back to article Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

Today's vote on Article 13 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in European Parliament has turned into a knife-edge referendum on whether European institutions can deal with Californian exceptionalism. Can the EU change the way Google's giant YouTube video service behaves, and "filter" repeat …

  1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Flocks (gaggles? pods?) of AIs to find infringements and a blockchain to keep track of + limit legitimate copies?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

        I'm a number, not a name.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Boffin

          > I'm a number, not a name.

          Not quite: there is a letter 'I' in your handle.

          I noticed because I tried to factor it. Don't ask...

          1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

            I don't really need to ask. The first thought looking at it was whether our intrepid commentard is "Prime or Not Prime?

            I need to stop hanging out with the cryptographers so much.

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: "I noticed because I tried to factor it. Don't ask..."

            Me too!

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: "I noticed because I tried to factor it. Don't ask..."

              The I could mean he's a complex number, but then I would have expected a "+" sign (unless he is the product of a real and an imaginary number, which is of course an imaginary number (makes some form of sense, actually)

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: "I noticed because I tried to factor it. Don't ask..."

                the product of a real and an imaginary number, which is of course an imaginary number

                Because imaginariness is a dominant trait. Over time we expect to see imaginary numbers supplanting real ones, and the ratio of imaginary to real steadily increasing, except in isolated populations.

                Eventually we'll probably have to keep breeding pairs of real numbers in number zoos.

                1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                  Re: "I noticed because I tried to factor it. Don't ask..."

                  "Because imaginariness is a dominant trait."

                  But if you get a double dose then you revert to reality, so I don't think a biologist would agree with you. Also, I suspect that a mathematician could put the set of reals and the set of complex numbers into a 1:1 correspondence, so I'm not worried about real extinction within my lifetime.

  2. tiggity Silver badge

    takedowns

    Would be fine, if done correctly

    Instead, we have too many false takedowns (copyrighted take down of white noise, your own recording of a centuries old classical piece taken down etc).

    Bring in a (big) fine for invalid takedown requests (including compensation for the innocent alleged infringer) and people will be happier.

    Currently too many flawed bots that, in many cases, are wrongly flagging material as in breach of copyright and zero human checking that the "infringements" found are actually infringing.

    1. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: takedowns

      Ah yes 1 billion correct take downs are out weighed by a 100,000 possible over reaches.

      By your logic one would never take an aspirin, for rear of sudden death.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: takedowns

        Probably the other way around, isn't it ?

        Shotgun methods tend to hit lots of incorrect targets.

        1. Killfalcon Bronze badge

          Re: takedowns

          On the classical works thing: you, as an artist, can create new arrangements of old music and then claim copyrights for that arrangement. In some cases, this is required as the original instruments aren't in common use anymore, other times it's to make the piece easier to play or require fewer players, and sometimes you just want the nightcore remix of pachabel's canon and dammit you spent hours getting the tones right. *ahem*

          So if what was played isn't Bach, but (say) a Guitar arrangement of one of Bach's pieces by a still-living musician, then there is a valid claim against it. A few 'ifs' there, admittedly, but it is possible to get a legitimate claim against a performance of apparently ancient music.

          IMO, the problem with this law stems from there being two well-known issues with copyright (especially on youtube).

          a) there is a staggering, staggering amount of straight up content lifting going on. The worst, IMO, is the stuff just reuploading other youtube channel's content, but yeah, people put whole films, whole series, whole albums (etc) up without permission, all the time.

          b) the major copyright holders do not do adequate due diligence around fair use, and routinely make claims against content that is legally permissible (including "not even theirs" as well as "fair use").

          This law addresses point A, or at least is trying to, while leaving point B untouched. Youtube has a severe problem with IP violations and it's attempts to deal with it are patchy and seemingly designed to cause problem b) to become more prominent. I mean, I *know* Nintendo has had a very bad habit of not conceding fair use claims, period. I've not exactly built up an opinion of xANEwGeorgeMichaelRipEveryDayx or whoever's actually using youtube for piracy, because they generally don't have a persistent 'corporate' identity and they're not causing me any issues.

          This results in a massive PR problem for the rights-holders, and for whatever reason they've decided that the PR damage is minor enough they can ignore it, compared to the damage they believe piracy is doing.

          ...which bring us to where we are now, with that PR damage is fuelling all this.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: takedowns

        "Ah yes 1 billion correct take downs are out weighed by a 100,000 possible over reaches."

        1 billion? More like 1000. No more. And those are a drop in the sea of false takedown orders.

        Where the heck commenter pulls 1 million? Out of his arse?

    2. RobertLongshaft

      Re: takedowns

      "Would be fine, if done correctly"

      Just like communism, fascism and every other ill thought out idea in history.

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        Re: takedowns

        >Just like communism, fascism and every other ill thought out idea in history

        I'd like to add unchecked capitalism, using leverage as verb when not involving a lever, and UEFI to that list. (You may replace UEFI with systems if you wish)

        1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

          Re: takedowns

          Typo: systems = systemd

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: takedowns

      Ah yes.

      I received a DMCA takedown request for a Photo that I took myself. Yep. Some scumbag had nicked it and was passing it off as their own. The picture was of a plane having an iffly landing at Ushuaia Airport on Tierra del Fuego.

      I refused to remove it and said, "see you in court. I have fifty other photos taken at the same time and place to back up my claim that I am the original copyright owner."

      In the email, I enclosed a contact print (it was from the days of film) of some of the pictures.

      Never heard another word.

      But, I learned my lesson. Now there are NO images of mine on the internet.

    4. cortland

      Re: takedowns

      And in the United States, copyright extends to original works posted online by even private citizens – no registration required.

      Here's one original from me for now; it seems you would under the terms of the ruling violate *my* copyright by reading it.

      There once was a board all atoasting, much alarmed at the prospect of posting -- with three words in a row that appeared in a show -- would justify banning and roasting.

      Cortland E. Richmond 13 September 2018

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Weighing things up

    I have a hard time finding the copyright violations on YouTube worse than standard music contracts. And my hears are somehow deaf to pleas from the like of Murdoch Inc. and Springer Verlag that someone is eating their lunch.

    But, no matter, Google seems again to be ahead of the game by trying to turn YouTube into an app with paid-for content. You can do anything if you have sufficient market share.

    1. theblackhand

      Re: Weighing things up

      I'm unsure that music copyright violations are the real target. If the music has a long lifetime and some value, its likely to result in a take down that does enough to placate both sides.

      The real target is premium content with a short shelf life i.e. sporting events or other events where there is no other footage available for months such movies with staggered regional release dates, concerts (although arguably this is likely to be more of a marketing tool than any real loss to the artist based on typical levels of quality), news footage and anything else offering pay-per-view type coverage. YouTube and Facebook use this "free" user content to drive ad revenue.

      My cynical prediction? Content will migrate from YouTube ("free" content distribution with no restrictions) to Facebook (content restricted to friends and friends of friends and widely shared is harder to take down if the owners don't see it) followed by YouTube offering a similar private setting. For other material that still warrents enough profit to run the risk of public distribution, there will be Twitch (already users have come up with some ingenious ways to distribute content) or smaller file sharing platforms to allow it to make it to FB in the first place.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Fuzzy

    From my reading (IANAL) the conditions are too broad and ill defined. They don't specify automated takedowns but they don't ban it either. It's pretty obvious this would happen when small ISPs can't afford to take any risk at all and the big boys are likely to do it for the benefit of their mates.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Fuzzy

      As per usual, it'll be up to the courts to define the specifics of those overly broad conditions. Given who can afford the bigger number of and/or quality of lawyers (Google, et al.), I think I know how this play out over the next decade or so. Google wins.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuzzy

        "... it'll be up to the courts to define the specifics of those overly broad conditions. "

        Yup. And you already know who wins in the court: The person/organization with most money.

        That is the exact reason it's written overly broad: Easy to go the broadest possible option in the court and sue anyone, anywhere.

        And that is what copyright Mafia will do, there's no other option.

        1. JimC Silver badge

          Re: copyright mafia...

          One of the greatest triumphs of fake news, big lies and useful idiots is the way that rights societies, basically co-operatives of small people, have been successfully portrayed as big business, and Google et al as the defenders of freedom. Even the media companies are minnows compared to the 800lb gorilla, and yet there are still people all over this thread who fall for it...

  5. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    As usual Andrew hates Google

    See title

    I hope that the EU Parliment has the guts to reject this directive again.

    1. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: As usual Andrew hates Google

      Google lost. Guess they'll have to get a new business model that is adequate for the modern world, alternatively they can just fuck off.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: As usual Andrew hates Google

      Google wanted the EU to reject the bill, (which they didn't), so you've clearly not bothered learning much about this issue, even to the extent of just reading TFA.

      Anyway, what's wrong with hating google? They are a massive monopoly who shapes a good chunk of all of our lives, over which we have little to no say.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: As usual Andrew hates Google

        Logical fallacy. Whether Andrew hates Google or not is irrelevant in the discussion of copyright law in the eu.

        Makes it look like you can't argue with what he's said.

  6. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    bad law

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the argument, a law that has to have specific get-outs to preserve some behaviour is not a good law.

    Make a law that embodies the principle you want to support in a workable way. If you're having to make exemptions you haven't really distinguished the behaviour.

    1. monty75

      Re: bad law

      Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the argument, a law that has to have specific get-outs to preserve some behaviour is not a good law.

      That's pretty much every law though

      1. ivan5

        Re: bad law

        That's pretty much every law though

        So, does that make it right? Maybe most laws need looking at and rewriting to remove all the exceptions for special groups.

        1. lukewarmdog

          Re: bad law

          the problem with laws, writing and re-writing them.. is it's the job of the lawyers to do this.

          And you're back to having Google own the lawyers and getting them to write clauses in that benefit Google.

          And whilst I pick on Google here, the same can be said of any of the majors when it's their interests that are being threatened.

          There's every chance Trump is going to come along and threaten to remove America and all American content from The Internet if The Internet doesn't stop threatening American interests.

          1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

            Re: bad law

            LWD» There's every chance Trump is going to come along and threaten to remove America and all American content from The Internet if The Internet doesn't stop threatening American interests.

            It would certainly make the Internet a much less appealing place [1] and children might actually go outside and play, God forbid.

            [1] or not. it depends on how you roll.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: bad law

            "the problem with laws, writing and re-writing them.. is it's the job of the lawyers to do this.

            And you're back to having Google own the lawyers and getting them to write clauses in that benefit Google."

            I don't know how things work on the other side of the pond but here it's Parliamentary draughtsmen who rewrite the laws and although, of necessity, they're lawyers they're not lawyers Google owns.

            1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

              Re: bad law

              They do (approximately) what the politicians tell them. And they do what their paymasters tell them, be it lobbyists, the daily wail, whatever.

        2. monty75

          Re: bad law

          So, does that make it right? Maybe most laws need looking at and rewriting to remove all the exceptions for special groups.

          You'll end up back at the Ten Commandments. There's always exceptions. Thou shalt not kill - unless it's in self defence, for example.

  7. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    You can’t change money in a French bank.

    Why are there no tier one European technology software corporations. It’s just the same old protectionism. You fucked the investment when you had the chance and FinTech is more of the same. #shameonyou

  8. localzuk

    Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

    This article is dripping with bias. Just look how he frames argument against the vote as "rhetoric" and not the arguments for, which are presented as being so very sensible.

    This law is almost as bad as the USA's DCMA law, which has been massively abused since the day it was signed into law. There was an example just this last few days - a streamer on Twitch, Lirik, was suspended due to a DCMA takedown from UEFA. The takedown was based on nothing more than his having used the word "Streming" in his title, which UEFA claimed was a word often used by people broadcasting pirated UEFA content. They didn't actually watch his stream, or see any infringement, but they got his account shut down over a single mis-spelled word. Sure, he's in a rather unique position as he's very successful and is going to pursue UEFA via whatever legal avenues are open to him, but most small content creators aren't.

    That's the sort of nonsense we can expect as a consequence of this poorly thought out law.

    1. Mycho Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

      Have you ever found an unbiased article that didn't agree with you?

      1. localzuk

        Re: Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

        There's plenty of journalists out there who present an unbiased piece - hell, this site has a number of them doing a great job. Orlowski, however, puts out article after article that belittles anyone who disagrees with the over the top copyright restrictions sought by big media companies, and presents his clear contempt for some companies whilst giving others a pass.

        This article could've been unbiased - without pejorative language, and framing the article in such a way as to present the law as sensible and opponents as near enough hysterical.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: There's plenty of journalists out there who present an unbiased piece

          No, there aren't.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

      Those of us who have been around here for a while know that every so often there is an article of his that gets a few backs up. It used to be mostly about Apple but he does seem to have changed target a bit recently (don't speak too soon you fool... there is an Apple event about to happen)

      In general we handle them as a tongue in cheek event.

      Variety is what it is all about and long may he carry on injecting a bit of spice into posts. After all, there are only so many arcticles on SAN/Storage that any sane person can read in a year.

      Carry on Mr O!

      1. stiine
        Unhappy

        Re: Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

        No, we used to simply skip the articles with his by-line.

        Now, we can't because the new format doesn't always indicate the author.

  9. RobertLongshaft

    This has absolutely nothing to do with YouTube or copyright infringement. This is about globalist control over content of the internet.

    The globalists took a kicking on the internet with Brexit and Trump, now they want only globalist approved content to be allowed through faceless EU internet filters. Make no mistake this is a baby step toward tyranny, which of course was always the ultimate destination of the EU.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      I read pieces across the ideological spectrum and it wouldn't be at all hard to make a case for that on the US side of the pond.

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Article 11 might well present news organisations with a lesson in being more careful in what they ask for.

    Pay to link? Easy, don't link. No links, no traffic.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Aren't you looking forwards to the News organisations attempting to force Google to show their links?

      I'm on a diet so somebody else will have to enjoy all the popcorn being prepared.

  11. RegGuy1

    Why do we have to keep paying for something, time after time after time?

    Surely, once some new work has been created and paid for that is it. If I create a table and then sell it, I don't a fee for everytime someone sits down and uses it. Why should it be different for content? When an artist paints a picture, he may be able to sell it -- he gets paid and that is the end of it.

    When and artist can create a digital item that can be copied at no cost, he seems to think it is a cash cow. The work is done, and now I can sell it time after time after time.

    How is that justified?

    I know they do it because they can, but that doesn't make it right.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: Why do we have to keep paying for something, time after time after time?

      You make a table.

      You sell the table.

      Assuming you designed the table, you have a copyright for that exact table design.

      Another carpenter thinks your table is pretty swish, he buys a copy of the design from you and you provide it accepting that he will make more. He now has a license to use your copyright.

      A second carpenter also thinks your table is pretty swish but reverse engineers your table and makes his own set of plans that are an identical copy of your table design. If he makes any tables to your design, he is in breach of copyright.

      This table was really swish, however, so a third carpenter makes his own set of plans that are based on your table but modifies certain elements. He (probably) isn't in breach of copyright* as he's not directly copying your design.

      I'm also going to put the words 'patent' and 'trademark' in this paragraph, separate from the rest of the comment as they are different ball games but played on the same pitch.

      *Depending on whether enough was changed from your design

      1. cortland

        Re: Why do we have to keep paying for something, time after time after time?

        Eh, or rounded corners on a smartphone.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Why do we have to keep paying for something, time after time after time?

      What? Never heard of rentals?

    3. Alpc

      Re: Why do we have to keep paying for something, time after time after time?

      Ever heard of royalties? Not applicable to all copyrighted work but musicians and authors love them!

  12. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Oi

    Ave you got a loicense to post dat?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google has no incentive to change

    You watch legitimately uploaded content - it serves you ads, and takes payment from someone

    You watch illegitimately uploaded content - it serves you ads, and takes payment from someone

    If you go on YouTube and spot that your content is there and show that it is your content that has been uploaded, do you get recompense? Google takes the content down and that's that because it wasn't Google's fault that someone exploited their lax checking (and anyhow any earnings from showing your content over the last month well that offsets the cost of running a DMCA system?)

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Google has no incentive to change

      "it wasn't Google's fault that someone exploited their lax checking "

      Sorry, but no. If your business model cannot realistically be implemented without facilitating copyright violation, then you are an accessory to those violations. You need a new business model.

  14. stiine
    Happy

    If you're going to build a website in the EU

    I think I have a solution. Once you have your website built, but before you open it to the public, you simply have to write a letter to the collection societies (BMG, ASCAP, etc. see here for a bigger list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_copyright_collection_societies ) and tell them that you've built a copyright filter and that in order to prevent the upload of their copyrighted works, they'll need to send you, at no charge, a digital copy of every work that they expect your filter to block. Tell them that if they don't expect you to block a particular work, they should withhold it from you.

    Sign them.

    Date them.

    Send them via registered mail.

    If they don't send you a couple of trucks full of dvds, you're free to allow your users to upload anything that they've refused to provide you with.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone talks about Brexit...

    ...but will the EU survive the hit to their meme economy?

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