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Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

samzenpus posted about two weeks ago | from the one-law-to-rule-them-all dept.

EU 94

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

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94 comments

Good news (3, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | about two weeks ago | (#47422557)

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

Re:Good news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422745)

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

Re:Good news (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422789)

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

Re:Good news (3)

debma (3659077) | about two weeks ago | (#47422863)

You're right, it makes completely sense to allow drivers from other countries on your roads and then have different rules and signs. It's also correct that you'd better not regulate the production of chemicals. Who cares what they put in it or that it is produced by 10 year olds?

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422925)

To be fair, i am no fan of child labor. I mean, look at these shoes! 100€ and the sole falls right off. Children have no sense of quality.

Re:Good news (1)

davester666 (731373) | about two weeks ago | (#47425641)

It just means you aren't encouraging them to work hard enough.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47429721)

Except signs were already similar enough that strangers didn't make more accidents than they do now, and that the EU has never done anything to prevent crap from outside being sold regardless of safety standards. Remember when china sold products with CE mark saying it meant "china export"? it was tolerated.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47423297)

More importantly, copyright is a non-problem.

Re:Good news (2)

davester666 (731373) | about two weeks ago | (#47425657)

It is a problem, just the opposite of how they plan to fix it.

They will "harmonize" it by picking the longest terms and adding a little bit, highest penalties and adding a little bit, most enforcement and adding a little bit, etc.

Re:Good news (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about two weeks ago | (#47429725)

Dang, I must have missed the speech declaring potholes higher in the priorities list than curing cancer.

Re:Good news (1)

91degrees (207121) | about two weeks ago | (#47422853)

What else, within the purview of the EU, does need to be solved and isn't being actively addressed?

Re:Good news (5, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about two weeks ago | (#47422871)

Corporate tax avoidance?

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422883)

Which IS being addressed. You realize that the EU parliament consists of more than one person, right?

Try again.

Re:Good news (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about two weeks ago | (#47424833)

Corporate tax avoidance?

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

Or deduct your VAT, if applicable?

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

Re:Good news (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about two weeks ago | (#47425091)

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

I kinda like parasiticorp for the second one.

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

Re:Good news (-1, Troll)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about two weeks ago | (#47423431)

Soon Emperor Disney will complete his plan and dissolve the European Parliament altogether. The last vestiges of the Old Republic will be swept away and the regional Disney franchises will have direct control over their territories.

Re:Good news (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about two weeks ago | (#47423161)

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

Re:Good news (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about two weeks ago | (#47425847)

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

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47426601)

I thought the purpose of the EU was to create an economic bloc that could compete with the US. Fortunate for my side of the pond, you went for a weak confederation. Thank goodness you didn't turn that whole area into one federated republic. We would have probably had to go to war to stop you. We can't have an ally become a superpower, that we would actully have to compete with. Please, my Euro friends, resist a common Federal Government. Pretend, that common rules for chemicals, or road signs are tyranny. You won't like the outcome if you actully became an economic rival.

A Unified Europe. /shudder

And lemme guess at the "improvements" (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about two weeks ago | (#47422581)

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

Re:And lemme guess at the "improvements" (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47422651)

You could read it, if you can translate from political doublespeak. I couldn't find anything about term extension of penalties, though there is a bit in there about enforcement. As best I can try to follow the semi-english obstruction, it seems to be proposing requiring ISPs and banks to take an active role in blocking infringing websites and cutting off their funding.

Re:And lemme guess at the "improvements" (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47422657)

Obfuscated. Silly spellcheck.

Re:And lemme guess at the "improvements" (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about two weeks ago | (#47422891)

No, I think you were right the first time.

Re:And lemme guess at the "improvements" (1)

Chas (5144) | about two weeks ago | (#47424115)

Sorry that should be "Poor review with an unfunded, rubberstamp regulation body.

Re:And lemme guess at the "improvements" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47435417)

Because we have the patent on that and don't want you using it.

A copyright title has nothing to do with patents.

Skimmed through (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47422613)

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

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

Re:Skimmed through (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422713)

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

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

It's of course a stupid law and I hate to see it in the proposal, but I can't help but wonder if it won't effectively create a Europe-wide file sharing utopia.
Ahah! just kidding. They'll want to have their cake and eat it too, and our politicians won't stand in the way.

Re:Skimmed through (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422799)

In France, it most probably isn't the copyright owners who pushes for that, more like the blank media industry. The levy there is through the roof, and any harmonisation would inevitably be in defavor of copyright holders. No way other countries would accept a +2900% in their levy (no, there isn't a mistype, it is that retarded).

Re:Skimmed through (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47424633)

But why would the blank media industry push for it if the tax money is going to the copyright industry for "piracy compensation"?

The blank media industry is most likely to be pissed at that. Either consumers will buy less of their product because it's priced too high, or they'll still buy it, but instead of reaping the profits from the increased price, they're losing it to some unrelated industry.

Re:Skimmed through (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47423001)

That is extremely dangerous.
It would effectively mean that "content providers" can have assets, services or start-up competitors frozen and annihilated through (often false) infringement claims.

Just try taking illegal takedowns to court when the accusation also means the bank rabbit-punches your assets as part of the infringement process.*

*and do not for a moment imagine there won't be numerous bank fees levied on you as a result of this process

Re:Skimmed through (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47423035)

Just like the DMCA over in the US: It's often used as a means of harassment.

Re:Skimmed through (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47423993)

Just like the DMCA over in the US: It's often used as a means of harassment.

That works both ways. If DMCA takedowns irritate you, turn their weapon against them:
1. Record a song, if you don't have original content already. No quality needed, singing into a phone or tape recorder will do.
2. Now you have content, so you can issue your own takedowns
3. Target any big labels that annoy you. Disney issued a bogus takedown against someone? Go and issue takedowns against all the promo material on disney websites, cinemas that have disney content and so on.

For the moment, there is no punishment for bogus takedowns. Blatant abuse by ordinary people will hurt the major players, so punishment will be instituted. After that, use such punishment against the corporations.

Re:Skimmed through (3, Informative)

Immerman (2627577) | about two weeks ago | (#47424175)

Actually, IIRC the DMCA *does* have penalties for false take-down notices, they're just never enforced. Make enough of a nuisance of yourself to the big players though and I imagine they'll make sure that changes.

Re:Skimmed through (2)

suutar (1860506) | about two weeks ago | (#47424311)

The problem is that filing a take down notice only requires two assertions: that you own or are an agent for someone who owns the copyright being (allegedly) infringed, and that you have a good faith belief that there is infringement happening. The first is subject to perjury penalties, which (perhaps unintentionally) prevents prank takedowns from non-copyright-holders. The latter, however, is nearly impossible to disprove without a smoking-gun email, leaving anyone who really is a copyright holder free to scatter takedown requests like rice at a wedding.

Re:Skimmed through (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about two weeks ago | (#47424737)

I suspect the prank take down obstruction was intentional, surely the publishers lobbying for the law realized it could otherwise be easily used against them. As for good faith, I think that comes down to interpretation. It should only take one reasonable judge smacking down a "good faith belief" in the infringement of a clearly non-infringing work to establish new precedent - say one of the many cases where a similar title was the only common element. Of course IANAL, so perhaps "good faith" clearly allows for inflicting hours or months of legal difficulties on someone without doing even 2 minutes of common-sense confirmation first, but there seems to be considerably overlap between the concepts of "good faith" and due diligence"

Re:Skimmed through (2)

suutar (1860506) | about two weeks ago | (#47424975)

sadly, the legal definition of good faith (as described at legal-disctionary.thefreedictionary.com [thefreedictionary.com] ) has no connection with due diligence; it's all about taking things at face value. If the automatic scanning program says it's a hit, that's enough for a good-faith belief, until enough bad hits are revealed to show that the scanner is not deserving of that faith. (Which also means that copyright holders have pretty much zero incentive to improve such scanners until forced to.)

Re:Skimmed through (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47424659)

The DMCA provides safe harbor, which is why ISPs are good at following takedown notices. The process itself may be dumb, but it protects Internet service companies and does not require them to play copyright cop (and eat the related costs) like every copyright owner seems to want them to do.

Re:Skimmed through (1)

future assassin (639396) | about two weeks ago | (#47425109)

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

Surprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422623)

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

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

Re: Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47423257)

JC has stated numerous times that he wants decentralisation except where it is absolutely needed. Copyrights are however a prime example where centralisation is needed.

might not be such a bad idea (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422697)

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

Re: might not be such a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422837)

i hope, you participated in the public consultation for this new copyright law (i did) - otherwise it would be stupid to say, that you had no say in it.

Re: might not be such a bad idea (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422851)

I did participate in the survey, however a survey is just a consultation , even if the majority would say they wanted to reduce the lenght of copyright to say 10 years they wouldnt be under any obligation to follow it. EU has an history of asking and doing the opposite, hence why i say we actually have no say.

Re: might not be such a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422971)

hence why i say we actually have no say.

Pretty much why i didnt vote in the EU elections this time around. I simply dont want these clowns to have enough people voting, for them to justify the whole system as democratic.

I did go against my conviction and voted in the previous election as i felt one of the parties merited it. When they actually got elected in, they willy-nilly joined the only group that would have them, wich just so happend to be the main opposition to my general political views. Fool me once, ok?

This time around my country sent a feminist gypsy who previously married off her adolescent daughter into that group.

Re:might not be such a bad idea (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | about two weeks ago | (#47425371)

©ne Ring to Rule Them All

Just to get through the misleading stuff: (5, Informative)

arisvega (1414195) | about two weeks ago | (#47422699)

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

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

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

Re:Just to get through the misleading stuff: (1)

Halo1 (136547) | about two weeks ago | (#47423231)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's indeed not, since a lot of member states are heavily opposed to a "Federated States of Europe"-style organisation.

Re:Just to get through the misleading stuff: (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about two weeks ago | (#47423237)

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

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

Re:Just to get through the misleading stuff: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47426667)

But they are only a threat when they stand togather.

14 yrs would be good (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about two weeks ago | (#47422753)

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

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422775)

while i agree that the current lenght (70 years in UK) is a bit long i do think that 14 is too short.
I recently had dealing with the widow of an author, he passed away 25 years ago, but due to some mismanagement from the previous publisher she hasnt seen a penny in more than 10 years, while her late husband books were still selling. Now we managed to get back the publishing right and drafted a fair contract, trust me she badly needed the cash (even if we arent talking about thousands of pounds a years), even if it s only a few hundreds a years it helps her tremendously, and as her husband died rather young i think it s only normal. however i personnaly think that a lenght of 40 years after the death of an author should be enough, 70 is just way too long and cause a lot of issues with publishers.

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about two weeks ago | (#47422797)

What does that have to do with the price of rice in China? The man in is dead, his rights are dead.

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47422943)

In music, most works are made under contract, so the copyright is with the label. This isn't the case in other industries. Publishing, for example. It would be most awkward for a publisher if their star author were to get hit by a car and die - the publisher would have paid them money in advance for the exclusive license, and suddenly every competitor would be able to start printing and selling the books cheap. That's why the 'life plus x' thing.

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about two weeks ago | (#47423565)

You could get the same effect by having a fixed term. Also given that a corporation lives forever, does that mean that corporate copyright lasts forever too?

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47423841)

Corporate works - works-for-hire - are fixed term in the US, at 95 years. It's a bit more complicated here in the UK, and often takes a fair amount of research to figure out when something expires.

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about two weeks ago | (#47424447)

Actually, fixed term makes a lot more sense. Why should a book written by a 20 year old have on average sixty years more copyright than a book written by an 80 year old? And why should that change if the 20 year old is hit by a truck?

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47425139)

It doesn't matter: Life+x is required by the Berne convention, which is not quite a requirement for WTO membership, but they'd certainly penalise anyone country that defied it. No no life+x means no free-trade agreements. That could be an economic disaster.

Most countries actually set a term somewhat longer than Berne requires.

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47426745)

But why Life + X instead of just X. Let's hypothetical for a momment. Some one creates a work and they get it published at 25. They live till 75. Copyright expires 70 years after their death. So the they get exclusive rights for 120 years. Or about the time their grandchildren can be expected to be approaching morbitity. Or we can just shave 50 years off that and it still has a reasonable expectation of covering their whole life, almost certainly the whole productive span of their origional work.

Now, I think 70 is far to long, 10 seems more then fair. What entertainment or cultural vehicle has a planned ROI that happens 10 or more years out? Let that be part of the productive creative body again.

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47423253)

You're right! Where's his house? I'm moving in!

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422815)

Timing it after the death of the author poses some weird problems. First, it creates a conflit of interest in the family if the author is under heavy life support. Then it's unfair that the family of the guy that dies the day after his book is out doesn't get as much out of it as the one that lives longer. Finally, it isn't always well defined: what if the author was pseudonymous and his editor shuts up, if the author disappear, or if it is a company?

I'd very much prefer a length that starts at the release of the work, that's way more straightforward.

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47422911)

It'd also be illegal. The Berne convention specifies life+term protection as a minimum.

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422989)

Fuck the Berne convention.

Berne is a package deal with the rest of WTO (1)

tepples (727027) | about two weeks ago | (#47423825)

If you suggest withdrawing from Berne, expect complaints from export industries even other than entertainment. Withdrawal from Berne implies withdrawal from the WTO, and countries are likely to impose prohibitive import tariffs across the board on non-WTO members.

Re:Berne is a package deal with the rest of WTO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47429179)

I suggest that everyone should withdraw from the Berne convention because it's bullshit.

Re:Berne is a package deal with the rest of WTO (1)

Rakarra (112805) | about two weeks ago | (#47429547)

Is this that "new world order?"

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47425271)

So when I die, how does my family get to live off my previous work in perpetuity, considering my work doesn't get copyright or patent protection?

Re: 14 yrs would be good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422841)

sure - i'd also badly need get the cash of the pension of my now ten years dead grandfather for the next 30-60 years...

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47422937)

Most commercial works make the majority of their money within the first decade. Who still wants to buy the #1 hits of 2004? Only a very small number of works have the cultural staying power to still be in demand after even a decade, and those that do will make such a huge amount when new as to cover production costs easily. Why would 14 years be too short?

The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997. On a 14-year term, it would have gone out of copyright in 2011. Do you think the franchise had made enough money by then?

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422951)

and what would happen if publishers simply bought everything, made small run prints (or whatever) then waited 14 years and took all the money for themselves?

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about two weeks ago | (#47423053)

The contract with the author would require royalties anyway. Of course they could publish it without royalties after 14 years, but so could everyone else, which means other publishers would drive price down to the cost of production.

Re:14 yrs would be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47425289)

Are you kidding? Companies can't fathom thinking past the next quarter, never mind sitting on potential profits for 14 years.

Re:14 yrs would be good (1)

Cederic (9623) | about two weeks ago | (#47426449)

What if they did? You posit this as though it were a bad thing.

Disappointing (5, Informative)

amaurea (2900163) | about two weeks ago | (#47422761)

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

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

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

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422933)

When copyright doesn't last forever, you have an incentive to create new works to benefit from.

This is very true. I've heard several people proclaim, "I only need to make one good thing, and then I can coast for the rest of my life." The current system of eternal copyrights stifles innovation if anything, because there's no need for anyone to create more than one single thing, which they can claim royalties on for the rest of their life, which their grandchildren may even be able to inherit.

A shorter term means you have to keep producing, since you wont have a source of income any other way, but when you do produce something, it allows you a way to live while focusing entirely on your next project.

Re:Disappointing (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about two weeks ago | (#47423211)

This seems to be quite typical for government consultations. There's very little in the way of rigorous process. I remember years ago in the UK there was some poll that showed people were worried about anti-money laundering laws and their effect on freedom and civil liberties (it was a poll about risks to civil liberties, Ithink). So the British government said they'd respond to this by ordering a consultation on how best to improve Britain's AML laws. They invited public comments, etc. 6 months later the consultation was published and it recommended making the laws even stricter. There was absolutely no evidence-based approach used at all.

Re:Disappointing (2)

grep -v '.*' * (780312) | about two weeks ago | (#47423831)

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

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

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

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

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47428601)

Ah, but to them it is self-evident. They've read tens of thousands of pages of submissions, and you know whose among those were the glossiest and most professionally produced? No prizes for guessing, the publishing industry.

So that's whose thoughts/opinions they've assimilated as the baseline, and it's no use expecting them by themselves to connect dots that the publishers don't want connected - you would have to spell out very very explicitly that "reduced copyright may actually increase the incentive to create new works". In fact, that should probably be a subheading.

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47435533)

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

Standard political technique: give the masses the illusion of having a say, then go with what the big spenders want.

The politicians write laws that violate fundamental rights, then the police and the lawyers enforce them (through ignorance or self-interest). A few good people in each group work against the herd, but can have limited influence as a result of being badly outnumbered.

This is the entropy associated with government, the chaos and inefficiency found in any system. To some extent it's unavoidable. We can try to prune it, but will never be completely successful. Mostly we can limit the damage in particular (specific) areas or aspects of the system, usually in return for accepting damage in others.

Could be good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422767)

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

It'd also create a common market for media streaming companies. No more of this bullshit where companies have to negotiate separate deals with each country's copyright authority, all of them with their special little caveats.
To give another German example (it's where I currently live) none of the video streaming sites offer movies in the original language unless the movie is in German -- you either get the German dub or nothing.
Google went as far as showing a warning label saying "audio is in German". I'm pretty sure they've already had quite a few people complain, and I'm also pretty sure it's not a technological limitation. My friend in Switzerland is able to stream movies from iTunes in multiple languages just fine.

But somehow I'm pretty sure it'll all end up working against us. Copyright holders have been having a hard time changing existing laws to suit their interests, but when new laws are being written, I'm pretty sure they'll lobby the hell out of them.
Also, they'll have one target to fight instead of having to go at it one country at a time.

Hell, they'll probably let GEMA take the reins and fuck music for everyone instead of just the people in Germany.

Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422781)

Asia continues to eat the West's lunch. Nom Nom Nom.

Fittingly the captcha is "indeed".

Here's a solution that I saw somewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47422985)

so I'm not taking credit for it.

1. Abolish all time limits on copyrights.
2. The first 25 years no renewal fees
3. On the 26th year renewal is $1 (you must renew each year or the copyright expires)
4. On the 27th year renewal is $2
5. On the 28th year renewal is $4
6. On the 29th year renewal is $8
7. On the 30th year renewal is $16 ....
By the 35th year renewal is $1024
By the 45th year renewal is $1,048,576
By the 55th year renewal is $1,073,741,824

If you have a valuable copyright and you making money from it the by all means keep renewing,
but at some point it will become uneconomical and the copyright will revert to the public domain.

Content creators always remember that we the people create the construct of copyright for you to share and profit from it,
but in exchange for this privilege you must return the copyright to the public domain.

Maybe something sensible? (1)

horza (87255) | about two weeks ago | (#47422993)

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

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

Phillip.

Re:Maybe something sensible? (2)

coofercat (719737) | about two weeks ago | (#47423245)

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

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

Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about two weeks ago | (#47424563)

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

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

debma (3659077) | about two weeks ago | (#47425409)

I'm sorry to hear that the UK still lives in the 20th century but please don't waste our time with your stupid ideas. Sod off asap. tnx

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

Cederic (9623) | about two weeks ago | (#47426479)

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

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

UKIP is full of cocks, twats, idiots and the occasional racist. They are buffoons and have horrific policies. They also recognise that none of this matters while we're subservient to the EU and unable to make decisions in our own best interest.

Terribly sorry if that offends you but tell you what: Invite Turkey, Serbia et al into the EU, force them to switch to the Euro and enjoy the expanded population and feeling of superiority that gives you. Just let the UK rescind into a small nation with a lot of free trade agreements, I'd be quite happy with that.

Re: Only one answer, to the Brits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47426849)

Studies have shown that the extra gdp growth attributed to EU membership far outweigh the net contributions for every member state.

So the point about bankrolling other states is complete bull.

Re: Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

Cederic (9623) | about two weeks ago | (#47429859)

Extra gdp growth? You can get that through trade agreements. You can continue to participate in the European economy without needing to be part of the EU. You just get to avoid the insanely expensive unaccountable bureaucracy.

Re: Only one answer, to the Brits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47431575)

Why should the EU give the UK a beneficial trade agreement (in case the UK leave)? The only industry of real size in the UK is the financial sector, and I am sure the EU after a UK exit would make an interest of having this sector relocating to Frankfurt...

There has indeed been a substantial growth that can be attributed to EU membership. And all studies so far which have tried to measure this have concluded that the gains in higher GDP and taxes on this far outweighs the fees payed for the membership. This is partially free trade (i.e. trade without tariffs), but it is very much the result of identical rules and standards that ensure that the technical compliance is automatic. Please note that a free trade agreement only removes tariffs, it does not remove technical trade barriers such as compliance with food safety regulations. Given this is automatic within the EU in most areas due to common regulatory frameworks, the benefit of "not just a free trade area" are pretty clear.

Speaking of trade agreements, the EU has a number of current trade agreement, would the UK leave, these would need to be replaced in one way or the other, I would guess that the administration would not do anything but negotiate trade agreements without any substantial clout due to the relatively small size of the UK economy, for years and years.

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

debma (3659077) | about two weeks ago | (#47429595)

Who's panicking? David Cameron didn't impress much EU leaders with his 'Juncker or me' threat, did he. You can't be part of a team and then continuously stall or block it for personal/national interest. it's give and take. And please don't think the UK is the only country suffering from excessive migration, we all have our migration problems and it would be very naive to think they will suddenly disappear by abolishing the EU.

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about two weeks ago | (#47430145)

To be honest, many Europeans feel the same way: UK should get out of EU. The sooner, the better.

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

Teun (17872) | about two weeks ago | (#47430725)

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

Hahaha!

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

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

Cederic (9623) | about two weeks ago | (#47430847)

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

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

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

Re:Only one answer, to the Brits (1)

Teun (17872) | about two weeks ago | (#47441853)

Sorry for the late reply.

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

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

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