Copyright Directive: The European Parliament vote one new set of intellectual property regulations, which upset them activists of digital rights. Activists fear that new regulations will make it harder to distribute content and create new censorship mechanisms on the Internet.
The Copyright Directive is not yet complete, but it is theme "tripartite negotiations" between EU countries, represented by the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the Parliament. The resulting regulations will have to be approved once again by the European Parliament before they come into force.
However, the vote on Wednesday means that many of the controversial parts of the regulation, which are about publisher rights and upload filters, are likely to remain.
What articles are we talking about? Let's take a look:
Copyright Directive Article 11
Το άρθρο 11 θα παραχωρήσει στους νέους εκδότες ηλεκτρονικών ειδήσεων ένα νέο δικαίωμα: αν κάποιος αντιγράψει ακόμη και ένα μικρό απόσπασμα του κειμένου από ένα άρθρο τους, θα χρειαστεί permission. Ο μεγάλος στόχος φυσικά εδώ είναι το Google News και υποτίθεται ότι η Google θα πληρώνει τους εκδότες για να αναπαράγει τους τίτλους των άρθρων τους.
This idea, known in law as "subsidiary copyright", has been tried before, with disastrous results. The term and law originated in Germany, where large media companies informations they lobbied the government for a new subsidiary copyright law that was finally passed five years ago.
At that time, Google News included not only titles but also larger pieces of articles. As soon as the new law came into force, publishers began filing lawsuits against Google for licensing fees. Google reacted and stopped reproducing snippets of articles. So the lawsuits collapsed quickly, giving Google a temporary discharge. Years later, and despite ongoing legal disputes, Google has not paid anything.
In Spain, major publishers have called on the government to vote for even tougher copyright laws. This time, as a response, Google just shut down Google News services in the country.
The result was of course disastrous for small Spanish publishers based on Google News. Also small local news collectors did not have the money to pay.
Despite the above experiences from Germany and Spain, last year the European Commissioner for Copyright decided to try to introduce ancillary copyright throughout the EU. So we came to Wednesday's resolution allowing free movement URLs accompanied by "individual words" and no longer with snippets of text such as whole titles.
If the Copyright Directive eventually passes with 11 as it is at the moment, Google could close Google News across the EU. The only thing that will of course benefit will be great news publishers are based on the recognition of their domain in their domestic markets.
This is how competition is based on freedom of information traffic on the Internet.
Copyright Directive Article 13
Article 13 will affect all online services that host and promote content produced by the user. In short, if this content infringes one's copyright, the platform will be responsible for its distribution.
This means that platforms of all kinds will be required to use filters to stop their users from loading things they should not.
In 2016, Google said it had spent $ 60 million developing such a system. The system searches for digital traces of copyright by assigning a Content ID to each known work. However, as discovered along the way while uploading innocent videos, Content ID doesn't work perfectly. Several YouTube submissions have been mistakenly rejected for copyright infringement. Case in point one 10oor white noise video and the recordings of a prominent British pianist who he was playing Bach's works.
Copyright Directive: Regular Lobby
Although large technology companies are almost unanimous in the new regulation, the big media do not. But many are also those who believe that this particular movement is orchestrated by her Big Tech.
There is some truth to this. The Financial Times they said that Google has tried to approach publishers with a program that finances the development of new online media models to put pressure on Members of the European Parliament (Members) for the new regulation.
However, Google may benefit from the Intellectual Property Directive. It has the resources to pay for filtering systems that the smaller rival companies can not afford.
Also, if he has to end Google News in Europe, he will do it without hesitation, despite paying billions to thousands of publishers.
Of course many questions are created with all of the above. Possession of information and its distribution (as appropriate) is characteristic of repressive regimes. On the other hand, who can guarantee that even the big technology companies use this power with transparency? The examples which we have lately told us the opposite.
The final stage of the battle (last vote of the European Parliament) on the Copyright Directive is likely to take place in spring, shortly before parliamentary elections.
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