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EU The Courts Your Rights Online

European Court Finds Copyright Doesn't Automatically Trump Freedom Of Expression 214

Posted by samzenpus
from the some-drop-science dept.
First time accepted submitter admiral snackbar writes "The European Court of Human Rights has declared that the copyright monopoly stands in direct conflict with fundamental Human Rights, as defined in the European Union and elsewhere. 'For the first time in a judgment on the merits, the European Court of Human Rights has clarified that a conviction based on copyright law for illegally reproducing or publicly communicating copyright protected material can be regarded as an interference with the right of freedom of expression and information under Article 10 of the European Convention [on Human Rights]. Such interference must be in accordance with the three conditions enshrined in the second paragraph of Article 10 of the Convention. This means that a conviction or any other judicial decision based on copyright law, restricting a person's or an organization's freedom of expression, must be pertinently motivated as being necessary in a democratic society, apart from being prescribed by law and pursuing a legitimate aim.'"
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European Court Finds Copyright Doesn't Automatically Trump Freedom Of Expression

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  • At last! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2013 @05:36AM (#42830395)
    I, for one, welcome our new european overlords!
  • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Friday February 08, 2013 @05:49AM (#42830473)

    While the EU has had a lot of criticism (some of it justified) for it's costs, it's impenetrable bureaucracy, and it's tendency to focus on the minutia rather than bigger problems, I think that it would be impossible to practically enact vital laws and opinions such as this on an international scale without it. Big government may be out of fashion on the other side of the pond, but it certainly has it's merits over here (where our governmental needs are different) and this kind of check against the increasing pressure and influence of fanatical commercial interests on the interpretation and drafting of legislation is exactly what we need right now to restore a little sanity to the situation.

  • Explains a lot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Friday February 08, 2013 @05:51AM (#42830489)

    Might go some way towards explaining the massive right-wing hate for the European Court of Human Rights and petty tabloid hate of 'European human rights' in general.

    Human rights and (rightwing politics, elite interests) of all colours generally don't get along.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Friday February 08, 2013 @06:03AM (#42830533)

    Could you explain why you think it's not good?

    Would you like to see political groups broken up for saying something that an individual would have been fine saying? It's happened all over the world in the past - the "legally elected government" cracking down on opposition parties simply because they oppose them, I'd say protecting the right of any organisation to express rational opposition to another is absolutely a requirement of civilised society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2013 @06:34AM (#42830619)

    And some statue of a woman with a torch. Which, ironically became the symbol of hope/freedom for Europeans fleeing to the U.S.

  • Re:Explains a lot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Friday February 08, 2013 @06:51AM (#42830685) Homepage

    Human rights and (rightwing politics, elite interests) of all colours generally don't get along.

    Sometimes in the effects, but not in the causes.

    For example, libertarians are usually all for human rights. What they are against are the "human duties" that come with many of those rights. So, as long as the right is something like "an human has a right to pursue happiness", that's fine. If it says "a man has a right to be happy", and this means someone else having the obligation to make him happy, not so much.

    Conservatives, on the other hand, generally aren't agains the rights themselves, but they have serious issues with the hierarchy of said rights. For example, abortion. A conservative (a western one at least) does think a woman should have right over her own body. If he didn't think so he'd be against anti-rape laws, which are entirely based on the right for a women to decide who she lets or doesn't let inside her body. What he doesn't agree with is that said right be placed above a human (fetus or not) right to live. Which in turn they don't think should be placed above the right of society to kill those humans who threaten it the most.

    It should be noted too that, from the perspective of many rightwingers, it's the left that doesn't respect many human rights, such as the right to fully express one's own personal beliefs wherever one is just because of one's profession by, for example, forcing one to remove religious symbols from one's work desk or wall.

    Gray areas. This theme is full of them.

  • by qbast (1265706) on Friday February 08, 2013 @07:10AM (#42830773)
    Your constitution is fine. You are just holding it wrong.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Friday February 08, 2013 @07:39AM (#42830905)
    Also, many European countries have a civil law system thanks to Napoleon. He may have been a dictator but he was a rather enlightened dictator for the time and swept away privileges, charters and other laws going all the way back to medieval times and replaced them with a civil code that enshrined many personal freedoms.
  • Re:Explains a lot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YttriumOxide (837412) <yttriumox&gmail,com> on Friday February 08, 2013 @08:28AM (#42831191) Homepage Journal

    I don't know why, the MAFIAA and artists are generally very left-wing.

    Only from a US (and to a somewhat lesser extent, UK) point of view. Remember that "left" from a (mainland) European perspective is generally viewed as significantly further left of "left" from a US perspective. Some policies of the US left are seen as draconianly "right" by many Europeans.

    It tends to be the case that in Europe, the word "liberal" still contains the core meaning of the word "liberty". It's definitely a moderated and controlled liberty (so, not "libertarian") but the goal is to promote as much freedom as possible for the greatest number of people.

    This is the case whether you agree or disagree with HOW it is done (e.g. higher taxes may seem to be the opposite of "liberty"; but it's viewed in context of using the money to promote the liberty of those who have less without impinging TOO greatly on those who have more, increasing the baseline liberty enjoyed by citizens overall (remembering for an extreme case of the opposite that in a Dictatorship, the Dictator himself has "complete liberty" at the expense of all others; this represents the most possible liberty for one; but the least for the population as a whole. At a lesser scale, the US at present provides a high level of liberty for those of moderate to high income, but less for those that are in the lowest income classes)).

    In my understanding, the US left tend to be more in favour of the "war on drugs" than the US right; but the typical European left tends to be against it, with the typical European right being moderately in favour of it.

    The biggest problem of course comes from the fact that "left" and "right" are pretty crappy descriptors of politics. Being in favour of higher taxes and a strong social welfare/benefit system really has almost nothing to do with your policies on gun control, which in turn usually has nothing to do with your policy on immigration. I can easily imagine multiple parties all with different platforms on each of these that would never fit in to the neat "left"/"right" divide that is so commonly thrown about.

  • Re:At last! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:26PM (#42835031)

    "I, for one, welcome our new european overlords!"

    This is nothing terribly new. Notice that it does NOT say that the concept of Copyrights is inimical to freedom of expression, it says that under certain defined circumstances, copyright CAN interfere with freedom of expression.

    The U.S. has long recognized this: it's called "fair use".

    So if you're looking for some kind of revamping of U.S. copyrights a a result of this, you're probably dreaming.

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