparagraph shall not apply to acts of hyperlinking.

Also:

>The rights referred to in the first subparagraph shall not apply in respect of uses of individual words or very short extracts of a press publication.

[0]: https://juliareda.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Art_11_unoff...


The narrative of focusing on "those with vested interest in having this passed" is ignoring those with a vested interest in it not being passed. Julia's meeting list on her website is a Who's Who is Google and organizations Google is a part of or funding.

I would argue I have a vested interest in having this passed: I want an Internet which isn't predominantly controlled by one corporation which steals content from everyone else and passes it off as their own. I have no employer or funding source based on this, I don't work for anyone in the movie, music, news, or tech industry, I just want a better Internet, and the EU both in antitrust and copyright reform, seems to be delivering it.


> Who's Who is Google and organizations Google is a part of or funding. I would argue I have a vested interest in having this passed: I want an Internet which isn't predominantly controlled by one corporation which steals content from everyone else and passes it off as their own. I have no employer or funding source based on this, I don't work for anyone in the movie, music, news, or tech industry, I just want a better Internet, and the EU both in antitrust and copyright reform, seems to be delivering it.

I am sorry, but this seem misguided. Corporations like Google may very well be the only ones capable of handling this and even offer a service to scan everyone's files, meaning smaller businesses will let Google know about every single upload they receive, making Google even stronger and effectively banning zero-knowledge, privacy focused providers.

This is like internet 'fast lanes'. It isn't Google who would not be able to pay.

Certainly makes me re-think my Mastodon instance strategy and future plans to set up business in the EU.

I am someone who is on what many would call the 'far-left' and not at all against good regulation, but this simply isn't one of them.


This is a common refrain of big tech: That regulation and consumer protection designed to reign in their abuses won't be a problem for them, and will hurt the little guy. It's interesting how loud they plead that they won't be hurt by regulation aimed at them. (Or that they're still opposed to it, if it will actually eliminate the competition.)

The answer is that that line of argument is bull---- and always has been. Small outfits using reasonable moderation practices will never have a problem with any sort of copyright regulation. The issue crops up when massive companies have made copyright abuse a major component of their largely automated platform, and done everything possible to avoid moderating content because legitimate, quality moderation does not scale. And as tech giants, they want to avoid things that don't scale.

The interesting thing is that the so-called "upload filter" law, that everyone says YouTube will already be fine with because of Content ID, will not be satisfied with Content ID. Because a real, human person must be handling appeals, rather than the little automatic deny that Google currently does. It will cost YouTube a massive amount of money to adopt this on it's scale, but will cost small websites or platforms nothing: They already have humans that read their email.


> That regulation and consumer protection designed to reign in their abuses won't be a problem for them, and will hurt the little guy. It's interesting how loud they plead that they won't be hurt by regulation aimed at them.

If this is really aimed so squarely at them, it could be worded more precisely to just target say "multinational corporations with monopolies in on-demand media distribution", but it's not. This is because the aim is to yes, extract as much money from Google etc. as possible, but also to make sure there's nothing that could ever replace YT because it would be handicapped from the get go.

> The answer is that that line of argument is bull---- and always has been. Small outfits using reasonable moderation practices will never have a problem with any sort of copyright regulation.

Again, it could have been made very explicit that that's the case, in fact amendments in that direction have been proposed and rejected.

> Because a real, human person must be handling appeals, rather than the little automatic deny that Google currently does. It will cost YouTube a massive amount of money to adopt this on it's scale

As problematic as YT is, I highly doubt this is an attempt to promote the adoption of PeerTube etc. Rather, it is likely to be an attempt to crush an outlet where almost anyone can become big without a publisher.

> but will cost small websites or platforms nothing: They already have humans that read their email.

Email? Huh? I don't think "John's Portfolio Website" is the concern here. The concern is a small business that is a platform, say a new Reddit, or even a YouTube alternative. Say this does displace YouTube. How is an alternative with 5 employees going to deal with this?

Also, you didn't address the privacy question. What about platforms that perhaps want to offer zero-knowledge file storage/upload? Are we fine with this being just dead now, or what?

P.S. Also, it's not always the case that because something may inconvenience a monopoly, (Google), that it is automatically beneficial to everyone else. Article 13 is specifically NOT worded to target JUST Google-size businesses.


To get an idea of how the European Commission thinks, you really need to read their retracted Medium post: http://archive.fo/cZa14

It oozes contempt, is filled with strawman arguments, and makes no effort to disguise its disdain for "the big Californian companies".

Some highlights:

> Good journalism costs money and without a free press there is no democracy.

> Because if creative people don’t get paid, they can’t afford to be creative. No Mon = No Fun

> At the moment the balance of power in who gets paid for such royalties resides overwhelmingly with the big Californian companies — who are worth around $1 Trillion.

> Are we in a world where ordinary people side with the fire breathing dragon against the knight with a blue and yellow shield?


The response is to offer Google News in europe with snippets from newspapers from Québec, Mexico, Brasil, Saint-Marin...


Hahahahahahaha.

No.


This is what I despise about "news". If this was china or russia or venezuela, etc, the headline would be "China tightens grip on their people" or "International community concerned as China becomes more authoritarian" or "Pro freedom activists protest against China's draconian censorship". It would be spun as something more ominous than "reform". But reuters being reuters and also a major supporter of censorship, of course spins it in a pro-censorship manner. Also, considering that google and facebook support these "reforms", how are they "aiming" it at them? These laws will entrench google and facebook and secure their monopoly positions. The biggest beneficiaries of these laws are google and facebook and of course large media companies, like reuters.

I wonder what the headline would be if reuters and the news industry was against these "reforms".


Take this with a grain of salt since it's their own website, but Youtube themselves say they wouldn't be able to let any content on their platform stay up even if it slightly resembled copyrighted content. Think the current Content ID system times 10.

https://www.youtube.com/saveyourinternet/

https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2018/10/a-final-upda...


Content ID almost definitely operates on a score model, which I'm sure would scare Google into changing their minimum required score to remove a video. It would result in more false positives, but you can almost see the headline in your head if they don't "Youtube has over 50000 videos that their own Content ID Algorithm detected, but they didn't take them down!"


The webpage you linked is from last year I think. Article 13 has since been updated


It has been updated to something worse:

https://juliareda.eu/2019/02/eu-copyright-final-text/


The first issue is that this is called a "Copyright" reform. The language is loaded from the start and discussion can never get off on the right foot.

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterpreting-copyright.en....

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html


I feel like headline bickering is endless.

But I also think there is a lot of difference between even draconian copyright laws.... and China, Russia, Venezuela....

Same goes for laws enacted by democratic governments who have free press, independent courts, etc.

Your comparisons seem hardly 1:1.


I think his point is not about comparison, but of the media putting a 'spin' on the way a news item is presented to make it more in line with their own entrenched positions, and the ethicality of their doing it.

Even considering the huge uproar about fake news, etc that the media is crying hoarse over, they seem reluctant to reform their own practices like reductive and sensationalist head line writing, and change to a more plainspeaking reportage.


I'm not sure there is automatically "spin", because of the difference.

My point being those government actions are very much in different contexts and might deserve different descriptions.


How many such laws need to be passed before we can say that the context has changed?


Well some of the context I mentioned was a democratic government, free press, independent courts, etc. So that would have to change.


My point is these don't have to be abolished at once with a single law, there can also be a gradual decline.

This law _does_ threaten free speech by basically forcing platforms introduce content filters. First to be used for copyrighted content, but once it's there it can easily be extended to hate speech, fake news, defamation and other euphemisms for the content to be censored. It basically un-does a lot of internet's democratizing effect on free speech.


I don't like the law either, it might even impact some of the context I mention, but that context is still there if we're talking about OP's headline vs headline discussion.


In terms of the areas of what the OP mentioned, there is no difference.


My point being there is more context than just what he OP mentioned.


There's also usually more context behind the stories from say Venezuela that you normally don't get, so that doesn't really say much.


Heh, a few weeks back I was listening a podcast and it mentioned when US/NATO decide to remove some foreign country's government they start by calling it regime instead of ruler/ruling party etc.


This isn’t just about the US/NATO e.g. Iran not wanting to recognize Israel so they refer to it as the Zoinist Regime, the term regime is used to refer to an illegitimate and often authoritarian government, however for the most part when NATO uses that term they are objectively correct even if they have additional motives for using it.


So maybe you should start talking about the future of the Conservative Regime in the UK and the Trumpian Theocracy.

I think I that's how causation works.


But reuters being reuters and also a major supporter of censorship, of course spins it in a pro-censorship manner.

That's too bold of a claim to just toss in there leisurely. Surely you should feel some degree of need to qualify that statement.

"Supporter of censorship"? How does this become the top comment?


The Reuters article presented both points of view, including the dissenters, contradicting the "Reuters supports censorship". But perhaps if we upvote and downvote commenters, we can make a real change in the world.


Pay attention to the language of the article:

> two years after the EU executive proposed changes to protect the bloc’s cultural heritage and ensure that publishers, broadcasters and artists are remunerated fairly.

> dissenting countries said the proposed changes could hinder innovation and hurt the bloc’s competitiveness

The first statement is presented as fact, the second as something that was merely 'said'. 'Censorship', 'freedom of expression', or 'chilling effects' are entirely absent from the article.


I see your point but the full sentence seems to me (to my reading) simply to mention the stated purpose of the legislation. The phrase after "to" I read not as what Reuters stamped as the Correct or Real reason, but what the legislators' implied reasons were:

Negotiators from the EU countries, the European Parliament and the European Commission sealed a deal last week, two years after the EU executive proposed changes to protect the bloc’s cultural heritage and ensure that publishers, broadcasters and artists are remunerated fairly.

What's after "to" is the reason for the legislation. What, the reason for the legislation is fully subjective? And then they mentioned the dissenting voices.

I don't know. Reuters might be biased, but I don't see this as making a strong case.


I have no idea if Reuters is deliberately biased, and I don't think this article shows that. It's just lazy inertia-driven reporting. But inertia-driven reporting is biased, even if the reporter tried to be neutral. It usually ends up subconsciously treating official sources as truth, and everything else as mere claims. But it's what it doesn't report that tilts the story most heavily. Industry PR and politicians give very different answers from e.g. software freedom activists.


Exactly, that’s why “fake news” is a funny term: it is mostly used by news outlets that are loosing at their own game ;-)

Anyway, I believe it doesn’t take much to read through the double standards BS.


> Also, considering that google and facebook support these "reforms", how are they "aiming" it at them?

Huh?

"Google, which has lobbied against both features and has even suggested that it might pull Google News from Europe, said last week it would study the text before deciding on its next steps."

That does not sound like support to me.


This is not true, and the headlines are not misrepresentations.

This is not an authoritarian move by the EU.

It's actually quite fair, or a reasonable premise to posit that neither you nor Google have the right to publish copyrighted material.

They are enacting laws for basic copyright protections - which seem wild only due to the fact that the web has been a 'wild west' since inception and it's what we are used to.

I'm against this law, but there are very real arguments for this.

The arguments against the law are actually more pragmatic than anything, i.e. small sites will have trouble complying and it could make information more difficult to access.

The headline is fine.


Nothing is being censored. You can say whatever you want.


> Nothing is being censored. You can say whatever you want.

a) Not if the platforms needed for ordinary people to say them are destroyed/neutered.

b) This is a direct attack on criticism and fair use in general. Some of the most biting criticism is to use the opponent's own words against them, or to demonstrate a historical example of them being wrong or inconsistent. Which has in general been legally protected for that exact reason, yet this is likely to impair that significantly because it would be detected as "infringement" by an automated system with a useless, opaque or non-existent appeals process.


Who is John Galt? The man who decided to stop the engine of the world, and did. I think he's about to make an appearance.




Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: