Last week we noted that the House (overwhelmingly) voted in favor of the CASE Act, which is presented as a „small claims court“ for copyright issues, but which has significant Constitutional issues, and would almost certainly lead to an uptick in copyright trolling activity. As we noted, the bill still needed to go to the Senate, and it appears that this is (at least for now) being blocked by Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul who have put a hold on the bill, and will introduce an alternative approach.
22.10.2019 The CASE Act also has bad changes to copyright rules, would let sophisticated bad actors get away with trolling and infringement, and might even be unconstitutional. It fails to help the artists it’s supposed to serve and will put a lot of people at risk.
Even though the House has passed the CASE Act, we can still stop it in the Senate. Tell your Senators to vote “no” on the CASE Act.
These are dark days for freedom on the Internet. As Cory Doctorow wrote in a recent post on Boing Boing: „We are witnessing the realtime, high-speed Chinafication of the western internet.“ Country after country is adopting laws that undermine freedom of speech, usually in the name of „enforcing“ copyright, which is apparently more important.
Over and over and over again, this is what they insisted. Of course, we all knew it wasn’t true, and the German government quietly admitted that filters were necessary a few weeks ago. That didn’t stop the vote from happening, of course, and the Parliament questionably moving forward with this plan. Still, it’s rather striking that just a day after the vote, as pointed out to us by Benjamin Henrion, France’s Minister for Culture gave a speech in which he admits that it requires filters and hopes that France will implement the law as quickly as possible in order to start locking down the internet.
Fundamentally, policing of speech can happen at one of two points: before content disseminates, or after. Policing content after it disseminates involves human agents seeing and reporting content and taking action or requesting action. This can happen on a huge scale or a tiny one: Facebook’s content flagging system, obscenity law in much of the EU and USA, parents who object to books assigned in schools, and China’s 50 Cent Army of two million internet censors, all these act to silence content after it disseminates.
Now that the copyright bill has been approved, each country in the European Union will have two years to adopt the new rules. Legal challenges are expected.
In a stunning rejection of the will of five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety.
The Internet is in danger and you can save it!
The latest comes in some quotes he gave in a great article by DW.com, which correctly highlights how Article 13 is going to lead to widespread censorship. Voss tries to defend it with some truly bizarre claims:
“We are just concentrating on platforms that are infringing on copyrighted works like YouTube. Not for dating platforms or merchandising or local social platforms. Only 1.5% of internet platforms will be affected.”
Only 1.5% of platforms will be affected?
In a new official statement on the Directive (English translation), Kelber warns that Article 13 will inevitably lead to the use of automated filters, because there is no imaginable way for the organisations that run online services to examine everything their users post and determine whether each message, photo, video, or audio clip is a copyright violation.
Kelber goes on to warn that this will exacerbate the already dire problem of market concentration in the tech sector, and expose Europeans to particular risk of online surveillance and manipulation.
(13.2.2019) In addition, under Article 11 of the new copyright code, European news outlets will receive a new right to “facilitate the way they negotiate how their content is reused on online platforms.”
(15.2.2019) The EU’s new copyright laws will force all websites to check all posts to see if anything ever published might be a copyright violation. That will include photos, videos, words, tweets, memes, source code — you name it.
(25.9.2018) How a risk-averse bureaucracy across the ocean may decide what you say and do online.
Despite following this stuff for decades, sometimes even I’m surprised at the levels of intellectual dishonesty coming from those supporting bad copyright policy. The latest is that, despite widespread controversy and criticism over Article 13, some in the EU Parliament thought the appropriate strategy was to speed up the timeline to the vote on the Directive — specifically holding the vote before a massive EU-wide protest that is planned for March 23. Rather than recognize that millions of people across the EU are so up in arms over the problems in Articles 11 and 13, German Member of the EU Parliament, Manfred Weber, the leader of the powerful European People’s Party (EPP) simply proposed voting before the protests could even happen.
It’s been really quite incredible to see MEP Axel Voss — the main EU Parliament cheerleader for Articles 11 and 13 — making the rounds over the past few weeks to insist that all the complaints about the EU Copyright Directive are wrong. Just last week we saw him make incredibly misleading statements about which platforms were impacted by the law, leaving out that the minor exemption only applied to companies less than three years old. And now, his political group in the Parliament, EPP, has put out an astoundingly misleading interview with Voss, which makes claims that make me wonder if he even knows what’s in Article 13.
Volker Rieck runs a German anti-piracy operation, and over the last year or so has been an increasingly vocal — if somewhat unhinged — supporter of Article 13 and the EU Copyright Directive. I won’t link, but a few quick Google searches will find some examples of Rieck trying to build out conspiracy theories of big giant American internet companies secretly running the entirety of the anti-Article 13 push in Europe. You could say that some of them dip into red yarn on a corkboard territory. Of course, as we’ve discussed before, the idea that any attacks on Article 13 are all really because of Google has been a key part of the pro-Article 13 lobbying strategy from the beginning. Of course, as we’ve highlighted, if you look at the actual lobbying, it’s been almost entirely from legacy copyright organizations, with very little coming from the internet industry.
Most notably we regret that the Directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of right holders and the interests of EU citizens and companies. It therefore risks to hinder innovation rather than promote it and to have a negative impact the competitiveness of the European Digital Single Market.
Furthermore, we feel that the Directive lacks legal clarity, will lead to legal uncertainty for many
stakeholders concerned and may encroach upon EU citizens’ rights.
We therefore cannot express our consent with the proposed text of the Directive.
One of the more obnoxious elements of the EU politicians brushing off the concerns of the public concerning the EU Copyright Directive, is their repeated, insulting and incorrect, claim that there really isn’t a public upswell against Articles 11 and 13 and that it’s all just manufactured by Google and „bots“ and „astroturfing.“ We’ve already pointed out that nearly 5 million people have signed the Change.org petition protesting Article 13 — making it the largest petition on that site ever.
Despite ringing denunciations from small EU tech businesses, giant EU entertainment companies, artists‘ groups, technical experts, and human rights experts, and the largest body of concerned citizens in EU history, the EU has concluded its „trilogues“ on the new Copyright Directive, striking a deal that—amazingly—is worse than any in the Directive’s sordid history.
When the EU started planning its new Copyright Directive (the „Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive“), a group of powerful entertainment industry lobbyists pushed a terrible idea: a mandate that all online platforms would have to create crowdsourced databases of „copyrighted materials“ and then block users from posting anything that matched the contents of those databases.
26 August – 15:00 – voor de Openbare Bibliotheek, Oosterdokskade 143
August 26 – 18:00 – Nedre Ole Bulls plass 3
26. August – 15.00 – Brandenburger Tor
August 26 – 18:00 – plac Wojska Polskiego
26. August – 13:30 – Paulsplatz
26. August – 15.00 – Schloßbergplatz
26. August – 14:00 – Mönkebergbrunnen
August 26 – 12:00 – Narinkkatori
August 26 – 11:00 – Fotoaktion am Marktplatz
26. August – 14:00 – Stephansplatz
August 26 – 18:00 – Rynek
26. August – 10:00 – Domplatte (Blau-Gold-Haus)
August 26 – 18:00 – Rynek Główny
September 8 – 17:00 – Praça de Luís de Camões
August 26 – 11:00 – Prešernov trg
August 26 – 18:00 – Plac Wolności
August 26 – Clemenstorget
25. August – 11:00 – Hauptbahnhof
26. August – 13:00 – Marienplatz
August 26 – 14:30 – Place Jules Joffrin, 75018 Paris
August 26 – 16:00 – Palackého náměstí
August 26 – 14:30 – Hôtel de Ville de Rennes
August 26 – 12:00 – Raoul Wallenbergs Torg
26. August – 14:00 – Marienplatz
August 26 – 16:00 – Plac Defilad
26. August – 15.00 – Stephansplatz
August 26 – 18:00 – Rynek, 50-101 Wrocław, Polska
(3.7.2018) The EU Copyright Directive is the first update to European copyright laws since 2001—making it the first time lawmakers have grappled with copyright since the internet became entwined with every facet of our lives. Some of the most prominent technology experts from around the globe have taken issue with several key items in the legislation. In June, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, joined more than 100 tech pioneers to urge European Parliament to reconsider voting in favor of the new regulations. Other signatories on the letter included Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers of the internet,” and Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
Axel, Junge, geh doch lieber in Würde in Rente. Schlimm genug, dass der Steuerzahler dir eine Altersvorsorge zahlt, deinen Wählern aber nicht. Sei dankbar und halte die Füße still.
Von Bürgerrechtsorganisationen über den Berichterstatter der Vereinten Nationen zur Meinungsfreiheit, die gesamte „Hall of Fame“ der Internet-Pioniere, Service-Provider, die aufstrebende europäische Digitalwirtschaft und nicht zuletzt die Autorinnen und Autoren, die tatsächlichen Urheber jener Artikel, für die von den Verlegern eine „Linksteuer“ erhoben werden soll. Seit sich zuletzt im Netz verbreitet hatte, dass auch die beliebten „Memes“ dadurch kostenpflichtig werden sollten, herrscht ein Proteststurm im Netz, MEPs aller Fraktionen werden mit Protestmails bombardiert.
It’s understandable that people are getting fatigued from all the various attacks on the internet, but as I’ve noted recently, one of the biggest threats to our open internet is the incredibly bad Copyright Directive that is on the verge of being voted on by the EU Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee.
When it comes to censorship in the name of copyright, we’ve made the point time and again that opening this door an inch will cause supporters of censorship to try to barge through and open it all the way. Inevitably, when a population tries to satiate the entertainment industry by giving them just a little censorship, that industry will ask for more and more and more.
A good example of this can be seen right now in Australia. Like far too many countries, Australia began a site-blocking practice three or so years ago. Currently, the Department of Commnications is asking for feedback on the effectiveness of this practice as well as feedback on each step in the process itself. The way it works in Australia is that rightsholders have to get an initial injunction which then winds its way to a site being blocked as a „pirate site.“ Well, for the largest entertainment industry groups in Australia, the feedback is essentially, „This is great, let’s censor even more!“