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European Parliament Blocks Copyright Reform With 113% Voter Turnout

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the vote-often dept.

EU 297

New submitter mcmadman writes "In a bizarre turn of events, the legal affairs committee of the European Parliament, voted to weaken a reform of the copyright monopoly for allowing re-publication and access to orphan works. What is surprising is that the voter turnout happened to be 113%. That there were three votes too many, and that these three votes determined the outcome, was pointed out to the committee. Unfortunately, when this was done, along with formally requesting a re-vote, the re-vote was denied."

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Whoops (4, Funny)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374595)

I guess someone accidentally bought too many votes this time.

Re:Whoops (5, Funny)

RubberChainsaw (669667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374731)

The reason is that Diebold was responsible for the count.

Re:Whoops (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374763)

Naw, just sometimes you get extra in the package if you buy in bulk.

Article is a hoax: see references (-1, Offtopic)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375259)

Article refers to a hoax blog posting which the article believed was true. Read down through the comments, no evidence backing up the article's claim beyond the article writer saying "I read it on an assistant to the meeting's blog post". Readers of the article link to the minutes of the meeting which show the actual vote was 22-1 [europa.eu] .

Political activist quotes blog post which itself has no definitive references and makes unsubstantiated claim. Slashdot picks up on article refering to blog post.

not a hoax. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375333)

mods, please see this:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2728627&cid=39375277
then mod this down.

In other news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374605)

Putin's approval rating has plummeted to 112% in favor.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375197)

Putin's approval rating has plummeted to 112% in favor.

No no no, you've got it all wrong!

146%

So the dead vote in Europe too? (4, Funny)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374613)

113 percent? Where did they count the votes? Chicago?

lol (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374843)

I know right

Sad times we're living in..

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374945)

I know right

Sad times we're not living in..

FTFY

Math (4, Funny)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374617)

Hold on fellas, you've got it all wrong. Math is different in Europe (they've got their commas and periods all backward in many places), especially when it's attorneys doing the counting. Folks just have to understand this, and fortunately there's a great instructional video [youtube.com] available for those in need of further tutelage.

Re:Math (4, Funny)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374679)

Hold on fellas, you've got it all wrong. Math is different in Europe (they've got their commas and periods all backward in many places), especially when it's attorneys doing the counting. Folks just have to understand this, and fortunately there's a great instructional video [youtube.com] available for those in need of further tutelage.

Very true. For a start - we call it Maths

Re:Math (5, Funny)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374705)

Hold on fellas, you've got it all wrong. Math is different in Europe (they've got their commas and periods all backward in many places), especially when it's attorneys doing the counting. Folks just have to understand this, and fortunately there's a great instructional video [youtube.com] available for those in need of further tutelage.

Very true. For a start - we call it Maths

So that's where the vote count went wrong! They were counting plurals where there should be singulars!

Re:Math (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374919)

Hold on fellas, you've got it all wrong. Math is different in Europe (they've got their commas and periods all backward in many places), especially when it's attorneys doing the counting. Folks just have to understand this, and fortunately there's a great instructional video [youtube.com] available for those in need of further tutelage.

Very true. For a start - we call it Maths

So that's where the vote count went wrong! They were counting plurals where there should be singulars!

No, that's the 'S' bend. They're going to need a plumber because someone has clogged it up with due process, and people are starting to notice the stench.

Re:Math (3, Insightful)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374729)

Yeah, it's us Europeans that got it backward. really? [xs4all.nl]

Re:Math (0)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374755)

Whooooosh.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374783)

And not only that, but that infographic is silly and an equally compelling one could be made for the imperial system.

Re:Math (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375123)

Show me.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374953)

yes, really.

Re:Math (1, Interesting)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375127)

I never understood why so many people care about the thermometer in relation to when water changes state. Sure a scientist cares, but the average lay person?

Re:Math (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375139)

Because if the temparature is above that, it rains. If below, it snows.

Re:Math (3, Insightful)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375157)

Seriously?

Here's a simple one: It's winter. You have to drive somewhere. Is there likely to be ice on the roads you need to look out for? You check the thermometer.

It's near zero centigrade = there's likely to be ice. Simple & intuitive. Whereas with fahrenheit, you actually need to remember the number which represents water freezing. More work for no gain.

Re:Math (2, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375235)

You find it work to remember the zero point of the temperature system (whichever one it is) that you use every single day? Seriously? I wouldn't crow about that if it were me.

If anything Fahrenheit is preferable because there are about 35 units between "annoyingly cold" (55) and "annoyingly warm" (90) rather than 20. Units are irrelevant anyway thanks to dimensional analysis - the only real work is calculating the exact prefactor.

Re:Math (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375245)

How hard is it to remember?
32 for freezing,
+ 180 degrees = 212 degrees for boiling
0 I think has something to do with salt water freezing.
100 is close to body temperature.

But yeah, it would definitely be nice if we Americans were to switch to celsius and to the metric system. Is celsius part of the metric system, or something else?

The only problem would be our roads. The least we can do is to really shove it down our throats in k-12 to learn it and quickly convert it.

Re:Math (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375291)

I never understood why so many people care about the thermometer in relation to when water changes state. Sure a scientist cares, but the average lay person?

Quite. The lay person cares more about the coldest temperature you can get mixing ice with water compared to the body temperature of a cow.

Both C anf F are scales related to real-world things. The choice of things for F is completely off the wall.

Re:Math (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375345)

It's really easy to understand: You take the full range of temperature where liquid water "exists" (in liquid state, at sea level, simply: water) and divide it by 10 sets of fingers to count. 0C Ice. Damn cold. 100C steam. Way too hot. 30C: one third of the way from ice to steam, pleasantly warm. 20 room temperature. Any child can guess what 60C, 10C or 25C will feel like.
Now, if someone came up with a similarly easy way to represent the "degree" sign as HTML. Not even unicode seems to work for me...

Re:Math (5, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374751)

Plus , we use metric. 1 Metric vote = 1.13 US votes.

Re:Math (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374877)

But that's going to be the other way around soon, what with the Euro going down and the US$1 per bought-European-vote rate increasing.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374759)

imperial vr. metric system... shush!

Re:Math (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374807)

Arrrr... To be...

Re:Math (3, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375097)

    What the heck? I was expecting a Rick Roll, and you gave a link to a real explanation.

    $8 billion or 75,000 jobs? Damn. :)

This is end of democracy (5, Insightful)

lorinc (2470890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374619)

Or at least, a visible proof of it. Perhaps it ended long ago, but now there is no possible denial.

Re:This is end of democracy (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374819)

This is end of democracy

Parody or paranoia? I can never tell these days.

Re:This is end of democracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374905)

We don't even pretend we're not corrupt as hell anymore.

What was the count on the decision not to revpte? (5, Insightful)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374989)

It's a case of who watches the watchers. When you corrupt an organization it is best done in-depth and it is most successfully done from the top.

We "Americans" (e.g. the United States of part, but we are working diligently on spreading our scheme to the rest of America) have a system of Checks and Balances. That is it doesn't have to Balance if you can make sure nobody Checks. We use this system for nearly every purpose. It's nice to see Europe following our lead. Or perhaps they deeded it to us as some point, which doesn't matter, we will take the credit.

As to this being the end of democracy, well you are using the wrong definition: Democracy is the means by which we ensure we are governed -no- -better- that we deserve.

Seems to be working out pretty much "as expected" here.

Re:This is end of democracy (-1)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375071)

Since when has the EU been anything but socialist?

Re:This is end of democracy (5, Insightful)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375121)

You can be a democratic socialist. Democracy means basically the majority rules. If the majority is socialistic, then you will see socialistic policies in place.

Relax Francis.

Is this unexpected? (4, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374621)

Europeans often point out to Americans the higher turn-outs in their elections. They aren't quite to up Chicago standards, but it is a respectable showing none the less.

Start the Day with Some Eurocrat Bashing [nationalreview.com]

How to get what you want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374633)

Strange how our psychology makes us think, as a first thing, that it was the otherwise-victor that had bought the votes, because otherwise they had lost.

It might as well had been the people voting against the reform doing it, knowing it would be scrapped because they didn't expect to win if the vote had commenced in a proper way.

Re:How to get what you want... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374685)

It might as well had been the people voting against the reform doing it, knowing it would be scrapped because they didn't expect to win if the vote had commenced in a proper way.

They could have just retaken the vote, this time making sure people didn't cast a vote more than once. Getting a proper vote tally isn't rocket science.

It's only a committee (5, Informative)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374637)

It's worth pointing out that it's only a preliminary committee. It being voted down in this committee won't necessarily prevent it from seeing the floor the full parliament, but it won't come along with the backing of the special committee.

There was a member of the Swedish Pirate Party in the committee and he's been the one agitating for a re-vote. The frightening thing about this is that there are only 24 members on this committee and one was absent, so with 23 possible votes, the final vote was 12-14.

BUT, if 12 people actually voted in favour of the bill, that would leave only 11 against.

Keep in mind, this isn't highly corrosive stuff.

The bill is talking about "orphaned works" which are those works that will never again see the light of day because no owner claims them. It is likely that when the copyright expires in 70 years, with nobody to preserve them, or assign their rights to a publisher who can, these works will be completely lost to humanity. This legislation would seek to prevent this and increase the overall value to humanity with NO money lost by putting them in public domain.

Nobody is arguing that this is a bad idea, but the recording industry lobbies see it as the "sharp end of the sword" when it comes to copyright reform, so they will fight against it vehemently.

If you live in Europe, write to your MEP. Vote fraud is no joke.

Re:It's only a committee (5, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374703)

This legislation would seek to prevent this and increase the overall value to humanity with NO money lost by putting them in public domain.

As there is a vast overproduction of entertainment today the competition is for the consumers time. Thus, any material that is presented for free cuts into the revenue stream of the for-profit production companies, and even worse, entrenches the idea that entertainment might come for free.

Remember, these companies consider basically any time spent not giving them money stealing.

Use of the word Basically (1)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375003)

The word "basically" is improper in your last sentence. It should be removed, or replaced with the word "provably".

See..grammar natzi-ism -can- be used to advance the dialog... 8-)

Re:It's only a committee (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374743)

The bill is talking about "orphaned works" which are those works that will never again see the light of day because no owner claims them. It is likely that when the copyright expires in 70 years, with nobody to preserve them, or assign their rights to a publisher who can, these works will be completely lost to humanity.

Wait. Don't most of our historical documents and records meet this description? Yow!

Nobody is arguing that this is a bad idea, but the recording industry lobbies see it as the "sharp end of the sword" when it comes to copyright reform, so they will fight against it vehemently.

Oh. Well at least it's for a good cause.

Re:It's only a committee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374761)

Great copy'n'paste from the original article dude. O, you rephrased it? Brilliant contribution.

Re:It's only a committee (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374951)

Here's a contribution that I'm sure you will find useful. Look up the definition of "summary".

This may be an error (3, Interesting)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374849)

As someone pointed out below, the actual legislation passed by a vote of 22-0-1.

There is perhaps some amendment that failed under unusual circumstances, but I can't find it anywhere in the documentation.

Re:It's only a committee (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374855)

How do you determine what is an orphan work? (and who gets to make that determination?)
I bet Warner or Fox or MGM or Sony or EMI or Universal or Electronic Arts or Disney or any other major entity with a large body of work will have all kinds of things they own the copyright to but dont even know they own. (including all the stuff they may have picked up through acquisitions and mergers)

Re:It's only a committee (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374911)

I'm guessing a lot of those works could be identified by someone skilled in searching historical records (And I mean pre-internet here, going through old microfilms) and paid to put in enough hours. So it's only if they become popular again that there will be any reason even for potential copyright holders to invest the time in figuring out if they own it.

Re:It's only a committee (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375299)

The sad thing is, hundreds and perhaps thousands of films and sound recordings created before the mid 1960's are deteriorating at such a rapid rate that by the time any of this copyright mess ever gets sorted, they'll be gone forever.

Huge numbers of them are rotting away in vaults, with even well-known films such as Gone With The Wind apparently having to be made from later copies now because the original film masters are basically rotted to nothing.

Some Hollywood studios have however, invested the proper resources into caring for these historical cultural artifacts. Disney for one, keeps their film stock in better climate-controlled condition than the US Government keeps the Constitution.

There's a reason movies like Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp are in the vault for the next 50 years. It was determined that they would create new digital masters of the films and keep the originals stored safely while we wait for better and more permanent storage options to be invented for film transfer - in which case they will make new masters on that storage medium with the current digital masters used to work as a clean copy in case of further film deterioration of the original stock. Then the originals will more than likely finally be destroyed just due to rot and the process of transfer.

Re:It's only a committee (2)

dido (9125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374977)

One way to do it would be to pay a tax for everything that you want to keep under copyright. This could be a token tax even as low as â1 per work per year, but not paying the tax would place the work in the public domain. These folks are so keen to sue whenever they see someone violating their copyrights they ought to know what copyrights they own. This way the government has a tax record that can tell everyone who owns what.

Re:It's only a committee (5, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375221)

A tax or any other kind of payment would be complicated to administer. It'd require clever handling of works that are published and developed over time - such as a Wikipedia page or OpenSSH.

With any copyright discussion, the elephant in the room has to be the length of copyright terms. Drop the terms down to far more reasonably limits and we see many such problems go away. Publishers can continue to benefit from older works, so long as they can find ways to enhance them, thus creating a derivative work that is subject to a fresh copyright term. They already do this for movies, either through adding fresh content or by remastering.

Why we allow copyright beyond 15 years for anything at all is to me a travesty. A publisher that cannot make a reasonable return within 15 years really should think long and hard about their business model and the quality of their work.

Re:It's only a committee (3, Interesting)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375149)

Easy: it's impossible to purchase. You either sell the stuff, or lose the right to it.

Re:It's only a committee (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374993)

The bill is talking about "orphaned works" which are those works that will never again see the light of day because no owner claims them. It is likely that when the copyright expires in 70 years, with nobody to preserve them, or assign their rights to a publisher who can, these works will be completely lost to humanity.

If you live in Europe, write to your MEP. Vote fraud is no joke.

Who cares? If you live in Europe, or anywhere else for that matter, start scanning those books and put them up on the web. There are places like formerly library.nu [wikipedia.org] (now defunct) which will accept the scans, and replicate them. Fuck the publishers, and fuck the politicians. They can't be trusted with our human heritage.

Re:It's only a committee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375049)

In some cases, an abstension can be both not voting, and voting both ways. Perhaps this is the latter.

Re:It's only a committee (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375131)

The Recording Industries, when are they going to be chased down by howling lynch mobs in the streets? I want to know, because I want to get it recorded.

vote fraud (3, Interesting)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374643)

I guess that's the next step for the Conservatives in Canada... instead of suppressing the vote by misdirecting people away from polls, they'll just send 110% of the electorate to ensure victory.

Democracy is withering all over the world, as good people do... not quite enough.

99%? (5, Funny)

Zoolander (590897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374655)

You americans with your puny 99%. This parliament goes to 113!

Re:99%? (0, Redundant)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375135)

Obligatory: Our amps go to 11.

How can that even happen? (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374661)

This isn't some big election with millions of votes getting counted. This is 23 people in a room, 12 on one side, 11 on the other, and the eleven declaring themselves the victors while the twelve just shrug and accept it. Do the people on this committee care so little for democracy that they just blithely accept it when their opponents' imaginary friends cast ballots?

Re:How can that even happen? (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374713)

A re-vote was requested, immediately when this discrepancy came to light. Which I may assume is the moment the results are given - it's not that hard to add up.

This re-vote was denied however, leaving two important questions open. How come the votes were counted so wrong, with so small numbers? And why was this re-vote denied?

Re:How can that even happen? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374733)

Better question: Why isn't a re-vote automatic in this kind of circumstance? Or, why is it even possible to deny a re-vote after such an obvious error? This is why politicians fail us...anyone with half a brain would implement more sensible procedures.

Re:How can that even happen? (2)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374769)

I was about to make a smug comment about how those zany citizens in Europe need to demand better accountability from their political representatives.

Then I remember that I live in this U.S.. Where the politicians have purported to make this law, despite the Constitution rendering it void the moment it was penned. And then people salute it regardless, because it was signed and must therefore be official.

Re:How can that even happen? (2)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374775)

For those of you playing at home, the link that Slashdot invisibled from my post was: http://nothingchanged.org/ [nothingchanged.org]

Re:How can that even happen? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374781)

I've the feeling that US politicians have less accountability than European politicians. Well save the ones on EU parliament maybe...

And in this committee case, I would expect the votes are not anonymous. So it should be known who voted how. That's at least the normal situation when votes are done - and how voters can know how certain politicians think. I hope the case will roll on a bit, not as much because it's about copyright but for the apparent vote discrepancy. I'd really like to know how that came to be.

Re:How can that even happen? (1)

Kvan (30429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375133)

At least politicians in the US are actually elected, unlike the European Commission.

Re:How can that even happen? (1)

Kentari (1265084) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375305)

No, they don't. Come back when the US elects their secretaries directly as well.

Re:How can that even happen? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375351)

At least transparency is given in the EU. Pretty much every committee session is recorded, streamed live and can be viewed at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees, and parliamentary debates are open for the public anyway. The problem is just that no one really bothers looking at it, but at least the EU parliament is taking efforts to make their work publicly transparent.

Re:How can that even happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374861)

Because this was a vote about copyright for orphan works, and the vote went in favour of the pro-copyright lobby.

Re:How can that even happen? (3, Interesting)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374839)

This isn't some big election with millions of votes getting counted. This is 23 people in a room, 12 on one side, 11 on the other

Yes, this is exactly the situation. Say I'm a big multi-national corporation...

Show me the contact info for millions of people. Sorry, but I'll just pass that on to marketing for now.

Now, give me the run-down on 23 people in a room making decisions on copyright reform. Wait, there's no need, I already know about them, and, what's more, their checks are in the mail.

Re:How can that even happen? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375031)

This is Europe. They get cheques, not checks.

Balance that out (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374687)

Just send them a few of the negative votes received by Al Gore in Florida, then the universe will be in equilibrium again.

Time to complain... (3, Interesting)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374691)

I don't know about you guys. But I'm writing a complaint and asking for an investigation into this later today. These sort of things are simply unacceptable and should be stopped, no matter what the subject of the vote is.

democracy in action (3, Insightful)

evanism (600676) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374723)

We don't have one. The Yanks don't have one, nor do the poms.

When was the last time THE PEOPLE had a REAL VOTE on how their country worked?

What we have is an obscene extension of the patent system extended into a politically domineering overlord system. We vote for a bunch of self interested morons to make stupendously bad decisions, rewarded richly for doing nothing or worse, followed by being given the chance to revote on our next oppressors when the previous ones fail (but only when they let us).

This isn't democracy. As article shows, it is corrupt.

This one billion line program has been hacked together for too many years. Too many exceptions. Time for a rewrite.

Re:democracy in action (4, Informative)

temcat (873475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374795)

Recently, the Swiss successfully voted on not increasing the number of vacation days and not regulating book prices.

Great News For The US Trade Imbalance! (2)

FairAndHateful (2522378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374725)

It looks like they've managed to export the Diebold voting machines!

The minutes of the meeting disagree (4, Informative)

Epimer (1337967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374773)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-483.867&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01 [europa.eu]

"The Committee adopted the amended Commission proposal and the draft legislative resolution by 22 votes in favour and 1 abstention"

Re:The minutes of the meeting disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374797)

mod parent up

Re:The minutes of the meeting disagree (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374829)

Yes they adopted the amended proposal. But the vote this article is about is a vote on an amendment, not the adoption of the proposal.

Re:The minutes of the meeting disagree (4, Informative)

repvik (96666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374851)

Falkvinge refers to that meeting i JURI on march 1st. Nowhere in the minutes is the voting results he refers to mentioned. Where are those?

Re:The minutes of the meeting disagree (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374831)

Parent needs to be modded up.

Re:The minutes of the meeting disagree (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374987)

Anti-EU story turns out to be manufactured or grossly exaggerated. Color me surprised. If these kind of stories didn't turn out to be BS 99% of the time, I'd be a lot more concerned.

Re:The minutes of the meeting disagree (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375037)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-483.867&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01 [europa.eu]

"The Committee adopted the amended Commission proposal and the draft legislative resolution by 22 votes in favour and 1 abstention"

This is apparently about a vote on one of the amendments to the proposal. The minutes linked in the parent list accepted amendments, but don't give votes on the individual amendments. Similarly, the committee voting records ( see here [europa.eu] ) don't seem to include the outcomes. It should be possible to check however, as the meetings are recorded:
The vote occurred during this session [europa.eu]
Unfortunately, the wmv sound doesn't seem to work with flip4mac and I get all interpretations at the same time, so I can't check it now.

Nah, they used their expenses calculation method (0)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374815)

When taking other peoples money for themselves these people make Steve Jobs reality distortion field look like a model of clarity. [express.co.uk]

The EU parliament is precious (1, Funny)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374847)

I think it's nice to add, as a background to the discussion, that each of the invaluable members of the European Parliament earns something like 6,200 € a month, plus 304 € for each day they're actually at the parliament, plus 4,299 € to cover general expenses, plus up to 19,709 € to pay their assistants. Of course you can't afford to pay train tickets with such a wage, so they also get their housing and transportation costs reimbursed. After they're done with their precious services, they'll get a pension of 1,392 € a month for a single mandate, 2,784 € for two, and 5,569 € if they've stayed in the parliament for more than 20 years.

It's normal that after taking all that public money, they want to give 113% of their energies, in order not to let the community down.

The EU is wonderful (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374859)

If they're doing things that look wrong, it's just because you don't understand how things work. Our elite do know. And they're working tirelessly for your benefit, little citizen, and anyone who claims otherwise is a Daily Mail reading BNP skinhead.

Rubbish (4, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374957)

The main reasons for the negativity directed against the EU in the UK are:
  • Rupert Murdoch wanted the UK to be a low-cost production area for his newspapers with poor worker protection - the EU prevents that
  • If the EU survives its early problems - so far no Civil War like the one the USA had on its way to union - it will eventually have more power than the US, and the US doesn't like that
  • Most European countries have standards of journalism which embarrass the likes of the Sun and the Mail - even Bild is moving up market slowly - and UK media owners are afraid of EU regulation
  • Small Conservative businesses who don't see why they shouldn't exploit their workforces
  • People who still think there is a British Empire.

Personally, I feel that the European parliament is far more likely to do the right thing than the British one, simply because (a) it is far more diverse and (b) it has members from countries who know that war is a really bad thing.

Working mothers? (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374879)

A lot of members must've brought their kids to work [euronews.net] that day.

Text of proposal (4, Informative)

Carthag (643047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374883)

Can be found here: http://pippi.euwiki.org/doc/CELEX:52011PC0289:EN [euwiki.org]

Interesting stuff, hopefully it'll eventually pass. In short, if you do a "diligent search" and are unable to locate a rightsholder, the work will be considered orphan. This is basically an area "between" copyright and public domain; you're allowed to reproduce the work "for the purposes of digitization, making available, indexing, cataloguing, preservation or restoration."

Re:Text of proposal (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374923)

But how much is dilligent? Somehow I doubt a fre google queries will count. Large companies may be able to hire a historian to go and trawl through old newspapers of the period looking for advertisments or reading actor biographies in hope of finding a passing reference, but that effectively excludes amateurs who don't have the time or money for that level of checking.

Re:Text of proposal (2)

Carthag (643047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374937)

But how much is dilligent? Somehow I doubt a fre google queries will count. Large companies may be able to hire a historian to go and trawl through old newspapers of the period looking for advertisments or reading actor biographies in hope of finding a passing reference, but that effectively excludes amateurs who don't have the time or money for that level of checking.

It's actually defined int he text too.

#Article 3 Diligent search
31. For the purposes of establishing whether a work is an orphan work, the organisations referred to in Article 1(1) shall ensure that a diligent search is carried out for each work, by consulting the appropriate sources for the category of works in question.

32. The sources that are appropriate for each category of works shall be determined by each Member State, in consultation with rightholders and users, and include, the sources listed in the Annex.

33. A diligent search is required to be carried out only in the Member State of first publication or broadcast.

34. Member States shall ensure that the results of diligent searches carried out in their territories are recorded in a publicly accessible database.

So it seems that each state will define some central rights repository or authority, maybe the national libraries?

Re:Text of proposal (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39374947)

Doy, there's a whole list of appropiate sources at the end of the document.

Funny it it were true (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374925)

It would be funny if the story was actually true. However, the official press release of the EU parliament states:

"MEPs (Members of the european parliament) unanimously approved a mandate for Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D, PL), to start talks with the Council to agree reach an agreement on the legislation.

Ms Geringer de Oedenberg said "This regulation would finally make it possible to get some hidden treasures out of the closet and make them available to the general public. Now it is time to start negotiating with national governments and stand up for our points"."

So to sum it up, one wannabe journalist/blogger picks up something from an unreliable source, quotes an MEP who didn't even post anything about this "scandal" on his own blog, and suddenly this is big news?

Democracy is not in the stained (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375043)

Politics is cruel, It's possible that we can describe. Political justify any means to an end. Included are sound forge, or make money politics.
Who would not want to acquire an important position even became the number 1. It was common whenever there is election of representatives and presidential or parliamentary elections marred by fraud is always cheating. Fraud committed from the subtle to the gross fraud.
But the ethic that all forms of electoral fraud have marred the value of democracy. And one thing that should be cherished is that winning should not be arrogant and the loser should accept defeat gracefully. This seems easy but difficult to implement. The winning or the losing mutual accusations and blame each other and only one is correct on my part. His name is selfish.
delivered by www.htysite.com so that everyone can become more aware that they are representative of the Lord in the world.

Blackadded Oblig (0)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375065)

Commentator: 23 voters; 26 votes. A slight anomaly...?

Bought politician: Not really -- you see, this law may look like a monkey who's been put in a suit and then strategically shaved, but it is a brilliant opportunity for a corrupt politician. The number of votes I cast is simply a reflection of how firmly I believe in getting brown envelopes.

And politicians wonder why people don't believe them anymore. You could hold a politician at gun point and tell him he and his children will die unless he says that these things make people loose fate in democracy and he just wouldn't be able to say it to save his life and those he values (The dollar bills in his pockets, not his kids). It isn't corruption, it is let them eat cake and genuinely being unable to realize that people who do not have bread, do not have cake either. If Anders Behring Breivik had done his rampage among politicians, he would be the greatest hero ever.

Double Voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375075)

With the lobby voting used in the UK Parliament, it is possible to vote both for and against a bill. MP's sometimes do so to correct an incorrectly cast vote, or as another method of abstaining, while keeping their own whips happy.

Beginners! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375255)

In Soviet Russia, the turnout goes to 140%.

Video of the voting (5, Informative)

JPMH (100614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39375277)

Video of the voting [europa.eu] is available on the EP website. The agenda item starts at 10:27, and the voting runs from 10:31 to 10:51. The amendment in question appears to be "Compromise 20", voted on at 10:39, which is indeed rejected by 12 votes to 14. This was an all-party amendment that the centre-right EPP party then withdrew support from, because they were not entirely happy with the wording, according to one of their MEPs at the start of the meeting. (10:29). As the video shows, the EP tends to machine-gun through amendment votes, which are held in one swoop after months of discussion. You really need the papers for the meeting and your preferred faction's voting guide to turn them into an acceptable spectator sport. One of the extra votes could perhaps have been the chairman's casting vote; but it's not clear how there could have been two.

How does the committee work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375279)

Not every committee is structured to be one member one vote. An example is the municipality that I used to live in, where the mayor did not have a right to vote unless there was a tie. It can work the other way too, so that a committee member receives more than one vote. Let's say that this committee is structured such that some member votes are weighted as two votes. In that case: the results of the vote may be legit, the refusal for a re-vote may be legit, and the complainants may be taking advantage of public naivety to create controversy out of a result that they disagree with.

Now I don't know that this is the case because insufficient information has been provided. But I recognize that it may be the case because committees aren't democratic bodies in the popular sense. Committees have members that represent organizations (governments, businesses, departments, student body, etc.), and votes are used to make decisions rather than to represent the opinions of the population as a whole.

In other bizarre news.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39375319)

only 24 votes for the 754 members of the EU parliament.
Or TFS & headline are misleading.
(for those too lazy: it was a committee, not the EU parliament. Nice editing work there.).

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