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Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-law-to-rule-them-all dept.
presroi (657709) writes "It has been 13 years after the last harmonization effort of copyright within the European Union and this period might soon be over. After the election of a new European Parliament in May this year, Jean-Claude Juncker has been nominated to become the new President of the European Commission. He has named a unified copyright his top priority, a statement repeated today at a hearing before the Greens/EFA group in the European parliament (transcript of the question by MEP Julia Reda and his answer in German, Video recording). These statements are coinciding with the upcoming release of a report by the General Directorate in charge of copyright, of which an advanced draft has been already leaked to the internet. The report analyzes four possible policy options, one of which is the introduction of a Single EU Copyright title."
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Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

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  • Good news (Score:4, Funny)

    by marcello_dl (667940) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @03:14AM (#47422557) Homepage Journal

    Nice to know that in our beloved EU the top priority for a politician is the harmonization of copyright. It means that all the other pressing problems have been solved.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I know what you mean. They just filled a pothole on my street. That must mean there's a cure for cancer, right?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:51AM (#47422789)

        They probably didnt mean to fill it, that would be fixing things. More likly, it was an implementation of the new and improved EU regulated speedbumps. Marked with the new and improved EU regulated paint and the new and improved EU regulated speedbumpsign.

        • by debma (3659077)
          You're right, it makes completely sense to allow drivers from other countries on your roads and then have different rules and signs. It's also correct that you'd better not regulate the production of chemicals. Who cares what they put in it or that it is produced by 10 year olds?
      • Dang, I must have missed the speech declaring potholes higher in the priorities list than curing cancer.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      What else, within the purview of the EU, does need to be solved and isn't being actively addressed?
      • Re:Good news (Score:5, Informative)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @05:36AM (#47422871)
        Corporate tax avoidance?
        • Corporate tax avoidance?

          Would that be like when you take your Standard Deduction (or Itemized, as appropriate for you) on your Income Taxes?

          Or deduct your VAT, if applicable?

          Do try to remember that "tax avoidance" is synonymous with "didn't pay any more taxes than legally obligated to". What it does NOT mean is "broke the law by paying less taxes than the law requires"....

          • Re:Good news (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @12:54PM (#47425091)

            So we really need a new name for when a company regularly avoids so much tax that it makes a profit off the tax system and another one for when it regularly pays zero taxes and shifts all of it's profits to another country while also consuming resources in the host company.

            I kinda like parasiticorp for the second one.

            The first is probably more "Evil scum back leeching bastards" but that seems too mild.

    • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday July 10, 2014 @07:25AM (#47423161) Homepage

      Harmonization of rules like this is the point of the EU. If someone in Italy starts ripping off the work of someone in France the French person doesn't have to worry about Italian law being significantly different to his own. Companies that rely on copyright to do business can operate over EU borders more easily, people can buy music from services in other EU countries without worrying about the copyright status of the tracks in their own.

      • Yours is not a good example, PRO, performing right organizations, SACEM in france SIAE in Italy, have long had agreements in place to get performing rights from each other's protected works. The law governing those territories is a problem of the resident PRO.

  • by Chas (5144) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @03:21AM (#47422581) Homepage Journal

    Nigh infinite duration.
    Poor review with an unfunded regulation body.
    A crippling, life-destroying penalties structure.
    Fair use? Son? What do you think this is? You're dreaming. Now go to jail! Because we have the patent on that and don't want you using it.

  • Skimmed through (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @03:34AM (#47422613)

    These are the most annoying parts, translated as best I can from Politician:

    3.2.6: Extend the blank media levy to Europe-wide, rather than country-by-country.
    3.3.4: Proposes increasing 'due diligence' burden on 'all actors in the value chain.' I think this means increase ISP liability for internet piracy so they are forced to preemptively block sites providing infringing content. It also specifically talks about the role of financial institutions in ensuring infringing services are unable to do business.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      3.2.6: Extend the blank media levy to Europe-wide, rather than country-by-country.

      I'm surprised copyright owners are still pushing for that since it has already come to bite them in the back in multiple occasions.
      In many countries, they're not able to prosecute for non-commercial copyright infringement because of that law. The rationale is that the infringer already paid for his copy in the for of that tax.

      It's of course a stupid law and I hate to see it in the proposal, but I can't help but wonder if it won't effectively create a Europe-wide file sharing utopia.
      Ahah! just kidding. They'

    • So if we start sending miro sd cards/usb/sd through the mail is that mean that the mail/courier services will be partlity responsible for aiding and abeting copyright infrigment?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    JC is all about the consolidation of power. Copyright seems a reasonable place to start without angering Joe Schmoe too much. I guess this means we will have a warmer relationship with the dictatorship across the atlantic.

    I guess it could have been worse. The greens tried to put a pedophile on the throne. Err, i mean "chair".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:11AM (#47422697)

    As someone who deal with copyright issues on a daily basis (i work in publishing, for the wargamers community). Dealing with disharmonized laws in Europe is a bit of a nightmare (i m based in France and recently had to deal with copyright issues in UK, turned out to be a bit of a nightmare).
    A unified law in Europe would help my dealings with authors.
    However i m sure they will put some insane things in it, the problem being that we basicaly got no saying when it comes to EU laws.

    • ©ne Ring to Rule Them All

  • by arisvega (1414195) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:12AM (#47422699)

    After the election of a new European Parliament in May this year, Jean-Claude Juncker has been nominated to become the new President of the European Commission

    Basically, all of EU 's administration that matters is chosen by the running governments of the member-states: all administration is merely an assembly of the guys already in charge. The European Parliament has had very little to say on administrative issues, and this is the first term that the European Parliament's members will presumably have the power to block EU directives (something that remains to be seen how it works out): and this is the only part that they will have in the law-making process --the European Parliament DOES NOT have the power of legislative initiative.

    FYI, so you do not get carried away by flashy designations and think that this is an actual parliamentary representative democracy akin to national parliaments: it is not.

    • by Halo1 (136547)

      this is the first term that the European Parliament's members will presumably have the power to block EU directives (something that remains to be seen how it works out)

      That's incorrect. Look up the codecision procedure, it's been around since a long time. Since the Lisbon treaty, directives on more topics have come under codecision, but that one has been in effect for quite a while now.

      and this is the only part that they will have in the law-making process

      No, it's not just blocking or passing. They can, and do, also amend directives. These amendments then have to agreed upon with the Council of Ministers, but the opposite is also true.

      --the European Parliament DOES NOT have the power of legislative initiative.

      That's true, only the Commission has this power.

      FYI, so you do not get carried away by flashy designations and think that this is an actual parliamentary representative democracy akin to national parliaments: it is not.

      It's indeed not, since a lot of member states are heavily op

    • It's to remove inefficiency of government. The EU are all smart people, they can make much better decisions when they are left alone. Just think of how good life will be when the stupid people are removed from the equation and government eliminates negative outcomes from the realm of possibility.

      "Referenda are pure gambling. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, unfortunately."
      -- Danish EU advocate Charlotte Antonsen

  • What with the internet lightspeed and all it doesn't take much more than that to distribute your works. Hell, it was good enogh in the whip and buggy days, right?

  • Disappointing (Score:5, Informative)

    by amaurea (2900163) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @04:36AM (#47422761) Homepage

    I took part in the copyright consultation (along with about 10000 others), and like many other members of the general public I pointed out the need for reducing the scope and duration of copyright, and to actually try to measure what effects copyright has rather than blindly assuming that it will have its intended consequence of increasing the production of works. I also pointed out that much cultural production, perhaps the majority if you count by the number of authors, is currently illegal due to unauthorized use of copyrighted works. This would disappear if the law as it is were consistently enforced, and gives us a glimpse of the cost of the current system.

    After reading parts of the leaked white paper, I am disappointed by the European Commission's response. They give lip service to these issues ("the need for an evidence-based approach", for example), but only in passing. In their "way forward" suggestions, they always choose either to do nothing, or to move according to the wishes of large publishers. They also assert, without evidence, that the dynamic, meditum-to-longer-term effect of reducing copyright would lead to a faster rate of obsolecense of copyrighted material, which would then lead to less incentive to create new works. That's stated as if it were self evident, just a single page after they emphasized the need for an evidence-based approach. In fact, I think a stronger case could be made for exactly the opposite conclusion: When copyright doesn't last forever, you have an incentive to create new works to benefit from.

    I did not expect much from the consultation, but I hoped that they would at least discuss the issues raised there, and argue against parts they disagreed with, rather than just ignoring them.

    • This seems to be quite typical for government consultations. There's very little in the way of rigorous process. I remember years ago in the UK there was some poll that showed people were worried about anti-money laundering laws and their effect on freedom and civil liberties (it was a poll about risks to civil liberties, Ithink). So the British government said they'd respond to this by ordering a consultation on how best to improve Britain's AML laws. They invited public comments, etc. 6 months later the c

    • I hoped that they would at least discuss the issues raised there, and argue against parts they disagreed with, rather than just ignoring them.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." -- Upton Sinclair, circa 1934.

      Oh crap, that's still under copyright; he's only been dead for 46 years and said it a mere 80 years ago.

      Never mind, I didn't say anything there. Nothing at all. Nope. Really! ... please?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This could be a great thing. For one, it might remove power from some of the most odious copyright organisations in Europe, like GEMA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

    It'd also create a common market for media streaming companies. No more of this bullshit where companies have to negotiate separate deals with each country's copyright authority, all of them with their special little caveats.
    To give another German example (it's where I currently live) none of the video streaming sites offer movies in the orig

  • So I expect to see:
    * reduction of the term of copyright to 14 years
    * ISPs granted common carrier status, and absolved of responsibility
    * clarification that linking to copyrighted content is not illegal, hosting the content is
    etc

    Though I doubt Jean-Claude Juncker, with his reputation as a beaurocrat, will help the EU in any way. Let's see if David Cameron was right about him or not.

    Phillip.

    • by coofercat (719737)

      We can expect millions of euros spent on months and months of wrangling to try to keep the most corporate-sponsored parts of the plan to be kept in whilst wording them in such a way that they don't look so corporately sponsored. All the features that the ordinary people of Europe might want will be watered down in wording that looks like it's all good but actually gives no power to those clauses.

      If you want shitty legislation, you've really got to pay for it. If you want good legislation, look elsewhere :-(

  • Vote UKIP. Whatever you think of their other policies, we really need them in for one term to get out of the political union the EU imposes.

    • by debma (3659077)
      I'm sorry to hear that the UK still lives in the 20th century but please don't waste our time with your stupid ideas. Sod off asap. tnx
      • by Cederic (9623)

        We're trying. Interesting that as soon as there's serious momentum behind the UK leaving the EU all the other nations are suddenly panicking about it - could be something to do with our net contribution.

        Sorry but I'm pissed off with bankrolling the EU. There are better things to spend the money on.
        I'm also fucking annoyed that the country is suffering from overpopulation, a significant cause of which is unfettered immigration from within the EU. I like Europeans, it's just that my country doesn't have the r

        • by debma (3659077)
          Who's panicking? David Cameron didn't impress much EU leaders with his 'Juncker or me' threat, did he. You can't be part of a team and then continuously stall or block it for personal/national interest. it's give and take. And please don't think the UK is the only country suffering from excessive migration, we all have our migration problems and it would be very naive to think they will suddenly disappear by abolishing the EU.
        • To be honest, many Europeans feel the same way: UK should get out of EU. The sooner, the better.

        • by Teun (17872)

          Sorry but I'm pissed off with bankrolling the EU.

          Hahaha!

          Maggie made sure you guy's contribute less than the others and you are still moaning.
          There is ample evidence the EU as an economic partnership is hugely advantageous to all members, yes including the UK.
          B.t.w, have you ever thought about why British icons like the Mini, Bentley and Rolls Royce cars are now owned by the losers of WWII?
          Indeed, because the Brits have a deficiency in recognising their own shortcomings.

          • by Cederic (9623)

            Maggie made sure you guy's contribute less than the others and you are still moaning.

            Less than France and Germany, perhaps. Oh no, we're only in the top fucking three. Quick, lets celebrate this senseless waste of several billion pounds.

            If Britain has so many shortcomings then it'll be no loss to the EU when we leave.

            • by Teun (17872)
              Sorry for the late reply.

              Your answer shows the problem with UKIP's stance, the advantage of the EU is mutual, going the UKIP's solitary way will be a loss to all, not just the UK.

              The contributions are not waste, they are sensible investment with a nice and factual return for all.

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