back to article The completely rational take you need on Europe approving Article 13: An ill-defined copyright regime to tame US tech

The internet as we know it will end in two years, following the approval of new online copyright rules by the European Parliament. Or maybe not. For better or worse, online memes will survive. On Tuesday, after years of negotiation and lobbying, and outcry and protests by activists online, members of the EU parliament voted …

  1. Bush_rat
    Mushroom

    Google Better Gear Up

    Looks like their ContentID system is gonna get a heck of a lot more use in 2 years time.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Google Better Gear Up

      "Article 17 (née 15) allows websites to be sued for copyright violations by their users, which websites in the US can avoid thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act."

      Not if they have any EU assets or cashflow they cant.

  2. whitepines Silver badge
    Boffin

    I've said it before and I'll say it again since this is a great time to actually fix the underlying problem:

    Limit copyright to 20 years. Full stop. If a work is DRMed strip it of copyright protection -- only works that are allowed to enter the public domain should be protected under copyright. Prohibit transfer (or effective transfer) of copyright -- if 1000 artists make a movie, copyright remains in that group, not the studio, and that group makes all the decisions on copying and sale.

    Then let's see if Big Media keeps its multigenerational anticompetitive rent-seeking Big Brother tentacles in our daily lives or not (I bet they will, but at least there'll be an option for the rest of us tired of being told what we can and can't do, being spied on because we might break copyright law, forced to provide free storage in our minds for Big Media crap but not even allowed to discuss the bits we like with examples after the media is pulled from online streaming).

    Before the flood of "you just want free stuff" comes in, yes, I want free stuff. I want to be able to pay a content creator ONCE for stuff that I am free to read, consume, alter, resell, remix, lend, and otherwise engage in all forms of fair use with no restrictions. Barring that, I don't want to pay the rent-seeking creator a single dime, and I don't want the work on the market stopping others from exploring the same concept. If a shorter copyright is the only way to make that happen, so be it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @whitepines

      When you can afford to buy several politicians, your fantasy might become reality.

      Until then, you opinion is irrelevant.

      Have a nice day.

      Big Media.

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        Facepalm

        @Big Media,

        And you wonder why people "pirate" your stuff.

        Until you take a more reasonable stance, just think of those billions of dollars you are "losing" to those "evil thieves"...when some simple reasonable behavior would net you those billions in pure profit!

        On a less fanciful note, to a lot of people you ARE the evil thieves. That should keep you awake at night, AI (to make media) and Free Software (to replace copyrighted software) keep getting better and better and if this continues unchecked, your rent seeking days are numbered. Trying to stop your inevitable replacement might just lead to a full on revolt and widespread, actual copyright violation that you can't contain (try as you might, you can't jail the entire population of the western world).

        You can win in the short term. In the long run you will be remembered like the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages for your anti-intellectualism and holding the human race back from its true potential for centuries.

        Unless of course you manage to stymie human development long enough for uneducated, resource-desperate governments to turn the planet into a nuclear fireball in some form of WWIII. In which case, seeing as you're stuck on this rock alongside us normal people, good job, well done. <slow clap>

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          I'm not sure the A/C was contradicting you, just saying what the Big Media approach would be.

          With the exception of taking out the role of the studio you're right. Without the financial backing the studio puts together the film wouldn't get made.

          1. whitepines Silver badge

            I'm not sure the A/C was contradicting you, just saying what the Big Media approach would be.

            Oh I know. I was responding in kind, if I was talking to Big Media that's the response I'd love to give (but would in reality bite tongue in favor of an incremental approach more likely to make useful gains, were I ever able to talk to certain C suite folks).

            Without the financial backing the studio puts together the film wouldn't get made.

            So the artists are contracted by the studio to make the film with studio equipment, and before the movie is made everyone agrees as equals how the profits are to be divided up etc. Things would be much the same as before except "Hollywood accounting", as it's known, would cease to exist and artists would get more money overall vs. the studio. It also neatly breaks up the monopolies we see forming (Disney) since each group of artists would have to decide to sue over similar works, vs. the blanket "scorched sueball" policy employed by monopolistic rent-seekers like Disney.

        2. rnturn

          ``you will be remembered like the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages for your anti-intellectualism and holding the human race back from its true potential for centuries''

          Oh gawd... Centuries? Don't give them any more ideas on how long they might try to make copyrights to last.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "In the long run you will be remembered like the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages for your anti-intellectualism and holding the human race back from its true potential for centuries."

          ...You mean, the one organization that actually went out of their way to preserve ancient works, knowledge and learning in the turmoil of the Dark Ages? That "anti-intellectual" Catholic Church?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yeah, the one that taught that the earth was the centre of the universe, since the beginning of time...

    2. TRT Silver badge

      "and that group makes all the decisions on copying and sale."

      A committee with 1000 heads and no brains. Can one preemptively contract all eventualities? Remove the need for reactive decision making once the creative work has been completed? And wherein the creative act does the relative contribution come in? With that many people having decision making powers and such a nuanced range of possibilities, getting a definitive decision might be problematic. When you get so many people trying to push their own agenda you get... well... articles 15 & 17 or is that 13 and 15?

      1. whitepines Silver badge

        Re: "and that group makes all the decisions on copying and sale."

        There's nothing saying there can't be a contract stating how profits are to be divvied up before the movie is made, but copyright should indeed remain with the artists that created it. If the artists feel they are getting a bad deal they can hammer out a new contract. Good luck doing that with a Hollywood studio.

        1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

          Re: "and that group makes all the decisions on copying and sale."

          I want to ask why the copyright should be with the artists if they were getting paid to create it? Should it not be the person or entity paying them?

          1. Jeffrey Nonken

            Re: "and that group makes all the decisions on copying and sale."

            Sure, that's "work for hire". Can't speak for the laws everywhere, but here in the Colonies that means the employer gets the copyright. Unless otherwise contracted, of course.

            1. whitepines Silver badge

              Re: "and that group makes all the decisions on copying and sale."

              Frame challenge: should work for hire be allowed? Should the corporation really be getting the legal benefits that were passed into law only "to help the poor starving artists"?

              Why shouldn't the corporation have to pay the artist and the artist's estate continually for the duration of the copyright?

              Or, why should a corporate copyright be life of the artist plus insane years? Maybe assigned / work for hire copyright should only be 20 years like a patent?

    3. TheMeerkat

      When 1000 “artists” make a movie, it is the studio that finance them. Why would anybody finance a movie if it will belong to a gay who is only good at pretending to be someone?

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        Facepalm

        When 1000 “artists” make a movie, it is the studio that finance them. Why would anybody finance a movie if it will belong to a gay who is only good at pretending to be someone?

        So the crux of the argument is that no one would make movies if a commercial enterprise didn't make it? So the main concern is commercial, not artistic?

        And here I thought the copyright extensions were all about paying artists their fair share (after all that's how they've been sold over and over again). If those extensions are just corporate welfare in reality, why are we putting up with it at all?

        1. E_Nigma

          I don't think that you're fixing any problems by transferring copyright from a studio to a committee of a thousand people. If someone is to invest tens of million dollars into a film (and that's the only way 1000 people productions can happen), they are going to want a (big) percentage of any earnings from the film. In the end, you have the same thing, except the titular holder of the copyright is different.

          Shortening the copyright period and restricting what exactly is protected by the copyright law may have some benefits.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            10s of millions to make a film?

            I'd still enjoy the Avengers movie if it was local actors or even on paper in a hard cover.

            I never Asked them to spend that much on CGI. It's nice they did... but if I choose to decorate my house in gold, it's nice for others to look at... but is it right I demand they must pay me for the privilege?

            1. E_Nigma

              Re: 10s of millions to make a film?

              Well, maybe you don't care whether the Avengers were ever filmed or not, and I know many would agree on that (though because of different reasons, mainly that the films had 0 artistic value), but a whole lot of people would disagree. Many of them wouldn't pick up a comic. And a similarly large (if not larger) number wouldn't bother with some indie production superhero film (the niche in which those have a cult following is a tight one). So, arguably, it would be a loss.

              I like a good read, even without the pictures, as much as the next guy, but the superhero stuff is partly fun because of the superhuman acts and being able to see them is a major part of it - that's why the genre got so well established in the comic book form (that, or the fact that both are, or were originally, meant for about the same mental age). You can get the human drama elsewhere, but the superhuman stuff is what makes this genre special. And if pictures are good, moving pictures that seamlessly combine live action and flawless CGI into a visually believable spectacle are better. And it's not just that. Any proper epic, with mass scenes, good costumes etc. - you need a budget to do properly.

              Therefore, all joking aside, losing the ability to make large productions would be a loss to the film art. Though not necessarily because of the Avengers. As far as those are concerned, the Lumière brothers needn't have bothered.

              1. whitepines Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: 10s of millions to make a film?

                Losing the ability to make large productions would be a loss to the film art.

                While that may be, consider the large productions of today have a good chance of never ever entering the public domain. Is it really a loss to the art if something that remains a pay per view, until it is lost forever, is never made?

                I know it sounds like one of the tree in forest questions, but I'm actually quite serious. If I make a breakthrough in science and I choose to keep it for myself, someone else may come along later and legally duplicate it using their own research. If I copyright something, then hold it back, that work is permanently lost to humanity (assuming my estate, EvilCo, continues to sue anyone publishing similar works).

                Can a locked work like that really be considered any advance in the art of film?

                1. fandom

                  Re: 10s of millions to make a film?

                  "If I copyright something, then hold it back"

                  it would be no big loss for anyone.

                  Seriously, what would it matter if Shakespeare work was lost?

                  Not that much and I am a fan of him.

                  1. whitepines Silver badge

                    Re: 10s of millions to make a film?

                    Seriously, what would it matter if Shakespeare work was lost?

                    How many times have you inadvertently uttered one of the words he introduced to the mainstream English language? There is no guarantee that English would be as rich as it is today if Shakespeare and other influential writers were indeed lost to us.

                    Remember copyright is more interesting than a simple decay. It actively seeks the removal of information from culture, resulting in complete eradication. A simple lost work may live on in snippets and fragments, a copyrighted and withheld work would result in nothing legally existing of the work in any culture even if reinvented at a later date by someone else.

                    It's almost like a copyrighted work creates a negative information sink, a "hole" in society.

                    Copyright isn't a victimless crime indeed...just step over that body there, the one with "Public Domain: Stand on My Shoulders to See Farther" written on it....

                    1. fandom

                      Re: 10s of millions to make a film?

                      " It actively seeks the removal of information from culture, resulting in complete eradication" , "Copyright isn't a victimless crime indeed" ....

                      You really should cut on the melodrama.

                      And as for Shakespeare, as I said I am a fan of his work, and still it wouldn't be a big loss.

                      1. whitepines Silver badge
                        Happy

                        Re: 10s of millions to make a film?

                        You really should cut on the melodrama.

                        This is El Reg in the commentard section. What were you expecting, something more refined?

              2. CRConrad

                Re: "...meant for about the same mental age"

                Those target age groups seem to have pretty much changed places since I was a kid.

    4. Bryan Hall

      20 Years?

      You are much too generous.

      10 years, an entire decade - half a generation, seems more than fair. If you can't make enough off of whatever you copyright, you don't have a good market or marketing.

      1. Jaybus

        Re: 20 Years?

        No need to stifle individual artists in an attempt to rein in the corporate monster. A copyright for the life of the artists should work out well. Of course, while an individual will certainly die, a corporation may last indefinitely. Therefore, a corporation's copyright should be based on the average life expectancy of a business. It appears that some 50% of businesses last less than 5 years, so I would say that 10 years is likely close to the average. So, copyright for a lifetime seems fair to me; life of the artists for an individual or small partnership, 10 years for a business/corporation.

  3. TheProfessorY

    How are algorithms going to detect parody? Criticism? Review? Basically everything will now get blocked on IP address. VPNs at the ready,

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Picture a world where you have to post copyright protection bond / proof of copyright violation insurance to post a video. Or where all user videos are assumed to be stolen so you have to provide proof of license before uploading and pay for human review.

      Too far fetched? What if YouTube and maybe a couple of other centrally controlled "competitors" are the only option, with all other video being blocked due to potential ISP liability?

      At what point has government given government level control to an unelected, unaccountable, faceless, profit-seeking group of corporations? At what point does the populous demand that the elected government remove said unelected quasi-government from power? At what point is the elected government weaker in real power than the unelected quasi-government?

      I don't actually want to know the answers to those questions. Finding them out would cause untold human pain and suffering. But I gather the masses, the same masses that accepted multigenerational (i.e. permanent) copyright as a form of knowledge control, are not going to rise up and fix the problem while they still can. More's the pity.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >How are algorithms going to detect parody? Criticism? Review?

      Lets start with the basics shall we?

      The recent unfortunate live stream event in New Zealand showed that the current generation of algorithms have problems identifying simple copies of the same source material.

      Mind you give, we now know Facebook employees circa 15,000 people to do content monitoring, I can see that it has incentive to throw money at algorithm development.

  4. notamole

    Confusing language doesn't stop politicians enforcing a law, it just makes them enforce it wrong.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Confusing language doesn't stop politicians enforcing a law, it just makes them enforce it wrong.

      Unless that was the intent all along: write an ambiguous law to avoid accountability, then direct the bureaucracy to interpret it in the preferred manner.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember this shit Stephen Conroy tried....

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/27/australia_coms_minister_net_filter_voluntary_industry_code_comments/

    "Those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, but he's an Aussie politician - it's what they do.

  6. LDS Silver badge

    EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

    ... the lobby of those who want to become rich thanks to someone else's work and effort. All of them trying to create monopolies they control.

    Anyway, antitrust laws are not enough to stop this kind of exploitation. EU plugged loopholes that for years were ignored because only at internet scale became both truly lucrative and outside law enforcement reach.

    1. whitepines Silver badge

      Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

      Right. The EFF that would like people to host their own stuff on their own computers. Wikipedia that is a collaboration of unpaid people reacting in the only way they can under insufferable copyright -- creating an archive of human knowledge that can't be turned off in a single decree or when a single copyright owner decides it wants to turn out the lights for humanity (literally).

      Which studio do you work for? Disney? Or is it a software thing and you're at Microsoft? Or, most likely, you're one of those terrible rent-seeking people that thinks you hit it rich by creating a third-rate work of fiction that probably draws heavily from the public domain, but you're too conceited to see that and think you and your great grandchildren should just have money flowing in forever from the general public for your great work.

      I guess Disney then, huh?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

        EFF wants a world dominated by their idea of 'copyleft',, on computers running only a specific type of software that fits their ideology.

        while they like to be paid for their work. Wikipedia is a commercial entity which ensures Wales & C. make nice money using other people's work, as creating a true encyclopedia would be expensive.

        Wikipedia 'knowledge' meanwhile is totally unreliable.

        I don't work for any big company, but I do spend more time producing contents than sucking them with a beer in my hands on a couch. While I do allow some of them to be used for free by entities I trust, I still want to retain the rights to decide who can use them, when, and at what cost.

        And frankly, I don't care of Disney as I can't remember the last tome I watched something from them.

        You, evidently, are someone who never produced anything and just want to exploit other people's work for free because utterly unable to create something on your own. Just, like all parasites, you can't understand that once the content creators stop creating because they no longer have nor the incentive nor the money to create, you won't have anything to consume.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

          You, evidently, are someone who never produced anything and just want to exploit other people's work for free.

          Nice try. Actually I have quite a prolific career spanning both academia and industry, but not going to give specifics lest my veil here be breached. Let's just say that if I can invent an important piece of equipment and only get 20 years maximum protection with having to pay sizable fees to keep that protection, something seems very wrong. Why should I have to pay you and your great grandchildren forever to see your precious work while you get to steal and pirate (to use your language) my inventions for free?

          Fundamentally, if you try to take ideas that belong to the public for yourself for 200 years with rent seeking and DRM, I'll happily "pirate" a copy of your work with a squeaky clean conscience. If you make your work available for sale in a non-expiring, transferrable, non-DRMed form, I'll happily buy the work and fund the creation of more. Do you see how this works?

          Your power comes from the people, not from some magic moral right to hold information hostage. Do you pay your dead predecessors and their great great grandchildren when you steal their ideas from what we call the "public domain"? Didn't think so. Isn't it convenient to shape law the way you want it for maximum personal gain? As your power does come from the people, so too shall it be removed with continued abuse -- no population can take a boot heel in the face constantly without eventual revolt. And that's exactly what your cronies in Hollywood are doing -- live your live the way we want it or we won't allow you to make any movies. No different than what they do to consumers -- watch the way we allow it (paying our cronies for a compatible player and giving us money plus personal data) or we'll sue.

          Bad laws, especially those that go against moral law, are made to be broken, just like prohibition in the US in the 1920s, just like the various laws over here criminalizing people by ethnicity in WWII. Until you get full Big Brother surveillance capability you really can't do anything about it. And when you do get that capability, your works have a > 50% chance of being deemed critical of the state and being outlawed. Or was that part of your history education copyrighted and not taught due to lack of funds to pay the authors?

          Welcome to reality! I know it's hard, but you can always fall back on the pastime of most artists -- see icon!

          1. Graham Cobb

            Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

            Like whitepines, I use copyright. My company uses copyright to protect the software it creates and to pay my salary. In my personal life, I write free software and I use copyright to ensure it remains free. Both those work perfectly well with 20 year copyright.

            I consume very little recorded media: I don't watch much TV, occasionally go the the cinema. However, I do go to live theatre and concerts a lot. I like to support artists. Mostly the works they are performing are in the public domain but some of them are modern works still under copyright. And I read books -- but I only read books I can buy as DRM-free ebooks. So, I am not looking for free stuff.

            However, I am looking for a world free from the malign influence of Big Media. And I am looking for a world where artists receive a fair compensation for a strictly limited period after their work. Most importantly of all, I want a world where everything is absolutely guaranteed to enter the public domain after 20 years -- the public domain must be the reason artists, copyright and payments exist: for the benefit of future generations and future artists.

            1. Jeffrey Nonken

              Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

              One of my favorite things is that when I buy a DVD and hit Play, the first thing that I see is a big red screen that screams OMG! YOU SHOULDN'T STEAL! at me.

              Apparently if I buy the medium, I'm ipso facto a thief.

              The easiest way to avoid that -- plus half an hour of advertisements and other crap -- is to either download the movie or rip the disc.

              Good job, studios. Good job.

              1. whitepines Silver badge

                Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                The easiest way to avoid that -- plus half an hour of advertisements and other crap -- is to either download the movie or rip the disc.

                Nowadays they like to throw on "Piracy isn't a victimless crime" or similar in front too.

                Well guess what. DRM and stealing from the public domain (by preventing a DRMed/streaming only work from ever entering the public domain) aren't victimless crimes either.

                In fact, as I tend to mutter when presented with such rubbish, copyright in its current form isn't a victimless crime either. It may be only a moral crime for now but a crime nonetheless (copyright shouldn't give you the right to tell me when, where, how, and if I can view a copyrighted work once sold, nor should it create multi generational dynasties of content hoarders like Disney).

                1. Long John Silver
                  Pirate

                  Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                  The most egregious consequence of copyright is restriction on publication of 'derived' works.

                  There is an interesting oddity in the manner of expectation of 'protection' provided by copyright. In academia, the 'content' of publications is intended to be discussed openly and derived from. Attribution is the currency of reputation. Publishers seek to monopolise distribution. They also make claim to the presentation of works (e.g. layout and fonts). Publisher middlemen are no longer necessary for dissemination of knowledge, opinion, and discussion. They are leeches to be dismissed. Disobedience to anachronistic restrictions brought about by copyright is unstoppable.

                  For the remainder of culture, copyright acts differently. Both the 'content' and its distribution remain under monopoly ownership by holders of so-called 'rights'. Woe betide anyone seeking without permission to 'derive' from an extant work still in copyright. Conglomerate production units and distributors have sewn up the pseudo-market between them. In addition to monopoly power, distributors exercise monopsony: they set the rate for access to their distribution channels by independent producers of 'content'. Moreover, within 'popular' culture they are major determinants of who shall be allowed to make a living; the problem with that being, new (alleged) 'talent' for marketing to passive 'consumers' must conform to expectations imposed by the industry; the industry is risk averse and has 'values', especially for TV, dictated by the advertising industry. Indeed, made for TV material, even in context of editorial independence, per force is built around advertising 'breaks'; drama often has cliff-hangers engineered just before anticipated 'breaks' in order to retain the audience.

                  The three most sickeningly avaricious exploiters of copyright reside in academic publishing, stock photographs, and the recorded music industry. The last has taken exploitation and price gouging to breathtaking levels. For instance, a barber shop must pay the UK Performing Rights Society subscription to cover 'royalty' due on 'content' viewed/heard on radio/TV by customers waiting for service in the shop: ludicrous second bite at the cherry given that the broadcaster will already have paid a licence fee to copyright holders.

                  The recorded music industry has an even greater sense of entitlement leading it to demand royalty for snippets of extant works occurring, sometimes accidentally in the background, within new works which offer no competition to that of rights' holders. Recorded music also highlights the rentier mentality of demanding royalties for decades despite no further effort by so-called artists.

                  Copyright dependent concerns purport to protect artists from loss of income through copyright infringement. Only by having immense sums of money chucked at them are artists capable of creative activity. Setting that lie aside, there remains the fact that the lion's share of income generated from supposedly creative endeavour goes to a plethora of rights holding middlemen.

                  Worse still, 'rights' are traded in a monopoly based pseudo-market as if tangible physical goods. Digital sequences lack scarcity. Hence, even in absence of monopoly, 'price discovery' is meaningless. The cod-market in digital rights is nonsense pulled over the eyes of the population at large. Prices are arbitrary, markedly so since the 'product', regardless of cost of manufacture, is worthless in monetary terms.

                  Eventual, inevitable, collapse of copyright will promote cultural renaissance. Independent producers are already catching on to being able to dispense with distribution middlemen and deal directly with those admiring their work. Attractive work is rewarded with reputation. If people want more then there are several ways to solicit money from admirers without charging an arbitrary and, supposedly, enforceable 'price'. The cultural value of digital artefacts does not map onto monetary value (by definition fixed at zero plus transmission/storage costs).

                  In so far as money can be attached to digital cultural artefacts, it is solely in the eye of the beholder. The admirer alone must decide how much, if any, of his disposable income ought go as patronage. Some will be generous, some free-load, and others unable to afford contribution nevertheless not be excluded from cultural activities.

                  -----

                  Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

            Copyright and patents are two different beasts. The fact you conflate them let me doubt about your career. Patents never last very long. You get the patent protection in exchange for making the work published. Copyright, on the other side, is designed for works that by their very nature must be published, and are easy to copy.

            If we talk about copyright only, evidently your work has a very short life. Most software falls in this category. Other works may have a far longer useful life, but don't bring huge revenues in a short timespan -it happens for some music, movies and books, but not every. Many authors get rewarded by relatively low sales over a longer time span. If you shorten it too much, many of those works will become not remunerative to be created.

            How to distribute a work is up to its creators. If you start to assert you have specific rights on someone else's property, you start to walk on a dangerous path.

            I will ignore the rest of your rant - it speak by itself about you and your greed.

            1. whitepines Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

              Copyright and patents are two different beasts. The fact you conflate them let me doubt about your career

              They are two different beasts and I never said otherwise. The fact that you can't seem to comprehend my position that while legally they are very different, conceptually they both attempt to solve the same problem in two different fields, leads me to wonder about your own background.

              I am arguing that one of the two is wildly out of control, using the other as a counterexample. This is a common method in normal debate.

              Restated: Fundamentally, if we have 200+ year copyright, why don't we have 200+ year patents? Why is art considered the more valuable intellectual property versus invention? Or, conversely, why is it that people think they have a right to steal from inventors but not artists? And don't give me any shit about artists having a more limited protection -- I've seen enough lawsuits in the music arena about music that is "similar" to another musical work to know that copyright, in practice, acts more like a patent than a limit on verbatim copying.

              Did you know that 20 years is often not enough time to even get an invention established as a revenue stream? And that during that time the inventor has to pay ever-increasing fees to maintian the patent? Yet if I were to argue for 20 year copyright, people like you would be whining about 20 years not being enough time to make great piles of money on your work. Even though you pay nothing to maintain the copyright and next to nothing to place it on the market it in today's Internet driven world.

              And did you know you get automatic free copyright in all countries worldwide, where inventions have to be protected in each country, individually, at ever increasing costs? How is this state of affairs even close to morally sane?

              I will ignore the rest of your rant - it speak by itself about you and your greed.

              As does yours, which also speaks to your insatiable greed and desire to sit back and work very little while society showers you with money. Not to worry, no one will remember you a century from now and your works will be wholly forgotten, if not completely destroyed and lost by then. Even while still copyrighted, and while second-rate works like the really not very good at all (but copylefted) "Big Buck Bunny" stand in as the sole surviving record of art produced in the early 21st century.

              And the world will be a better place for it.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                Sorry, you tried to compare patents and copyright - failing to see the difference - and they don' try to solve the same problem. Patents exist to incentive people to publish ideas that otherwise would be just kept as trade secrets - maybe forever - and you can still make money without ever publishing them. There are a lot of trade secrets around, jealously protected. For example, do you know how Google algorithms work? Are there patents about all of them?

                Copyright aims to protect work that for their very nature need to be published and can also easily copied and exploited by others with little effort.

                Patents can have a far broader scope and protection than copyright. Patents may cover a lot of use cases and implementations - sometimes they can cover the only way to achieve something.

                Copyright does protect a specific work. You can't copyright "pirate tales" - you can only copyright a specific pirate tale. Plagiarism is a different matter - although it has strong ties to copyright laws as well.

                Patents and copyright have the same issues worldwide - each country has its rules - and while it's far easier now to file a patent to a single office and have it concurrently filed in many other countries (see, for example https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/patent-cooperation-treaty), enforcing is another matter - see the issues with China.

                "no one will remember you a century from now and your works will be wholly forgotten"

                Are you sure? You keep on attacking me personally - without even knowing who I am.... but even if my works will be one day eventually forgotten, at least I know I didn't live just as a parasite. And if you believe people "work very little" to create something valuable, you're utterly wrong. Your looks like a kind of envy about those who made a lot of money from their works - maybe a single one- albeit they are the exception, not the rule.

                Sitting on a couch and copying requires very little effort today. At least amanuenses had to create their own copies by hand...

                1. whitepines Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                  I'm a bit tired of arguing with someone that is deluded enough to think that:

                  a.) They should forever be able to dictate the conditions under which their work should be consumed and

                  b.) They should be able to prevent all derivative works from ever being created.

                  However, this little gem needs to be answered:

                  Copyright aims to protect work that for their very nature need to be published and can also easily copied and exploited by others with little effort.

                  You clearly have zero experience trying to invent something that isn't copyrightable in today's global society. A few little hints to help clue you in to reality:

                  1.) Google's trade secret algorithms run using .. wait for it ... copyrighted software. This, and not so much the trade secret parts of things, are what keeps them protected. Google also pulls out patents where they are concerned people will figure out how to copy something once they've seen it work once (people are really, really good at doing that).

                  2.) If we step away from things that can be copyrighted, and more into the patent realm, we find patent protection completely inadequate. For each item I invent, even if I somehow have millions of dollars to pull out a bunch of patents, the Chinese copy machine cranks up anyway and floods any attempt at enforcement since patentable items must also be sold to the public ("published", in your terminology). Maybe last century this problem didn't exist, but today we have multiple nations that act as a photocopier to real physical technology. This, along with copyright being used as a patent-type weapon to snare anything that could be considered even remotely "derivative" or "similar" means that the conceptual lines between patentable and copyrightable things are growing increasingly blurry.

                  I do note you increasingly call me a parasite. I must really be some kind of threat to you and your way of life, seeing as I'm one of those people that even pays Disney if I want to see their films. In fact I wonder if it's a kind of reflection, a deep seated acknolwedgement that in your (supposedly) "creative" pursuits you yourself are actually acting as the parasite?

                  My issue has never been about paying the creator of a work to buy a copy of the work. If performing the work requires actual effort each performance instead of just sitting in front of a blu ray duplicator machine, I even pay to see the work performed once (e.g. I pay to visit the symphony and don't expect the artists to work for free -- not even the composer).

                  My issue has always been about the extra terms that come along for the ride. If I created the next cultural sensation of a movie, but required that you and only you had to strip naked and dance on stage in front of Parliament to ever see it, plus fork over your house and a nice sports car, would you be OK with that? Because that's a right I'm currently allowed under copyright on my works...

                2. CRConrad

                  Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                  "LDS" wrote:

                  Sorry, you tried to compare patents and copyright
                  Yes, because they're utterly comparable.

                  failing to see the difference
                  Nope, he did. It's just you who are failing to see the immense similarity.

                  and they don' try to solve the same problem
                  They try to solve the exact same problem: How to protect for the inventor/author the opportunity to make money off his idea, how to ensure that eventually ideas are equally available for all, and to arrive at a reasonable compromise between these opposing goals.

                  You keep on attacking me personally ... live just as a parasite ... Sitting on a couch and copying...
                  Yeah, right, and you haven't been insulting at all.

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

              If you shorten it too much, many of those works will become not remunerative to be created.

              I've sold some stuff I've created. But I don't recall ever creating the work because I wanted money.

              Like most creators I've known, I've created because "I have a story inside me that needs to be told'. My mental wiring is such that I desire to create these things. Most of my written work is given away via the likes of these forums, some of the visual work is given away at my expense, and some of it sold.

              I create because I am wired to create. People who are not wired to create consume, or derive - some with more success than others. I create because I enjoy the process, or feel that someone else may get some enjoyment out of what I do.

              If it gets me a dollar, nice. If it gets me a smile from someone I care about, nicer.

              1. whitepines Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                I've sold some stuff I've created. But I don't recall ever creating the work because I wanted money.

                The only thing I'd say about this is that it sure is nice to be able to have enough money to keep a roof over one's head etc. if you're a creator type. While I'm wired much the same way, I find that having to work another job that isn't very creative just to keep said roof over my head doesn't exactly leave much time to create decent works.

                Hence why I'd be good with a 20 year copyright or so -- long enough that people would still pay a decent wage if they like it, but short enough that my work might actually become part of the public domain and be built upon in new ways that I can't even imagine right now.

                Let's face it -- I don't care about work I did 20 years ago. In many cases I'm embarrassed about parts of it, as I have refined my craft over the intervening years. I suspect most sane people (maybe @LDS excluded?) that are creative types feel the same way.

                200+ year copyright is a boon only for organizations that accumulate original works to have them die on a shelf while they rent seek on their own derivative works. I have no idea how we let things get to this point in the first place.

                Icon 'cause at least some copyright is useful to prevent being thrown in a council house...

                1. LDS Silver badge

                  "I don't care about work I did 20 years ago."

                  You. Some people did some of their best work in their early years - and they keep on being valuable.

                  There are also work that can't be improved or recreated - think about photographers taking images of a particular event, or a place or person that no longer exists. Keeping archives has a cost too.

                  All of you keep on having a very narrow view of "works" - blockbuster movies, popular songs, maybe the topten pop book - what people are eager to download, many of them maybe forgotten well before 20 years - but there is far more than that.

                  Anyway the EU directive is not about the length of copyright - which is something that is defined elsewhere - is about platforms exploiting works which are still under copyright - maybe created only a few days before. YouTube is not full of 20+ years contents... and most people don't look for them either.

                  1. whitepines Silver badge
                    Joke

                    Re: "I don't care about work I did 20 years ago."

                    You. Some people did some of their best work in their early years - and they keep on being valuable.

                    Aha! Now things make sense...you're a one hit wonder that got lucky early on and wants to milk your one and only success in life to the grave, plus leave a nice cash flow to your heirs?

                    Even if you're not, that's what you advocate. I guess I'm in the wrong fields in IT and physical sciences, there's no chance for me to strike it rich there at all. Time to be an artist and write my own lottery tickets, then when I can't make it financially because I'm mostly rubbish at writing music I can always blame all those evil pirates for putting me in the gutter!

                    Yeah that works! I can win the zero personal responsibility prize and I get to be an asshat telling other people how to live their lives for access to my work if I get lucky and strike it rich. Double bonus points, no way to lose there!

                    YouTube is not full of 20+ years contents... and most people don't look for them either.

                    So you implicitly acknowledge or understand that works past 20 years are more at risk of being lost forever than of having some magical windfall bestowed on their creator or their creator's heirs. Yet you are OK with this. I don't even know where to begin with someone that shortsighted.

                    With all of your complete greed and lack of caring about anyone else, let alone future generations, you then have the audacity to wonder why some of us want to either reign copyright back in or force mandatory licensing of copyrighted works to any paying individual or organization via the state.

                    I'm done arguing this with you, as you continually ignore my statements that I'm fine with the payments to support the creators of artistic works, but not OK at all with the insane conditions they can impose on performance or derivations of a work (including preventing it from ever entering the public domain or requiring people to watch it in an approved streaming format on approved devices when the moon is full every other decade after paying a license fee for 10 or more years).

                    All I can really say is that you exemplify a lot of things that are wrong with Western society today, including some of the worst greed and bloody minded arrogance I have ever seen outside of a megacorp or some kind of ruling monarchy.

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: "I don't care about work I did 20 years ago."

                      " (including preventing it from ever entering the public domain or requiring people to watch it in an approved streaming format on approved devices when the moon is full every other decade after paying a license fee for 10 or more years)."

                      Everything will be in the public domain eventually. Yes, licensing can be a minefield, but most people are against you there. They are happy to have digital downloads with licenses that expire when the wind shifts from S to E. If you read the terms, they tell you what you are buying with your license. Don't like it, don't buy. Don't stream a movie, buy the DVD and your license is perpetual. The government isn't there to dictate to companies to support your views on how things "ought" to be and what constitutes "fair".

                      What good is it to an artist if a movie producer can buy a CD or digital download and put the music on a movie soundtrack? They "purchased" the song. They should be able to use it any way they like, right?

                      A set dresser on a movie set is more likely to want to get a (nice) paycheck than a chunk of the copyright and minimum wage. I've worked in that industry and most productions are stinkers, but I still got a check every week for my hours.

                      Where artists get in trouble and fleeced is from signing contracts without having any clue what's in them and how it affects them down the road. Some of that is when they sign away their copyrights to what they create in exchange for a paycheck or some investment. They even sign away their future creatively.

                      Most creatives make F-all. There is so much fail that they have to capitalize on the few occasions when they create something that enough other people value enough to part with some money. That applies both to individuals and corporations. If you are growing apples, you may not make a profit, but you can recoup some of your costs. There are always markets for apples. That's not the case for creative work. I enjoyed my aunts paintings and found them superior to the abstract "masters", but her work isn't sold at Sotheby's for millions of dollars. It's unlikely her paintings would be worth much outside of the family. What you are calling "greed" is mistaken for earning enough on what sells to cover the losses on what doesn't.

              2. LDS Silver badge

                "II don't recall ever creating the work because I wanted money."

                You'd be surprised about how many people want the money not just to live as everybody else, but to create the next work too. Some works may be expensive to create. You may need to pay other people as well.

                Maybe you created your stuff in your spare time and you have another job who pays you because it can't be duplicated easily, but some people do create their works both because they like it and want the money too - and it could become a full-time effort.

                After all, if it's their job, why they shouldn't get the money? Why you should be entitled to steal their work? Would you like someone steals your too? What happens if on your job someone steals an idea of yours, and promote as one of his, and take all the advantages? Would you say "fair, it's OK"?

                Creating new works also require time - meanwhile the money to live needs to come from somewhere - once it came from patronage - with the result that there were far less freedom, and still powerful patrons - the equivalent of today megacorps - wholly controlled the works.

                But some people still think the others should live out of thin air, and they should get all the money plus the others' works for free.

                1. whitepines Silver badge

                  Re: "II don't recall ever creating the work because I wanted money."

                  After all, if it's their job, why they shouldn't get the money?

                  Maybe because it's an extraordinary right granted only to a specific, special, quite vocal class that has frankly gotten completely out of control?

                  I'll agree to your statement when you pay me, my heirs, and their heirs every day for access to technology I've created, and when I can blacklist you from using it if I don't like something you did or said. After all, that's the control you have now, why should I be granted lesser rights when I work just as hard at creating things?

                  But some people still think the others should live out of thin air, and they should get all the money plus the others' works for free.

                  I'm not one of them. As I have said repeatedly. I don't like it when people steal my stuff either, but at the same time I don't abuse my power to make consuming my work horribly onerous. We all need money to live and create new works of both art and science, you do not need to tell the exact manner in which I am permitted to view your work, under threat of prison, to reach your financial goals. In fact, anyone thinking they have that right and desiring to use it could probably be considered borderline sociopathic.

                  As I said above, I'm done arguing this. If everyone were like you, we'd still be fighting over which dynasties could use the wheel or not instead of sending probes to other planets. I'm so glad most people disagree with your viewpoint, since this current world is so much more interesting than the lawyer-dominated one you seem to desire. If you try to make this current, vibrant, interesting world into the boring, stagnant, lawyer dominated one, the silent majority will stop you -- almost no one wants that world except the lawyers.

              3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                "If it gets me a dollar, nice. If it gets me a smile from someone I care about, nicer."

                I give stuff away too. I'm not a writer of novels so I don't worry about giving away plot lines, twists, etc. If you want to do that, go for it. You can place things you do in the public domain and relinquish your claim of copyright forever and that's not a bad thing.

                I also work as a photographer where I do want to get paid for my work most of the time. Whether I get a sale-able (doesn't even have to be all that good) image by luck or intent, I should be able to earn a living from it and leave it as a legacy to my children to support them for at least 20 years. If we take an extreme case where I make a photo on the day my child is conceived and then get hit by a bus, it will be good that my wife can use proceeds from that image to raise that child and pay for some college. That would mean that the copyright outlives me. How long is contentious, but 20-30 years at the most should be more than fine. 100 years for a corporation should be rough equivalent to a long lived creator plus those extra decades. That Disney keeps getting the goal posts moved whenever the first Mickey Mouse cartoons approach expiration is ludicrous.

                1. Kiwi Silver badge
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                  I also work as a photographer where I do want to get paid for my work most of the time.

                  That's part of the difference - for now most of my stuff is for fun, excepting that which goes into paid code/documents/etc.

                  Quite agree on the rest of your postthough (except the saleable stuff 'doesn't have to be all that good" bit - I see stuff expanded into very large displays that I'd be ashamed to put my name too if it was dropped down to stamp size!). No idea why some numbskull downvoted it - so here I'll complain in in the usual El Reg tradition I'll get a few dozen just so you don't feel alone :)

                  And fully agree 20-30 years is plenty enough to get paid for your work, and if successfully[1] invested your money will set your kids (or whoever) up for a good while.

                  Given how Disney has pursued the likes of school teachers who are effectively giving them free promotion, copyright time limits should be reduced and as to teaching them a little about 'fair play', well I'll let others decide what can be used as a deterrent for all future generations to come.

                  [1] I did write it as "wisely", but I've know people who have put money into stupid things that paid off, others put money into what should be sound investments but some thieving pillock is bleeding the place dry...

                2. whitepines Silver badge

                  Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

                  I should be able to earn a living from it and leave it as a legacy to my children to support them for at least 20 years.

                  I work in the physical sciences (can't be more specific here sadly), part of my job sometimes yields advances in the technical arts (patentable inventions). Many of these cost more to develop than can be recovered in the short time period before Asian clones start to flood the market (making enforcement prohibitively expensive).

                  Are you willing to extend the same protections that you currently have on your photos to me, so that my children can also be supported for at least 20 years from a single invention I make? If not, why not?

            3. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

              "Many authors get rewarded by relatively low sales over a longer time span. If you shorten it too much, many of those works will become not remunerative to be created."

              As a photographer, I totally agree. I photograph a lot of bands. Most of them aren't going anywhere and I'm working for peanuts in comparison to the dollar amount of gear it takes and the time spent. 10,15,20 years from now one of those bands may have stood the test of time and photos of their early years with members that have passed away or left can be quite valuable. Some wines get better with age and others will just turn to vinegar. The same with photos. If my grandfather was a photographer and left me his collection with some previously unreleased photos of Elvis that he took, those images would be worth lots of money and maybe very little when they were taken.

              I photograph a lot of architecture. If a stately home were to have a fire, I might be the one with the best images of what it looked like before the fire. Insurance companies and the restoration people will likely want those images. Somebody doing a book on the history of the estate may want to license images which means I'd make some additional money from the original session. I might make an investment in an archive of images from somebody retiring which gives them some money from their past work and gives me some opportunity to make money by licensing out those images until the copyright expires. It could be a small income stream over a long period of time. That same person may just toss out the images if they have no transferable value.

              Some authors finally achieve some notoriety after banging out books for years before they get noticed. Some get a steady income that doesn't let them write full time, but puts some money in the grouch bag. Most won't make much of anything or might not get popular until after they are dead. At least they have something in their copyrights to leave to their family.

              By keeping and registering my copyright, I at least have some chance of making money from my photos on an ongoing basis and I do. This allows me to charge less for the original commission. If I'm asked to make photos of a property that's being sold, the sellers don't need to own the copyright of the images. They just need photos they can use to advertise the sale for a limited period of time. That means I might be able to sell some of those photos to the architect, landscaper, buyer, etc. The seller could take a chance and buy me out, but I'm in a better position to sell the images than they are. I also have the expertise to edit the images to fit the needs of the licensee.

    2. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: EFF, Wikipedia, Google...

      And these articles will give all the power to the large companies because they're the only ones who can afford the resources. Good job!

      Also, you might be over-simplifying.

      1. JimC

        Re: all the power to the large companies

        Which is why there are rights agencies like the much maligned RIAA, who make it possible for the small guy to get something. But of course Google, and their usEFul idiots do their best to undermine the rights agencies and grab all the cash for themselves.

        And he concept of people talking about "big" media, when they are a fraction of the size of Google, Facebook et al is comical...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excellent news

    This marks the birth of internet rev 2.

    One that will bypass commercial greed.

    Law enforcement won't like it though.

  8. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    Just did a quick search to dig up this story:

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/oct/06/edwyn-collins-sharing-music

    Simpler, more innocent times?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My question regarding the licensing of news stories snippets by aggregators is always the same: How are the prices set? If it is left to the market to decide, the price will end up being zero. Google knows the value of traffic; it's pretty much their business. If they wanted, and if it was legal, they could probably force the big publishers to pay to be on Google news.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "If they wanted, and if it was legal, they could probably force the big publishers to pay to be on Google news."

      Sponsored Links and or ads that come before the search results.

  10. The Nazz Silver badge

    Really?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47708144

    "Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS for Music, which collects royalties for music artists, welcomed the directive as "a massive step forward" for consumers and creatives.

    "It's about making sure that ordinary people can upload videos and music to platforms like YouTube without being held liable for copyright - that responsibility will henceforth be transferred to the platforms," he said."

    Really? That's a massive step forward for consumers?

    Is he encouraging me, authorising me to upload any or all of my significant music collection to the likes of You-tube? Without mentionning how he and others will then sting the platforms for monopolised fees? How disingenuous of him.

    And yet as of yesterday he would have me believe, that despite my paying in full for that music, some on multiple formats, vinyl, tape, CD that i ONLY had a licence to listen to it at home. Apparently, now i have licence to upload it wherever and whenever.

    Maybe the MEP's should have asked the Music industries ( other media too i suppose) to have got their own house in order first or at least as a condition of this passing. The stories are legendary of the Big Music Corps ripping off the creatives, artists, songwriters etc big time. "Hey look, your album sold a million copies but made a loss". Oh yeah.

    Maybe it's time it was made law that Copyright stays with the creator(s), is not assignable in any circumstances, and if any media company wishes to use any part of it, they must negotiate and obtain a licence themselves.

    ps how much do i owe the BBC for using their article? (Not that i haven't already paid the BBC for the year).

    1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      Maybe it's time it was made law that Copyright stays with the creator(s), is not assignable in any circumstances, and if any media company wishes to use any part of it, they must negotiate and obtain a licence themselves.

      I remember hearing that the first copyright laws were established to protect the authors from the editors. Editors would print and sale the books, making money, but would hardly ever pay the authors.

      It looks like we are back to the origins.

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Really?

        I remember hearing that the first copyright laws were established to protect the authors from the editors.

        It's even worse. Copyright started as out and out censorship for stability of Church and State against a potentially educated public. And we're going right back there too, sadly.

        "The origin of copyright law in most European countries lies in efforts by the church and governments to regulate and control the output of printers. ... Printing allowed for multiple exact copies of a work, leading to a more rapid and widespread circulation of ideas and information In 1559 the List of Prohibited Books was issued for the first time." *

        See how easy that was to educate the world? Made possible in today's copyright-infused, controlled, monitored world only thanks to the permissive copyright ("copyleft") of Wikipedia as adopted by its content creators. If Wikipedia didn't exist, just like if copyrighted works were the only source of knowledge past 1920, your erroneous view would have spread like wildfire and history would have been rewritten.

        As a historical tool of censorship, copyright as we know it needs to disappear or be severely curtailed (making money is fine, absolute control of ideas and works is not). Whoever makes this happen will probably be regarded in the same historical light as those individuals that helped shatter the Dark Ages.

        * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law#Early_developments

        1. josephharris

          Re: Really?

          Control by state and church and censorship are not copyright. Copyright began with the 1710 Act of Queen Anne. That wrested control of works from the printer/publishers, and vested rights in creators, mainly authors at that point. British changes to that law were continuous and eventually incorporated into the relevant Geneva Convention at the end of the 19th century. Today copyright is mainly organised by WIPO, which also covers patents.

        2. LDS Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Really?

          Another good example of Wikipedia reliability....

          1. whitepines Silver badge

            Re: Really?

            Another good example of Wikipedia reliability

            Got a citation for your opposing view, preferably to an academic journal or other reliable source?

            Though it should be noted that I'm not going to pay for access to a source like that online, so perhaps you'd like to pay my reading license for the citation so that your unverified claim can be checked by a third party?

            Come to think of it, I recall a commentard above claiming that if I were to copyright something and hold it back from society there would be no harm done. Here is a perfect example of harm, theoretically, being done because of a (still theoretical) primary reference being placed under copyright.

            I guess we deserve Orwell. It'd be refreshing to just know that everything is fake and nothing matters versus this pretense of being an enlightened scientific society. I suspect the latter is not possible while copyright exists in its current form.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      "Maybe it's time it was made law that Copyright stays with the creator(s), is not assignable in any circumstances, and if any media company wishes to use any part of it, they must negotiate and obtain a licence themselves."

      How do you attribute group or sponsored efforts, especially if said collaboration gets frictious? As for the media companies, what's to stop them copycatting or covering?

      1. Haku

        Re: Really?

        "As for the media companies, what's to stop them copycatting or covering?"

        This reminds of when I tried to find songs used in the original Knight Rider tv show - it turns out that whilst the songs were from that time, almost all of them were covers, to save an absolute fortune in royalty fees.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          My favorite example was Perfect Strangers, where the theme song was covered so they didn't have to pay out to Billy Joel.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          "it turns out that whilst the songs were from that time, almost all of them were covers, to save an absolute fortune in royalty fees."

          I remember that. I don't watch TV anymore so I couldn't say if it's still a popular option for production companies.

          They still had to license certain rights to use the songs from the publishing company or the artist, but they found it was much cheaper to hire a studio band to re-record the song than to pay the license fee to use the original recording. I see that as an example of somebody pricing themselves out of the market. It had to be a couple of grand to hire a band, rehearse and record them. I'll put money that those musicians were paid a fixed amount or hours and signed a "Work Made for Hire" contract and were not due any royalties. There may still have been royalties due to the publishing company for each airing of the show, different markets and video sales if Knight Rider ever went to video.

      2. whitepines Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        As for the media companies, what's to stop them copycatting or covering?

        The same thing that stops them now -- lawsuits. Especially in the movie realm you can get sued just for making a movie similar to someone's obscure book. Music is a different beast entirely, it has the same problem but now you pay the mafia general media licensing fees before you try to publish any music. That's normally enough to stop the problem and, if it wasn't the mafia, all of the artists would get a share of the profit too.

        What I find really interesting is how everyone eventually starts trying to work around copyright and some of its insanity with a form of communism. In the music industry, it's "pay your cover charge to get into the commune -- once in the club, popular songs float all boats". In the software industry it's free software. Maybe if people have to resort to such extreme measures to get anywhere the system is broken?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Really?

          "The same thing that stops them now -- lawsuits."

          Really? Even if one of the companies involved is transnational or simply big enough that "legal fees" are just The Cost of Doing Business?

        2. LDS Silver badge

          'making a movie similar to someone's obscure book'

          Guess without a good copyright law how much companies like Disney would make using someone else's work... with no need to pay rights and no risk to be sued.

          1. whitepines Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: 'making a movie similar to someone's obscure book'

            Guess without a good copyright law how much companies like Disney would make using someone else's work... with no need to pay rights and no risk to be sued.

            Such Ignorance. Much Wow.

            Disney has stolen almost all of their material from the public domain, then decided that after they raided that well and sucked the good stuff off the top that they should permanently seal off access to it (for example by not contributing their own works back, instead helping to pass multiple copyright extensions to keep their cheap copies out of the public domain).

            Surely if you apply this uniformly, just by moving a few dates around and fixing the theft that Disney was able to perform thanks to the earlier, more lax copyright law that you rail against, Disney should be paying at minimum and in perpetuity (even assuming the authors would grant a license, which many would not on matters of principle):

            - Paul Dukas (and his estate)

            - The Brothers Grimm (and their estate)

            - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (and his estate)

            - The Ringling Bros. (and their estate)

            - The entire population of several Nordic countries, for using their myths and legends (creative, copyrightable works) in perpetuity

            The more likely outcome is that Disney wouldn't exist at all. They started with IP theft, then made sure that anyone else wanting to do the same was unable to do so, by changing law.

            Thanks for a great reminder of why copyright needs to be reformed and limited to repopulate the currently raided, diminished public domain. I think reducing a few artist's profits are well worth it, considering the veritable cultural cornucopia that sprang forth from a well stocked public domain in the early 20th century.

            Or do you put your own selfish greed ahead of the advancement of the human race?

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      Maybe it's time it was made law that Copyright stays with the creator(s), is not assignable in any circumstances, and if any media company wishes to use any part of it, they must negotiate and obtain a licence themselves.

      If creators are not allowed to sell their copyrights, then they do not really own or control them...

      1. whitepines Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        If creators are not allowed to sell their copyrights, then they do not really own or control them...

        Perhaps you misunderstand. They are granted a monopoly license by the state on their work. I think they should be able to sublicense, but if they ask the state to redirect that license to another entity (say a corporation), that the state (as the actual owner of the license) should be able to alter terms as needed for the public good.

        Why do you want to give cash-rich corporations the same rights that we grant to poor artists? As I recall, the various copyright extensions were all centered around the example of some poor artist that couldn't make enough money to live. Do you really think we would have passed all those extensions in the West if the example given was that Disney or some other firm was only making 100 million on a work when they wanted 1 billion?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Why do you want to give cash-rich corporations the same rights that we grant to poor artists"

          Because in democracies the law should be the same for all?

          Keep on hating Disney, but I really don't care about its mouse, haters like you are ready to destroy the lives of many people just to "kill Disney" - to be able to watch Avengers/Star Wars for free.

          You're wholly wrong about copyright - it's not a monopoly license granted graciously by a state as the owner, the state is not the owner of anything - it's a basic property right of the creator - which a democratic state must protect, or who do you believe would be the first to take advantage of removing it? Exactly the same cash-rich-corporations you hate so much.

          Your believing is really dangerous, you do really believe other people don't own their work and some entity like a (authoritarian) state should remove rights from people and give their properties to you for free. We've seen that ideology already - it just led to some powerful people owing everything, and most others nothing.

          Anyway copies of most works are usually required to be sent to state archives so they keep on being available in the future - here, for example, when a book is assigned an ISBN number copies must be deposited in two state libraries, and two regional ones. It happens for other kind of works too. Feel free to research ho your state handles that.

          Still, you're not allowed to make copies of them to exploit them for free as long as copyright is valid. There's a big difference between a work being available, and it being exploited by greed people for personal gain.

          1. whitepines Silver badge

            Re: "Why do you want to give cash-rich corporations the same rights that we grant to poor artists"

            Your believing is really dangerous, you do really believe other people don't own their work and some entity like a (authoritarian) state should remove rights from people and give their properties to you for free.

            If you read my posts before, you know that's not true. But perhaps simple minded people can only lump people into the two categories of "pirates" and "normal consumers" -- where "pirates" are those who don't bend over, kiss your rings, and beg for permission to fork over cash every time they think about, let alone see, your royal works.

            Anyway copies of most works are usually required to be sent to state archives so they keep on being available in the future - here, for example, when a book is assigned an ISBN number copies must be deposited in two state libraries, and two regional ones.

            So please do tell me where the major studios place a non-DRMed copy of their work, especially streaming only works, for preservation and transfer to the public domain? Last I checked if there is any archival at all, it's in a DRMed format that won't last 200+ years.

            Since you are obviously a copyright maximalist, why is it you think you can steal ideas and work from artists that came before you? By your logic there should be no public domain, ergo why are you not paying all of your predecessors and their great, great, great, great, great grandchildren what they are so rightfully owed even today? I guarantee an intellect of your, ahem, caliber isn't generating wholly novel works that can pass a similarity test against the entire corpus of (I assume) English work dating back before the middle ages?

            Oh and you need to ask for their permission before building derivative works. If you've created derivative works from their copyrighted material, why dear me, I guess you could be sued by all those people. This is why in reality we have the concept of a public domain, to prevent all development of art from coming to a complete standstill. But you don't seem to get that.

            I think I see the greedy rat and it's not me...

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: "Why do you want to give cash-rich corporations the same rights that we grant to poor artists"

              "If you read my posts before, you know that's not true"

              I think you should re-read your posts because it's exactly what you wrote. But finally you admitted the issue for you is having to pay for someone else's work, which you want really badly, but only for free - as everybody should offer it to you graciously on a silver plate for your enjoyment.

              "why is it you think you can steal ideas and work from artists that came before you?"

              Evidently I'm a copyright "maximalist" but you have no clue about how copyright work. You just see as a way to extort money from you - and still you don't understand what it is. Sure, if you like you can trace most plots well before the middle ages - in ancient tales back to their Indo-European roots, and already appearing in the very early literary works. But copyright doesn't hinder creating new works using old and common topoi. What you can't do is reuse someone's original work - i.e reusing "Harry Potter" characters - you're still free to use wizards and dragons ad nauseam - just like Rowlings did.

              But of course you can't - or better you pretend not to - understand that simple difference.

              And it doesn't bring art to a standstill - it forces creators to create original ideas - not just reuse someone else's forever. Which is what takes apart real creators from those who are not.

              "By your logic there should be no public domain"

              Evidently no - if you believe your work should be usable for free you can make it "public domain" renouncing to copyright explicitly. But unlike you, I don't believe people should be forced to do so - which would be authoritarian.

              "So please do tell me where the major studios place a non-DRMed copy of their work"

              In archives where there are the original masters and their copies? Do you really believe everything is DRMed? That's just the copies for commercial distribution. Different states have different rules about storage of archival copies. Library Of Congress, AFAIK, does store historical works. including movies. Do you believe your NAS full of illegal copies will last more than their archives? It will be unreadable in a few years.

              Anyway there are a lot of DRMed works in the past too, ah, those fools writing in Linear A only, why they didn't store a copy in English too??

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Why do you want to give cash-rich corporations the same rights that we grant to poor artists"

                "Do you believe your NAS full of illegal copies will last more than their archives?"

                Many would say YES, for the same reason the LoC archives will remain relevant: they curate their collections and make sure to keep tabs on them, transfer them to new media and formats as needed (like the LoC starting to digitize their print catalogs), and otherwise make sure they don't lose them.

  11. Mage Silver badge
    Pirate

    How much?

    How much has Google spent on lobbying against this and who have they given money to?

    1. Graham Cobb

      Re: How much?

      While Google has lobbied against this, it has been half-hearted. Mostly because Google will be a big beneficiary. This will hurt Google a little (which is why they lobbied against it) but it will hurt their smaller competitors much, much more, to the extent many will close down.

      Google can develop and deploy a very sophisticated filter, so they don't have to pay the protection money demanded by the media mafia. However, everyone smaller will have to pay the "licence" fees (unless they are less than 3 years old and have a tiny number of users).

      So, whenever an innovative company gets to be 3 years old it will die (due to having to pay the extortion). Unless it has been sold to a FAANG, of course, who have enough money to not need to pay any of it to the media companies.

  12. Saul Dobney

    Who should pay for the content filters?

    What if free copyright is only available for five years? After that the copyright owner has to register and pay a fee to maintain copyright (which would go towards public copyright filters) - not a lot to start - say $50 per year per item for years 5-10 - but enough to ensure that only commercially valuable creations retain copyright. After ten years, raise the fee to $1000 per item. And after 20 years raise it to $10,000 per item, all with the copyright holder being able to re-register even if the registration had lapsed.

    That way the big commercial successes retain copyright long term, but at a cost (which would reflect the fact that these are profit-seeking adventures), and secondly would ensure copyrighted materials are clearly registered, while low level works quickly enter the public domain. So if you're say a prolific photographer, you have five years to test to see if the photos are worth something, and then you register all those with proven commercial value, with the additional option to re-register (for the going fee) if anything else becomes successful later.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

      Aside from the fact this is against Berne and therefore cannot be implemented, you have half an idea here. My issue is the option to register after lapse -- I think this should be disallowed. Once a work is in the public domain it should stay there, plus it prevents a large commercial monopoly from not paying fees until the last minute, lulling people into using the works, then paying the relatively small fee for the specific works used by organizations that they think they can sue for the most money.

      Patents don't work the way you described either -- once lapsed, they're lapsed for good. Make the publishers have to put some skin in the game, bother to be selective about what they copyright and keep under copyright, and I'm on board! This would also prevent the strange lottery phenomenon where, by paying absolutely nothing, a studio gets lucky with changing tastes and suddenly gets a windfall for zero work on an old film. If we're good with that concept, the state should be giving out free lottery tickets to everyone else to make things fair.

      The pesky Berne convention makes this entire scheme impossible though.

    2. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

      This, and many similar ideas, have been punted around the Project Gutenberg for several years. Not because they particularly want to see authors pay, but because the supply of public domain books and essays has pretty much dried up (in order to maintain copyright over Snow White, Disney has lobbied for, and got, a ruling that copyright persists for the artist's lifetime plus some insane number of years - at some stage it will be copyright holder's life rather than artist, and all bets will be off).

      The upshot of this rent grab has been that many thousands of books written in the last 100 years or so are not being released into the public domain - partly because of copyright persistence, but also because it is nigh on impossible to get permission to transcribe a book which, although still theoretically within copyright, has no easy way of establishing permission to reprint. Most of those books are very unlikely to ever be reprinted, and often the copyright has moved between publishing houses until it reaches someone like Sony, or Disney, who may have acquired copyright in a thousand or more books because there was one short story in one book that they wanted.

      The result is thousands of orphaned works for which obtaining permission would be an expensive investigatory paper trail, which the project could never afford or justify.

      Maybe there are no great or significant works in that pantheon, but we are now excluded from finding out until the last print version crumbles on the shelf, and it's gone forever.

      1. whitepines Silver badge

        Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

        Maybe there are no great or significant works in that pantheon

        Just as we say all software has at least one bug, in a pantheon that size you can guarantee at least one great work, were it ever to be rescued.

        Unfortunately the works are lost forever as you state. This is one reason why we need to go back to 20 year copyright -- art is stalling and stagnating due to what are effectively idea collisions with copyrighted work, so we keep having the same legally-safe but boring crap respun and resold to us over and over and over again. If no action is taken, AI will catch up and be able to respin old crap far better than us humans can -- at that point, you can say goodbye to any of the classical arts for good (it won't take more than a couple of generation for the techniques humans used to use to create art to be lost; while the AI will still "know" somewhere in its obscure bowels how to create more of the same drivel).

        This really looks like the last, most greedy generation turning the lights out on the entire field of art for good. Where are the young generation that will be unable to create and market new works, why aren't they rising up and demanding action? This is all very sad to see.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

          "stagnating due to what are effectively idea collisions with copyrighted work"

          The thing is that ideas are not copyrightable. Only the tangible expression of the idea.

          I read a lot and there are still plenty of new ideas out there. I get frustrated that movie studios continue to try and "re-imagine" classic films. Photographers can find lots of ways of making new photos of well-covered subjects. Guitars are still used in rock music and they have a finite number of notes they can play (without sounding like an puppeteer being burned alive).

          There are even new twists for old plot lines. The classic corpsicle premise that somebody gets revived into a new body after being in cold storage for a couple of hundred years. That has been used a bunch of times and each time I go in thinking that the story will be a massive rip-off only to find a fun new angle after the serial numbers have been filed off and a new paint job applied.

          What article 13 (17) might do is have the bad side effect of killing publications of small authors. It doesn't do anything to dismiss suits and bots removing content because there is a radio playing the in background that isn't relevant to a YouTube video or even very noticeable to a human that is filtering it out to concentrate on narrative of the person on screen. I think it was Audi that sent a take-down notice for a YouTube channel because there was an Audi sign in the background of the auto repair shop where the videos were made. The videos had nothing to do with Audi vehicles nor were they mentioned. Hey Audi, you were getting free product placement. Companies pay bucks to have their logos plastered all over the place and you are paying blood sucking lawyers to send letters to small time YouTube content producers? Make the issue something that makes YouTube liable (deeper pockets) and they may find it much easier to only host content from big time operators which would just kill the platform's appeal.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

        "The upshot of this rent grab has been that many thousands of books written in the last 100 years or so are not being released into the public domain"

        There is no "release" procedure. You can look up the copyright and see when/if the copyright was registered. Depending on the effective date of the copyright, you should be able to determine when that copyright should expire. With a book, it's pretty easy. In the first few pages there will be a © and the year and the authors name. Look it up online to see if they author is deceased and if the copyright was registered somewhere. If it's old enough, you may not have any problems. While you could reprint the book, you will not be able to copyright the text, only the creative aspects of the formatting (font choice doesn't count). You can add artwork that could be copyrighted so if somebody comes along and copies your re-print, you can go after them.

        For "Orphan" works, if you want it bad enough, you should put out the money. If it's not worth it, it's not worth it. It doesn't "have" to be copied. You can use the work as a basis for creating something that you can own yourself if you aren't out and out copying the original. Again, you should be able to determine the age of the work at least in round numbers. If it's a couple of hundred years old, you're good. No attorney will give you this advice, but if you think something is borderline and you really really want it, go ahead and put a bunch of money in an escrow account to the tune of what a similar work would be to license plus some minimal attorney's fees to settle up with somebody should you get a letter. This won't work too well if your creation is politically or socially controversial. The copyright holder may claim they would have never licensed the work for your project, ever, so settling a complaint may not be possible at going rates. Most copyright infringements are settled out of court which is why there isn't the amount of precedence that you might expect. It's mostly the very fringe cases that wind up in front of a judge and those are very expensive to litigate from either side.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

          "There is no "release" procedure"

          As you may have noticed from the original post, I was talking about Project Gutenberg. There is a 'release procedure', very much so. The problem is that almost everything created in the past hundred years or so is contained in a set of copyrights bought by a publishing company so they could own the copyright on a small number of books within that collection which they were prepared to republish, or to protect the works of an established writer by ensuring all copyright to that author's work resided with them.

          The remaining works, unlikely to be ever published again, are held in copyright by default. Gutenberg only reproduces work in the public domain, and with the likes of Disney campaigning to extend the period of copyright so that they can never stop making money out of Steamboat Willy and Snow White, a huge body of work is held in a kind of limbo, with no chance of a new publication and next to no chance of ever falling into the public domain. Determining the copyright status of a work which may have passed through several publishing houses is complex and time consuming, especially for a team consisting entirely of volunteers.

          As a US operation, Gutenberg has to abide by US copyright law, which means books in the public domain outside of the US but still within copyright under american corporate defined rules, are unavailable to them.

          To quote Mitch: "It's a fucking nightmare"

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Who should pay for the content filters?

            What MachDiamond is saying is that PG shouldn't be going after those. They need to find the OLD publications that were made BEFORE being acquired elsewhere. Old publications are subject to old copyrights that CANNOT be renewed (copyright times are enforced upon publication; thus one reason for dates being posted on copyright notices--they legally enforce the clock). As long as they find a copy printed at a point that the copyright has now expired, they're in the clear (with the book itself as evidence).

            Take this example. While reprints of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may be subject to current copyright, copies published up to the date of his death would be subject to the older copyright are now in the clear and have been the basis for Internet publications of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

  13. Julz Silver badge

    Just I Thought

    Why do people upload copyrighted works on to youtube and the likes? Ignorance? Malice? For giggles? Because they can? In a sense of public duty? For the benefit off others?

    Oh, and also, wouldn't the web services provider have quite a lot of information about the identity of any uploaded so persistent copyright dodgers would be easy to find.

    And, on a different theme, if the main problem is news arrogation, well bugger me, employ some news staff and make your own. It can't be that hard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: money.

      You upload a film because it costs money to watch, so others watch it for free.

      You upload a film because platform pays you on advertising, others pay you money.

      If the market hits the cost/supply, then people stop "pirating". Youtube is for making money, not for education or entertainment. When people had to host their own servers and videos. Thus making the problem a lot harder to solve.

      IMO it cannot be. We cannot have both fairness and copyright, but we also cannot have both protection and free distribution. We either end up with "passing off" and fake everything, or we end up with complete censorship. The middle ground of protecting individuals and allowing reasonable distribution is impossible to find. :(

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: money.

        So a kind of Robin Hood complex.

        Also, if the platform is paying the up loader money for putting up copyrighted material then that is a commercial contract so they very definitely are not just a pipeline or distributor but very much a publisher and with that should go all the responsibilities of being such.

        In part these platforms are hugely profitable as a result of there not being very many regulations and laws that they have to adhere to. If the cost of being regulated is a reduction in profit then so be it.

    2. anonanonanon

      Re: Just I Thought

      For the benefit of others kind of, or rather, people used to be able to share things, socially, if I liked a song/film/book, I could lend it to a friend on physical media, now, that sharing has been monetized, if I tell my friend, you should try xyz, they have to pay for something that used to be just a normal social interaction.

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: Just I Thought

        Sharing is good but putting stuff up for the whole world to download is not the same as lending your mate a cassette tape you put together off the radio or giving them a book you think they might like to read. There are file sharing services on the internet which allow you to do a similar thing but even they probably fall foul of some law or other.

        It should be noted that sharing the mix tape was also doggy law wise.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Just I Thought

          "It should be noted that sharing the mix tape was also doggy law wise."

          The record companies tried really hard to get cassette tapes banned or at least the ability for people to record albums. It's been ages since I've seen a discussion with citations, but I believe that the courts decided that record companies were going to have to live with individuals making copies for personal use. Copying on a large scale such as people making copies and selling them at a boot sale would be prosecuted.

          When I was in school, my mates and I would make tapes for each other since there was no way we could each afford to buy all of the albums we wanted. Split 3-4 ways, we were able to at least get our most favorite tracks. It was a social activity and wasn't going to impact the record companies. I'm sure they were banging on about all of the lost sales due to arrangements like ours, but honestly, we probably spent more money on music since we all had to contribute something. Sans that, we may have been content to just listen to stuff on the radio and rarely purchased anything.

          1. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: Just I Thought

            "The record companies tried really hard to get cassette tapes banned or at least the ability for people to record albums."

            MiniDisc, in it's day, was an amazing technology, giving punters the ability to record the digital content of a CD onto a blank minidisc without all the lossy issues of D/A/D conversion.

            This prompted Sony to sell minidisc recorders as minidisc players, de emphasising their ability to transcribe digital data to the point of hardly mentioning it.

            It's been suggested that the failure of MiniDisc in Europe was attributable to the fact it was sold as a way to buy content in yet another proprietary format. People who'd already been stung by 8 track, videodisc and video200 were rightly hesitant to buy into yet another possibly short lived ecosystem.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Just I Thought

              Perhaps another issue was that recording quality wasn't all it was cracked up to be. ATRAC may have been OK in its time, but MiniDisc basically got pushed out of the market. The capacity was too small versus increasingly-common CD-R drives and the ATRAC format was pushed out by MP3 when portable MP3 players (starting with disc-based ones like the Rio and then moving on to flash-based storage) started appearing.

          2. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: Just I Thought

            I'm pretty sure The Sequence (Friday Nights, Radio 1) was specifically designed to make building your own music collection easier!

    3. Graham Cobb

      Re: Just I Thought

      Much of it is by accident -- for example music in the background of something they have recorded themselves doing. Or it is for fun (memes, etc).

      Note that the law can say that it doesn't apply to memes, but that won't help if the sites end up having to use filters which cannot tell a meme apart from anything else. So, that statement in the law is literally worth nothing at all. It would be different if the law said that whatever method was used MUST NOT prevent memes being affected -- that would mean something (but would make the law impossible to follow).

  14. ivan5

    The mouse wins

    When are the unelected idiots of the EU that thought up this stupidity going to realise that Disney, Bertlesmann and the other big media groups are the winners with this - not the actual artists, authors etc.

    They would have been better advised to reduce the copyright period to 20 years and make it non transferable from the original holder, not even to families.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: The mouse wins

      You're talking about the votes from the only elected body in the EU as unelected?

  15. anonanonanon

    Relying on filters for copyright violations

    So what happens when a copyrighted work is not included in the database the filters use?

    It's quite easy to get a copyright on something without going through a db. Say, I upload a self made image to my own website which I copyright (some countries this is automatic). This will not be included in any online copyright filter.

    Said image is uploaded to a website (without my permission of course, but my security is very lax)

    I wait a few months, then sue the target for not taking appropriate access to license my work or failing to block it.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Relying on filters for copyright violations

      As the article says, filters are not part of the law.

      Current practice, via safe harbour, is that it's all okay as long as it's removed when a takedown notice is served. In other words: copyright holders also have a duty to check for abuse.

      1. anonanonanon

        Re: Relying on filters for copyright violations

        The filter isn't part of the law, but many are saying it's actually what will happen in practice. And doesn't the new law place onus on the websites to not allow copyrighted material and that they should take all reasonable steps to stop it.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: Relying on filters for copyright violations

          they should take all reasonable steps to stop it.

          Indeed and "reasonable" is the key word there. Some of those who have been against this directive have tried to assert that it means having to do everything which could be done and will force platforms to do whatever Big Media says must be done; that anything less would be unreasonable, a failing to comply with the directive.

          In the real world it of course means no such thing and it seems to be many criticism of the directive are just ridiculous extrapolations of absurd worse case scenarios; an imaginary nightmare all the way down..

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Relying on filters for copyright violations

          but many are saying it's actually what will happen in practice.

          Who are these many? And why do you think they're saying that?

          NB. I'm not necessarily a fan of the new law but a lot of the coverage has focused solely on this article and, to be honest. in copyright terms it's pretty hard to argue against the spirit of it. Fortunately, DMCA's safe harbour provisions have essentially already driven a coach and horses through copyright.

          In practical terms, if the law doesn't signficantly reduce TV/film/music piracy, I don't expect we'll hear much about it.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Relying on filters for copyright violations

        "In other words: copyright holders also have a duty to check for abuse."

        Not really. Sites that host user submitted content are granted "Safe Harbor" from liability if they remove disputed content immediately when properly notified since there is no way for them to check every upload automatically. The same problem exists for the creator. There is no way to check for infringements in any meaningful way. If you look at the stats for YouTube and Flickr, to name two large platforms, the sheer volume of material uploaded daily is massive.

        A substantial penalty for infringement is one of the few ways to discourage the theft of artists works since the artist may only ever find a tiny fraction of a percent of infringements.

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Opinions differ

    I really wish the EU had concentrated on pursuing those companies through antitrust and anti-monopoly actions

    Which it is. Article 17 was written largely at the behest of news media companies around the world but is essentially dead on arrival: don't let Google quote you for free in search results, then forget casual traffic.

    Unsurprisingly lawmakers have to weigh competing demands against each other: copyright, privacy, free markets, etc.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expect the best but recent history tells us even the worst is being hopeful.

    ".... some countries will try to implement it with as light a touch as possible while others will skew toward the more draconian.."

    Just listened to an EU politician (or unaccountable elite) explain how the EU is designed to ensure all member nations do as they are told, which (based on recent history) means draconian would be required. Our current trends in many areas are towards draconian.

    Even this site censors posts without others being able to see the post or why it was censored, The growing Invisible Censorship in society, particularly when combined with government secrecy and the lack of a 4th estate, ensures democracy cannot operate as it should. The economic data from the last 30 yrs shows who is encouraging and benefiting from these changes, it also shows who is best able to direct the discussions.

    1. SoloSK71

      Re: Expect the best but recent history tells us even the worst is being hopeful.

      Censorship is understood to be government based. Not individual websites. Get it right.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Expect the best but recent history tells us even the worst is being hopeful.

      "Even this site censors posts without others being able to see the post or why it was censored,"

      They have a set of house rules that they expect to be followed. There was a time when every post had to be approved before it became visible.

      You may consider this a form of censorship, and perhaps it is, but since this is a private website they are completely free to reply "You're in my house now, bitch!" and delete every thirteenth post because it's the first Thursday of the week. See? Can't even get them for discrimination there...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Expect the best but censorship has consequences

        I didn't explain the problem with censorship very well, sorry about that.

        Leaving aside the issue of when private becomes public consider the consequences of censorship, particularly of the kind your post appears to supports.

        It turns apparently open conversations, like this one, into crafted messages, hidden messages with hidden agenda's. The agenda may not be anything more than making some days more open to discussion than others but it would still be there.

        Because my posts have been censored here I know this isn't an open discussion and have some insight into what may (or may not) be the agendas of those doing the censoring.

        IMO the trouble is not censoring, everyone agrees that is required. The trouble is the hidden censorship being used by governments and private agents alike to ends that are not apparent.

        For a democracy to work we need open discussions and need to know when the discussion is not open. We need to know what is being censored so we can decide for ourselves, as voters, as lawmakers, if we need more or less or different censorship.

        Of course for you to have read that means it met an agenda of this site, at least some discussion on censorship is acceptable. If it had been censored how would you know?

        But few concern themselves with such things. I know several Facebook users who think censorship is great and see no problem with Facebook controlling what they read and see everyday. I'm not sure if they should be allowed to vote but that would be another difficult to have without censorship discussion.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Expect the best but censorship has consequences

          "We need to know what is being censored so we can decide for ourselves, as voters, as lawmakers, if we need more or less or different censorship."

          But saying what is being censored defeats the purpose because it just makes people sculpt their words around the censorship. That's where the euphemism "expecting" came about, for example.

          Newspeak wasn't intended to censor but to narrow people's vocabularies to make it hard to dance around censors by making people only perceive one concrete accepted meaning to anything.

          Essentially, freedom is its own worst enemy. It can be turned against itself.

  18. packrat

    a culture of orphan words, indeed.

    advanced, are they?k

  19. david 12 Silver badge

    wikimedia is another player

    Wikimedia aren't an independent voice of reason in all this: They've also been called out for their disregard for rights of creative work.

  20. brym

    13 MEP's made the wrong decision?

    I'd wager alot more than 13 MEP's, and politicians in general have no fucking clue about decision making when it comes to tech. They vote to retain their power base, job perks, and yearly bank. But that's unlikely to change any time soon.

  21. heyrick Silver badge

    Incoworkable (a mash up of incoherent and unworkable)

    "You get a shiver in the dark, It's raining in the park, but meantime:"

    Sultans of Swing, Dire Straits. Copyright, and not to me.

    There are many ways to defeat automated copyright checks. I'm sure you've seen YouTube videos in a frame, flipped, colour inverted, or whatever other idea somebody things will sneak it through the existing filters.

    It'll be interesting to see what/how this can actually be implemented. But the basic fact is, user submitted copyright will always be a potential minefield, and even with humans rather than algorithms, how can they be expected to know everything to be able to judge whether or not something is acceptable? The only workable solution here is simply to kill all user submitted content. Somehow I don't see that working...

    And just to make the point: "どれ程までの痛みに耐えたの".

    Koe, Chihiro Onitsuka.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Incoworkable (a mash up of incoherent and unworkable)

      Here's a scary thought:

      To upload user content a verified home address and legal proof of identity is required. Violate copyright even once and you get a permanent ban plus legal action.

      Unthinkable? 40 years ago having to submit to strip searches and provide extensive ID to simply travel by jet was unthinkable.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm bothered by the use of "née" for the articles: "Article 15 (née 13)" & "Article 17 (née 15)"; the correct word would be né.

  23. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    This EU move on copyright is positive but not in the way people think

    The Internet was designed as self-repairing. Unless very extreme measures are put in place to control individual access to the Internet and monitor use attributable to named individuals, workarounds to this legislation shall soon be widely published. Early adopters will be the computer savvy and young people at schools and colleges.

    In many respects this will promote cultural renaissance within Europe. For instance, 'Undernet' YouTube alternatives will attract people concerned with their art (and fun) rather than with drawing advertisement derived income. They can build reputation. They can receive (presumably via alt-coin) voluntary donations encouraging them to produce more work. Individuals and teams (e.g. independent music producers) may use reputation to found careers; I have discussed sources of income elsewhere. The point being they will not depend on the good offices of commercial publishers.

    Similarly, amateur film makers, student film makers, and professional film makers can hawk their wares, receive feedback, and move toward earning income. Book publishing too: anyone thinking others might be interested in what they have to say can offer up to the Undernet work in progress and finished works. People willing to listen may reciprocate through monetary contribution. In all these contexts people genuinely shall earn money, if of sufficient talent, rather than current expectation of a published author, musician, film maker etc. receiving arbitrarily determined payment for works 'sight unseen' and lifetime income for no further effort.

    European economies will have more cash sloshing around as consequence of household disposable incomes not being 'taxed' exorbitantly by rentier mentality parasites on culture.

    If technologically minded people respond sensibly to the EU copyright challenge then the entire world will benefit from a slew of non-commercial Internet innovation. Sensible response entails pooling skills to bring together extant (prototype) Undernet technologies into a coherent whole with a common public interface that any Android and Windows user can cope with. Technologies deployed within the coherent Undernet would be chosen for their particular strengths e.g. archiving, file retrieval, sharing, streaming, and capacity to support familiar WWW-like sites responding to users in real time.

    Some current Undernet technology may be discarded for good reason, other enhanced, and fresh ideas arise. Although the 'Tor' way of doing things (traditional server based) is likely to retain a role, the long-term most productive way forward is distributed encrypted peer to peer wherein each user contributes such storage capacity, bandwidth, and duration of connection as he is comfortable with.

    Short sighted and corrupted individuals in higher EU echelons have given welcome impetus to the sharing movement (including open source software) and to recognition of an alternative economic model underlying production, distribution, and drawing income from 'content'.

    Bring it on.

    Copyright is THEFT of opportunity to innovate.

    -----

    Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This EU move on copyright is positive but not in the way people think

      Watch the decentralized model evaporate with moves to reduce data caps or raise subscription rates to squelch what you describe.

  24. GrapeBunch Silver badge

    "Never Give a Sucker a Break": a motto brought to you by the Byzantine E.

  25. officerbill

    If you can't beat 'em, tax them

    "What this is really trying to address is the market dominance of companies like Google and Facebook," said O'Brien. "I really wish the EU had concentrated on pursuing those companies through antitrust and anti-monopoly actions"

    Instead of, you know, having EU providers compete on their own merits. Is there an EU based site (other than maybe the BBC) with works wide usage?

  26. (AMPC) Anonymous and mostly paranoid coward

    Watch the EU's official Article 13 TV announcement

    https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/1110876684495011840

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