EU: take down illegal content (terror/hate speech) within 1 hour or face millions in fines

Alpha1

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Or a few million whichever is higher.
 

sanction9

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I'm actually fine with this proposed legislation. The point of it, as I see it, is to prevent terrorist organizations from using the internet and especially social media to spread their message, which is a good thing.

Once you get past the gut reaction to the one hour time limit, you can see that one hour on the internet is a long time for information. The large social media sites where people are most likely to encounter this content are generally staffed at all times, so that shouldn't be a problem. The legislation is more concerned with preventing or removing the content than fining people, so smaller sites, like forums should be fine, providing they act as soon as the content is discovered or reported.
An hour is not that long when you consider the number of people and posts on Facebook or Twitter, etc. And who exactly will be flagging the content and based on what criteria? And what if you are a smaller site, maybe you're the only admin and, as unlikely as it might be, you just happen to be somewhere without an internet connection for the hour after some a-hole in another country flags something on your site? (Just one example.) Frankly, I'm hoping that a lot of non-EU companies will just tell them to F off. Cost of doing business in EU? Well, guess how pissed off people in the EU would be if a company like Google were to pull out of the EU entirely - pissed off at the EU parliament and their politicians. Right, I know, I seriously doubt that will ever happen, obviously because of the revenue loss, but I would cheer for any company doing so. And it's not just about this, it's about Articles 11 and 13 and all the other crap. Will this be the future of the internet? Will the EU Parliament be the de-facto governing body for the global internet?

I'm wondering if in regards to Article 13, specifically, if Google and other companies could just require anyone who wants their links or content hosted by them to sign a release of some kind that would waive all rights to be paid? In other words, the company says, basically, "Look, we don't have the time or money to police all this crap, and on top of that there would be all the false-positive's we'd have to deal with when using automated systems: so if you want your links to show up in search results or your content to be seen or talked about on our platform, you have to authorize it, because otherwise we will filter out EVERYTHING containing your domain or company name, etc....." Because, I mean, the one BIG thing that seems to be getting overlooked in the debate on this particular Article is that all this "unauthorized" content being shared, that's supposed to be robbing companies and artists of lots of money, also represents a LOT of FREE advertisement for them. It would be interesting to see how much traffic and money would come to these people if suddenly no one were linking to or talking about them or otherwise bringing them to the attention of the public. /end of rant :D
 
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Nev_Dull

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An hour is not that long when you consider the number of people and posts on Facebook or Twitter, etc. And who exactly will be flagging the content and based on what criteria? And what if you are a smaller site, maybe you're the only admin and, as unlikely as it might be, you just happen to be somewhere without an internet connection for the hour after some a-hole in another country flags something on your site?
These are good questions. We don't know the answers yet as this is just a proposal at this point. Presumably, there will be more criteria around specific types of content the legislation wants to target. As to who will monitor and deal with complaints, that will likely be up to the site. Larger social media sites should have that covered already. For smaller sites, I expect it would be more a case of ensuring you deal with it in a timely fashion. (I can hear our man Tracy quoting "might" and "may" again.) It's not like there's going to be a countdown timer that automatically fines you after 60 minutes. The proposed legislation is aimed at removing, or at least reducing, content that promotes illegal terror content. It's not designed to punish publishers -- unless they choose to allow such content on their platforms.

I'm wondering if in regards to Article 13, specifically, if Google and other companies could just require anyone who wants their links or content hosted by them to sign a release of some kind that would waive all rights to be paid? In other words, the company says, basically, "Look, we don't have the time or money to police all this crap, and on top of that there would be all the false-positive's we'd have to deal with when using automated systems: so if you want your links to show up in search results or your content to be seen or talked about on our platform, you have to authorize it, because otherwise we will filter out EVERYTHING containing your domain or company name, etc....."
They could do that of course. It would likely be the end of them, though, because no one is going to do that. You are looking at this from Google's perspective, which has been the traditional viewpoint. (Let's all help poor old Google by jumping through whatever hoops they want to put up.)

This article of the proposed legislation takes the viewpoint of the content creator. So what if Google has to spend a few of their bazillions to ensure copyright content isn't shared without permission or compensation? Isn't it important that people who have created valuable intellectual property be able to both keep control of it, and/or be fairly compensated for it? I don't see how anyone can argue against this. I can't see Xenforo or IPS saying to Google "Sure, go ahead and promote those links to our pirated software. We understand it's too much effort for you to deal with."
 

zappaDPJ

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Isn't it important that people who have created valuable intellectual property be able to both keep control of it, and/or be fairly compensated for it? I don't see how anyone can argue against this.

I'm not going to argue against it because YouTube contains loads of my intellectual property for which I don't see a brass farthing. However it would be hypocritical of me not to say that I like many people spend many hours trawling through YouTube searching for hidden gems for which I pay nothing at all.
 

Nev_Dull

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I've been there a few times myself, seeing someone else's name on my work. That is the current state of the internet. We just don't know if the content we're viewing is credited to the right author or used with permission.

I don't know if proposed laws like this will work or even help. I do think it's a step in the right direction.
 

Tracy Perry

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(I can hear our man Tracy quoting "might" and "may" again.)
Yep... don't EVER trust a governmental agency to do a smart/reasonable thing. Think of the dumbest solution you can and multiply it by a factor of 5 and you will have what they want to do. ;)
 

sanction9

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These are good questions. We don't know the answers yet as this is just a proposal at this point. Presumably, there will be more criteria around specific types of content the legislation wants to target. As to who will monitor and deal with complaints, that will likely be up to the site. Larger social media sites should have that covered already. For smaller sites, I expect it would be more a case of ensuring you deal with it in a timely fashion. (I can hear our man Tracy quoting "might" and "may" again.) It's not like there's going to be a countdown timer that automatically fines you after 60 minutes. The proposed legislation is aimed at removing, or at least reducing, content that promotes illegal terror content. It's not designed to punish publishers -- unless they choose to allow such content on their platforms.


They could do that of course. It would likely be the end of them, though, because no one is going to do that. You are looking at this from Google's perspective, which has been the traditional viewpoint. (Let's all help poor old Google by jumping through whatever hoops they want to put up.)

This article of the proposed legislation takes the viewpoint of the content creator. So what if Google has to spend a few of their bazillions to ensure copyright content isn't shared without permission or compensation? Isn't it important that people who have created valuable intellectual property be able to both keep control of it, and/or be fairly compensated for it? I don't see how anyone can argue against this. I can't see Xenforo or IPS saying to Google "Sure, go ahead and promote those links to our pirated software. We understand it's too much effort for you to deal with."

I don't think you've read up on these Articles. Not displaying links to pirate software sites is not the issue. I suggest you Google "EU Article 11." It essentially would impose what amounts to a "link tax" when linking to any kind of copyrighted content, including news articles. We're not talking about linking to illegal file-shares here, we're talking about possibly being fined when quoting and referencing and linking other people's articles. (Think Wikipedia.) Any kind of content aggregator would be in trouble. Spain tried something similar a few years back and Google did pull out of there, and the resulting loss of traffic from Google did end up hurting those local news outlets/publishers in Spain. Here's an article that outlines some of the negative effects seen soon after (probably worse now): https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...oogle-tax-has-been-a-disaster-for-publishers/

The EU is wanting to do what Spain did, on a much more massive scale, with link taxes and content filters. See here:https://www.wired.co.uk/article/wha...ean-directive-on-copyright-explained-meme-ban
 
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Nev_Dull

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My point was to illustrate the issue. People get upset with the idea of linking to a site with pirated copies of software. Yet they start screaming censorship at the idea of not sharing pirated content, be it text, video, audio, images, etc. Those properties are no less valuable to the people and companies that created them than the programs are to software companies.

As I said above, we don't know yet how this proposed legislation would actually be implemented. However, I do agree with the concept. It is trying to address some of the issues with copyright on the internet. As it stands now, the onus is on copyright holders to protect their copyright. Failing to stop someone from infringing on your copyrights can end up with you losing them. In the physical world, keeping track of copyright was difficult to do. On the internet, it is pretty much impossible, even for large organizations. Putting at least some of the burden on the sites than host content, makes sense.

I also don't expect a "link tax" will be part of any final legislation. Current laws already allow for linking to original source and short excerpts (both of which have been widely abused). I can see tighter restrictions on verifying links before posting, but we'll see how it shakes out.
 

Nev_Dull

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Yep... don't EVER trust a governmental agency to do a smart/reasonable thing. Think of the dumbest solution you can and multiply it by a factor of 5 and you will have what they want to do. ;)
Unfortunately, we've all had too many experiences with this. That said, I'm still optimistic enough to believe governmental bodies try to develop legislation designed to correct bad behaviour first, and punish it second. That's why I don't see this proposal as a "cash grab" or an attack on certain companies. What happens during implementation of a law though....
 

TorontoTim

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"You wouldn't get away with handing out fliers inciting terrorism on the streets of our cities — and it shouldn't be possible to do it on the internet, either," EU security commissioner Julian King said in a statement.

Well, that analogy is either totally off base or if it is accurate, then the law would also apply to the police stopping the guy from handing out fliers on the corner inside an hour.

Will have to read up, but as always it's hard to enforce foreign laws on sites hosted and operated from other countries.
 

wakey

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I'm not into conspiracy theories but if I were I'd suggest that someone must be paying off the people who vote on this to pass everything they can to scare certain social media companies out of Europe. Now, I don't think that's the case, but there must be some underlying reason they keep doing these stupid sort of things.

At the heart of it the legislation actually makes a lot of sense. You just have to look at YouTube for examples of mass abuse of copyright under what people claim are fair use. Look at reaction videos for example, there are some that do this brilliantly in a way that transforms the work, the Fine Bros for example but just look at 99% of geeky channels when a new trailer drops, it’s 2-5 minutes of them showing the trailer with their cam on part of the screen and their only reactions is pulling a few faces and a few 'grunts' and when it gets taken down they start bitching about fair use when they added nothing to original content.

Then you have the news channels. You get the odd good one like Phillip De Franco who will give you an overview of a story, might give his opinion but never removes the need to visit the original article if it’s something that interests you. Then you have the channels that take the original article, read it out almost word for word, oftennusing robovoice and which adds no commentary or opinion. That removes any need for viewers to read the original work that an outlet invested time and money into professional jounalists to produce a well research, high quality piece. And those are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more abuses of copyright on YouTube and go outside YouTube and it’s even worse.

The problem is it’s such a complex situation that does need dealt with that there is no easy solution and we have ended up with so many people having their say in shaping it, often people with no real background knowledge that what we have got ends up being a mess
 
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Matthew S

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As it stands now, the onus is on copyright holders to protect their copyright. Failing to stop someone from infringing on your copyrights can end up with you losing them.

I'm no expert, but isn't that trademarks, not copyright? Still, there are many copyright laws around the world and maybe I've missed something.
 

we_are_borg

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I'm no expert, but isn't that trademarks, not copyright? Still, there are many copyright laws around the world and maybe I've missed something.

Trademarks and patents and such if you do not protect them you will lose them.
 

Nev_Dull

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I'm no expert, but isn't that trademarks, not copyright? Still, there are many copyright laws around the world and maybe I've missed something.
Yes, you're right. My brain and fingers were not cooperating. I was meaning the copyright material, not the copyrights themselves.
 

esquire

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The only solution is to have those proposing first try to eat their own dog food. I'm guessing even the dog wouldn't eat it.

Or they could try a more subtle approach at a solution. This law and its accompanying fines do not apply to entities with both revenues of under $1 billion and who do not have corporate headquarters located in the state of California.
 

Alpha1

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The EU commission has just approved this directive.
Once an internet company hosting content uploaded by users (like Facebook or YouTube) that offers their services in the EU has received a removal order from the competent national authority, they will have one hour to remove it or disable access to it in all EU member states
It seems that admins will no longer be allowed to sleep or be offline. The penalty seems similar to that of the GDPR.
 

Sophos

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It seems that admins will no longer be allowed to sleep or be offline. The penalty seems similar to that of the GDPR.

What confuses me is that Article 13 (17) requires copyright filters whereas TerReg rejects them? It doesn't make sense, unless TerReg is for exempt websites.

This probably isn't the same as the GDPR. I believe there are exceptions for websites younger that 3 years and making less than 10 million yearly or something like that, we need to have a closer look what is required from websites starting from small to large.
 

Alpha1

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This is not about copyright. its about abusive content.
I believe there are exceptions for websites younger that 3 years and making less than 10 million yearly or something like that
If your website has been online for less than 3 years AND makes less than 10 million then the regulation is more relaxed. So any site older than 3 years then there is a 1 hour deadline.
The first time you receive a notice, there is a 12 hour deadline. Which is still insane.
 
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