With GDPR in fresh memory, the EU commission is at it again. Actually, this time promoting our ecosystem (unwillingly) as a clear and present solution…
Remember the time YouTube Content ID took down a video with birds chirping in the background because an avant-garde song in its copyright database also had birds chirping in the background? Remember the time NASA’s videos of a Mars landing got taken down by a news agency? Remember the time a live stream got cut off because people started singing “Happy Birthday”? And all this happened despite the fact that Google is really good at what it does.
The controversial provision in question is Article 13, which requires internet platforms to filter uploads for copyright infringement. (original here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52016PC0593)
Internet platforms hosting “large amounts” of user-uploaded content must monitor user behavior and filter their contributions to identify and prevent copyright infringement.
The Commission wants to strengthen the music industry in negotiations with YouTube. The industry believes that the revenue Google shares with them from running ads on videos containing their content amounts to too little compared to payments from subscription services like Spotify, calling this the “Value Gap” or “Transfer of Value”.
For anyone who’s been on the internet long enough, the problem with Article 13 is pretty clear. It’s YouTube Content ID but for the entire internet. Axel Voss, the member of European Parliament who is taking the lead on the copyright bill, has argued that the actual proposed language never mentions a filter, although that just raises the question of what using “effective technologies” to prevent copyright infringement means, other than filtering. Although the most recently revised language exempts sites such as “online encyclopaedias,” clearly aiming to exclude the likes of Wikipedia, Voss has said in the past that he cannot predict which platforms will be affected.
Freedom of expression limited: Upload monitoring software cannot tell infringement apart from legal uses like parody, specifically enabled by exceptions and limitations to copyright. Filters also frequently malfunction. As a result, legal content will be taken down.
*** However, by register with NIM – our Ecosystem can!
Independent creators harmed: Platforms will receive instructions as to what content to automatically remove from large commercial rightholders. When independent creators have works removed by filters that are covered by exceptions or otherwise misidentified as infringing, they will effectively be deemed “guilty until proven innocent”, having to fight to have their legal creations reinstated.
*** However, by register with NIM – our Ecosystem can prove original registration.
Startup killer: This requirement places a huge burden on internet companies and discourages investment in user-generated content startups, preventing EU competition to the targeted dominant US platforms from arising, effectively locking in YouTube’s dominance. (See Allied for Startups)
*** With our CaaS (Content as a Service) startups only pay for licensing on a per license basis and don’t need any filtering as all Content is registered and available for licensing.
Unintended targets harmed: Community projects like Wikipedia would likely need to implement such filters, even though they only accept freely-licensed uploads. Code hosting platforms would also be affected, “undermining the foundations upon which Free and Open Source Software is built”. As would scientific repositories, “undermining the foundations of Open Access”.
*** Same here: With our CaaS (Content as a Service) startups only pay for licensing on a per license basis and don’t need any filtering as all Content is registered and available for licensing.