back to article Looming EU copyright rules – tackling Google news article scraping, installing upload filters – under fire from all sides

The future of a critical change in European copyright law is under doubt after negotiations designed to clarify wording have left all sides frustrated. This week, the European Parliament is due to finalize details of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, but recent changes to one key element – Article 13 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    One technical limitation is establishing the baseline signature for any copyrighted work and then what level of similarity passes or fails the new upload. What I'm trying to get at is, for instance, uploading an altered version of a piece of music with some random graphic images. How much alteration, of any form, differentiates between the copyrighted work and "my rework." We've already seen this "sampling" now. It's going to remain a problem as I can't see what "gold standard" will satisfy all parties. We could select the one that pisses everyone right off, which is usually the sign of an effective compromise.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I have an idea for a compromise : Google doesn't want to pay copyright fees ? Fine, but then it can't put ads on pages containing copyrighted content.

      Google certainly won't like that either, but it is high time Google started to feel some sort of squeeze after all those years of stealing everyone else's content and profiting from it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So how do you work out what is subject to copyright and what isn't? ContentID makes a stab at it, but that's only where data has already been provided to them, it still isn't all that good either. It has no concept of, "Well actually you do have a right to use it because you've got a license/it's fair use in this instance" etc. It is the best at what it does, but it's still very poor at what it does, a very blunt tool.

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          >So how do you work out what is subject to copyright and what isn't?

          This proposed law covers that, you have to have a human watch the video and find out if it is under copyright and if the uploaded has rights to use it prior to it being displayed on the site, this must be done fore every video uploaded, every comment posted and any other content that users put on the site.

          1. ratfox Silver badge

            Er... [citation needed]. The article itself is full of words like "proportionate" and "best efforts". It's hard to know what exactly that means, but a lot of people seem to think the requirements would be met by the currently existing Content ID system, which is mostly automated detection based on video fingerprinting.

        2. The Pi Man

          It’s simple, if you don’t know whether it’s subject to copyright then assume that it is. Google sees it the other way and assumes that nothing is subject to copyright unless the copyright owner complains. Google wants everyone else to generate their content for them to reap the ad revenue. They are fast becoming parasites.

      2. Def Silver badge

        Google doesn't want to pay copyright fees ? Fine, but then it can't put ads on pages containing copyrighted content.

        Wouldn't it be better for ad revenue to be passed to the copyright holder instead, and give Google, et al. a 15% cut? (The 15% gives the host some incentive to still keep such material in the first place.) That would effectively turn take down requests on ad supported content into royalty invoices.

      3. Andy J

        I don't know where you get your Google from, but within the EU, Google doesn't put any adverts on the news pages it serves in response to searches. The situation is more complicated when it comes to Youtube because some copyright content is posted on official channels by the copyright owners and some is from individual users who quite frequently don't have permission (ie they come under the Article 13 auspices, not Article 11). Posts from either of these sources may or may not have paid advertising alongside or within their uploads. Youtube as a company doesn't post any content so wouldn't be subject to the Article 11 provisions.

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Ambient music

      I don't think any technological solution helps, unless we get a strong AI that totally understands the context. For instance, suppose I shoot a bit of video in a party with some popular hit playing loudly in the background, so that almost nothing else can be heard in the soundtrack. A filter would block it, as the soundtrack would be exactly equivalent to a piece of copyrighted content, but this would be fair use. I did not put the music there, it was part of the natural background. I guess the clip could not be shared unless I removed the sound.

  2. Peter Prof Fox

    Damages

    From what I understand here this proposal tries to set up methods and limits. I'd say that is useful but a better way would be to make it easier to enforce legislation that already exists. If you copy my book I can sue you for actual damages. But how will I be able to do that? Take-downs are not enough, by then the damage has been done. So I'd set a rate per 'view' (based on the same metric as used for advertising, I believe 5 seconds of watching a youtube video counts as a 'view') and let the Googles of this world collect royalties for me until they remove the content. This still leaves wholescale international theft untouched, but until trade organisations are really strong there's nothing much that a small (or large) content producer can do.

    1. DeeCee

      Re: Damages

      1)make a book with some gibberish

      2)get somebody to upload it

      3)generate a bunch of views

      4)profit

      doesnt even need ??????? step. considering how widespread this problem is with ads it would be same, wouldnt even put beyond big copyright holders to do it considering how much they abuse the system as is.

    2. Pinjata

      Re: Damages

      You described the practice of YouTube. Someone make a video, someone else make a copyright claim and receive the money generated. Even if the copyright claim is dismissed they get to keep the money. Hence why the huge amount of false DMCA cases on YT.

  3. Michael Hoffmann
    WTF?

    Author's problems with copyleft?

    Could someone explain the author's issues with proponents of copyleft?

    Calling them lunatics and loons seems harsh, what am I missing? Is that deserved? Are we talking "information just wants to be free" neck-bearded fundamentalists here? Or did one of them once piss in the author's cereal?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I think it might be because copyleftists are basically saying that nobody should get paid for their work, and everyone should benefit from everyone's work for free.

      That is very nice in a purely intellectual sense, but there's just one little issue : how are the artists who don't get paid manage to pay for their food ? Not to mention rent, heating, and all the rest. Not to mention the hypocrisy of removing revenue for artists when the copyleftists are quite happy being paid for their work.

      I personally have no problem with copyleft on software I create in my spare time, but I find it difficult to accept that for software I write for a living because I need money to pay for my bills, and copyleft removes that money source.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge
        Stop

        Not true. Copyleftists right back to the Prophet RMS are very clear that getting paid and charging for ones work are OK.

        There may be an element in the Peanut Gallery who demand everything free, but I'm surprised at you conflating those with Copyleftists.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          "There may be an element in the Peanut Gallery who demand everything free, but I'm surprised at you conflating those with Copyleftists."

          So these would be copyleft lunatics then? The wording from the article sounds to me like he means copyleft extremists, not that all copylefters are lunatics.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            copyleft lunatics?

            So these would be copyleft lunatics then? The wording from the article sounds to me like he means copyleft extremists, not that all copylefters are lunatics.

            Generally, the gimme gimme gimme 'Peanut Gallery' types never produce anything themselves (hence no empathy with the situation beyond their own wants), so calling them 'Copyleftists' looney or otherwise is a stretch of the largest magnitude.

            1. Tom Melly

              Re: copyleft lunatics?

              The ones I've come across tend to claim that artists can make their income by giving Ted Talks or something. That's JD Salinger fvcked then... (well, also dead, but you get the point).

            2. teknopaul Bronze badge

              Re: copyleft lunatics?

              "Generally, the gimme gimme gimme 'Peanut Gallery' types never produce anything themselves"

              Citation needed. The whole copyleft movement came from software devs very much into giving some of their work away while working for a living by selling other works.

              I have never met a copyleftist who isnt into publishing their own work.

      2. ds6 Bronze badge

        Absolutely not; in fact, just the opposite. You are using the wrong definition of "free."

        As the name implies, copyleft was created to counteract the restrictions of copyright, in which the original creator of a work may do whatever they want with it, and no one else may do anything with it outside of explicit allowance; whereas copyleft ensures that the work remains free-as-in-freedom and all users of the work are able to do whatever they want with it, including distribution and sale. More specifically, clauses in copyleft licenses will often prohibit redistribution when it is done in a way that prevents others from doing the same, eg. not including source code with software binary releases.

        You can still make money from copyleft works, and it is in fact encouraged to do so. The purpose of copyleft—rather than removing the profits of authors—is to allow others to study and improve upon copyleft works, and to have them give any improvements back to the community even if they don't want to, and even to allow them to profit from it themselves should they give people an incentive to pay them over the original author. For example, there is no problem licensing a work under the GPL, selling it, and not publicly releasing the source code—as long as it is given as part of the sale and with any binary releases, of course. One also does not have to release the source code of a GPL application if it is provided as a service (SaaS) and the binaries are never released. Some licenses may have provisions against the previous use-cases, but it would be possible to argue they are not truly copyleft; see this argument against CC-BY-NC-SA.

        Weak copyleft licenses like the MPL, CDDL, or LGPL also exist that play the balance between strong copyleft licenses like the GPL and permissive open-source licenses like the BSD or MIT licenses, where it is possible to create works utilizing free software as part of a larger, potentially proprietary whole, so long as the free software portion of the work remains free and open source. Of course, the intricacies of this vary from license to license, but this is the general idea of weak copyleft.

        It is also possible to dual-license, such that for free and open-source purposes a work remains so, but for commercial purposes it is licensed differently, see MySQL licensing.

      3. eldakka Silver badge

        @Pascal Monett

        I am commenting only on these specific quotes from your post:

        : how are the artists who don't get paid manage to pay for their food ? Not to mention rent, heating, and all the rest.

        Like anyone else, get a job that pays enough money to cover these expenses.

        Most people do work they don't like purely because the income from that work is what they need to live on.

        I hate my job. My preferred job would be to lounge about all day at the beach, or playing computer games online and basically just, well, doing nothing productive. But since no one will pay me for that, I need to work at a job that pays money even tho I don't like the work.

        No one is entitled to earn a living from doing what they want, what their dream job is. A lucky few find that. Most of the rest of us do what we have to to earn money.

        The stereotype of poor university artists or in places like Los Angeles the chance of your waiter being an out of work actor being extremely high is because they have to do side jobs to make enough money.

        An artist of whatever description (musician, lyricist, novelist, graphic artist, or whatever) is not entitled to make a living from their copyrights. The point of copyrights is not to guarantee a living wage for an artist, it is to prevent other people who didn't create the work from making money - unless authorised by the copyright holder - from their work.

        If an author writes a crappy book that no-one wants to read, they are not entitled to make a living wage from that work.

        If an artist - or anyone else - can make a living from their preferred profession, their dream job, the work they love doing and they wake up wanting to go to work, more power to them.

        However, if an artist is not a good enough artist to make a living wage from their art, they need to put their art on the backburner as a hobby and find some other way to make a living. Making a living from art doesn't necessarily mean writing the next great novel, or an amazing painting, or taking the money shot as a paparrazi. It can mean wage-paying jobs that involve the art where the author doesn't get the copyright, such as writing code for a tech company, or writing news articles for a newspaper, or producing a TV show for a network, or being a sign writer, all jobs where the employer, not the artist, gets the copyright (usually, employment contract depending).

        1. Keith Langmead

          "Like anyone else, get a job that pays enough money to cover these expenses.

          Most people do work they don't like purely because the income from that work is what they need to live on."

          What?!? Have somehow missed the entire point of this? If an artist or other producer of content isn't good enough to earn a living from it then they also won't need to worry about their stuff being copied since it'll be rubbish! If their content is good enough for others to want to use / copy / reproduce it then it must be good, and therefore by extension good enough for them to make a living from. So why shouldn't they be able to make a living from it?

        2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: No one is entitled to earn a living from doing what they want, what their dream job is.

          Bullshit.

          Everyone is entitled to that. The trick is finding such a job. Many people don't, a lucky/skilled some do.

          Are you saying those having a dream job somehow aren't entitled to it? That they should be doing something they hate instead?

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: No one is entitled to earn a living from doing what they want, what their dream job is.

            Bullshit.

            Everyone is entitled to that.

            No.

            Everyone is entitled to make a living. No-one is entitled to make a living at what they want to do.

  4. The Original Steve
    Joke

    "...abandonment of the whole project."

    "...or even abandonment of the whole project."

    Bit of an overreaction just because of copyright.

    Well Farage did say as much... ;)

  5. DeeCee

    ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

    "No one wants companies to block everything unless they can prove its not copyrighted because that would remove one of the great things about the internet"

    that is exactly what those big movie/music etc. companies want. whole copyright system is bs... why somebody who has been dead for ages still have copyright. copyright should care for artist during his life(and, maybe, relatives for some time after) not immortal(and immoral) companies. its same with patents.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      I think Disney rather disagrees with you.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

      why somebody who has been dead for ages still have copyright. copyright should care for artist during his life(and, maybe, relatives for some time after) not immortal(and immoral) companies. its same with patents.

      On the one hand I agree with you, on the other.... well, if I create something completely new and own the ip for it, why should you be entitled to presume it belongs equally to you and to my decendants? If I wanted that, I could open access in my will. If I choose to leave something exclusively to the benefit of my family down the generations, well, that is my right - we do it with fundamental stuff like DNA and also with wealth, connections / networking etc.

      It's an issue I'm torn on.... mostly because I disagree with forced sequestration of assets, but equally, just how much money does Disney need to make out of Mickey Mouse? (full disclosure, I own Disney shares)

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

        "On the one hand I agree with you, on the other.... well, if I create something completely new and own the ip for it, why should you be entitled to presume it belongs equally to you and to my decendants? If I wanted that, I could open access in my will. If I choose to leave something exclusively to the benefit of my family down the generations, well, that is my right - we do it with fundamental stuff like DNA and also with wealth, connections / networking etc."

        The descendants of Maxwell thank you for choosing ElectromagnetismTM for your data transmission requirements. The current fee is £1/MB.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

          Maxwell didn't invent electromagnetism. Patent and licencing does apply to inventions which come about due to a better understanding of electricity, light and magnetism.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

            "Maxwell didn't invent electromagnetism. Patent and licencing does apply to inventions which come about due to a better understanding of electricity, light and magnetism."

            Fine. The Daimler and Benz families happily accept your donation to their wealth funds for your use of the CarTM. The current fee is £1/mile. Happy now?

            Also, says you. Why shouldn't Maxwell make some cash from his discovery? We are changing laws and handing out eternal rights for money cash moolah, scientists should be able to dip their wick.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

        "On the one hand I agree with you, on the other.... well, if I create something completely new and own the ip for it, why should you be entitled to presume it belongs equally to you and to my decendants?"

        Let me be less facetious with an answer. There is a different between property and IP, which is why it has the I at the front. IP is not property. IP is non-enviable, which means that if I 'steal' your IP, you still have it. So since IP cannot be stolen (without some form of memory-wiping drugs), it isn't property. This is why we distinguish between the painting itself (which can be stolen) and the idea of the painting (which cannot).

        It is ludicrous to suggest that IP should be owned in perpetuity. For example, you like chairs? How about paying the descendants of the first chair maker to sit down? Every product has an inventor, who in the world of perpetual IP would rake in fees. Each person that contributed to the development of the computer, the motor car, the aeroplane, etc., would be due a royalty every time one was made, maybe even used? And each could presumably say no, we won't license the IP for rubber to be used any more, find a new compound. You could make something like rubber 'essential', so set FRAND-like terms for it, but as time goes on more and more cash would have to be set aside to pay all previous inventors.

        You might wish now to distinguish between different types of IP, between 'useful' stuff, which is owned by everyone and inventors cannot perpetually assert their rights, and 'useless' stuff, which can be owned in perpetuity by its creator. But this demonstrates precisely why it makes no sense: the act of creativity is the same, so why should one be denied what the other enjoys? It sounds like nothing more than special pleading on behalf of those who make 'useless' stuff.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

          There is a different between property and IP, which is why it has the I at the front. IP is not property. IP is non-enviable, which means that if I 'steal' your IP, you still have it. So since IP cannot be stolen (without some form of memory-wiping drugs), it isn't property.

          I see. Your definition is wrong, which explains why you're getting the wrong answer.

          You can steal the wealth and worth out of the IP without depriving me of access to it. That, however, doesn't change what you've done.

          Stealing the wealth of my ideas is the same, economically at the very least, in stealing the idea itself.

          This is why we distinguish between the painting itself (which can be stolen) and the idea of the painting (which cannot).

          And yet, we don't, which is why you can't sell knockoffs of the Mona Lisa.

          It is ludicrous to suggest that IP should be owned in perpetuity. For example, you like chairs? How about paying the descendants of the first chair maker to sit down?

          Not all IP is patents. Specifically in the example I gave, Mickey Mouse is copyright. Copyright and patents are two very different things. Both the mouse and the chair may be considered IP, but both do not enjoy the same protection.

          I used the word create rather than invent to imply a which side of the difference I was referencing. Evidently I should have spelled it out.

          But this demonstrates precisely why it makes no sense: the act of creativity is the same, so why should one be denied what the other enjoys?

          Because a patent on something like a car is very different to copyright on Mickey Moouse. One blocks all other versions or derivatives of the car whereas the other one doesn't even block other cartoon mice. Have a think, there's a good chap.

          1. stiine Bronze badge
            FAIL

            Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

            Yes you can sell copies of the Mona Lisa. It was painted in 1503 or 1504. Leonardo da Vinci lived until 1519, so, life + 70 as currenty copyright in the EU is means that the copyright expired in 1574. This means, as long as you aren't selling them as originals by L. da Vinci, you've been able to sell copies for over 440 years.

          2. ds6 Bronze badge

            Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

            I was going to upvote both you and the person that you replied to, since both posts posit interesting points, but your pompous use of "Have a think, there's a good chap." absolutely demands a downvote. Being a tool is rather socially self-defeating when you are trying to defend an opinion.

      3. DeeCee

        Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

        IMO it should be similarly as pension in systems where your spouse get it after you die. your descendants had as much to do with creation of copyrighted material as i, you can use money you get from copyrights to leave it to them, just as people who do paid work. else it puts people who work on worse standing than copyright owners, because results of their work cant be passed on indefinitely. there should be balance between compensating people who create with fairness and public interest. one persons grandmother was engineer and made some roads, he gets nothing for, others grandmother wrote a book, and he gets paid for it, how is it fair and makes sense?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

          IMO it should be similarly as pension in systems where your spouse get it after you die. your descendants had as much to do with creation of copyrighted material as i, you can use money you get from copyrights to leave it to them, just as people who do paid work.

          You're assuming my descendants weren't the inspiration, test subjects, or other at least peripherally involved witht he creative work. Here's the snag - JK Rowling's descendants had rather more to do with her creative output, in this case Harry Potter, than did yours.

          else it puts people who work on worse standing than copyright owners, because results of their work cant be passed on indefinitely

          Which is rather how the world works. Intelligent or pretty people gift theirs to their kids in genetic form, the smart rich pass the wealth down the generations (some families have been rich throughout history), and those that simply know a lot of peopel through their networks can also pass along introductions etc - how many interns work at mammy/daddys friends place of work?

          there should be balance between compensating people who create with fairness and public interest

          There's no public interest angle with Mickey Mouse. The idea is worth a lot of money, but that does not a public interest case make.

          one persons grandmother was engineer and made some roads, he gets nothing for, others grandmother wrote a book, and he gets paid for it, how is it fair and makes sense?

          Well, in the first instance the engineering granny never owned the roads, she was paid day rate for labour to engineer them. In the second, the creative granny would not have been paid for possiblya lifetimes work, creating the money maker possibly on her death bed.

          Picasso was sitting in a Paris café when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso politely agreed, swiftly executed the work, and handed back the napkin — but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!” “No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”.

          If you don't protect the creators IP, they may never share their works, and possibly won't create them in the first instance.

      4. DropBear Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

        Hold on, let me go get the world's tiniest violin so I can properly weep for those poor, poor Creators and seventh sons of their sevenths sons deprived of their rightfully "earned" inherited luxury jets, jumbo yachts and private islands.

        If I ever as much as wrote a Haiku me and my descendants deserve to be princely pampered all the way until the Sun goes supernova, dammit, and you're a dirty commie if you disagree. In fact, you owe me $One-Googol in royalties for having read this very piece of Original Content that this comment is, and don't even _think_ about trying to quote it without my written and signed authorisation, or else your grandchildren will still be in debt paying off the damages...! /s

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

          Hold on, let me go get the world's tiniest violin so I can properly weep for those poor, poor Creators and seventh sons of their sevenths sons deprived of their rightfully "earned" inherited luxury jets, jumbo yachts and private islands.

          The wealth they'll get anyway (the jets, yachts and islands), if the family is good with money. If they're not, they won't get the IP anyway because their forefathers will have had to sell it.

          What retaining copyright protection does, is prevents you taking something my grandfather created, such as Andy Cap, and using him to promote your organic vegan peace hippy retreat or far right group. It stops you perverting his legacy or creative genius. It's not all about money; The money is the easy part.

        2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: ....unless they can prove its not copyrighted

          so I can properly weep for those poor, poor Creators and seventh sons of their sevenths sons deprived of their rightfully inherited luxury jets, jumbo yachts and private islands.

          Err what ?

          You seem to have fallen into the trap of thinking that all creators are wealthy. Some are indeed wealthy, and that wealth may or may not have been inherited. But MOST creators certainly are not.

          I know a few creators who, simply by lacking that "got discovered by the masses" lucky step, need a day job to pay the bills. Some were indeed fortunate in "hitting the bullseye" and became wealthy - but they started out very much not wealthy. Take J K Rowling for example, when she started writing Harry Potter you could not in any way call her wealthy - and in fact she was living on state benefits at the time. Not to mention, the first twelve publishers the manuscript was offered to turned it down - I bet all of those regret that ! So yes, J K Rowling is now "quite wealthy" and can in fact afford to give away a lot of money. But ponder this, if copyright had not protected her work, then everyone could have just ripped it off and she'd probably still be on benefits - that's the purpose of copyright, to give creators protection for their works, so they have an opportunity to profit from them, and hence an incentive to create them in the first place.

          We can argue about whether "death + 70 years" as it stands in the UK for written works is right - but I think it's hard for anyone but the most hardcore freetards to argue that copyright is wrong in principle.

          And of course, many people put just as much effort in, but don't get that lucky break. My mother spent years writing, and people have told her how much they've enjoyed reading her books. But it's just as well she didn't need any income from them, since she's made "b***er all".

  6. ratfox Silver badge
    Alert

    But does YouTube really hate it?

    YouTube, by and large, already has the "contentID" system to check uploaded content, and either block the video or monetise it for the copyright holders. In fact, I've seen the article 13 described has "forcing websites to implement a system like contentID".

    This would mean article 13 becomes one of those regulations supposed to target giants, but actually acting as a barrier to entry for small competitors who can't afford it.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: But does YouTube really hate it?

      Any regulation runs the risk of unintended consequences. You may have just identified one.

      Or perhaps one reason the commission itself watered down its original draft was that someone convinced them of this very point?

      1. aks Bronze badge

        Re: But does YouTube really hate it?

        It also generates lots of jobs for lawers and bureaucrats.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But does YouTube really hate it?

      ContentID is also still incredibly poor at what it does, but it's the best at what is does - and that's with Google behind it. Smaller operators have no hope.

  7. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Fair Use

    Genuine question regarding Google's use of short excerpts from newspaper stories.

    Whatever happened to "Fair Use"? Quoting a short excerpt from a copyrighted work has always been fair game. And when I search news, what I see at Google seems to me entirely fair use: a sentence or two quoted help me judge which particular links on a results page I'll click through to read the full story.

    The real issue seems to me the obstacles many of the newspapers then put in my way when I click through. I wonder if the real grievance isn't that so many people just decline to jump through their hoops and go elsewhere?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Fair Use

      "Fair Use" was/is intended to allow the use of quoting sections of copyright works as part of a further work. It may be stretching things to call a Google search page consisting entirely of quoted sections of copyrighted works as a further work since there is no original content, analysis or comment on the quoted copyright sections. In fact, this is probably one of the fixes that is needed. A new and slightly wider definition of "fair use" to allow search engines to legally do exactly this, maybe with limits on how much can be quoted, eg headline + 20 words or something of that order.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Fair Use

        "Fair Use" was/is intended to allow the use of quoting sections of copyright works as part of a further work. It may be stretching things to call a Google search page consisting entirely of quoted sections of copyrighted works as a further work

        I believe you'll find that those are citations and the page is an academic research paper. Or something.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Fair Use

      Fair use wouldn't cover use of music clips or news stories, for it to be fair dealing it has to cover one of a few very specific categories (research/private study, instruction or examination, criticism or review, news reporting, incidental inclusion, accessibility for visual impairment, parody or pastiche).

      News reporting has to be about reporting the news, not collating content as an aggregator. Google News doesn't provide any news reporting beyond repeating others news coverage. Videos using music clips to provide a soundtrack, even if they don't use an entire song and only use a snippet of it, is not fair dealing.

      For instance, I watched a video on YT the other day called Top 30 Unexpected Thug Life Moments. It's a series of home videos, TV shows or sports coverage where there is "thug life". Each "moment" used a different rap song snippet to amusingly soundtrack that section. None of the video segments, nor the songs chosen to soundtrack would be covered under fair dealing to claim as fair use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fair Use

        I just don't understand this. From the article it states "Google has no right to take other people's newspaper articles and give them away for free while plastering its own ads on top it". Where is this happening?

        From what I can see of the google news site on mobile and the web is just gives the headline and a photo which doesn't allow any access to the actual news story at all until you click on it, in which case you go to the page provided by the news outlet with their own adverts on it.

        This is the same as the search engine which links you through to a site based upon a search of information. I use google news quite a bit and have clicked on publishers that I never would have found or used otherwise - jeez, I've even click on Daily Mail articles because there's been a specific story that has caught my attention.

        The article makes it out as though Google is scraping the news page of a publishers and then reproducing it with their own ads? Unless this is a US thing it doesn't seem to be available for me in the UK.

        Not only that the news outlets can easily add a text file to stop the news articles being scanned and indexed, something that is built in to all CMS and has been around since the earlier days of the internet. However many choose to create specific pages for Google to display easier on mobile and be part of the news service.

        I genuinely don't understand this.

        On another note, news outlets have been reproducing each others stories forever. Most stories are a reporting of what another news outlet has reported - often without credit.

        1. stiine Bronze badge

          Re: Fair Use

          In addition, one of the things pointed ignored by the story author, Google doesn't put any ads on https://news.google.com.

      2. aks Bronze badge

        Re: Fair Use

        As far as I remember, using up to 5 seconds of a piece of music is regardes as fair use. Beyond that, payment is required. That covers small sections of music in radio or TV programs.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Fair Use

      "I'll click through to read the full story."

      This is one thing that tends to be overlooked. I haven't followed the politics of this so I'm not sure just what line the newspapers are taking on this but ISTR that in some instances Google stopped quoting and the newspapers found their site traffic falling off which wasn't at all what they wanted.

  8. Tony Paulazzo

    and the people that actually made the content continue to fume and send pointless takedown requests

    Maybe if the House of Mouse hadn't utterly decimated the Public Domain we wouldn't be in this mess.

    Copyleft lunatics and corporate shills both need a red hot poker shoving up their collective asses.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Maybe if the House of Mouse hadn't utterly decimated the Public Domain we wouldn't be in this mess."

      Technically, they have not "decimated the Public Domain" since the PD material they used a source material is still PD. It's only their derivative works which are not PD. (leaving aside their massively funded lobbying over the years to extend copyright)

      No one is stopping you mentioning Sleeping Beauty without a Disney acknowledgement or even quoting vast chunks of the PD versions of the story (or the whole thing) without fear of retribution. Using quotes or images uniquely identifiable with the Disney versions is where copyright infringement may come in.

      1. aks Bronze badge

        By removing the requirement to put a date on copyrighted material, it becomes onerous to discover exactly when a such copyright expires. The ability to extend copyright also pushes the boundary further into the future. It seems like the plan of copyright holders is to keep extending it indefinitely.

        1. Andy J

          "By removing the requirement to put a date on copyrighted material, it becomes onerous to discover exactly when a such copyright expires."

          Since every country in the world now bases the length of copyright protection on the lifetime of the author plus a specified number of years (typically 50, 70 or 100 years) after their death, putting the date when a work was created or published isn't much help in knowing when the copyright expires.

  9. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Devil

    Lesson learned already?

    We've already seen the tug of war over article 11. Newspapers and News sites argued for Google to delist them to prevent them taking a cut of revenue. The result was an immediate sharp fall in their web traffic and they begged Google to relist them (Turns out a large cut of the revenue is better than none).

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Lesson learned already?

      This has even more sinister undertones when it's pointed out that Microsoft is actually paying news sites to request themselves be delisted from Google. Microsoft is attempting to take Google's ad revenue from these news sites by bribing them. Surely that's anti-competitive since they own MSN News?

      https://gizmodo.com/microsoft-on-paying-newspapers-to-delist-from-google-5418710

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lesson learned already?

        That's an article from 2009. I'm not saying Microsoft has a right to be forgotten, but you could at least write "paid" or even "used to pay" instead of present tense.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: Lesson learned already?

          Are you suggesting they don't still do it? The only quote from Microsoft i could find on the matter was vague and weasle worded to the point that it never clarified, denied, or explained anything.

  10. Eugene Crosser

    It's safe to kick a dead horse

    Nobody likes Google (this side of Atlantic, anyway). It's easy to rally against someone who is rich.

    But neither politicians nor journalists dare to point their collective finger at those who are, under the current legislation, the real criminals here: those millions of uses who share content that they forbidden to share.

    Is it because that's too hard to tackle them? Is it because that would make you rather unpopular among your readers/electorate? Or is it because the concept of "intellectual property", the way it is legislated now, does not sit well with the society at large?..

    1. teknopaul Bronze badge

      Re: It's safe to kick a dead horse

      If you hire someone else to pull the trigger you shouldnt get away with murder.

      Google have been making big of money out of lots small scale criminals. Knowingly. For years.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google use for free? Err...

    Erm... I think you'll find in the use of snippets, Google are driving quite a lot of traffic to news websites. Google uses the snippet, news sites get traffic, that's a two way street. Google stops using snippets, news sites lose traffic.

  12. tiggity Silver badge

    robots.txt

    robots.txt allows newspaper sites to stop Google (etc.) from finding their content so easy for them to stop those snippets.

    Google bots do obey robots.txt directives (sadly not all search bots do)

    Up to the news site to decide if their content not being visible via big name search engines is a good idea in terms of click throughs / monetization.

    I consume news in 2 ways, visit some sites specifically (e.g. el Reg), get other news via news feed tools (so the sort of thing that could be nobbled by snippet tax). The only way I will click a story by a "news" outlet outside my few regularly visited sites, is if interesting item appears in my news feed tool

    As for music '/ video - big problem is false positives, coupled with suspect copyright claims, look at takedown requests for white noise sound uploads as a classic example, other examples of it going wrong are recordings of old (original work) out of copyright classical stuff uploaded and false copyright claim (e.g. your (decidedly amateur) string quartet sounds too much, according to the "AI" like some big record companies recently released version (even though that's performed by significantly more proficient players and is essentially flawless compared to your amateur effort and nobody with any musical appreciation would confuse the two!)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: robots.txt

      "The only way I will click a story by a "news" outlet outside my few regularly visited sites, is if interesting item appears in my news feed tool"

      Similar here, but the problem with visiting most news site these days is that I have to unblock so many 3rd party scripts and allow so many 3rd party cookies to be able to see the story that I rarely bother any more other than for those sites where at least the story will appear if I temporarily unblock the sites own scripts.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: robots.txt

      "Up to the news site to decide if their content not being visible via big name search engines is a good idea in terms of click throughs / monetization."

      Isn't that a bit like saying that the Highways Agency can come and help themselves to your stuff in your front room, unless you say you don't want a road to your house?

      We need to be absolutely clear about this: Google can either 1) do what it wants, or 2) be a monopoly. It should not be allowed both, as that will lead to massive abuse of power. Like, for example, taking people's stuff and slapping ads on it, then threatening with wiping them off the (public) face of the net if they disagree.

  13. MJI Silver badge

    Stopping google search is is stupid

    I would probably still be using BBC News only if it wasnlt for Goolge News advertising all these other news sites to me.

    Google News drives traffic

  14. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Surely sticking it all on an AI blockchain will work ?

    As long as it's IoT ?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Surely sticking it all on an AI blockchain will work ?

      In the cloud. You forgot the cloud. And maybe leveraging Big Data should be in there somewhere.

  15. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Wow.

    Its a shame I can't downvote the article itself.

    1. stiine Bronze badge

      Re: Wow.

      I agree, but why stop there. I suggest downvoting the author: Kieren McCarthy.

      1. Eugene Crosser
  16. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I am sure a lot of newspapers get more eyes on their articles by being featured in Google News than they would if they were only found from regular search results. So I think if they manage to successfully get the snippets removed from Google news and then Google decide to close the service the news sites might find a big drop in their traffic, which would cost them financially.

    1. stiine Bronze badge
      Happy

      yes

      That's what the Spanish found.

  17. stiine Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    Nice hatchet piece, Kieren

    I think this hit-peice should have been posted under Editorials.

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