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EU Court Rules Social Networks Cannot Be Forced To Police Downloads

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the getting-their-acta-together dept.

EU 81

arnodf writes "According to EU Observer, 'The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has struck the latest blow in the debate over internet policing, ruling on Thursday (16 February) that online social network sites cannot be forced to construct measures to prevent users from downloading songs illegally. The court, which is the highest judicial authority in the EU, stated that installing general filters would infringe on the freedom to conduct business and on data privacy. ... The case was brought before the ECJ by Sabam, the Belgian national music royalty collecting society, against social network site Netlog. In 2009, Sabam went to the Belgian Court of First Instance to demand that Netlog take action to prevent site-users from illegally downloading songs from its portfolio. It also insisted that Netlog pay a €1,000 fine for every day of delaying in compliance. Netlog legal submission argued that granting Sabam's injunction would be imposing a general obligation to monitor on Netlog, which is prohibited by the e-commerce directive.' In related news, Sabam is going to be prosecuted (Google translation of Dutch original) for 'forging accounts, abuse of trust, bribery, money laundering and forgery,' which took place from the early 90's till 2007"

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First post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078469)

No creative story-driven commentary, just a firm "bitches".

Win for the good guys (1)

Moses48 (1849872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078515)

Good guys 2
Bad guys 20000000000

Now that we have asserted our right to privacy, shot down SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA (more work needed in the US), what's next?

Re:Win for the good guys (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078551)

1. Repeal DMCA.
1a - codify the right to backup to secure one's purchase against accident as a fundamental, protected consumer RIGHT.
2. Constitutionally amend to remove corporate personhood.
3. Return copyright to sane bounds, possibly bounds based on the life of the medium it is published in (it is absurd that computer programs, coded for hardware that was obsolete and almost impossible to find 5 years after the writing of the software, are copyrighted till doomsday).

Anyone else have items to add?

Re:Win for the good guys (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078599)

Repel 'Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act' in the UK.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078613)

(repeal even)

Re:Win for the good guys (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078701)

> Repeal 'Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act' in the UK.
Not a good idea . While it did have some horrible stuff in it, it also did actually set limits on police powers that were previously either unclear or being blatantly abused. Having a court (probably the European Court again) strike down the bad parts while leaving the rest would be a better approach.

Re:Win for the good guys (2)

augustw (785088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079243)

The EU court has no power to strike down UK laws, and certainly has no jurisdiction over police powers, or criminal law (not yet, anyway). Perhaps you were thinking of the European Court of Human rights, who can declare laws to be incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights (incorporated directly into UK law by the Human Rights Act) - but even they cannot strike down laws.

Re:Win for the good guys (2)

Elldallan (901501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39082701)

Not directly no but in reality it does, the ECJ can rule that an existing law in any Member State is incompatible with the treaties of the European Union or is in breach the European Union Law.

And according to article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union(of which all member states are signatories) if the court finds that a member state has not fulfilled an obligation the member state concerned must terminate the breach without delay. and if after new proceedings are initiated(by the European Commission) the court finds that the member state has not complied with its ruling the court may impose a fixed or a periodic financial penalty upon the member state which will be enforced by the European Commission.

The ECJ also has the power to annul regulations, directives or decisions by national institutions if they are in breach of European Union treaties or laws.

Re:Win for the good guys (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078609)

4. All buyers of electronic goods have the right to reverse engineer, bypass, overwrite and do what they bloody well please with their property.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083925)

4a - while not hurting other people...

And reverse-engineering PS3s hurt Sony financially, see #2 (where applicable)

Re:Win for the good guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39087845)

And reverse-engineering PS3s hurt Sony financially, see #2 (where applicable)

No, it does not.

Selling knock-off PS3s will but taking apart a console you bought and screwing with the innards will never affect Sony.

Re:Win for the good guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39079207)

Make common sense, a requirement, not an option, for any/all government/justice officials. I believe that would cover absolutely everything.

Re:Win for the good guys (2)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081191)

Anyone else have items to add?

Make common sense, a requirement, not an option, for any/all government/justice officials.

I don't believe wholesale re-writing the laws of the Universe is allowed, or possible. Greed is greed and power corrupts, apparently more these days than is ordinarily expected. Maybe start out working towards a smarter (or less forgiving) electorate?

Bravo, ECJ! Surprised me. :-)

Re:Win for the good guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39085011)

And who defines what common sense is ? Politicians seem to be common sense deficient by nature.

Re:Win for the good guys (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079559)

If you repeal the DMCA, you're also repealing the 'safe harbor' provisions that many site currently enjoy.

5. Provide 'safe harbor' to all service providers, guaranteeing legal immunity to them with regard to material provided by third parties.

Note that there's no clause there about having to handle DMCA take-down requests, as those are a hassle, abused and near-impossible to verify at best and a privacy disaster at worst.

You already have the right to backup your items in most jurisdictions. However, I understand what you're saying and it ties into AC's point number 4, so I'll get back to that.

If you set copyright to 'sane bounds' you wouldn't change all that much. I think a website once put it as follows... if the copyright term were set to 14 years, or - and why not - 4 years.. would that mean the masses would wait those 4 years to download the blockbuster movie that premiered in theaters 1 month ago? Considering the vast majority of 'piracy' is of recent materials, I think you can deduce an answer.

So instead...
3. Drop copyrights. Sorry, but copyrights are clearly an unenforceable construction in the digital age.
If that means businesses that relied on copyrights to make back their investment will have to instead find a new funding model, so be it.
I'll let the FSF ponder the ramifications for the GPL and such.
For physical items, we'll still have patents.

So to point 4, which the AC supplied as the right to reverse-engineer, bypass, etc. stuff that is your property.
This, like your point 1a, are things that you're already allowed to do in most jurisdictions.

In your point 1a, I think the point you're making is not just that you should have the right to make a backup, but that nobody should interfere with that right and that that right is to a perfect backup.
That is to say, that companies should not be allowed to use DRM to try to prevent you from making a backup, and that pointing your video camera at your OLED screen to record a movie while playing it back (the analog hole) does not count as 'a backup' either.

So you'll want to adjust 1a to...
1a - codify the right to a 1:1 backup, without restrictions or undue burden, to secure one's legally obtained material against accident as a fundamental, protected, consumer right. ...but preferably without the horrible grammar.
Note that I'm not saying you have right to make the backup, you just have a right to a backup. The right to make one is implied, but more importantly...

1b 'legally obtained' includes, but is not limited to, the theoretical recording of a performance that has been broadcast openly to any individual at any time during the consumer's lifetime on the grounds that the consumer could have been that individual and could have recorded it themselves, and it is merely limitations on space-time that may have prevented them from doing so.

1c. a 'backup' constitutes any such recording.
I.e. if some random guy in Russia made a backup of their recording (R5 DVD) of a movie, then that is a valid backup of that movie for you, and you have every right to obtain it.

Which in turn leads back to AC's point 4... it's all good and well to be allowed to reverse-engineer stuff you own, but what about telling others about it? What about telling others about how to do it? What about making a program that makes it easy for others to do it? Those are things that, in some jurisdictions, are currently illegal without good reason.. after all, if a random somebody sold the thing they own to you, you reverse-engineered it, then sold it back to you, that would apparently be perfectly legal.

So... let's adjust 4 a little bit..
4a. All buyers of electronic goods have the right to reverse engineer, bypass, overwrite and do what they bloody well please with their property
4b. All such individuals have the right to make available any and all findings, in any and all forms, related to the act as described in 4a.

So now you can make a copy of that screener DVD, remove its protections (even in the future it would be allowed to have protections, as it's not a consumer good, but you're still allowed to remote them), put it on a site, the site wouldn't be liable in any which way, and practically everybody is allowed to grab it.
The only part in this that we haven't made legal yet, is the 'put it on a site' part.

What logical argument can we use to make that aspect a legal right?
Could we argue that uploading it to 'the cloud' that is news servers / torrent swarms is merely the storage location for the 'backup', and that it isn't your fault that by virtue of the service of choice, this is immediately indexed and made available to others? That seems fairly weak, though, relying on the storage of a backup and the process of distribution thereof to be two entirely inseparable entities.

Any takers for #6?

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

asdbffg (1902686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39080409)

3. Drop copyrights. Sorry, but copyrights are clearly an unenforceable construction in the digital age. If that means businesses that relied on copyrights to make back their investment will have to instead find a new funding model, so be it.

Wait... you want to do away with copyright altogether?

Just think of all the "new funding models" that will be available:

I could write a sequel to the Harry Potter books. If I had been really quick about it, I could even have rushed out a sequel right after she had written the first book, but before she was done writing her second book. I could call it Harry Potter 2: Forbidden Lust and use her cover art from the original publication without paying for it!

Or maybe I could just take the text of Harry Potter and resell it under a new name, maybe Harvey Bowler and the Wizard's Rock!

For the cover art for Harvey Bowler, I'll just go online and find the coolest pictures I can find and use those. I won't have to pay the original artist for them at all! What a deal!

I could turn Harvey Bowler into a big budget movie. Fortunately, I won't have to pay any musicians to write music for it, since I can just take whatever music I want from anything else. There's this great artist who did a song I love that would be perfect for the end credits. I can use his music for free!

It's so obvious! Completely abolishing copyright is the only solution that makes sense! Let's do it!

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081501)

Wait... you want to do away with copyright altogether?

Given the complete disregard for copyright when you look at things rationally? yes.

I could write a sequel to the Harry Potter books. If I had been really quick about it, I could even have rushed out a sequel right after she had written the first book, but before she was done writing her second book.

You can do so right now - you just can't call it that and it really shouldn't be particularly similar.
If you did, you're really not in violation of copyright, but plagiarism, character rights, etc. I'm fine with retaining those - they're a bit like patents, if you will (complete with some of the problems apparent in the patent system).

Therefore..

I could call it Harry Potter 2: Forbidden Lust

No, you couldn't. Although, at least in the U.S., if the book were clearly a parody (and with that title, I can only presume it should be), then you might be able to get away with it.

and use her cover art from the original publication without paying for it!

Yes! Yes you could. And the problem with that would be? Presumably she already paid the artist for designing the cover, and under the new funding models that artist wouldn't be paid out of royalties over copyrights. They, for one, thus shouldn't care that other people are copying that cover art.

The problem does come in when you combine that with the 'rushed out' part of your statement. I think you meant to imply that you would get it published. But in that case we're back to the whole distribution thing which I have left as 'illegal' in my post. I'm pretty sure you couldn't claim you're just 'backing up' the book cover by publishing it ;)

Most of the rest of your post pretty much falls back to that... your models all include a component of distribution - and many sites that host user content do in fact allow third parties to take that content at no benefit to the original author other than potentially some exposure. Watched the news lately? Seen a youtube video come by? Seen the little 'credit' line in the corner that reads "credit: YouTube"? You wouldn't happen to think that the person who actually shot the video and uploaded it got money off of that news station for that, would you?
And that's news shows.. they get a bit of leeway as it is, journalism and all that. There's entire shows that are pretty much 'the best of youtube this week' where the only purpose is entertainment... the people whose videos are used? they get nada. If they're lucky, people will try to find it again at youtube, get a lot of views, and be able to opt into YouTube's "get paid for stuff" program.. and get a few dimes.

It's so obvious! Completely abolishing copyright is the only solution that makes sense! Let's do it!

Abolishing copyright is not the only solution that makes sense, but given the status quo I would certainly say it's one of the premiere solutions.
Again, this would be separate from distribution rights. You want to make a copy? Go for it.
You want to actually distribute that copy? Well, here's where you can reach our legal department.

The alternative is that we retain copyright.. but then what?
Again, keep in mind that many here complain about copyright solely in terms of it having been extended to life + 70 years, and that a supposed appropriate term is 14 years. But the vast majority of the 'pirated' content isn't even stuff that's already 50 years old.. it's not even stuff that is 14 years old, and if the copyright term were 4 years, you still wouldn't see people saying "well I'll just wait 4 years and then download this MKV or alternative I will purchase it because I just can't wait that long".
( the 'purchase it' might be more likely if pricing were drastically lower and availability drastically improved. )

So the copyright term is in practice a farce unless you're a law-abiding company that wants to re-issue classic works and finds themselves stonewalled by the copyright term. John Doe, on the other hand, just takes his copy and dumps it on a news server, and you and I and hundreds of others can then download it.. to us, there's no practical issue with the copyright term, only a philosophical and ethical one.

And what about enforcing? Setting aside that it can't really be enforced, even when it is enforced while affordable legal alternatives are available, people cry foul. Sure, millions of dollars for a handful of MP3s is way overboard. But last I knew, so was several thousand. What about several hundred - would that be the appropriate level of damages rewarded? Turns out that most people don't think so. Most people think that at best, the damages are equal to what the record company missed out on if the files were purchased online and then often cite the $0.99 at iTunes. But then obviously there's no 'punishment' to the damages awarded - and even if there were, let's say they had to pay three times the damages or about $3 per song... well that's still not even worth the gas for the lawyer to drive back and forth to the court. ( Not to mention that there is a large group of people who believe that the monetary value of IP approximates zero. It's just bits and bytes and the cost involved with duplicating it are so marginal as to be virtually non-existent. ) So you're essentially pardoning the 'pirate' unless they happen to have tens of thousands of songs.

So even when there is a shorter copyright term, and plenty of simple and cheap legal alternatives, you can't actually go after the common copyright infringing party because either A. everybody will hate you for going after some poor person / a site citing damages that don't fit the crime or B. once you consider the damages that fit the crime you realize it's not cost-effective to 'go after' them at all.

But, again, this is separate from distribution.

Of course if you try to go after the distributors, you run into a bunch of other problems.. mostly privacy laws.
A site offers a file, you ask the site for the information on the person supplying the file, they cite privacy laws that they cannot tell you.
So instead you keep a watch on the site and as soon as a new file pops up, you immediately begin trying to download it, and for the one single person that appears to be sharing the file (if such is the technology in question) you get the IP address. You go to the ISP and ask them for the user data belonging to the IP address, and the ISP will cite privacy laws saying that you'll need more than an IP and the fact that the file shared is yours because the person may have been an agent authorized to distribute the file in which case nobody ran afoul of the law.
etc. etc.
Bit of a cat-and-mouse game and sooner or later a court case will be brought against the site or the ISP and once again you can expect the backlash of the internet community, because a court deciding that the site/ISP should give up the user data is seen as a serious breach of privacy which very much trumps your rights to control who gets to distribute your works. Your victory would be pyrrhic.

But yes, there's certainly other solutions that make sense... too bad you didn't include one in your post :)

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081545)

It's so obvious! Completely abolishing copyright is the only solution that makes sense! Let's do it!

I'll make sandwiches. :-) It'll be a fun gig. Think of all the neat people you'll be playing with. No lawyers! Woohoo! And anything that comes out of it is yours to further leverage as you see fit.

Where's the downside?

Re:Win for the good guys (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081783)

Wait... you want to do away with copyright altogether?

We have inexpensive machines capable of being used to violate the reproduction right with the click of a mouse. We have an entire network of networks capable of being used to violate the distribution right as easily. There is no way to stop this aside from absolutely draconian measures, going even further than PIPA and SOPA. It's either the Internet or enforced copyright, and I know where I stand.

This has happened before on a smaller scale. The VCR made it possible to trivially violate the reproduction right on television shows. The RIAA took it to the courts, and the lower courts agreed: The VCR and copyright could not co-exist, therefore the VCR must go. The Supreme Court took the case, and decided it was copyright which must give, and carved a hole in it for the VCR. The hole you'd need to carve for the Internet would destroy copyright.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085117)

I could write a sequel to the Harry Potter books. If I had been really quick about it, I could even have rushed out a sequel right after she had written the first book, but before she was done writing her second book. I could call it Harry Potter 2: Forbidden Lust and use her cover art from the original publication without paying for it!

You couldn't use the name "Harry Potter" in the title, since it's a trademark. Trademarks are separate from copyrights. Similarly, you might run into trouble if you used the original cover art without changing it substantially, since it could cause confusion with J.K. Rowling's original product. But you could use the characters and situations from the original "Harry Potter" book in your own book, as long as you made clear that it was an unauthorised version not written by J.K. Rowling, and didn't mislead people in your marketing.

Or maybe I could just take the text of Harry Potter and resell it under a new name, maybe Harvey Bowler and the Wizard's Rock!

That you could do.

For the cover art for Harvey Bowler, I'll just go online and find the coolest pictures I can find and use those. I won't have to pay the original artist for them at all! What a deal!

I could turn Harvey Bowler into a big budget movie. Fortunately, I won't have to pay any musicians to write music for it, since I can just take whatever music I want from anything else. There's this great artist who did a song I love that would be perfect for the end credits. I can use his music for free!

Now ask yourself the question: "Would this sell"?

If the answer is "No", then remixing old works is clearly not enough to create a marketable product, and you'd still need to pay an artist to make a custom cover for your book, to write a custom song for your credits, etc.

If the answer is "Yes", then clearly the art that already exists in the world is sufficient, and there's no need to pay people to create new art. Those people can do something more productive, like building cars or writing software.

The real answer probably lies somewhere in between: There will always be some need for new or custom-made art, and there will always be some products that sell well despite merely being remixes.

We could also abolish commercial copyright but keep the artist's right to attribution. That way, an artist whose work was used in a successful remix would get free advertising out of it.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

snakeplissken (559127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39089171)

We could also abolish commercial copyright but keep the artist's right to attribution. That way, an artist whose work was used in a successful remix would get free advertising out of it.

Precisely what is needed in a modern system and why trademarks cause much less fuss than other so called 'ip'. Because the issue there is honesty, not money. It would involve trusting people to see that 'harry bowler' is attributed to jk rowling even though the 'author' is http://slashdot.org/~asdbffg [slashdot.org] and decide to only get a version put out by rowling herself. If people don't want to do that then the cultural importance of harry potter/bowler is probably not that great.

There would still be lawsuits that cover the same ground as copyright suits though, if http://slashdot.org/~asdbffg [slashdot.org] copies the text of a potter book and doesn't attribute it to rowling then rowling would have to sue to show that she originated the work and that would be similar to showing that a work is a derivative copy, however since a simple "portions of this work were inspired by / copied from j.k. rowling" gets you a free pass to use the harry potter text any way you like i'd have no time for anyone who still couldn't do that, culturally important mashup or not

snake

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

dead_cthulhu (1928542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081197)

The only problem with abolishing copyright altogether is that it allows groups like the MAFIAA and affiliated companies to take the work of artists who don't even make a deal with the Devil and sell them, and make huge amounts of money off said sales.

IMO, copyright needs to be amended to automatically include the terms of some sort of Creative Commons license, as well as have drastically shorter durations. No artist has a right to profit, but I do believe that allowing an actually limited fictional monopoly on commercial use stikes a good balance between giving the creator a chance to make money off it, but protecting the rights of the culture to whom creative works ultimately belong.

I know it's bad form to reply to myself. (1)

dead_cthulhu (1928542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081293)

For part of me, my opinion is formed by the fact that I"m starting to get back into doing photographic work and hopefully, when I manage to get my portfolio back together, make some money off of it (even if I still need to keep a day job). Since I'm more inclined to the Fine-Arts and want to sell prints rather than commercial work (which would be a work for hire in any event), I really don't care if .pngs are downloaded/used by anyone on the Net. If it brings someone joy, or they want to use it as a starting point for some work that they're creating, good. I didn't grow up in a cultural clean-room, and neither has anyone else. Where I draw the line is if someone who is trying to make a buck decides to use my work to make money.

Re:I know it's bad form to reply to myself. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081585)

Where I draw the line is if someone who is trying to make a buck decides to use my work to make money.

You'll be happy to know that this is what I was aiming at with the last part of my post.

I essentially envision a change to the copyright model in which a model from most of the media publishing world is used as a foundation for legislation; the separate statuses of copyright and distribution (or publishing) rights.

Now, I realize my 'abolish copyright' is extreme - but you yourself are already saying that hey... you don't care if somebody downloads a scan of your work. You also, presumably, don't care if they took a photo of your photo (the analog hole for an analog work?).
But once they distribute it, and in my suggestion it really doesn't matter whether they distribute it for free or or for a fee, that's when they should sort things out with you, legally.

Additionally, as I explained in another post where somebody suggested they could just make a harry potter sequel and distribute that, there may be other rights inherent to your photography. I think a recent case was pointed out at Slashdot (was it the black/white London photo with the doubledecker bus left in stark red contrast?). A sufficiently similar work, presuming your work served as an inspiration, or a derivative work, for example, may be in violation of other such rights.

Good luck with your portfolio!

Re:I know it's bad form to reply to myself. (1)

dead_cthulhu (1928542) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081745)

Thanks for the good wishes. And you're right, the model has to be totally revamped in order to the sort of abuses that we see on the front page here every bloody day. The entire purpose of copyright has been hopelessly perverted. And honestly, unless it was $MEGACORP I'd be angrier that nobody had been courteous enough to call and ask for permission that I'd probably freely give than any money that may or may not be involved. In terms of my own work, and given the cost of producing and properly framing pro-quality prints[1], I'm tempted to put full-quality .tiffs on the site and just stick a PayPal link to collect donations.

[1] The cost of a decent 11"x14" print, matting and framing it plus shipping costs easily exceed the costs of a DVD boxed-set, so I have no illusions that anyone who doesn't want a perfect copy would ever buy it.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085051)

If you repeal the DMCA, you're also repealing the 'safe harbor' provisions that many site currently enjoy.

A "safe harbour" means the site has to do something to earn it (in the case of the DMCA, honour take-down requests). If you mean that the site should plainly not be responsible for what their users upload, a better term is "status as a neutral carrier" or somesuch.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085359)

fair enough :) Although I don't think 'neutral carrier' is what I was going for either... I do think they should be subject to legal procedures, for example. The DMCA take-down request notice form thing is essentially a shortcut to go around the courts (which does alleviate pressure on them, yes) under the assumption that rights owners are following the rules to the letter. Which, quite often, they don't. Bringing things back to the courts puts up a much higher barrier and as a result the complaints would be of much higher quality. I.e. the legal dept. might consider that a court is just going to look at them funny if the complaint is that some song is on a radio that's heard in the background of a video that is primarily of a cat doing awesome things, and thus not bother. Whereas with the DMCA takedown, they know the site will have to comply and the user who uploaded will have to file a counter-notice.. which they very, very rarely do. (Complaining about it on twitter and getting 'the internets' riled up seems to be more efficient anyway.)

Re:Win for the good guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39081675)

Patents and copyrights are transferable ONCE ever.

And last a maximum of 10 years. Period.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081743)

1. Repeal DMCA. 1a - codify the right to backup to secure one's purchase against accident as a fundamental, protected consumer RIGHT.

i spent most of this evening helping my friend do some DMCA take down notices and send them out to imageshack and to another site where my friends images was being used without her permission on a sex related site.
imageschack complied within 10 minutes and the other site worked over the next hour or so to remove profile pics and also cancelled the account of the person using the images without permission.
there are some provisions in the DMCA that are useful and which would be a shame to lose.

Re:Win for the good guys (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078561)

Oktoberfest?

Implications for an European SOPA? (2)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078529)

Will this make implementation of an European SOPA, at least for music, virtually impossible?

Re:Implications for an European SOPA? (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078601)

That and a little common sense. In other words, don't count on it even if it is a step in the right direction.

Re:Implications for an European SOPA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39080427)

No. EU law isn't precedent based, and the decision by the court has no effect whatsoever outside of this particular case.

Re:Implications for an European SOPA? (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085157)

What do you mean by "not precedent-based"?

All courts look at previous rulings when interpreting a law (if they can find relevant cases), since it's important that laws are applied consistently.

It's true, though, that the EU court doesn't have a Common Law system, like the UK and the USA, where the courts have a lot of leeway in establishing new practices which are practically laws in themselves.

Go EU (-1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078539)

A defeat for US e-colonialism.

Re:Go EU (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078621)

A defeat for US e-colonialism.

This is absolutely silly, this notion that the US is on the only country that has concerns about piracy and copyright violation. Europe has IP laws too. This central argument... that if mean ole' America went away, everyone would happily download pirated content all day with support from governments... is ludicrous.

Re:Go EU (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078713)

You are reading it wrong. The US has zero balance in its laws.

The US is 100% for the rich powerful interests and 0% for the citizens. This is what the US is trying to export.

The EU just proved that it has a more balanced approach. They probably have actual democracy there too, instead of the auction to the highest bidder we call democracy.

Re:Go EU (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078849)

The US is 100% for the rich powerful interests and 0% for the citizens.

I'm a citizen so my interests are not taken to heart for this matter.

This is what the US entertainment industry is trying to export.

I fixed that for you.

Re:Go EU (2)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079233)

The US has zero balance in its laws.

The US is 100% for the rich powerful interests and 0% for the citizens.

This is just as ludicrous as what the parent poster wrote. We wouldn't have elections if that was the case.

Re:Go EU (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079485)

This is just as ludicrous as what the parent poster wrote. We wouldn't have elections if that was the case.

Yes, just look at all that 'Hope and Change' America has seen since Obama replaced Bush in the White House.

Elections don't matter in the slightest when all candidates are controlled by the same vested interests.

Re:Go EU (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 2 years ago | (#39080001)

Replying to undo "Insightful" mod. I was going for "Redundant" especially since you are full of your own rhetoric.

Elections DO matter, especially when the candidates are close on many issues.

Not that this administration got it right, but do you understand the difference between Universal Health Care and the status quo? How about alternative energies, supporting American workers (Michigan), understanding the benefit of information technology, women’s health, freedom of religion, etc.?

I'm not saying the current just left-of-center administration has all of these down cold. Far from it. I’m also not saying the current administration hasn't really fouled things up (NDAA). I *am* saying that there are distinct and important differences between what passes for Democrat and what passes for Republican, even in US elections heavily influenced by corporate interests.

Re:Go EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39084437)

I think that DesScorp's was trying to politely say that hyperbole, of he kind in the parent post and yours, is nothing more than soundbites being churned out by braying fuckwits.

The Government is 0% for the people? Really?
Elections don't matter in the slightest? Really?

You should cut yourself. Go deep.

Re:Go EU (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079609)

Actually, the Soviet Union and all others east block countries had elections, too. They were just rigged, that nobody not in the Communist party had any chance of winning anything, so only people that the Communist party supported had any chance of attaining any Office.

Now in the US, it is pretty much impossible on a nation or state wide level to get elected, unless the rich and powerful (who also own the media, which is the one pushing all those new laws) to support you. What the US *does* masterfully, is to put up stage fights between candidates, so that elections are more entertaining. But in the end nobody outside the "ruling class" has any chance of winning. Heck, even Obama and Bush are cousins. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Go EU (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081217)

Heck, even Obama and Bush are cousins.

I generally agree with your point but this last statement destroys credibility. 11th cousins is hardly surprising. Odds are, that 11th cousins includes half or the USA.

Re:Go EU (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39082027)

I'm a very distant cousin to three presidents myself; it just sort of happens when your family (in this case, my mom's family) has been in the U.S. since before the Revolution.

I'm also a direct descendant of the medieval kings of Sweden, but then again probably you are, too.

Re:Go EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39079651)

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos" - Homer Simpson

Re:Go EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39079909)

You call this shit "elections?" It is fucking theater and if you don't realize that have fun walking around with your head up your ass.

Re:Go EU (1)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39080025)

The US has zero balance in its laws.

The US is 100% for the rich powerful interests and 0% for the citizens.

This is just as ludicrous as what the parent poster wrote. We wouldn't have elections if that was the case.

These aren't elections, they're distractions for the sheep while the wolves munch away behind.

Re:Go EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39080157)

The US has zero balance in its laws.

The US is 100% for the rich powerful interests and 0% for the citizens.

This is just as ludicrous as what the parent poster wrote. We wouldn't have elections if that was the case.

Choosing betwwen Mussolini and Hitler is no choice at all. That is the problem you have in the US. Republican or Democrats are bribed by the same corporations, and since bribing is for all practical purposes LEGAL (since the legislature won't come up with a more balanced system like public financing of political parties) the voter is fucked either way. 2 party systems are just as fucked up as a one party system especially with the kind of electoral laws you have in the US.

Re:Go EU (2)

alexo (9335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39080221)

The US has zero balance in its laws.

The US is 100% for the rich powerful interests and 0% for the citizens.

This is just as ludicrous as what the parent poster wrote. We wouldn't have elections if that was the case.

Elections are useful to keep the populace from revolting, by giving them an illusion that their opinions matter and appealing to their "our team against their team" instinct (even when the differences between the "teams" are both artificial and superficial).

Elections are just a small part of a functioning democratic process. You also need:
- An informed electorate
- A diverse choice of parties and representatives, with a low barrier to entry.
- Real accountability that will make corruption a very unappealing choice (not impeachment, long jail terms).

Being allowed to choose which lizard will be in power is not enough.

Re:Go EU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39079767)

The obvious counterargument is that Europe has historically been more for the rich powerful interests and has been so for a far longer period of time than the US, and that in fact it was Europe that exported this system of exploitation to the rest of the world, the US included. Europe owes the entire world a larger moral debt than the US ever will.

rotfl (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081241)

Europe owes the entire world a larger moral debt than the US ever will.

Yep. The Europeans invented human nature!!! That snake in the tree selling apples - he was /European/!!! Probably even French!!!

Re:Go EU (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078723)

It's not about having or not having IP laws. Clearly IP laws are needed and useful. It's about the corporations abusing those laws and going as far as screwing basic liberties that we should all enjoy. And nobody can deny that probably the biggest entertainment industry is in U.S.

Re:Go EU (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079057)

Clearly IP laws are needed and useful.

That's debatable. [dklevine.com]

Re:Go EU (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39080243)

Clearly IP laws are needed and useful.

[citation needed]

Re:Go EU (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085303)

It's not about having or not having IP laws. Clearly IP laws are needed and useful. It's about the corporations abusing those laws and going as far as screwing basic liberties that we should all enjoy. And nobody can deny that probably the biggest entertainment industry is in U.S.

It's not so obvious... copyright, for example, was made into law long before economics had developed far enough to quantify the costs and benefits. (The benefit being more works being produced, and the cost being those works becoming available to fewer people.) Now that we know more, more and more evidence accumulate for the harmfulness of copyright, but almost nothing for its benefits. For example, all independent studies on music sales suggest that online piracy have a roughly zero net effect on sales.

Re:Go EU (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078805)

The U.S. (and possibly the U.K.) is the only country that will utterly destroy a person's life (financially that is) for a non-commercial download. Of the Western nations are concerned about copyright and imaginary property laws, lord knows we've ceased being competitive at much else. What we want/need is a modicum of perspective when enforcing the laws. Downloading something illegally should be seen as a speeding ticket, not a lifetime as a pauper.

Re:Go EU (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39079095)

Speeding ticket? Speeding puts lives of others in danger. Copyright infringement is more like testing the grapes at your supper market.

Re:Go EU (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085373)

It's even less harmful than testing the grapes at your super market, since the downloader doesn't prevent the song's owner from seling their song to someone else.

At most, the downloader deprives the song's owner of a potential sale. But not even that seems to hold true in practice - independent studies show that people spend their money on concerts or on other artists when they download songs, and that the availability of a song on filesharing networks has a roughly zero net effect on total sales.

Re:Go EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39081919)

I think the UK is politically in limbo for the 2 next years.
"(and possibly the U.K.)" -- You are about right there at the moment.

Politicians & politics change. Right now , the loony left lost the last election but not by enough. We are ruled by a middle-left / right coalition.
Election in 2 years or so, there is absolutely nothing of value being brought forward anymore that *might* risk loosing middle England public opinion.
If, public opinion continues to be mobilized enough then they will come out with 'outrage' at draconian MPAA & corporate practices etc.
If public opinion remains muted, they will sign whatever corporate deal is put in front of them.

My view is that the issue gets no media coverage from the very 'lefty' BBC ( who earn from content ), so the weight of pressure comes from real people , which is not an easily movable object, but needs to gain a few percentage points more to change the politics. Possibly could be forced by the younger generation who 'tweet' & download for fun.
It could happen.

Re:Go EU (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39085227)

This is absolutely silly, this notion that the US is on the only country that has concerns about piracy and copyright violation. Europe has IP laws too. This central argument... that if mean ole' America went away, everyone would happily download pirated content all day with support from governments... is ludicrous.

While it's true that Europe has its fair share of greedy corporations that push for harsher IP laws, the USA has been the main driving force for at least two decades. The diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks ("Cablegate") revealed that the USA is consistently working to get other countries to adopt more restrictive IP laws through diplomatic channels and trade agreements. There's no other country besides the USA who has both the clout and motivation to do this. (China has the clout, but not yet the motivation.)

In general, the USA tends to be a few years or a decade ahead in societal developments, and European countries tend to follow.

That doesn't mean European countries are innocent victims, of course - it's our own responsibility to vote our spineless and ignorant politicians out of office.

Ruh roh!! (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078541)

Man, the MAFIAA is sure gonna be pissed about this!

With every passing day, they become more and more irrelevant, and that's just fine with me...

Re:Ruh roh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078659)

facepirate.com
- Like: the pirate bay
- Like: all digital lockers
- Like: mpaa (just for fun)

Re:Ruh roh!! (4, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078779)

Is that where people are downloading those Guy Fawkes faces?

Re:Ruh roh!! (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078837)

They'll die, but they'll go kicking, screaming, and destroying as many people as they can along the way. Kinda reminds me of a schoolyard bully, they have no problem fighting people as individuals, but as soon as those people band together the dinosaurs call foul.

risk and (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078593)

Prosecution: It's about time that an --AA type organization got acquainted with the concept of risk and accountability for massive frauds upon the public.

Re:risk and (1)

slydder (549704) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078761)

yeah. and the "AA" doesn't even have to be next to each other for it to happen. ;)

how do they say it so well on apina/reddit/whatever? fap fap fap ad infinitum

Re:risk and (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39081209)

Unfortunately, in the case of the actual *AA's, America no longer operates under the rule of law.

What's up with the advertisements? (-1, Offtopic)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078717)

I have 15 mod points but not able to remove ads? When was this removed?

Re:What's up with the advertisements? (0)

dmacleod808 (729707) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078933)

Off-topic much??

Credibility (3, Insightful)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078755)

Sounds to me like 20 some years of dubious business practices anything the courts had to hear from these guys should never have made it that far. Sounds like they have no credibility.

Help! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39078831)

Okay gents, apologize for being OT but I'd like some advice. Most of the time around midday the office clears out and I can relax some. The co-workers all having a spot of tea and the like. So happens today I felt the urge to break wind since my cubicle mates are all out. Lo and behold I think I overdid it and probably shat myself. As a matter of fact I feel the seat of my pants sticking to my chair.

Now my co-workers are all starting to file back into the office from being away. What should I do? I don't have a spare set of trousers to take to the restroom. But I know I must be reeking by now. How can I sneak out and past my boss, who is now starting to make his way to my desk?

HELP!!!

whooo (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078879)

I've often thought that even if I could get cheap unlimited hosting, and as much as I want to host my own stuff myself and would like to extend that 'service' to others -- I just wouldn't want to have to monitor everything 24/7. I mean, I'm cool with a "report abuse" feature, and I realize one would have to react to that, but that's a long shot from being "responsible for what your users do, period". So this is awesome, and I'm not thinking of downloading music at all.. sanity like this simply makes it possible to do fuck all that's actually interesting on the web without having to hire a bunch of lawyers and whatnot. Yay!

Another step in a long death-dance (4, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39078891)

I have to give it to them, criminal and greedy as they are, they really know how to die slowly.

As by now it is quite clear that negative effects of filesharing on people that write books or music and make movies is at worst minimally negative and at best significantly positive, this is definitely going in the right direction.

For now (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079227)

Online social networks can't be forced to police downloads - for now. It will all change after ACTA passes, which is why I hope it won't.

Re:For now (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39079577)

Right now ACTA cannot pass in the EU, as long as (specific) political parties/bodies don't suddenly turn 180.

Both the European Parliament as well as all the different countries have to sign/accept the treaty. Right now Poland said it wouldn't ratify ACTA. Others bodies/countries said that they wouldn't accept ACTA if it conflicts with existing European law.

As long as those standpoints don't change, ACTA will not happen in the EU and it won't change the law. Of course the law could change first and then ACTA could pass. Or as usual hell will freeze over yet again.

Search Engines/You tube vs. Social network (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39079723)

Search Engines and Youtube are- not really considered part of a social network. As it is, EU appears to have a real hard-on about going after Google or other American businesses. So, will EU extend this new ruling to You Tube/Search engines?

Re:Search Engines/You tube vs. Social network (3, Insightful)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39080145)

Search Engines and Youtube are- not really considered part of a social network. As it is, EU appears to have a real hard-on about going after Google or other American businesses. So, will EU extend this new ruling to You Tube/Search engines?

I don't think the EU go after American businesses in particular. You will likely find that the reason you hear about so many American businesses getting into trouble in Europe is that a lot of Americans are very anti-Europe and thus kick up a lot of fuss when they see them challenging anything remotely American. Just look at the amount of anti-Europe rhetoric (ZOMG he speaks French?!?!) in the Republican primaries, or the anger levelled at Britain after the BP oil spill (BP operates in over 80 countries and has its largest division in the US).

Re:Search Engines/You tube vs. Social network (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084687)

What exactly is anti-european about You-Tube or even Google? Now, MS wants their monopoly and to eat everything to (and thankfully, EU hit them hard), but so far, Google has not been wicked by any measure (save from MS's POV). I did understand the German Ruling on Google WRT the books, but it appears at times that the other rulings were bending the local laws quite a bit to get those rulings.

As to citizens/politicians, I agree that we see issues here (and in europe, btw). I get tired of that mentality. I consider Canada, UK and Europe to be some of our closest alley, so I do not understand attitudes on either side.
BUT, As one has spent some time in germany, I have seen that feelings and attitudes are both ways.

When In Rome. (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39083953)

Just because all you hear about the EU has to do with those two American companies does not mean they have a bias.

Your attitude is profoundly arrogant in my opinion. I cannot understand why so many of your fellow Americans don't understand the situation? If a company operates in a European jurisdiction, either as a local legal entity or offers services and goods, it has to follow local laws and courts. It's that simple, or leave!

The EU's courts go after European companies every day, you just don't read about it because it's "foreign" news. Why should the [very profitable] arms of American companies in Europe be any different?!

Re:When In Rome. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39084679)

What has Google and You tube done that was anti-european or against local laws? There are times that it appears new law being created just to deal with containing Google, etc.

And as to my news source, I grab it from all over. That includes the BBC, spiegel, al jazerra, denverpost, and CNN.
Very rarely, I will get it from trash like Fox (neo-con's POV), The Sun (murdoch POV), Xinhuanet(China's POV), or Pravda(Russia and just plain bizzaro POV).

And other than questioning some of European ruling, please explain what is arrogant in my attitude? I understood and was fine with Germany's ruling about Google's publishing issue, but many other ruling seem to be more about containing Google, though I do not recall the particulars at this time.
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