Last week, the JURE committee of the European Voted to approve the current draft of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market this includes proposals to implement a link tax and that ISSPs must implement something akin to Google’s Content ID, to defend copyright from whatever. These are now it seems called upload filters. I’ve read a bit and here are my notes.

  1. This Wednesday, an EU committee voted to break the Internet: this Sunday, Berliners take to the streets to say NO! by Corey Doctorow, a good and concise exposition of the proposed bad laws.
  2. The EU’s disastrous Copyright Reform, explained by its lovers and haters, from the nextweb. The title has it all, fabulous, 2nd level detail with quotes from Reda & Voss, captures the issues including the effect of barriers to entry on innovation and monopoly, and the de-facto enclosure of News which is politics.
  3. JURI’s out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just ‘break the internet’? by Orlowski, not as vitriolic as usual he talks of equivalence between music/movies and news providers. He also talks of the ECJ’s courts protection  of the internet in overturning the
  4., in this article Julia Reda, analyses the Voss proposals, presents her own including a reliance on Voss’s predecessor’s position, supported by the previous presidency. (of the council). She proposes defending the right to link and presuming the original publisher holds the copyright. Voss proposes mandating upload filters and creating a secondary copyright liability on the platforms. (The current law is that copyright material must be taken down when notified of copyright infringement). This is a form of prior restraint, and will not, and is designed not to, take account of fair use and other exceptions. Reda rejects upload filters and quotes her EU allies.
  5., here Julia points at the votes on JURE, includes the French FN, what are Socialists doing voting with them
  6. Here’s the parliament’s press release,
  7. , on the link tax and the difference between original and ancillary copyright rights. The news organisations don’t have the copyright on what they’re trying to tax the news aggregators for.
  8., this article looks at the impact on games, in particular those games that permit use rauthored content. They point out that the large proprietary companies buy licences, but the open source companies would need to develop protective processes. This would reinforce the monopoly power of the current large incumbents.
  9. European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Gives Green Light to Harmful Link Tax and Pervasive Platform Censorship/ at Creative Commons, a quite good and brief criticism of the two key changes.
  10. 70+ Internet Luminaries Ring the Alarm on EU Copyright Filtering Proposal at the EFF.  The signatories include, Vint Cerf, the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the Mozilla Project Mitchell Baker, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, and net neutrality expert Tim Wu. It raises the prospect of code being blocked, what’ll happen to Github, although it’s now owned by Microsoft and has the money to resist. It notes the lack of an EU fair use right and so means that to be legally safe all potential infringements will need to be blocked.
  11. UN Free Speech Expert: EU’s Copyright Directive Would Be An Attack On Free Speech, Violate Human Rights, from techdirt, also linked here the UN Rapporteur’s statement. Will the court strike it down? Has it struck the Spanish and German harbinger laws down? (I think not.)
  12., describes the current law, and proposed changes. Fairly old, in the scale of things, but alarmingly suggests that hosting cached copies, and user postings of copyright material is making available to the public and thus exposes the hosting company to copyright infringement charges.
  13. Fortune Magazine on Ancillary Copyright in Europe/, this article looks at the failure of the German & Spanish attempts to impose a link tax in their own jurisdictions and its negative effect on startups.  Handelsblatt in an article, entitled Berlin court may upend German copyright law signposts the Berlin State Court’s consideration of the legality of he German law, and Julia Reda, on twitter, notes that the Berlin Court decides to refer it to the ECJ.
  14. The IP Kat in 2015 notes the Commission’s proposals and places them in the murky waters of the CJEU rulings which makes hyperlinking legal even if linked to copyrighted material.

The Creative Commons article says,

Over the last months we contributed to massive online campaigns to #SaveTheLinkstop the #CensorshipMachinesprotect education, and promote innovation in research and text and data mining. These efforts were organised by dozens of civil society and digital rights organizations, and hundreds of thousands of people made their voices heard in calling for a more progressive and balanced copyright in the EU.

It also points at this site, #saveyourinternet #deleteart13 which calls on us to lobby our MEPs to call the law onto the floor of the EP and then to vote it down.  This article has several pointers to the EP process, including this one from the EDRI.

The 70+ Luminaries article includes the quote from them,

What began as a bad idea offered up to copyright lobbyists as a solution to an imaginary “value gap” has now become an outright crisis for future of the Internet as we know it. Indeed, if those who created and sustain the operation of the Internet recognize the scale of this threat, we should all be sitting up and taking notice.

The JURE rapporteur is a German from the EPP called Axel Voss.

Julia’s article points at the committee minutes which show that London Labour’s Mary Honeyball voted in favour of these measures, here she is … on the web and on Twitter.

Back to Plenary

The European Parliament reconsidered their position on 12th Sept. The Commission & the Parliamentary rapporteur brought several amendments, and the EP voted to send the new proposals to trialogue, this includes the #linktax and #uploadfilters. It also now strengthens sports event copyright.

  1. The EFF reported their disappointment here …
  2. The EDRI fisk a letter explaining support for the JURE position.

Julia publishes the result

and writes a Blog on the votes, amazingly the vote on article 11 was not a roll call vote, we don’t know who did what!

I have examined the source document for Julia’s chart above and conclude that all of Labour’s MEPs except Catherine Stihler voted in favour of the Article 13 upload filters, the Tories were split and UKIP seem to have opposed.

She summarises the academic/neutral support on twitter


2 Replies

  1. This was voted on the European Parliament on Sept 12th and they voted to send it to trialogue. I amended the article to capture various comments.

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