EU copyright reform, article 13, and possible impact on CD

Dear Community,

If you've not yet looked into the details of the upcoming copyright reform in the EU, the following will shock you. No matter whether you're located in the EU or not, this will impact you, as all online portals that have a presence in the EU will need to comply.

The proposed directive has just passed through the EU Committee of Legal Affairs, and will be voted upon by the EU Parliament on 23 March. If the directive passes through parliament as well, it will become binding law throughout the entire EU by 23 March 2021.

So what does it mean, not only for CD, but every other online forum located in the EU, and even big portals like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc. that also have EU presences?

1. It will force upload filters on all these portals (article 13).

So what are upload filters? Think about YouTube. They developed an upload filter that automatically tests any uploaded video for copyright violations, and automatically rejects any video that is flagged. Development of that thing cost them more than 100 million dollars, and it doesn't work properly.

Everything that is user contributed (text, images, videos etc.) would have to be filtered through that software. As of now, it's a technology that exists exactly once on this planet, developed by Google/Youtube… They will set the pricing. They will decide who they're gonna allow access to it.

Failure to comply with this requirement would be more or less equal to shutting down the forum.

2. It will prohibit the use of content snippets with links, unless the platform acquires a license from the publisher.

So what's a content snippet?

It's basically a shared link with an attached snippet. Paste a link into Facebook, Twitter, CD etc. and it will fetch and display a preview within the portal:

(Side note: Fox News only focuses on the impact on Google and Facebook, and completely ignores how this law will affect tiny forums like CD.)

So in order to do what I've just done here, after 23 March 2021, CD would require a license from Fox News to use this snippet of content. Of course this rule would cover sharing of snippets by all CD users, and licenses from all news publishers. If any of you guys would share any snippet for which we're not licensed, the publisher could sue CD/me for compensation, and I would probably also get fined.

So am I exaggerating here? I wish I were... It really is going to be the disaster of the magnitude described.

So what can you do, especially if you're a EU citizen?

1. Don't ignore the mess until it's too late. Be aware of the development, and share your knowledge about it, as it concerns everyone.

2. Sign the petition.

3. Use the hashtag #SaveYourInternet

4. Write to your MP/MEP, especially if they are pro copyright reform. An overview of all MEP and their view (pro/con/unknown) in the links below.

5. If you have a vote in the EU parliamentary elections in May, make sure not to vote for any copyright reform proponent. You can find both proponents and opponents across the entire political spectrum.

6. Join the protest (online and offline).

Further information:

https://saveyourinternet.eu/ (overview of all MEP and their view)

https://savetheinternet.info/ (petition and list of offline protest events)

https://juliareda.eu/eu-copyright-reform/ (Julia Reda MEP, Pirate Party; not endorsing the party here, but pointing to a prime source of information)

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    The EUdSSR is showing its true colors more and more boldly ... it's time the apparatchiks in Brussels become known for what they really are ...

    EU has nothing to do with democracy, and the one political body where the people are given the opportunity to make an (x) on a piece of paper (the EU parliament) really has not power and doesn't decide on anything, as it is the EU commission (non-elected but appointed officers) which in essence dictates EU policy.

    Would be nice if the EU elections coming up in May would signal the beginning of the end of this "globalist" EU monster ... .

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,267

    EU is such a stupid organization and Brexit needs to go to everyone else. This law is about the most absurd thing I have ever heard of.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 463

    Wow, this is pretty crazy!

    If this law passes does this mean that we on these forums(or anywhere else) will not be able to post or link URL's without first getting written legal permission? What about non-linked URL's I wonder?

  • JanJan Posts: 248

    forums hosted outside the EU will not care. Logos/Faithlife for example, will not care.

    Links without preview snippets will always be fine. The law is only about content snippets. Without legal written permission, none of the EU based sites and forums, nor the big platforms like Facebook, will need written legal permission from every single publisher that users place links (with snippet) to.

    Example:

    • You place a link to NYTimes for example
    • CD has no license to use snippets from NYTimes
    • NYTimes sues me
    • I have to pay damages and a fine.

    I suspect that the forum software will receive an update in the next two years that removes the option to preview linked content in snippets. That's something I could live with. The bigger issue will be the automated filtering for copyright infringement.

    A few years ago, Germany tried to introduce a "link tax" for the large portals like Google News, the result being, that Google removed articles by all publishers that wanted to charge for content snippet, and provided almost exclusively articles by small independent newspapers.

    Consequently the large publishers sued Google for excluding their content from the portal. Needless to say they lost. One can't eat their cake and have it too. Now all German publishers provide their snippets for free again.

    Whether it will self-regulate in case of the new law as well is difficult to say, as the scope is now massively broader.

  • Blog => https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2019/02/15/eu-copyright-reform-advances/ mentions a revised Article 13 change:

    1. Additional Exemptions: In addition to the original exemptions carved out, the revised Article 13 carves out an exemption for online services that are younger than 3 years old, have an annual turnover less than €10 million ($11.3 million) AND receive fewer than 5 million visitors per month.

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • JanJan Posts: 248

    Yeah, I'm aware of the revision. That gives new platforms a grace period of 3 years. The problem is the word AND. All three conditions have to be met. Replace that with OR, and at least only the big corporations would have to deal with this.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,411


    The thing I note in the article to which @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus linked (thanks, by the way; an excellent find!) is that the specific exemption cited in the pull quote had to do with Article 13 - about content filter installation - not with Article 11, which is about impermissible snippet links. The article reports a lack of information about the extent to which Article 11 might have been revised. I wonder whether, then, whether the referenced exemption would have any impact on Article 11 violations.

    I too noticed the word "AND," which in the case of these forums doesn't raise an issue EXCEPT that in a couple of years CD will be more than three years old, and therefore, no longer qualified for exempted status.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,004

    @Bill_Coley

    I too noticed the word "AND," which in the case of these forums doesn't raise an issue EXCEPT that in a couple of years CD will be more than three years old, and therefore, no longer qualified for exempted status.

    @CM response: It sounds like CD needs a rebirth (born again) to survive. In another thought: Can we live without "content snippets"? Or life is worth living without it? CM

  • JanJan Posts: 248

    We can surely live without content snippets. I assume the developers of the forum software will make the option available not to use snippets by March 2021.

    However, we can't live without upload filter. Since CD is more than a year old, it will already be more than three years old the day the law becomes effective.

    But let's wait for the parliamentary vote on March 23. I'm considering joining the protests in Brussels in front of the parliament on 23 March. That should be fun.

    Then the election in May might trigger a reversal process. However, that will happen only if we manage to educate the voting population about the mess (with "we" I don't mean only CD, which is nothing but a tiny speck of dust compared to all the other platforms that will be affected.)

    YouTube, for example, has announced it would block most non EU channels in the EU, as well as shut down many of the EU based channels.

    https://www.youtube.com/saveyourinternet/

    That would probably mean that most of the excellent US based Christian YouTube videos would no longer be available to Europeans. That would be a disaster for reaching European Muslims with Islam-critical content, which is currently widely distributed via YT by people like David Wood, Sam Shamoun, Christian Prince and Jay Smith, causing many to abandon Muslim beliefs, and seeking truth in Jesus.

  • JanJan Posts: 248

    Guys,

    I'm joining the internet "blackout day" tomorrow, initiated by Wikipedia, the Pirate Party, and other Article 13 and copyright reform opponents.

    CD will not be available for the whole day tomorrow.

    I'm aware this is just a tiny platform, but if there's only one visitor who gets educated about the issue, it's worth it.

    See you all on Friday then!

  • JanJan Posts: 248

    Okay, the forum software doesn't allow for a custom offline message. We're staying online then...

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