Friday, 6 July 2018

European Parliament votes against copyright reform > and 'save the internet'

Yesterday, a crucial vote was taken on the internet and 'copyright':
Futures Forum: European Parliament to vote on copyright reform > "Today's vote will change the face of the internet forever, from an open platform to a place where anything can be removed without warning"

Blogs such as this one depend on referencing and linking to other sources of information on-line: 

Share content. Share links. Share ideas. Share data.

How to Cite Sources & Not Steal People's Content on the Internet - Hubspot

In other words, it's not just 'Big Tech' who like to share: 

European Parliament votes to block copyright reform

Google, Facebook and other big firms argued the text would stifle creativity and content-sharing online.


The European Parliament voted Thursday to reject a sweeping reform of copyright rules for the internet age, reopening debate on a controversial bill that sets Big Tech against publishers and media companies. The rejected bill, which aimed to beef up enforcement of copyright rules online, will now be sent back to Parliament for further discussion, and all 751 European lawmakers will be able to submit fresh amendments to the text.

After nearly two years of debate, the rare move to reject a bill already approved by a Parliament committee — usually enough to send the bill on — shows just how much is at stake. If passed in their current form, the new rules would have forced companies like Google and Facebook to monitor their platforms much more closely for copyright infringements, and handed more power to license holders ranging from publishers to media companies and record labels.

European Parliament votes to block copyright reform – POLITICO

Again, this has not just been the big players refusing to pay for content:

Campaigners denounced these provisions as unworkable, and a petition named “Save Your Internet,” led by MEPs like Julia Reda of the European Pirate Party, attracted more than 700,000 signatures. Today, Reda hailed the vote as “great success,” but said campaigners needed to “keep up the pressure” if they wanted a permanent victory.

EU sends controversial internet copyright reforms back to the drawing board - The Verge 

The EU is killing our democratic spaces using copyright as a Trojan horse

The proposed text is deeply wrong ...
... it has the balance between monopoly, expressed through copyright, and freedom of speech fundamentally wrong. As Europeans we expected our representatives to be designing the institutions of the future, not relying on and constructing all the architecture for our shared information based on outdated nineteenth century copyright laws.

The EU is killing our democratic spaces using copyright as a Trojan horse – DiEM25

The BBC reports:

Controversial copyright law rejected by EU parliament

5 July 2018

A controversial overhaul of the EU's copyright law that sparked a fierce debate between internet giants and content creators has been rejected.
The proposed rules would have put more responsibility on websites to check for copyright infringements, and forced platforms to pay for linking to news.
A slew of high-profile music stars had backed the change, arguing that websites had exploited their content. But opponents said the rules would stifle internet freedom and creativity.
The move was intended to bring the EU's copyright laws in line with the digital age, but led to protests from websites and much debate before it was rejected by a margin of 318-278 in the European Parliament on Thursday.

What were they voting for?

The proposed legislation - known as the Copyright Directive - was an attempt by the EU to modernise its copyright laws, but it contained two highly-contested parts.
The first of these, Article 11, was intended to protect newspapers and other outlets from internet giants like Google and Facebook using their material without payment. But it was branded a "link tax" by opponents who feared it could lead to problems with sentence fragments being used to link to other news outlets (like this).
Article 13 was the other controversial part. It put a greater responsibility on websites to enforce copyright laws, and would have meant that any online platform that allowed users to post text, images, sounds or code would need a way to assess and filter content. The most common way to do this is by using an automated copyright system, but they are expensive. The one YouTube uses cost $60m (£53m), so critics were worried that similar filters would need to be introduced to every website if Article 13 became law.
There were also concerns that these copyright filters could effectively ban things like memes and remixes which use some copyrighted material.

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Stars fail to convince politicians

By Mark Savage, music reporter, BBC News

Paul McCartney and Annie LennoxImage copyrightPA/BBC
Image captionThe vocal support of Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox was not enough to pass the legislation

The combined clout of Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Placido Domingo and David Guetta wasn't enough to persuade MEPs to make sweeping changes to copyright law.
They were among 1,300 musicians who urged politicians to enact a law forcing sites like YouTube and Facebook to use filters that would stop users illegally uploading their music. Musicians were being cheated out of money, they argued, even though websites were making huge profits off their work.
Critics said the laws would stifle creativity - with Creative Commons chief Ryan Merkley observing that The Beatles would have been prevented from performing cover versions under the proposed rules.
For you and me, it could have resulted in text, music and videos posted to blogs, social networks and comment sections being yanked from the net at point of upload - somewhat like YouTube's controversial Content ID system on steroids.
In the end, MEPs decided the changes needed more debate; and sent the proposals back to the Commission. The two sides will undoubtedly step up their campaigns in the meantime.

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What has the reaction been?

Opponents of the Copyright Directive celebrated the news that MEPs had rejected it. Julia Reda, a Pirate Party MEP who had campaigned against the changes, tweeted: "Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board."

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Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales told the BBC he hoped that the music industry could find a way to compromise before the September debate. "Don't think about filtering everything everyone uploads to the internet. That's a pipe dream but you are never going to get that," he said. Instead, he added, they should look to renegotiating deals with platforms such as YouTube to get "fairer remuneration".
BPI Music, which represents UK record labels, had supported the bill and said it would "work with MEPs over the next weeks to explain how the proposed directive will benefit not just European creativity, but also internet users".

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Controversial copyright law rejected by EU parliament - BBC News

There are plenty of campaigns:

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