2018/12/13: The top scholars of the news media say that a right to control links will only cement the dominance of the legacy news media, while weakening the press overall. The world's most renowned technologists say that copyright filters are a stupid, dangerous, unworkable idea that is doomed to fail.
So Voss had to come up with "compromises" that would allow him to convince fellow MEPs that things weren't that bad. For example, he expunged all mention of "filters" from the filter rule, but still made it impossible for companies to avoid filters. He also allowed for minor exemptions for "microenterprises" that would maybe get some of them out from under the necessity of having filters.
These figleafs didn't fool his opponents, but they did let him advance the Directive through the Parliament and into the trilogue negotiations. However, the big rightsholder organisations hated even the appearance of compromise, and so first the movie companies and sports leagues denounced the Directive and asked to have their products removed from its scope, and then the music industry (who have been the strongest proponents of filters) completely condemned the process and called for a restart.
2018/12/03: a letter to MEPs from big film industry associations and sports leagues is raising eyebrows. Their message: They believe both the Parliament’s and the Council’s versions of Article 13 would end up benefiting the big online platforms – and they’d rather prefer to be left out of this mess altogether. They urge that their sectors be explicitly removed from Article 13’s scope, except in the highly unlikely case that both institutions drop all their work and return to the original Commission proposal from 2016.
In doing so, they are disavowing those in the media industry who ahead of the September vote in the European Parliament swayed MEP’s opinions by loudly claiming to be speaking for “European creators” when they asserted that the law, including Parliament’s version, was necessary to “save culture”.
2018/11/16: Now, the directive is in the final leg of its journey into law: the "trilogues," where the national governments of Europe negotiate with the EU's officials to produce a final draft that will be presented to the Parliament for a vote.
The trilogues over the new directive are the first in EU history where the public are allowed some insight into the process, thanks to a European Court of Justice ruling that allows members of the European Parliament to publicly disclose the details of the trilogues. German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda has been publishing regular updates from behind the trilogues' closed doors.
It's anything but an orderly process. A change in the Italian government prompted the country to withdraw its support for the directive. Together with those nations that were already unsure of the articles, this means that there are enough opposing countries to kill the directive. However, the opposition remains divided over tactics and that means that the directive is still proceeding through the trilogues.
The latest news is a leaked set of proposed revisions to the directive, aimed at correcting the extraordinarily sloppy drafting of Articles 11 and 13.
These revisions are a mixed bag. In a few cases, they bring much-needed clarity to the proposals, but in other cases, they actually worsen the proposals—for example, the existing language holds out the possibility that platforms could avoid using automated copyright filters (which are viewed as a recipe for disaster by the world's leading computer scientists, including the inventors of the web and the Internet's core technologies). The proposed clarification eliminates that possibility.
To get a sense of how not-ready-for-action Articles 11 and 13 are in their current form, or with the proposed revisions from the trilogues, have a look at the proposals from the Don't Wreck the Net coalition, which combines civil society groups and a variety of small and large platforms from the US and the EU, who have produced their own list of the defects in the directive that have to be corrected before anyone can figure out what they mean and even try to obey them.
2018/09/25: A major issue with upload filters was always their clash with another crucial piece of EU law, the eCommerce Directive of 2000, Article 15 of which explicitly forbids member states from imposing "a general obligation on providers … to monitor the information which they transmit or store, nor a general obligation actively to seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity."
This creates a safe harbor for platforms, but it also aids freedom of speech and stops EU countries from forcing privately held platforms to entrench surveillance mechanisms. And Article 13's advocates claim the latest text of the new Copyright Directive leaves people's rights under the eCommerce Directive unharmed.
the content industry may be happy with Article 13, but there is "almost universal dislike" among the tech and internet communities. "This is a disaster waiting to happen, from a practical perspective," he said. "Though the words ‘upload filter’ do not now appear in the directive, I haven’t yet seen any credible alternative way to do what is being asked. The proponents of the article certainly haven’t offered one."
Bernal said there was a risk of over-blocking that could end up hurting "smaller creators," particularly as the appeals process is as yet unclear, and the system could potentially be open to gaming by a new generation of copyright trolls.
And yes, this looks almost inevitably to come into tension or conflict with the eCommerce Directive protections. At the very least I expect some legal fights.
a classic example of ill-conceived law which will be counterproductive at best.
2018/09/24: Oggi non si possono pubblicare foto della Torre Eiffel illuminata dallo spettacolo di luci. Se infatti la torre non è più coperta da diritto d’autore in quanto opera architettonica di valore creativo, così non è per la coreografia di luci che la illuminano di sera. La coreografia è coperta da diritto d’autore e dunque non può essere ripresa o fotografata.
Altra cosa da tenere a mente: anche quando è prevista l’eccezione per uso privato e non commerciale, non si potranno comunque postare queste foto sui social, in quanto questi ne fanno un uso commerciale.
Art. 11: Aggregatori di news (Google News, Apple News, Flipboard...)
Potreste non trovarci più notizie di giornali europei — Essendo costretti a chiedere una licenza ai giornali per pubblicare link alle loro notizie, se non volessero farlo non potrebbero più pubblicare le notizie dei media europei.
Esempio: Sia in Spagna che in Germania una legge simile è stata approvata in passato ma Google News ha preferito non pagare e in Spagna ha chiuso con conseguente calo di traffico verso i giornali spagnoli.
Lo stesso vale per i social: potreste non poter più linkare notizie di media europei. Ma tranquilli, le fake news fatte in Russia invece potranno circolare liberamente non essendo soggette alla direttiva.
2018/09/19: EU has increasingly been concerned with making its copyright system more modern and more competitive as a whole, to attract investments.
If these provisions are implemented, they could have an impact on the amount of content that is actually available online. But Europe has been heading in this direction over the past several years.
Take linking and Article 11. This would not actually be a huge change: The highest EU court has already ruled on a number of occasions that unauthorized linking to protected content might expose one to liability. Under EU copyright, the core idea is that exclusive rights should be granted a “high level of protection.”
In the U.S., the law provides for a fair-use doctrine, but in Europe, even the making of a meme or a GIF is already a bit risky because of different legal approaches. All EU countries have closed lists of available copyright exceptions. In Europe, if you want to make a GIF from, say, Crazy Rich Asians, you first need to identify whether the law would allow that by means of a relevant exception, and then, if you find this exception, you need to check that all legal conditions are also satisfied.
So what now? If Europeans wish to push back against Article 11 and Article 13, they need to prepare to radically change copyright law, including an overall rethinking of its foundations and approach.
2018/09/12: Article 12a: No posting your own photos or videos of sports matches. Only the “organisers” of sports matches will have the right to publicly post any kind of record of the match. No posting your selfies, or short videos of exciting plays. You are the audience, your job is to sit where you’re told, passively watch the game and go home.
At the same time, the EU rejected even the most modest proposals to make copyright suited to the twenty-first century:
1. No “freedom of panorama.” When we take photos or videos in public spaces, we’re apt to incidentally capture copyrighted works: from stock art in ads on the sides of buses to t-shirts worn by protestors, to building facades claimed by architects as their copyright. The EU rejected a proposal that would make it legal Europe-wide to photograph street scenes without worrying about infringing the copyright of objects in the background.
Voss revealed that he hadn't realised that the text he voted in favour of contained Article 12a, which bans taking pictures or videos at sports matches even selfies or short clips of fans in the stands or antics on the field.
This is a longstanding priority of corrupt sports leagues like FIFA, one that tens of millions of European sports fans will be outraged by.
Voss says he doesn't know how Article 12a got back into the Directive, but says he'll "fix it."
The new rules will create many losers but few winners; there will be very little real benefit to most people working in creative industries. The drive to introduce them has come primarily from EU publishers - most notably Axel Springer - which have long been determined to get more money out of Google and other tech giants.
Publishers need to get over this fixation. Newspapers and news publishers have lost huge amounts of their revenue - but they need to accept that they’ve lost a lot of this fairly. Once, a newspaper was the best place to look for a new job, new properties in the area, or even a date. That’s no longer the case: bespoke job search, property search and online dating sites are quite simply better than what came before. It’s not unfair that people don’t place those adverts in papers any more.
2018/09/12: MEPs approved articles 11 and 13, meaning that unless member states push back (and good luck with that), it will likely become illegal to link to an article using the headline for that article, and all but the smallest websites will need to install upload filters to weed out copyright-protected content.
The effects? Google News would shut down across the EU and Facebook may well stop handling articles, making it harder for journalists like me to find an audience for our work. Platforms of all sorts that handle user-generated content would likely go out of business, unless they employ automated censorship of the sort that currently isn’t smart enough to tell an actual copyright violation from a parody or meme – and that is frequently used to take down things that don’t actually violate copyright.
Congratulations to all the media organisations that lobbied hard for collective suicide, and farewell.
All we can hope for now is the restoration of sanity in the trilogue negotiations. I have a couple of suggestions for achieving that end.
Firstly, stop talking about the “link tax”. It is not a tax on links; it is a tax on the text that accompanies links, most notably headlines. the phrase allows the likes of Axel Voss to claim the opponents of Article 11 are wildly misguided.
Secondly, regarding Article 13, please stop going on about memes so much. Newsflash: legislators don’t care about memes. They may care about the weighty issues at play here – immature AI, the entrenchment of dangerous censorship mechanisms across the web, the boost that this will give to YouTube over less-well-resourced European rivals – but the meme angle preaches only to the choir.
ALSO THIS MORNING, THE COMMISSION UNVEILED its long-threatened proposal for a regulation on “preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online”. Here’s the text and here’s my Fortune story on it.
«Oggi la cultura ha vinto sui soldi. I grandi colossi del web ora dovranno pagare cifre che possono assolutamente permettersi, a fronte dei milioni che incassano. È giusto che ci sia rispetto per la creatività e che si difendano i giovani», ha dichiarato il neo presidente della Siae Mogol. «Una volta che le acque si saranno calmate, Internet sarà libera come lo è oggi, i creatori e i giornalisti guadagneranno una parte più equa degli introiti generati dalle loro opere, e ci chiederemo per quale motivo tutto questo clamore», ha affermato il relatore Axel Voss, del Partito popolare europeo.
Domani, i parlamentari europei, dovranno sostanzialmente scegliere tra tre ipotesi:
1. appoggiare la proposta della Commissione come rimaneggiata dall’eurodeputato Axel Voss che è, sostanzialmente, quella bocciata a luglio salvo pochi colpi di trucco e parrucco incapaci di modificarne la sostanza;
2. appoggiare l’ipotesi dei Verdi europei e dei più integralisti bocciando radicalmente gli articoli della discordia (11 e 13);
3. votare per gli emendamenti presentati da una coalizione ampia di parlamentari di vari schieramenti – in testa l’eurodeputata Marietje Schaake – che pur aderendo all’idea di fornire a editori di giornali e industria dei contenuti più penetranti strumenti di difesa dei propri diritti, restano fermi su un “no” secco all’idea di creare nuovi artificiali e artificiosi diritti connessi al diritto d’autore e, soprattutto, a quella di affidare, nella sostanza, a filtri, robot e affini il diritto di parola di 500 milioni di cittadini europei e di miliardi di utenti del web in tutto il mondo.
The very design of these laws is to limit competition. What is often ignored in these discussions is that the record labels, movie studios and publishers pushing for these laws have always viewed the world in a particular way: where they "negotiate" against other big companies for how to best split up the pie. They don't want to negotiate with smaller companies. They want just a few companies they can negotiate with -- but hopefully they want the law in their favor so they can pressure that small list of companies to do their bidding. They certainly don't care what's in the best interests for actual creators, because their entire reason for being has been to take as much money out of actual creators' pockets and keep it for themselves.
The idea that Article 11 and Article 13 will, in any way, help creators, rather than legacy gatekeepers is laughable. The idea that it will somehow harm the internet giants is equally laughable. They can deal with it. What it will do is take upstart competitors out of the equation entirely and will significantly remove negotiating leverage for creators.
Gli eurodeputati sono stati sottoposti a una martellante attività di lobbying da giganti Usa del web, senza precedenti a livello Ue e partita già prima del voto del luglio scorso.
Fonti dell’Assemblea Ue hanno segnalato l’arrivo di ben 4,5 milioni di mail per influenzare i parlamentari, loro collaboratori ed euroburocrati vicini al dossier. Le telefonate sarebbero aumentate del 179%. è emersa la difficoltà di avvalersi di molti studi legali specializzati in diritto comunitario in quanto ingaggiati dalle multinazionali Usa ansiose di frenare la normativa sul copyright e il progetto Ue di una web tax per ridurre le pratiche di elusione delle tasse attraverso i paradisi fiscali.
Nel luglio scorso perfino i «pirati informatici» preferirono schierarsi con le multinazionali Usa del digitale, pur di bloccare tutto e non rischiare limiti alla libertà di internet.
September 12’s vote will be about whether startups, SMEs and the broader research community will receive a workable legal basis to conduct TDM. Without it, only those who already possess — or can leverage existing users to access — data points will be able to train superior algorithms. Without an effective data mining policy, startups and innovators in Europe will run dry. It’s not only that Europe’s AI landscape will stumble along like a 16-bit system, but also that the rest of the world will be running on 64-bits.
A bit like in the run-up to the Ariane-5 launch, the European Commission and many in the European Parliament don’t see the bug: Two points need fixing, according to Vice President Ansip, but he makes no mention of the crucial link between data mining and AI. A copyright directive which does not grant the possibility to conduct data mining on lawfully accessible content will leave Europe with a 16-bit version of artificial intelligence. In that version, only some researchers will be allowed to innovate — not startups, SMEs, journalists, libraries, or the wider research community.
A pianist performed a Bach composition for his Youtube channel, but Youtube's Content ID system pulled it down and accused him of copyright infringement because Sony Music Global had claimed that they owned 47 seconds' worth of his personal performance of a song whose composer has been dead for 300 years.
Just last week, German music professor Ulrich Kaiser posted his research on automated censorship of classical music, in which he found that it was nearly impossible to post anything by composers like Bartok, Schubert, Puccini and Wagner, because companies large and small have fraudulently laid claim to their whole catalogs.
This is a glimpse of the near future. In one week, the European Parliament will vote on a proposal to force all online services to implement Content ID-style censorship, but not just for videos -- for audio, text, stills, code, everything.
In the same way that California is a global net exporter of lifesaving emissions controls for vehicles, the EU has been a global net exporter of privacy rules, anti-monopoly penalties, and other desperately needed corrections for an Internet that grows more monopolistic, surveillant, and abusive by the day.
Many of the cheerleaders for Articles 11 and 13 talk like these are a black eye for Google and Facebook and other US giants, and it's true that these would result in hundreds of millions in compliance expenditures by Big Tech, but it's money that Big Tech (and only Big Tech) can afford to part with. Europe's much smaller Internet companies need not apply.
It's not just Europeans who lose when the EU sells America's tech giants the right to permanently rule the Internet: it's everyone, because Europe's tech companies, co-operatives, charities, and individual technologists have the potential to make everyone's Internet experience better. The US may have a monopoly on today's Internet, but it doesn't have a monopoly on good ideas about how to improve tomorrow's net.
L’indagine Copyright & US Tech Giants ha raccolto l’opinione dei cittadini dell’Unione europea in vista del voto del 12 settembre alla plenaria di Strasburgo, quando il Parlamento europeo torna a votare la cosiddetta riforma del copyright per far pagare ai colossi del Web un compenso ad artisti e autori di contenuti distribuiti sui social network e piattaforme digitali. Condotta da Harris Interactive su 6600 persone in Europa rappresentative della sua popolazione, ha dato un risultato molto netto: a favore della riforma l’89% degli italiani, dato maggiore rispetto alla media europea che arrivata comunque all’87%
One of the key talking points from those in favor of Article 13 in the EU Copyright Directive is that people who claim it will lead to widespread censorship are simply making it up. We've explained many times why this is untrue, and how any time...
La giornata di ieri ha fatto registrare le temperature più alte da quando il dibattito sulla proposta di direttiva europea sul diritto d'autore nel mercato unico digitale è, finalmente, esploso dopo due anni di torpore e di documenti silenziosamente scambiati nei corridoi delle istituzioni europee.