EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Enjay » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:14 am

I can't say I'm particularly happy about this new article. I have concerns about the way it is likely to be implemented and the likelihood of things being more restrictive/disrupted than they should be according to the letter of the ruling (via dumb filters and so on).

However, I think a lot of people simply aren't acknowledging the principle that is (or at least should be) behind the ruling: that people should not be using content that other people have the rights to without permission. Everyone is bleating on about restrictions of freedom and so on but a lot of it comes down to "I used to do this and now I'm worried that I can't" even though "this" is something that they perhaps shouldn't have been doing from the outset.

I don't have much faith that a bunch of politicians and law makers understand the technicalities or are tech-savvy enough to make a good job of a ruling to protect the rights of copyright holders, but that is meant to be what they are trying to do. Right?

I'd actually be interested to hear what people think might be a more workable way to protect copyright than people just shouting "OMG I CAN'T POST MEMES".
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Rachael » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:51 am

I know this is going to be a controversial stance for me to take - and please forgive me for being somewhat ignorant about the EU and its operatings - but when it comes down between protecting copyright and protecting free speech, I will always choose the latter. I do understand and support the need to defend one's own works, but the problem here is that copyright protections are more often than not abused, to the extent that it is harmful. Maybe I am wrong, but the way these articles are set up would essentially eliminate fair use.

I'm sorry, but no matter how you cut it, a mere link to a site, or a mere description of the page (with some sort of preview) that you are linking to, in my opinion constitutes fair use. It serves a purpose, it is educational (at least in regards to what is behind the link), and it also allows article writers to cross-link and cite their sources elsewhere on the internet, possibly even allowing critique. These articles as written, in my opinion, are simply too draconian, and that's quite shocking for an EU law. If this passes in its current form, it does not bode well for the rest of the world, especially since as others have mentioned, countries tend to like copy-catting other countries and adding their own spin to the laws.

What concerns me more than anything though, is something far more ominous: The politicians behind these articles seem to be either oblivious or completely unconcerned with the issues their constituents have with the bills. I'm not saying that the EU is losing its democracy overnight over this - but that is a very concerning sign of a possible rise of fascism within the government, right there. I've seen this movie before - I know how it ends. And I don't like that ending.

I do think that the members of the EU parliament need to be investigated for possible financial collusion, particularly with corporations or executives, and it needs to happen right now. If they're clean - so be it. If they're not, they're treading a terrible road, to a point that there may be no return.

To me, in my mind, EU and Canada and Australia have all represented the last bastions of true democracy in the world. It's a shame to see something like this happen to it.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Enjay » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:16 am

Rachael wrote:but the way these articles are set up would essentially eliminate fair use.

Agreed. That's why I'm interested to hear what people think could be done to both protect copyright and allow fair use to continue more-or-less unhindered.

I also hear what you are saying about free speech but I think that Americans have a more absolute opinion on that than people in many other parts of the world. The impression I get is that Americans generally believe anything should be allowed to be said (the old I'll defend to the death your right to say it thing). However, that isn't the case everywhere. Obviously there are utterly abhorrent extremes in the other direction but many parts of the world are able to deem certain things unacceptable to be said without becoming oppressive overlords. Which is why hate speech laws can and do exist without restricting the day to day business of the vast majority of the population. I'm not saying any of the above positions are right but so often I've seen Americans bring the "OMG the EU is so anti-free speech" argument to the table when a) it's not true and b) it's because the default American position is actually quite extreme (or seems to be). So, they are judging by their standard but doing so might not be appropriate for the situation they are judging (something Americans, and Westerners generally, don't seem to be very good at moderating.) I'm not saying you actually did that, it's something that has been percolating through my brain ever since debates about this article 13 thing appeared and your comment just reminded me about it.

I also hear what you are saying about oblivious or unconcerned politicians. I fully agree with that and I fear that the real issue here is that people ignorant (wilfully or otherwise) of the implications are making laws that they don't fully understand the technicalities of. Then everyone else will have to compromise their position to comply with an inappropriately worded piece of legislation. I suspect some of the law maker's attitudes will be "we'll set the principle in law and it will be the job of the tech-savvy people to sort out how to do it" without realising that there may not be an easy, appropriate or workable way to implement it. So we'll just get stuck with an excessively restrictive system that complies with the law by going too far because complying with the intent more closely is just too difficult.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Chris » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:04 am

Enjay wrote:Everyone is bleating on about restrictions of freedom and so on but a lot of it comes down to "I used to do this and now I'm worried that I can't" even though "this" is something that they perhaps shouldn't have been doing from the outset.

This is ultimately the "think of the children!" for copyright. Of course the basic idea of preventing people from unfairly taking other peoples' work is good to have, but the issues are far more complex and nuanced than can be solved by automated systems, or by suggesting that linking to a web page could be as bad as copying it. Thinking that automated algorithms can fairly and accurately detect things like fair use (parody, teaching, news reporting, etc) is laughable, the tech industry has said it's laughable, and we have empirical evidence showing that it's severely flawed even when implemented by a company that invests heavily in automated algorithms, but it was voted through anyway. It's not only going to be ineffective at stopping copyright infringement, but it's going to cause a lot of collateral damage.

It doesn't help that the current situation with copyrights is ludicrous, with all signs suggesting it's going to get worse before better. It was originally something like 20 years or something after publication, IIRC (yes, you could be alive to see your own work become public domain). The idea of copyright is to give you a time-limited government-granted exclusivity of making copies of a particular work, so that you could sell it to sustain yourself as you continued to create new things. Copyright isn't a human right, it's not something you get just by being alive, it's something the government grants you with certain conditions and limitations. It was to incentivize creativity by allowing creators to make money from the things they create, with the understanding that it will eventually become public and part of the free culture and society that enabled you to create it in the first place. After 20 or so years, you should've made your money back on the creation*, and moved on to other things to make money from and sustain yourself on.

But as it is these days, if I make something right now, this minute, my great-grand-kids would lucky to see it enter the public domain before they die of old age. And as long as Disney is scared of losing exclusivity of the Mouse, my great-great-grand-kids likely won't see my creations in the public domain either.

* It should be noted that losing copyright doesn't prevent you from continuing to sell the creation, you just don't have the exclusive right anymore. If after 20+ years you still think there's money to be made on something, there's nothing to stop you from incentivizing people to buy from you instead of finding a free copy elsewhere.

I'd actually be interested to hear what people think might be a more workable way to protect copyright than people just shouting "OMG I CAN'T POST MEMES".

The problem is, IMO, the copyright system as it currently is isn't worth increasing the protections of. It's a monstrosity warped by greedy corporations that do everything they can to block competition and maximize profits, and trying to improve protections within the current framework is going to give massively unfair advantages to those corporations that made it what it is, to the detriment of indie creators and the rest of society.

Copyright needs sweeping reform before we can see how to fairly protect it, and significantly shortening its length should be the first step. There should also be provisions in place for being able to easily identify the owner of a copyright. Especially in the games industry these days, there are so many titles where no one can say who actually has the copyright (or the copyrights are such a tangled mess, it can't be undone without significant work that there's not enough monetary gain to do; a clear sign the copyright has probably completed its purpose if there's so little money left to make on it). So many things are left buried never to see the light of day again, because no one can say they own it... or worse, someone does say they have it but refuses to do anything with it (again, a sign the copyright has probably completed its purpose if they no longer need to make money on it).
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Enjay » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:33 am

The current system certainly is a clunky mess. At it's core, the protection of the rights of someone who created having the right to control how that content is used seems fair but then the edge cases, the vested interests, the march of technology and a whole bunch of other things have had "bolt ons" added with varying degrees of forethought for the implications and so we have a unnavigable mess.

And there is also the situation where the appropriate timescale perhaps should vary too (and, indeed it does). Computer technology evolves very rapidly and the situation of games and so on being lost to the world simply because of unclear copyright status is very real (and certainly relevant to a community like ours). But would a computer gaming timescale copyright suit all applications? Probably not. Is 20 years right for music or literature? Honestly, I don't know.

It's also not just about money. For example, some friends and I wrote a completely original live action role playing game and rule-set that we actively copyrighted. There was never any intention to make money from it, but we did want our creation, the result of an extended period of very hard work, to be used by us or people we had authorised and we didn't want other people doing the whole "you made this? I made this" thing with it (which was very much a risk at the time, and still can be). We still use the core of those rules to run occasional events and we brand things so that they are ours. We wrote those rules almost 25 years ago but our position on them hasn't really changed. I remember writing those rules like it was yesterday. 25 years ago seems surprisingly recent.

Speaking of vested interests, Paul McCartney has been very active in pushing for longer music copyright durations (basically, as I understand it, his motivation is that he is outliving the copyright of many of the songs he created and/or owns the copyright of) and has been an active supporter of the strengthening of EU copyright legislation. In particular, he seems to have a bee in his bonnet about YouTube. Opinions vary greatly on whether he is right to do so and how much what he has actively supported, and aided the success of, will help or hinder others. It can probably be considered another example of the complexity of the laws increasing because of being tailored to the needs of a small but powerful subset of interested parties.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Gez » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:52 am

Enjay wrote:Speaking of vested interests, Paul McCartney has been very active in pushing for longer music copyright durations (basically, as I understand it, his motivation is that he is outliving the copyright of many of the songs he created and/or owns the copyright of) and has been an active supporter of the strengthening of EU copyright legislation.

You can't outlive the copyright of stuff you've created. By definition. Copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive ... protection

So the only way to outlive copyright of your own stuff would be to first be pronounced legally dead, and then come back to life while still being officially dead, and stay around for 70 years.

Now that's an interesting premise for a movie, I think: "Right of the Living Dead", starring zombie artists, who'd go around devouring the brains of artists who use material recently released into the public domain. I mean, the metaphor just works.

But anyway, Paul McCartney isn't actually a zombie as far as I know, despite what one could think, so any stuff he has copyright over should not be of any concern for him.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Enjay » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:14 am

I'm sure a few years back he was pushing for a change because it used to be the case that he was coming to a point where he was going to lose control over some rights. Some aspect of the law was changed because of his efforts - but I don't recall the details. I assumed it was copyright related, but I could be wrong. Whatever it was certainly hit the news in the UK at the time. Unfortunately, I can't find any useful articles about it because all my searches come up with items about his recent support for the new EU legislation.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Gez » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:13 am

It might have been about related rights. For example, if you record yourself singing "Bungalow Bill", you obviously won't have a copyright on it -- you don't own the song lyrics, or composition after all -- but you do get a performer's right on your own performance.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Rachael » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:44 am

Enjay wrote:I also hear what you are saying about free speech but I think that Americans have a more absolute opinion on that than people in many other parts of the world. The impression I get is that Americans generally believe anything should be allowed to be said (the old I'll defend to the death your right to say it thing). However, that isn't the case everywhere. Obviously there are utterly abhorrent extremes in the other direction but many parts of the world are able to deem certain things unacceptable to be said without becoming oppressive overlords.

For all of America's flaws, in my opinion this is probably one of the better things about it. Much as I, myself, detest hate speech and the like, the fact that people feel free to say it gives me a way to see their absolute vileness right on their sleeve.

The American government does not believe in "absolute" free speech - there are limits here, too. For example, you can be held liable for inciting panic and/or violence (i.e. yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre), and you can also be held liable for slander (i.e. publicly claiming that John Doe III is a pedophile, without any proof that he actually is, thereby risking and/or damaging his reputation). You also are not protected by the government when you exercise your free speech rights in a private setting, i.e. someone else's home - they have the right to ask you to leave.

So, even in America there are limits to free speech. Mostly, the amendment is designed to allow you to petition, protest, and ask for redress from the government. However, it has many other important and valuable uses, including protecting the media.

I know, inevitably, by talking about this, Alex Jones will come up in this. That is a very complicated case, and I am not quite sure where I stand on it. Alex Jones is a very vile person, and indeed Twitter/Facebook/Youtube/iTunes/etc all had the right to de-platform him, but the fact that they did is indeed a slippery slope - they're using him as an excuse to silence actual legitimate independent voices now, who do comply with their terms of service, who do not break the law, who do not incite violence or commit slander, and are actually concerned about the state of our government and the direction that the world as a whole is heading as a result of what happens here. But that all is not part of the Article 11/13 thing, so me saying this was merely to tie up a loose end in my statement.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Gez » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:00 am

Lots of people confuse free speech and compulsory hearing.

Just because you have the right to speak freely doesn't mean that other people are mandated to give you a platform and an audience.

And in the case of people like Alex Jones getting booted off Twitter or whatever, I think this is a good illustration of what's happening:
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Enjay » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:05 am

Thanks for the reply Rachael. I do feel better informed as a result of it. I need to read up a bit more about what "free speech" means in American law (and so do a bunch of people I've seen commenting online, apparently).

Rachael wrote:Alex Jones

I was only very peripherally aware of him. After watching a few more videos, I'm now more aware. I... I... Wow!

The most bizarre thing to me is that anyone can take him seriously and that he is supported and successful enough to (financially) sustain his outpourings of ranting, un-cited, non-sequiturial strangeness.

At least I know why there weren't many tadpoles in the local pond this year. Gay frogs! :lol:


Gez, yes, it's a common misconception that free speech means that you must listen. I have as much right to ignore as another person has to speak. The cartoon is pretty spot on too.

Another thing that seems to be considered rarely by the "speaker" is, "just because I can say something, It doesn't necessarily mean that I should say it".

[edit]
I forgot to comment...
Chris wrote:Copyright isn't a human right, it's not something you get just by being alive, it's something the government grants you with certain conditions and limitations.

I know this wasn't your point, and I'm straying off topic a bit, but it's also worth remembering that although certain things are agreed upon and enshrined in law as inalienable human rights that we all should be able to expect, they too are actually just things that governments - or higher international bodies - deem appropriate and grants us. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights for example, is still just a series of human decisions that those things are our right (which I'm fully behind BTW, and actively work towards seeing them included in my day-to-day job). Nature and the universe doesn't give a damn about any of them. So we only get them just by being alive because other humans agree with them and implement them.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Rachael » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:44 pm

Enjay wrote:At least I know why there weren't many tadpoles in the local pond this year. Gay frogs! :lol:

Indeed, indeed, my friend. :)
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Wiw » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:57 am

Enjay wrote:
Rachael wrote:Alex Jones

I was only very peripherally aware of him. After watching a few more videos, I'm now more aware. I... I... Wow!

The most bizarre thing to me is that anyone can take him seriously and that he is supported and successful enough to (financially) sustain his outpourings of ranting, un-cited, non-sequiturial strangeness.

At least I know why there weren't many tadpoles in the local pond this year. Gay frogs! :lol:


I hadn't even heard of him until Limealicious' Spider-Man streams.
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby Zen3001 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:44 am

sounds like censorship but I fucking hate these cringy memes everywhere and would be glad if they did get rid of them
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Re: EU Parliament Passes Articles 11/13

Postby wildweasel » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:23 am

Zen3001 wrote:sounds like censorship but I fucking hate these cringy memes everywhere and would be glad if they did get rid of them

I wish you would put more thought into your comments, because the issue runs a lot deeper than this, and you're not accomplishing much beyond demonstrating your own ignorance.
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