Author Topic: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote  (Read 662 times)

Syt

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EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« on: February 13, 2019, 11:53:39 pm »
https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/13/18223815/eu-copyright-directive-article-11-13-trilogues-finished-final-vote-parliament

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After a brief rebellion, the EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote

The hated Articles 11 and 13 of the EU Copyright Directive remain intact after final efforts to remove them fail

Last-minute negotiations over the wording of the European Union’s controversial Copyright Directive have come to a close, and only a full vote by the European Parliament stands in the way of the legislation becoming law.

The final text of the directive has been wrangled over during closed-door negotiations for the last few months. It had been hoped by campaigners that these talks, known as trilogues, would mitigate or even remove what they see as the worst effects of two of the directive’s sub-clauses: Articles 11 and 13, better known as the “link tax” and “upload filter.”

A rebellion by a handful of member states offered some hope in January, but a last-minute deal between France and Germany has now resolved the dispute.

The final text of the Copyright Directive has yet to be shared, but Pirate MEP Julia Reda, a prominent opponent of the law, offered a summary on her blog. Much of what has already been criticized remains the same. Under Article 13 of the final text, says Reda, for-profit platforms like YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter will be forced to proactively scan user-uploaded content for material that infringes copyright. Article 11, meanwhile, gives publishers the right to charge search engines, aggregators, and other sites if they reproduce more than “single words or very short extracts” of news stories.

Big tech companies, academics, and even rights-holders (many of whom initially supported the Copyright Directive) have come out against these two articles. Although much of the legislation offers a sensible overhaul of outdated copyright law for the internet age, the imprecise wording and vague ambitions of Articles 11 and 13 have infuriated many.

A number of organizations representing European music, sports, and broadcasting industries say the current approach will have “serious harm” and risks, leaving “European producers, distributors and creators worse off.”

Sebastian Schwemer, a researcher at the Centre for Information and Innovation Law in Denmark, told The Verge that the deal was part of a larger trend to try and filter the internet using so-called “proactive measures.” He said: “But a broader debate in society, whether the use of such proactive measures is even desirable, is missing.”

There is still one last chance for those fighting against the Copyright Directive. Now that trilogue negotiations are over, the text will be put before the European Parliament for a final vote by all 751 MEPs sometime in March or April. Given that EU elections take place in May, activists are hoping that the threat of being booted out of office will be strong enough to persuade MEPs to vote against the directive or at least vote for some changes.

4.5 million EU citizens signed a petition against these changes, and were ignored. For the upload filter, sites are exempt if they fulfill these three conditions (all of them):
- less than 3 years old
- less than 10 million EUR revenue p.a.
- less than 5 million unique users per month

YouTube has hinted that, for Europe, they might limit uploads to large corporations and media producers:

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YouTube CEO Susan Wojcick, for one, appears to be pretty concerned as we highlighted earlier this week.

“The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies. It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” she explained.

A main criticism is that these upload filters would struggle to tell legit content (say, a parody) from a copyright violation. Not to mention that YT's ContentID is known to be error prone. There's also questions on what would happen to discussion forums on news sites - e.g. if someone posts a link to or text from another news story. If enforced as written, any site where you can upload a photo (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) would have to copyright-check every image that someone snaps and shares with their cell phone. These upload filters as e.g. YouTube has them cost tens of millions to develop and implement, so the likely outcome would be the big companies servicing (and charging) smaller companies to allow them to be compliant.

A smaller topic, but one that's dear to my heart is live streaming - if sites have to prevent publishing of copyrighted material, what does that mean for sites like Twitch? To protect itself, a site like Twitch might decide it's better to block streamers from Europe. On the other hand, it might be a repeat of the Let's Play discussion where many/most publishers give blanket permission to stream their games. Still, Twitch would be liable if a streamer uses copyrighted music in their streams (which many do - it has no effect on the live broadcast, but the archived videos generally get muted for the duration of the songs; though in my experience Twitch is far more lenient about it than YouTube).

As for the link tax (or Google Tax as it was referred to in Germany) - its implementation was shaky. Many news sites gave Google permission to link to them for free (how gracious). Those that didn't were removed from search results by Google. Some sites took Google to court for this - they said Google has so much market power that not linking to them was an abuse of power because it seriously curtailed traffic. In other words they wanted to force Google to link to them AND pay them for the privilege. Fortunately, the courts kicked the claims out.

Overall, if this passes parliament, it's very unclear what it means for the internet in the EU, but the general feeling is that it will severely limiting the content by what can be shared online, and potentially removing the EU form parts of the global community if major sites like YouTube decide to either not operate in Europe any more, or severely limit their services over here.

At the same time, naturally, EU politicians routinely whine why innovation in the internet and electronics mostly happens with big companies in the US and China.
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Syt

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 11:55:22 pm »
Btw, the exception for new/small companies was a compromise, apparently. Germany wanted a 20 million revenue cap. France wanted to have 0 exceptions and make everyone liable..
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Tamas

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2019, 03:51:10 am »
So what can this achieve except making sure no Internet company will ever be hosting its servers in the EU?

Richard Hakluyt

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 03:56:09 am »
It will help the UK out after we leave  :P

Tamas

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 04:04:45 am »
It will help the UK out after we leave  :P

That certainly is a good point.

garbon

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 04:20:10 am »
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

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Syt

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2019, 04:22:53 am »
So what can this achieve except making sure no Internet company will ever be hosting its servers in the EU?

Well, if they offer their content in Europe, and have offices here, they would still be liable. For small companies I think it will be with what happened when GDPR went live: they will just block EU IPs. Others will choose their battles. YouTube's CEO's quote is in my post, so they might just limit uploads for Europeans to corporations where they have high confidence in compliance.

If anything, it will strengthen market power of big companies, who have the resources to become compliant.

Practically, what would this mean for this forum, if we share a copyrighted image, or post parts of a news story from an EU creator? No fucking clue. Would this address be blocked? Would someone go after moldy for damages? Would it fly under the radar? No idea, really.
Here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we've actually got is each other. You decide what that means.

Admiral Yi

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2019, 04:33:51 am »
I thought it only applied to for profits.
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mongers

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 08:48:01 am »
Timmay and consequently whoever 'owns' Languish will be bankrupted.  :(
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Eddie Teach

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 04:01:25 pm »
Nah, VM will just have to block EU addresses.
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dps

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 05:33:26 pm »
At a guess, since Languish doesn't do business in Europe (or anywhere, actually), the owner can just tell the EU to shove it.

viper37

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 10:42:05 pm »
Practically, what would this mean for this forum, if we share a copyrighted image, or post parts of a news story from an EU creator? No fucking clue. Would this address be blocked? Would someone go after moldy for damages? Would it fly under the radar? No idea, really.
copyrighted image:  not much.  the forum does not host images, it only links to them.  and it does not facilitate copyright infringement like a torrent site.

part of a newsstory: that is already illegal to do without their explicit consent.  Some forum users in Canada have been sued for that by a formerly big news conglomerate.  I'm not sure it was specific to Canada, copyright stuff tends to be largely harmonized.

I think it mostly plugs holes.  But I haven't read the speficics of the law and I'm not a legal expert...
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Syt

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2019, 12:10:42 am »
The proposed law would make it illegal to show more than a few words (including headline, so long headlines would be forbidden to quote in their entirety). The proposal in current revision would grant no exceptions to private users, non-profits, etc. Statute of limitations is 20 years.

Main target are search engines and news aggregators, but I also assume sites like Twitter or Facebook where if you link an article you get a headline and part of the story. German newspapers argue that these sites profit from using their copyrighted content, and that showing, say, the first few sentences of an article is giving so much info that a lot of users don't click through to the full article any more.
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Solmyr

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2019, 03:14:37 am »
Tbh, users actually reading the articles they link or reply to would be a massive improvement.  :P

Tamas

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Re: EU link tax and upload filter will move to a final vote
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2019, 06:30:03 am »
The proposed law would make it illegal to show more than a few words (including headline, so long headlines would be forbidden to quote in their entirety). The proposal in current revision would grant no exceptions to private users, non-profits, etc. Statute of limitations is 20 years.

Main target are search engines and news aggregators, but I also assume sites like Twitter or Facebook where if you link an article you get a headline and part of the story. German newspapers argue that these sites profit from using their copyrighted content, and that showing, say, the first few sentences of an article is giving so much info that a lot of users don't click through to the full article any more.

Not that anyone will care but I wonder how this affects translated quotes? One lucky thing for Hungarian journalists is that they can translate most of a foreign article, put the link to the bottom of it, and get all the clicks for it.