from the surprising dept.
Last week, Minister of the European Parliament, Julia Reda, unearthed a well-hidden 2014 study financed by the European Commission entitled Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU [warning: PDF] that studied the effects of copyright infringement on sales. The study cost 360,000 EUR to carry out and although it was ready in 2015, it was only made public last week when Reda was able to get ahold of a copy.
The study's conclusion was that with the exception of recently released blockbusters, there is no evidence to support the idea that online copyright infringement displaces sales. This conclusion is consistent with previous studies, and raises the following question: "Why did the Commission, after having spent a significant amount of money on it, choose not to publish this study for almost two years?"
- The blog post by MEP Julia Reda, Pirate Party, Germany: What the Commission found out about copyright infringement but 'forgot' to tell us.
- TorrentFreak: EU Piracy Report Suppression Raises Questions Over Transparency
- RT: Piracy doesn't impact sales: Pirate Party MEP unearths €360k European Commission report
- Newsweek: Inside the Piracy Study the European Union Hid: Illegal Downloads Don't Harm Overall Sales
- TheNextWeb: iEU paid for a report that concluded piracy isn't harmful — and tried to hide the findings
- The Inquirer: The EC accused of burying a report that found that piracy isn't that costly
- HotHardware: EU Study Hidden For Two Years Concluded That Digital Piracy Doesn't Affect Sales
- ... and many others ...
Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament representing Germany, writes about a proposed EU law which would require sites to monitor and censor posts and any other uploaded material. Leaked material shows that at least three governments are actively working to make this happen.
The governments of France, Spain and Portugal want to double down on a law proposed by the European Commission that would force all kinds of internet platforms to install a "censorship machine" to surveil all uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement. They want to add to the Commission proposal that platforms need to automatically remove media that has once been classified as infringing, regardless of the context in which it is uploaded ("staydown").
By law, every video clip of your cat that you share with an app would need to pass through filters controlled by media companies. Essentially, they would have a veto right to any upload to the internet. These filters would be unable to safeguard your rights to quote, to make parodies, and to use existing works in any other way allowed under copyright exceptions.
The examples most talked about are videos, but even comments and source code would be affected. As currently written, the proposed law would effectively ban a diverse range of sites, including SN or even Githhub. The relevancy for those outside the EU is that if the proposal goes through as is, then calls for "harmonization" would be used to spread the rules to other regions of the world.
EU Study Finds Even Publishers Oppose the "Link Tax"
Hidden 2015 European Commission Report on Copyright Infringement
EU Council Presidency Questions Extra Copyright, but Endorses Censorship
Pirate Party MEP Says That Current EU Piracy Filtering Proposals Are Being Sabotaged
Reda Report Adopted: A Turning Point in the EU Copyright Debate
Julia Reda, the Only Pirate in the European Parliament, Weighs in on Copyright