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E.U. Parliament Approves the Copyright Directive

Including Article 11, known as the "link tax" and Article 13, known as the "upload filter"

     
6:38 pm on Mar 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Europe's Parliament has approved the controversial Copyright Directive, which includes Article 11, the "link tax" and Article 13, known a the "upload filter."

This means it'll become law within 24-months in each European Union member state.

Things are going to change with this new law, and it'll be interesting to see how this is interpreted, and how changes what we now know. Users and big businesses will have to make significant changes if they are not to fall foul.

Earlier stories
E.U.'s Articles 11 and 13 Copyright Directive Survive and Head For E.U. Parliament Approval [webmasterworld.com]
E.U.'s Copyright Update Articles 11 and 13 Under Threat [webmasterworld.com]
YouTube's CEO, Susan Wojcicki: E.U. Article 13 Threatens Creativity [webmasterworld.com]
E.U. Parliament Approve New Copyright Changes, Article 11 and 13 [webmasterworld.com]
7:31 pm on Mar 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If there were no abuse by big tech in the first place we wouldn't have gotten into this mess. They have brought it upon themselves and upon the rest of us. Self-regulation was the way to go, but greed blinds people, self-regulation goes out the window - and the storm descends upon us. When Pandora's box opens, there is no end to misfortune.
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8:33 pm on Mar 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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And for balance, its not just big business: it also applies to over use of artists materials by those that don't hold the copyright.
8:57 pm on Mar 26, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Sadly, copyright (and respect thereof) is not taught in schools (from kindergarten on) and folks have no concept of intellectual property rights, etc. or what is Public Domain and what is protected.
11:17 am on Mar 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@tangor, you want schools to teach a particular moral position or the law. If the former, I disagree. if the latter, I would say the law on their rights, contracts, etc. are more important and are not taught either.

@heisje the problem with the law is that although its aimed at big tech, its going to be much harder for smaller businesses to comply with, so it ends up strengthening the position of big tech.
3:31 pm on Mar 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have frequently supported the notion that the general status quo on the net, essentially because of greed, is not sustainable. The mess is bound to become messier. And nobody today may reasonably predict what the future equilibrium is gong to look like. Market forces, politics, innovation, legislation, regulations, will all contribute & determine to what direction we move. Sailing to the Unknown on a boat called Hope.
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10:27 pm on Mar 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@graeme_p: Morality means nothing if the rule of law is not honored. :)

The kiddies are brought up on "free stuff" (so they think since they aren't required from birth to pay for it) and by the time they get to "social studies" in schools, those schools are failing in many respects to address rule of law, being more concerned with social injustice and "morality". As I said, it's a sad state of affairs.

Kids (and I mean university level) are button clickers and consumers and seekers of instant gratification ... which is one reason Pirate Bay and the like have a "business model".
12:58 am on Mar 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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When every "solution" grants EU leadership more power over the internet it's time to be concerned.

If there were no abuse by big tech in the first place we wouldn't have gotten into this mess. They have brought it upon themselves and upon the rest of us.
I disagree, Google may just be the excuse since EU leadership clearly want this power to do things like ban memes(which they did). Sad to see that citizens of the member states have no say, again.
10:03 am on Mar 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The meme ban was something the media jumped all over but in reality, is overblown. people will be allowed to use bits of copyright-protected material for the purpose of criticism, review and parody in the same way people currently do under fair use.

Mack.
12:15 pm on Mar 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'd have to agree with Tangor on this, my nephew created a Powerpoint presentation with all copyrighted material. The exercise was to learn how to use Powerpoint and they were not being graded on content, out of curiosity I asked him about the copyrights and he was somewhat clueless. Asked him if any of his teachers ever covered it and the answer was no.
7:52 pm on Mar 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. I don't see how they could teach law in primary education curriculum or what the benefit of that would be except that we would have a lot more lawyers. It is also common sense that stealing is wrong. I think that the internet has just furthered the "catch me if you can" attitude.

When I was young. We all made copies of of tapes and traded with friends. We weren't selling or mass-distributing them, but we knew this was illegal. We also knew that we would not get caught.
10:34 pm on Mar 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We weren't selling or mass-distributing them, but we knew this was illegal. We also knew that we would not get caught.


I rest my case. :)

The difference NOW is that g (and the tech giants) DO MAKE SHARING PUBLIC, MASSIVE, AND IS AD SUPORTED.

Creators are given the one-finger salute by any site that does not police their UGC.
11:49 pm on Mar 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Tangor - I am actually mostly on your side here. I just think that it should be G and friends and enemies responsibility to know and enforce copyright law on their platforms and not the users. The UGC rules are a huge loophole. They know what they are doing. I also disagreed in their being value in having law as part of primary curriculum for a child.
2:10 am on Apr 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Heck ... all of them, and I mean everybody, should be accountable. Note: I am a creator (music and literature) who has been hurt by this upside-down laissez-faire bs which g has milked from day one ... and all the other websites out there as well, especially those that RELY on UGC for content. DMCA can only do so much, and only if those who receive such notice actually respond.

It is a mess.

</rant>
8:27 am on Apr 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The meme ban was something the media jumped all over but in reality, is overblown. people will be allowed to use bits of copyright-protected material for the purpose of criticism, review and parody in the same way people currently do under fair use


Not really, because automated filters cannot understand these exceptions. This is *already* a common problem.

Morality means nothing if the rule of law is not honored


Not true. Morality is separate from the rule of law, and it can be a moral duty to break an unjust law.

When I was young. We all made copies of of tapes and traded with friends. We weren't selling or mass-distributing them


Can you say it is immoral to do something everyone does and no one feels guilty about doing?
12:58 pm on Apr 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Pirate sites are not necessarily about getting "free stuff"; they are about getting any stuff at all. Country blocks prevent many users from outside the US/UK from accessing many movies and TV shows. When I say "prevent" I mean unable to pay for the content anywhere on any streaming site. Piracy should not be the only alternative but in many cases it is.
8:01 pm on Apr 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Committing evil acts in the name of good is still an evil act. Excusing theft/copyright infringement in the name of skirting a censorious government is an invalid argument.
8:12 pm on Apr 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Not true. Morality is separate from the rule of law, and it can be a moral duty to break an unjust law.


Unjust to who? In any event, a specious argument that denigrates rule of law in the interest of social justice (a philosophical viewpoint, not a legal viewpoint).

Copyright is the discussion. Creators and copyright holders are protected under law for set periods of time to control the fruits of their labors. This concept is recognized world wide by most governments.

EU Copyright law revisions/updates might be impractical to implement, but are soon to become law. Preparing for that is the discussion.
9:39 am on Apr 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Did anyone see this: MEPs accidentally vote wrong way on copyright law [theguardian.com]
NOTE: Everything in the UK related to the EU is now politicised due to Brexit. For the record, The Guardian is a Pro-EU news source- i.e. not inclined to be critical of the EU
Several MEPs have said they accidentally voted the wrong way on a key amendment of a new European copyright directive, meaning the most controversial aspects of the law might have been removed had they not erred.
[...]
The vote on whether to allow the batch of amendments failed by five votes, 312 to 317. But shortly after, in the European parliament’s official voting record, 13 MEPs asked for their vote to be recorded differently: 10 said they meant to support it, two meant to oppose it, and one meant to not vote at all. If those were counted, the result would have gone the other way. Despite the updated record of votes, however, the initial result still stands.
[My emphasis]

So there you go. Maybe the EU did not want to pass Art 11 and Art 13, but we'll never know.
8:49 pm on Apr 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Shaddows, saw it. It is why I think electronic voting is a bad idea.

@tangor,

Unjust to who? In any event, a specious argument that denigrates rule of law in the interest of social justice (a philosophical viewpoint, not a legal viewpoint).


I think there are many historical examples where it was a clear moral duty to break the law: think of Germany in the 1030, South Africa under apartheid, the US before the abolition of slavery.

Creators and copyright holders are protected under law for set periods of time to control the fruits of their labors.


Yes, but that again you assume the law is right. Copyright has drifted a long way from servicing society with ridiculous durations (is it reasonable that works created when Queen Victoria was on the throne as still in copyright?), and rules designed to serve big business.

Copyright is the discussion.


I wish preparing for it was the discussion but its not. I see very little so far on the likely effects of the law, or how to comply, etc. Its going to be like GDPR, with a big panic when the deadline to comply is almost on us.
9:49 pm on Apr 4, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Copyright is not a "civil disobedience" topic ... all others in instant examples presented are bs---only valid in hindsight---and were fought to a standstill and defeated for reasons other than COPYRIGHT.

Slandering Queen Vic is not a good look because copyright has remained the same from day one. What HAS changed is how it is serviced and protected ... and for that we can thank the tech giants---and the lack of civics being taught in schools---and a horrific liaise-faire attitude to intellectual property by the masses which suggest that theft is okay.

Don't get me wrong, I am opposed to the EU copyright revisions AS CODIFIED. This set of regulations introduces near obscene burdens on websites and platforms which are NOT involved in infringement, but whose CLIENTS MIGHT BE and the regulatory requirement to POLICE such UGC at THEIR EXPENSE for the BENEFIT of copyright holders BEFORE IT HAPPENS is offensive, to say the least.

As for LENGTH of copyright, address that in the courts and legislation. I totally agree that Disney does not need 125 years copyright on Micky Mouse! All that started with the Berne Convention (another "EU" thing) and, sadly, Bill Clinton signed the US on that "way back when".

But COPYRIGHT is not evil. What the EU is doing, however, is not right. Still, we're stuck with it. As webmasters we will have to figure out how to move forward in a world where the average Joe User steals stuff left right upside down without a care. ... and failing to POLICE that, face monstrous fines.
10:50 am on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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all others in instant examples presented are bs---only valid in hindsight


No, they are not valid only in hindsight. Plenty of people saw they were wrong at the time. The point is that they undermine you general principle that laws should always be obeyed.

copyright has remained the same from day one


It has changed a great deal. If you take the statute of Queen Anne ( [en.wikipedia.org...] ) and its predecessor, The Licensing of The press Act ( [en.wikipedia.org...] ) as the origin of copyright its intent, duration, what it covers, and just about everything else has changed repeatedly.

Joe User steals stuff


Breaching a state granted monopoly is not theft. Also, its something everyone does. There have been many times when people who complain about their stuff being pirated have been pirating other stuff.

As webmasters we will have to figure out how to move forward


I agree entirely. How much of the above discussion is about that? There are going to be consequences not only for sites with UGC but people who post stuff to those sites. Consider the following:

1. There are already issues with scammers: [webmasterworld.com...] These are likely to get worse as sites become more cautious
2. there are already problems with fair use not being allowed: [torrentfreak.com...]
3. There are already problems with fake claims
4. The does not only apply to audio and video - pictures and text (anything copyrightable) are covered too.
5. Lots of people will have quotes from the news somewhere on their sites. Suddenly, its not allowed anymore. You have to go back, find all that and remove it.
6. Like GDPR, its not only European sites who have to comply.
11:09 am on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Breaching a state granted monopoly is not theft.


If that is your stance on copyright and the right of creators to hold and control their intellectual property for a period of time before it falls into the public domain, then we don't have a way to communicate.
11:44 am on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Whilst I support copyright, in general: The creator own the copyright.

I think the problem here with this is how on earth does all the content which falls under the new Copyright Directive from the E.U. become an issue for someone in other jurisdictions. For example, take a look through the Internet Archive and you'll see the size of the problem.
11:44 am on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@tangor, not even to discuss the practical issues webmasters face?
12:26 pm on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@engine its not unusual for countries to claim some jurisdiction abroad, but its usually only affects a few people and companies that trade in multiple countries. On the internet everyone operates globally by default so it becomes a common problem.

Looking at the text of the directive it does apply to any site available in the EU. So you comply or block all EU visitors. There is a further problem with EU directives (as opposed to EU regulations): each EU country can decide the details of the law, so you have to comply with all the variants. Usually this is fine as small variations do not matter to people in other EU countries, but with the internet they do.
12:54 pm on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So you comply or block all EU visitors.

Exactly why this directive is going to fragment the Web as we know it. There are many sites that already block the EU over GDPR, and this will take it further. I'm concerned that people in the EU region will become segregated.
1:13 pm on Apr 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Exactly. I regularly find American sites that I cannot read because of the GDPR blocls.

I think governments are quite happy for the web to fragmented because it increases their control over it.
2:33 am on Apr 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't block EU. Then again I am not going to play by their rules. And contained in the directive are specifications on when it might be activated against site (infringer), and I suspect the vast majority of the web(sites) out there does not qualify for any action by the EU against them. Of course, that's just my reading of it, IANAL (but I have dealt with them over the last 65 years) and reside in a country outside that zone and am already covered under my country's Title 47, Section 230. I suspect any actions attempted by the EU outside their jurisdiction will be challenged. Summary judgements (if attempted) on a party in another country are likely to fail.

That said, websites should be aware of how their platform is being used for UGC (which is where the problem exists). Commonsense. Your own content is already protected, though you have to protect it yourself (most countries). The EU thing, however, expects YOU to protect OTHERS with valid copyrights, and that is just plain wrong.

HOWEVER, the tech giants have a different problem. They have OFFICES and DATA CENTERS located in EU zone countries and THESE WILL FALL UNDER EU JURISDICTION. Better targets, too, in that they meet the monetary transaction levels which trigger the EU directives.

Small fry need not concern themselves.
7:59 am on Apr 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Where in the directive text does it specify a monetary transaction level? I must have missed it because the only one I know of only applies to new sites.

Apart from UCG, there are the new rules on news. Lots of people quote fair use snippets that are not fair use any more with a link to the source..

As for it only affecting tech giants, really small sites are probably under the radar and not practical to chase, but I have noticed a lot US sites other than the few tech giants block EU visitors or require extra consent from them because of GDPR so presumably they will also have to comply with this.
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