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February 17 2019

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Bernard Boutet de Monvel (French, 1881-1949)

Diane et Acteon, N/D

via Sotheby’sclawmarks

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All-sky view of the Leonids shower, 156 meteors were captured in this 4 hour image, 1998
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February 16 2019

eff.org: The Final Version of the EU's Copyright Directive Is the Worst One Yet

A dim future for every made-in-the-EU platform, service and online community

Under the final text, any online community, platform or service that has existed for three or more years, or is making €10,000,001/year or more, is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that infringes copyright, even momentarily. This is impossible, and the closest any service can come to it is spending hundreds of millions of euros to develop automated copyright filters. Those filters will subject all communications of every European to interception and arbitrary censorship if a black-box algorithm decides their text, pictures, sounds or videos are a match for a known copyrighted work. They are a gift to fraudsters and criminals, to say nothing of censors, both government and private.

These filters are unaffordable by all but the largest tech companies, all based in the USA, and the only way Europe's homegrown tech sector can avoid the obligation to deploy them is to stay under ten million euros per year in revenue, and also shut down after three years.

America's Big Tech companies would certainly prefer not to have to install these filters, but the possibility of being able to grow unchecked, without having to contend with European competitors, is a pretty good second prize (which is why some of the biggest US tech companies have secretly lobbied for filters).

Amazingly, the tiny, useless exceptions in Article 13 are too generous for the entertainment industry lobby, and so politicians have given them a gift to ease the pain: under the final text, every online community, service or platform is required to make ‘best efforts’ to license anything their users might conceivably upload, meaning that they have to buy virtually anything any copyright holder offers to sell them, at any price, on pain of being liable for infringement if a user later uploads that work.”

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