23

According to this article, the European Parliament is considering rolling out taxation of news aggregators:

(..) large European newspaper publishers have dreamed of charging news aggregators such as Google News for the privilege of sending readers to the publishers’ online articles.

However, according to the same source this measure was already enforced in Spain and Germany and did not generate the expected results:

The problem is, ancillary copyright proved to be a complete disaster in both Germany and Spain, failing to put a penny into the pockets of those press publishers — and in the Spanish case, causing losses of millions of euros.

Also several important organizations heavily criticized this law (e.g. Wikipedia):

Wikipedia copyright law banner

Why is the European Parliament still pursuing copyright law despite its implementation issues?

  • 8
    I don't know but here are three possible answers: (1) They hope that it might work better at the European scale (the usual reason to do anything at the European level, cf. subsidiarity) because major players would be forced to play ball, (2) they like the principles and don't worry about petty things like implementation, and (3) they don't care, don't expect this to become an actual law and just take an opportunity for posturing, letting the Council kill it later. – Relaxed Jul 4 '18 at 7:09
  • 5
    Note that the focus on the Parliament is somewhat misplaced, the initiative comes from the Commission, as it always does in the EU legislative procedure. The Parliament vote is just a step in that procedure and not the most important one. – Relaxed Jul 4 '18 at 7:11
  • 2
    The original idea was to ensure content creators were getting paid by mass consumer digital companies using their content on their platforms (see Julia Reda; Pirate Party). Unfortunately this has been somewhat subverted to enable big companies to have new sources of revenue. It's currently one of those Left vs Right issues in the EU parliament. And the reason why the Pirate Party, which wants to reform copyright, is voting against it. – armatita Jul 4 '18 at 8:52
  • 1
    While the proposal (and its two most controversial articles) may indeed sometimes be commented on as a whole, this question seems to focus on article 11, while some parts of the answers rather seem to focus article 13. Maybe this should be clarified a bit. – O. R. Mapper Jul 4 '18 at 14:07
  • 2
    Misleading title. "Why is the European Parliament still pursuing copyright law." I don't see moves from any country to give up copyright law any time soon! – Nigel Touch Jul 5 '18 at 14:40
25

The question should be: who is supporting this legislation through lobbying. And a bit searching finds a partial answer:

Some groups are opposed to the proposed Copyright Directive on the grounds it will ‘shut down the internet’, ‘ban memes’ or even hamper creativity itself.

PRS for Music, a non-profit organisation which represents thousands of songwriters and composers in the UK and beyond, has been campaigning for this new copyright legislation – fit for the internet age – for more than four years.

Likewise:

Of course, support for the directive remains. Crispin Hunt, Chair of the British Association of Composers, Songwriters & Authors, is in favor of the legislation, calling some of the criticism reliant on “an ability to weave a narrative that has no relationship to fact.”

Hunt is in support of Article 13, suggesting that it could “restore fairness to a broken market.” But even he admits that the articles remain vague, using this as a reason to dismiss criticism as “unconstrained hyperbole.”

And the Centre for the Picture Industry blog says:

Image creators could be thrown a lifeline by the EU if Article 13 is passed. However, many are keen to brand the much needed new proposal as creating limitations for Internet users. Somehow in a bid to close the online value gap for creators, some are so distressed that hashtags such as #SaveYourInternet are being brought to arms. But before getting wild with the retweet fearing the Internet is about die – let’s look how this new proposal could save photographers and other creators, and how all this scaremongering is misconceived.

I'm pretty sure there are similar organisations in other EU countries, although the info is probably not going to be in English. It would be hilarious if a UK-based lobby was the only force pushing this through given Brexit.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    It's a common misunderstanding, but actually EU law will remain part of UK law when we leave (a highly necessary measure - imagine the chaos of all that law changing overnight!). It will then be for the UK govt to repeal EU law on a case by case basis as it sees fit. Since this is no different to the govt's ability to repeal UK law, the effect of achieving this in EU law (so long as it happens before exit day) is effectively the same to the UK-based lobby. – JBentley Jul 5 '18 at 3:38
  • And, given that the UK in fact voted in favour of the vast majority of EU law that is out there today, one could reasonably assume that most of it will not be repealed or greatly altered, or at least that the risks of this happening are not particularly higher than they are for existing UK law. – JBentley Jul 5 '18 at 3:40
  • 4
    @JBentley: I guess I didn't express that part clearly enough. My line of reasoning was not that the Directive would cease to apply to the UK after Brexit, but that it would be easier for a group whose concern was only the UK to just lobby their national Parliament instead of the EU one (especially since future harmonisation law harmonisation, after Brexit, is in doubt). Also, after looking at CEPIC's "about" page, they're quite pan-European. – SX welcomes ageist gossip Jul 5 '18 at 3:43
  • 3
    It wouldn't be that surprising (at least to me) if it were mostly UK lobbyists and politicians pushing for this. The UK has, for a long time, used the EU (with its relatively opaque processes) as a vehicle to pass laws that would be unpopular at home. Much of the legislation that is blamed for Brexit is stuff that the UK either pushed for (like fishing regulations) or had an opt-out that they chose not to use (like migration from Eastern Europe). – James_pic Jul 5 '18 at 9:28
  • 2
    "PRS for Music, a non-profit organisation which represents thousands of songwriters and composers in the UK and beyond, has been campaigning for this new copyright legislation – fit for the internet age – for more than four years." Wow, that's ridiculously slanted. PRSs claim to represent musicians, but tend to be hopelessly corrupt, collecting massive amounts of money that somehow never quite gets around to finding its way into the pockets of the musicians they supposedly represent. They're parasites, nothing more, and their support alone is a good reason to kill this proposal. – Mason Wheeler Jul 5 '18 at 11:32
11

Question: Why is European Parliament still pursuing copyright law despite its implementation issues?

Because there have not yet been any implementation issues, as the law has not been implemented. There are various potential issues, the likelihood of which are often disputed. Presumably those in favour of the law believe these can be avoided, or do not outweigh the benefits they expect.

Also, please note the potential law is much broader than just impacting news aggregators. Regarding this small part, I will note that the quote from the article

The problem is, ancillary copyright proved to be a complete disaster in both Germany and Spain, failing to put a penny into the pockets of those press publishers — and in the Spanish case, causing losses of millions of euros.

clearly shows that the German and Spanish laws had different effects, thus showing that the implementation of the law does not always have to be identical even if the issues are addressed are the same. As such previous attempts to address an issue are only useful if the approach is intended to be the same as that which failed.

| improve this answer | |
  • 9
    "there have not yet been any implementation issues, as the law has not been implemented" - that claim is a bit misleading, as somewhat comparable laws (in the case of article 11) or technical measures (in the case of article 13) have been implemented before. It's true that for this particular law, the issues are "potential" and not yet observed in real life. – O. R. Mapper Jul 4 '18 at 14:11
  • @O.R.Mapper fair points, but please note I do address this in the latter half of my answer when focusing on the specific example of similar laws brought in the question. (And of course the main point of the first part of the answer was to emphasis that "Presumably those in favour of the law believe these can be avoided, or do not outweigh the benefits they expect.") – user19831 Jul 4 '18 at 14:21
1

This law is not intended to be used to protect copyright holders. Copyright holders are already protected by treaties passed by the European Union:

The first judgments of the European Court of Justice covering copyright were made under the non-discrimination provision of Article 6 EC (formerly Art. 7), and under the provisions of Article 36 which allows for restrictions on trade between Member States if justified by the protection of industrial and commercial property (including copyright). The directives were made under the internal market provisions of the treaties, notably Article 95 EC (formerly Art. 100a)

As well as each individual member state having it's own copyright law. This new Article 13 law is intended to be used to deter citizens of Europe from criticizing main stream media news articles, because simply sharing a link to a news article and explaining why it's inaccurate, misrepresentative, etc, will effectively become outlawed.

To believe that this legislation has anything to do with copyright law is naive.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Not true I'm afraid - we see that a) piracy is widespread, (the idea being that by shifting the onus onto a few easily fined entities make it easier to combat) and sharing a link and explaining why the linked to article will not be 'effectively outlawed' – user19831 Jul 5 '18 at 6:56
  • 1
    No, sharing a link and quoting from it will still be legal. There is this whole fair use thing that is not removed. The problem would be that an upload filter would have to stop the citation, and the hosting platform MUST pay the originating source for the article quoted. – Tschallacka Jul 5 '18 at 7:34
-2

Ok, this law is basically removing net neutrality and creating a tax for every consumer in case you steal some intellectual property.

You can read the proposition; wikipedia has linked it in the main page now. This proposition has clear purposes to benefit certain economic lobbies and not the people.

First this proposition aims to reduce intellectual property piracy of digitalized works. It aims to do this attacking the populace instead of the stealers. This proposition is based just in big companies claiming they are losing their money thanks to piracy. This proposition COMPLETELY ignored several studies, even one financed by the EU that demonstrated how piracy and the possibility of having some cultural work for free isn't affecting a bit those sales, and even this possibility can raise sales as it happens with video games, according with that study made by the EU they are ignoring.

We can conclude that we are talking about a law, made by conservative parties, to benefit those big economical powers that aren't unable to adapt their business to the internet. Think about big newspapers that are partial towards some parties, big discographics or TV broadcasters that are big enough to affect the public image of some parties. All of them are losing money because they couldn't effectively adapt themselves to the internet, and some new companies are doing it better than them. So this proposition is, apart from a tool to benefit political interests that aren't the same ones of the population ones, a tool to eliminate competence for big companies.

In Spain, the measures were extremely focused on destroying new blogs and digital newspapers that were mostly against the government policies. It was a way to shut down the new companies and to let the big media which has a lot of connections with big parties rule over the competence.

The measure heavily backfired, because big companies didn't see any improvement on their profits, that's because people are accustomed to new ways of consuming news, TV shows, music and movies. The people kept on focusing in consuming these products in the same way as before, so the big companies kept losing money for the same reason as before, because they don't know how to adapt the company to the new conditions of the market. Spain closed all piracy websites? People will find other ones from other countries, or buy Netflix or HBO, newspapers won't let them link news or read news? Ok, people won't enter and will find other news sources, making even worse the fake news effect and the social media news plague.

So what's the next step? Cutting the way out. Erasing net neutrality to force the users to enter that webs that the ISP wants you to enter, probably economic allies, and other big companies. ISP could reduce your bandwidth making it almost impossible to access a web, creating this way a hellish trap for the internet users.

This is not a conspiracy, is just old people not knowing what internet is or what it means, trying to bring benefit to the companies that "always were there" just to benefit themselves under the false believe that if these companies fall because they cannot adapt to todays world the country will fall too.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Links to the studies that you mentioned? – Communisty Jul 5 '18 at 9:54
  • "It aims to do this attacking the populace instead of the stealers." - eh? piracy is when the 'stealers' are the populace. – user253751 Jul 6 '18 at 0:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .