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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday October 14 2017, @10:13AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the unfairly-taxing-a-single-Zelda-character dept.

Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament representing Germany, writes about a EU study which finds that even publishers oppose the proposed "link tax" which is currently up for consideration by legislators. Interestingly, the report also finds that many journalists are afraid to cover the issue. Several publications declined to comment giving various reasons, including differences of view between the online editions and their parent publications. In other words, the subject is being silenced.

The report, a bit misleadingly entitled "Strengthening the Position of Press Publishers and Authors and Performers in the Copyright Directive" [warning for PDF], was commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI committee. Specifically it reviews Article 11 and Articles 14-16 of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Julia Reda also notes that many of the MEPs are not in a position to find out about the report prior the vote. That puts them in a situation of making a less informed decision than is desirable.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Canadian Heritage Minister: Pay Up for Linking 71 comments

University of Ottawa law professor, Michael Geist, writes on the copyright front that Canadian Heritage Minister, Steven Guilbeault, said the other day that it is immoral and unacceptable for web sites to link to other web sites without paying for each link.

Facebook has said that it will block all news sharing on its platform in Australia if the government proceeds with a mandated payment system, noting the limited value of the links and arguing that its referrals that are worth hundreds of millions to the news organizations. If Canada were to pursue the same strategy, Canadian news sites would also likely be blocked and a trade complaint under the USMCA would be a virtual certainty.

Yet despite the significant risks and survey data that this could lead to a less informed public, Guilbeault is aligning with Rupert Murdoch, the chief advocate for these payments in Australia. He characterizes non-payment as “immoral and unacceptable”, claiming that Facebook makes hundreds of millions of dollars from Canadian media content without fair compensation. This points to a showdown like the one taking place in Australia, even though Canada has announced significant support for the sector that Guilbeault has thus far largely failed to deliver.

He plans for new legistation sometime soon and is tangled with the use of the giants to spread disinformation and strife. Trouble has been brewing for some while as the CRTC tries to find ways for streaming companies to fund Canadian content. Guilbeault is expected to try to add new powers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to enable a "link tax" on the Canadian part of the web. Perhaps that is ignoring, or in ignorance of, RFC 1945, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.0.

Previously:
(2018) EU’s Proposed Link Tax Would Still Harm Creative Commons Licensors
(2017) EU Study Finds Even Publishers Oppose the "Link Tax"


Original Submission

What Can the Copyright Directive Vote Tell Us About the State of Digital Rights? 17 comments

Andres Guadamuz has written a blog post analyzing why last Thursday's vote by the JURI Committee to reject fast-tracking the proposal concerning "harmonization" of copyright in the EU went as it did. The rejection of fast-tracking means that the issue will still come up for a general vote in parliament in September but the interesting part is that for the first time in Europe a wide coalition has managed to defeat powerful media lobbies, at least for now. He goes into how this was possible and what needs to happen in September.

The main result of this change from a political standpoint is that now we have two lobbying sides in the debate, which makes all the difference when it comes to this type of legislation. In the past, policymakers could ignore experts and digital rights advocates because they never had the potential to reach them, letters and articles by academics were not taken into account, or given lip service during some obscure committee discussion just to be hidden away. Tech giants such as Google have provided lobbying access in Brussels, which has at least levelled the playing field when it comes to presenting evidence to legislators.

Earlier on SN:
The EU's Dodgy Article 13 Copyright Directive has Been Rejected (2018)
EU Committee Approves Controversial Copyright Directive (2018)
Censorship Machines Are Coming: It’s Time for the Free Software Community to Use its Political Clout (2018)
Mulled EU Copyright Shakeup Will Turn Us Into Robo-Censors (2018)
EU Study Finds Even Publishers Oppose the "Link Tax" (2017)


Original Submission

Three EU Governments Want to Give Record Labels Control Over What We Can and Can't Post Online 25 comments

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.

Previously:
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


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday October 14 2017, @11:19AM (1 child)

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    Seriously though, fuck em. They can sue us in the EU all they like but we're a US company (with all the speech/journalism protections that implies) and our servers are all in the US.

    --
    Dog: Woof
    Cat: Meow
    Sheep: We need common sense gun control
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by canopic jug on Saturday October 14 2017, @01:50PM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 14 2017, @01:50PM (#582266) Journal

      If they are able to sneak this one through then it is likely that the cartels in the US will start whining about needing to "harmonize" with EU regulations. That's how things have worked in the past through the decades. They collude to ratchet downwards like that.

      Alternately, if it becomes a copyright issue, as it is heading towards, then they could decide to go after SN with the helicopters and armed assault teams and demand extradition, doing like they did with Kim Dotcom. Though there are probably not enough assets to sieze to make that lucrative.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Saturday October 14 2017, @12:11PM (3 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday October 14 2017, @12:11PM (#582251) Journal

    Europe may not have a 1st Amendment enshrining Freedom of Speech, but they do have a real Pirate Party that actually won a few elections.

    Copyright extremists are so weak. That they prefer to hide their despicable proposals and trick people into accepting them with especially poor quality propaganda shows serious weakness.

    • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday October 16 2017, @09:28AM (2 children)

      by Wootery (2341) on Monday October 16 2017, @09:28AM (#582935)

      Copyright extremists are so weak.

      And yet they've consistently managed to get copyright terms extended, decade after decade.

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday October 16 2017, @12:44PM (1 child)

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday October 16 2017, @12:44PM (#582970) Journal

        But look how they've done it. Rather than gain popular support for fair measures, they've tried to slip unfair ones past the public, in trade agreements and through heavy lobbying (bribing). They know they don't have public support, and have to do their dirty legislating out of the public view. That's weak.

        Weaker yet, their propaganda campaigns push credulity too far. Captain Copyright was a laughingstock. Their DRM efforts have served only to anger their customers and raise awareness. The old region encoding scheme on DVDs is an illegal restraint of trade that persists to this day, constantly reminding customers in one more way that they don't play fair themselves. And, unskippable commercials, what fools ever thought it was a good idea to abuse the obedience to DRM, meant only to prevent "illegal" copying, to force commercials on their customers who did pay? The whole point of paying was so that you don't have to sit through commercials, among other perks. Instead, the way to get the privileges you were willing to pay for is to pirate the material. They reneged on their end of the expectations they themselves helped create, and people know it. And they're still pushing, trying to further change the deal so that, with software at least, the customer can't "own" a copy anymore, the customer can only "lease" a copy. The Copyright Alert System ended in failure, I think overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of violations, though they tried very hard to spin it as a success.

        People still sympathize with the "starving artists" line, and some are still terrorized, afraid to be accused of piracy, but most understand that there's something wrong with the system and are willing to rebel against it. Pretty much everyone agrees that time shifting, format shifting, and device shifting should be allowed. They were greedy idiots to ever try to fight those unwinnable battles.

        • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday October 16 2017, @05:49PM

          by Wootery (2341) on Monday October 16 2017, @05:49PM (#583069)

          Weaker yet

          Oh come on. If an entity has great sway over US law, that means they're powerful. If they're powerful, that means they aren't weak.

          You've already conceded that they're continually getting their own way. You really want to call them 'weak' because you don't like the way they're doing it?

  • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Saturday October 14 2017, @10:12PM

    by jimshatt (978) on Saturday October 14 2017, @10:12PM (#582418) Journal
    This law would be like reverse SEO for news publishers. The idea that those site pay thousands of euro's to shady SEO companies to get top ranks in Google, but then don't because Google will refuse to pay link tax makes me laugh.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:01AM (#582458)

    It sounds a lot like what Spain passed as law years ago. Biggest effect was that Google closed their News service for Spain, as the law said they must pay everyone. No exceptions.

    Notice the last thing. If they paid, big business would get extra money claiming they are big and thus deserve most of the payments. They would get money from people "advertising" the newspapers. If there was no money to pass around, everyone was out of the aggregator, but small media was the worst hit as it was a big path to them. Even services that are not media get trashed, so big corps can push their equivalent ones or stomp personal sites.

    And that is what happened, big media got a small hit, but managed to silence competition and put others into risky ground. Not their first plan, but outcome was acceptable for them. Of course they would had prefered if they could charge for people for saying "go read the news here" instead of them paying for that. Upside down world.

    In Germany something like this took place, but IIRC it was optional and some companies dropped the money charges, or did after some time when the traffic suffered.

    Now you see why European news companies don't want to talk: it's a retarded "pay to do a job instead of get paid", shows how dickish some of news corps are, it has bad examples of what will happen instead of all being "doubts & maybes", it destroys the facade of caring about news or even plain people, just more corps pushing their agendas (profit and power).

    (Yes, TFA mentions all this... just giving my personal experience as reader of such media)

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