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PRS copyright reforms

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:21 am

Please do vote, people.

Dear Member,

I am writing to you on a matter of the greatest importance. In the next few days the European Parliament will vote on whether to approve the most significant reform of copyright law in nearly two decades. At the heart of these reforms are proposals to ensure that online platforms which host content uploaded by their users (video and music sharing services) are liable for copyright and must either obtain a licence or block unlicensed content.

Over the last four years, PRS for Music has been instrumental in highlighting the harm to creators of an online market which isn’t functioning properly. In 2014 we produced a study to draw attention to the economic harm being caused by some platforms using creative content without the authorisation of rightsholders, which has resulted in the value of musical works being transferred away from the creators to the platforms. This ‘transfer of value’ has become globally recognised as the most significant challenge facing the creative and cultural industries.

We are now at a critical point, Members of European Parliament are reportedly receiving thousands of emails from anti-copyright crusaders. If we are to secure legislation to make online platforms pay fairly for the use of music, we need your help.

Take 90 seconds, use our simple tool to email Members of the European Parliament to ask for support in solving the transfer of value and help create an online market which works for creators.

USE CREATORS’ RIGHTS FIGHT TOOL

Yours faithfully,

Robert Ashcroft
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby The Korff » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:38 am

Is this the legislation that people in some of the more hubristic corners of the Internet reckon amounts to the EU 'banning memes'? Total nonsense, of course. It all smacks of BoJo's bendy bananas, and with my tinfoil hat on, it also seems to have been very effective at driving anti-EU sentiment among young people, or 'anti-copyright crusaders' as PRS call them — which is also a nonsense... kids are just worried that Interpol will break into their homes and seize their meme folders.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby Still Vibrations » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:08 am

It is a waste of time. The so called 'disruptive' business model is driven by a wealth that is unexampled. Uber, AirB&B, Amazon, Google, Facebook, hedge funds etc. are outside the law and have a multi-national clout no government can fight. The EU may remediate one aspect of copyright law but the entire EU system is designed to enable the unhindered success of these multinationals.
That my socialist friends - who start most sentences with the words "as a socialist" - support these multinationals is prescient. The cant from the EU is meaningless, they are a conduit for crude, harsh, financial imperialism with which they willingly collude.
As Jaron Lanier writes, this business model is going to produce a handful of multi-billionaires while most of the world starve. Unfortunately this seems to be the telos of contemporary politics.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:50 am

Actually articles 11 and 13 are very concerning and personally i would be encouraging people to ask their MEPs to vote against it.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby Still Vibrations » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:29 am

blinddrew wrote:Actually articles 11 and 13 are very concerning and personally i would be encouraging people to ask their MEPs to vote against it.

I entirely agree but it looks as if those articles will be passed.

The copyright law has not kept pace with contemporary creative work. With quotation, plagiarism, and appropriation all acceptable techniques in contemporary work, especially literature, the plodding attorneys jump in, second-guess the intention of creative artists and earn too much money in the process.
An example is the author Kathy Acker, who quoted whole sections of a Harold Robbins novel. She was open about it, the readers knew it, and Harold Robbins had no objections but the publishers and attorneys did - until Robbins intervened.
It is wrong when it is politicians, bureaucrats and attorneys, not creators, who decide what is and is not acceptable in the creative arts. The EU is over keen to upend common sense and extend their purview into every single area of our lives.
P D James said something like: in Britain you can do what you like except that which is proscribed illegal; in Europe you can't do anything except that which is specified as legal.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby CS70 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:10 am

ReadySaltedChris wrote:Please do vote, people.

Dear Member,

I am writing to you on a matter of the greatest importance. In the next few days the European Parliament will vote on whether to approve the most significant reform of copyright law in nearly two decades. At the heart of these reforms are proposals to ensure that online platforms which host content uploaded by their users (video and music sharing services) are liable for copyright and must either obtain a licence or block unlicensed content.

Over the last four years, PRS for Music has been instrumental in highlighting the harm to creators of an online market which isn’t functioning properly. In 2014 we produced a study to draw attention to the economic harm being caused by some platforms using creative content without the authorisation of rightsholders, which has resulted in the value of musical works being transferred away from the creators to the platforms. This ‘transfer of value’ has become globally recognised as the most significant challenge facing the creative and cultural industries.

We are now at a critical point, Members of European Parliament are reportedly receiving thousands of emails from anti-copyright crusaders. If we are to secure legislation to make online platforms pay fairly for the use of music, we need your help.

Take 90 seconds, use our simple tool to email Members of the European Parliament to ask for support in solving the transfer of value and help create an online market which works for creators.

USE CREATORS’ RIGHTS FIGHT TOOL

Yours faithfully,

Robert Ashcroft

Here's the link if I'm not mistaken

https://prsformusic.com/login?returnUrl ... ghts-fight
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby CS70 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:12 am

Thought hadn't they voted and passed it on the 21st ?
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:33 pm

That was the Juri committee vote.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:53 pm

Please vote peeps and pass it on.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:00 pm

If you want to embed Facebook, Google and Spotify as the dominant online platforms for the next couple of decades, this is definitely the way to do it. :(
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby CS70 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:51 am

blinddrew wrote:If you want to embed Facebook, Google and Spotify as the dominant online platforms for the next couple of decades, this is definitely the way to do it. :(

Hei Drew, why do you conclude that a bill shaped to enforce creators' rights would make the three platform dominant (er.. *more* dominant :-)). My impression is that their current dominance is due to quite different factors (among which being a darn good product for the end user is pretty important).

Besides, from a creator point of view, what is or what is not a dominant platform in search, social sharing or streaming is of little relevance? For that, Trump's decision to abolish enforcement of net neutrality is (theoretically) a much worse thing: it's not Facebook or Google that may curtail access to our works, but your ISP...

Not looking for a fight or anything, just curious on the reasoning of why it's so important to outweigh people being rightly compensated for the work they produce.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby Still Vibrations » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:14 am

CS70 wrote:Not looking for a fight or anything, just curious on the reasoning of why it's so important to outweigh people being rightly compensated for the work they produce.

Because this law will not achieve that effect. Here is an article about it:

https://www.cnet.com/news/article-13-europes-hotly-debated-eu-copyright-law-explained/

The European Union is unconcerned about its laws amounting to censorship and putting power into the hands of multinationals. The whole copyright litigation is working against creative artists: sampling, appropriation, plagiarism, quotation, are all acceptable techniques used by great creative artists. The European Union's laws work against individuals and individual freedom. And the recent victory by the Gaye family means every piece of music could come under the gavel.

When the law introduced a few years ago - if you sold directly from your website you had to be VAT registered in all 28 EU countries and submit VAT returns four times a year to each country's tax office (112 tax submissions per year) - Juncker suggested it was not a problem as you could sell through Amazon that was already set up for such purposes.

The EU's campaign against 'fake news' is another attempt at media control, it means news that the EU bureaucrats deem as 'fake'. Yesterday I read a contemporaneous account of Billy the Kid in the New York Times, a reputable paper that hates fake news. However that account was erroneous, as subsequent research has shown. If someone who knew Billy the Kid had uploaded a post that said he had not killed 19 people, probably not even as many as seven, the EU's proposed anti-fake news legislation would kick in.
The data collecting of organisations such as Cambridge Analytica was the preserve of conspiracy theorists at one time - yet it turned out to be true.

The EU is squashing everything with its petty, Stasi-style- obsession with total control. Only large companies can afford the software and lawyers - GDPR helps companies such as Facebook while making small startups just about impossible.

The commingling of EU bureaucracy and multinational money means the creative arts will stagnate. The EU laws are creating a large Precariat and I believe that is exactly what they intend. Individual writers like me will suffer; Apple Music, Google, Youtube etc. will thrive with what little competition there is litigated out of existence.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby CS70 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:56 am

Still Vibrations wrote:
CS70 wrote:Not looking for a fight or anything, just curious on the reasoning of why it's so important to outweigh people being rightly compensated for the work they produce.

Because this law will not achieve that effect. Here is an article about it:

https://www.cnet.com/news/article-13-europes-hotly-debated-eu-copyright-law-explained/

Thank you, I did read.

The article seems to report more about criticism of the idea of copyright (i.e. having to ask permission before using someone else's creation) rather than the specific law. In other words I did not find anything in the article that told me that the law would not achieve the intended effect, but rather a lot tell me that there are people who dislike that effect (which I knew already :) ). It states it clearly in the "effects on you" section, saying that "everything you post online will be subjected to copyright check". To me, that's its a "about bloody time"; to someone who likes to use or consume material unchecked is a "oh damn". Same with "social media taking more direct responsibility". YouTube did it and we're getting a little money for it, which helps creating more. From a content creator standpoint, I can't see the problem. (I can see it from a consumer used to all-free buffet, of course).

Still don't see how that has much to do with large platforms dominance?
FB and Google dominate because loads of people uses them, and loads of people uses them because they deem them to be a good product. Nobody's obliged to do so in any way. This law - it seems to me - will not change much about that?

(I dont comment the snippet about the EU to keep focus on my question).

The whole copyright litigation is working against creative artists: sampling, appropriation, plagiarism, quotation, are all acceptable techniques used by great creative artists.

It's a bit of a blanket statement, but even assuming so - all these uses are regulated, aren't they? I mean as an artist there are clear limits (in music, down to the amount of bars and notes) on how one can use someone else's work without actually having to share any returns with them or - at the very least - having the freakin' courtesy of asking and obtaining permission.

And that said, it seems to me that the lion's share of the ..sharings which infringe creators' rights has nothing to do with artistic creativity, but all to do with freeriding to watch a movie or a video or listening to music - doing so for free.

To focus the debate on the (relatively few) cases where the onus of asking permission is so big that an author decides it outweights his/her artistic compulsion to create ... it seems like a specious, straw man argument.

And I can add that - as an artist myself - it's got to be a very weak muse you have, if sending a mail or having a little chat with a fellow artist/creator becomes too much of an obstacle. For example, every time I've found someone else's photograph appealing as a cover art, I've taken the little courtesy to send a mail asking for usage permission. Sometimes people wanted a monetary compensation and - depending on the amount - we decided whether or not as a band we could afford it. It's been zero problem, and my creativity is certainly not stifled by it in the slightest. Much worse stifling is done by not having the money to pay the rent at the end of the month... (if I did pay a rent, that is :) ).

Can't really see that it's a real problem, that one.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby Still Vibrations » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:33 pm

If the proposed law just banned entire tracks being uploaded, unchanged, it wouldn't be such a problem and I am certainly not supporting pirating which I abhor and condemn without reservation. But it means if you integrate another composer's element into a track it would, and this law will include that. The Gaye family case has shown how fragile creativity is now.
I am not justifying wholehearted appropriation either. There has been an outcry recently about a poet who took other poets' works and changed just the odd word. This is not the same as poets who openly include lines from other poets and acknowledge their sources.

Other elements have always been incorporated into other creative artist's work - it is part of classical music, folk, rock, jazz, literature, poetry, films and visual art. Creative artists use other creative artists' work, it enriches their output. The copyright laws are too strict and within reason I think you should be able to integrate elements from other people's work. There have been court cases over one chord even, how can someone supposedly creative be so obsessed? However this law will almost certainly be passed so our discussion is hypothetical.

Another problem is that small ISPs, such as the one I use, will not be able to police this law so may well ban people from uploading any tracks. This means you have to put your tracks on one of the multinational companies' websites - back to Youtube, Facebook etc.

If you are interested in a discussion about platform dominance 10 reasons to give up social media right now by Jaron Lanier goes in to details about this. It's written like a rant on a computer website but a good book. (I just wished he wasn't so obsessed with criticism of President Trump when it is not relevant to the argument in hand.)
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby CS70 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm

Thank you, valid points both.

As a content creator I am still of the opinion that the benefits outweight these issues, but now I understand better the reasoning.

Appreciated!
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby Still Vibrations » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:05 pm

CS70 wrote:Thank you, valid points both.

As a content creator I am still of the opinion that the benefits outweight these issues, but now I understand better the reasoning.

Appreciated!

Thank you for that - it really is a difficult question. As a creator yourself you could certainly tell if someone was being creative or a shyster. Unfortunately when lawyers get involved it's another question entirely and for me that is the root of most copyright problems.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:56 pm

Still Vibrations has covered a lot of the key stuff from a creative point of view, my comment about the domination of the big three is from a practical point of view.
Article 13 requires pre-filtering. That means any company that might host any content has to be able to identify and block infringing content before it goes up. Which means for any operation at scale, this needs to be automatic. As we've mentioned before, algorithms can be taught to be good at identifying bits of content, but there are two flaws in the plan:
1) Who has the complete list of copyrighted content that must be filtered?
Answer: no one. No one person or company has a database of copyrighted content. This makes building your filter very difficult because you need to cross reference multiple databases, with different rules in different territories (and different rights owners).
2) Algorithms don't do context. This means lots, and I mean lots, of legitimate speech and use will be censored.
Both of these factors mean that companies will need huge teams of human resource to handle appeals, counter-notices, partial matches etc.
The only companies who have the skills and resources to create these kinds of filters are the established big players. A start-up, which may want to offer a much better deal to creators, can't compete in this legal space. The requirement is too onerous and the risk of non-compliance is too costly. They won't get funding or insurance.
So what we're effectively doing is outsourcing our European web censorship to a small collection of large American companies.
I'd be very surprised if that's what people think they'll be voting for.

Just to be clear though, there are a lot of really good suggestions and approaches elsewhere in the act, but sections 11 and 13 are terrible.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby Folderol » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:18 pm

@blinddrew
You have zeroed very precisely on my greatest concerns. Ones that I think outweighs all the benefits.
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:18 pm

It is enormously frustrating. Copyright needs reform to bring it inline with the reality of how people work, share and create - and there's some really good stuff in the rest of the proposals. But key to the modern creative process is an open web. The double whammy of this in the EU and the net neutrality repeal in the US have a very real threat of pushing the web back to a publishing platform for big business rather than a place for everyone to share.
To be frank, a free and open web had done far more for me as a creator than copyright ever has - but I accept that's not going to be the case for a lot of the people on this forum. :)
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Re: PRS copyright reforms

Postby CS70 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:33 pm

blinddrew wrote:A start-up, which may want to offer a much better deal to creators, can't compete in this legal space.

Appreciate the reasoning, but here I think where it's incorrect. Or, at best, a speculation.

No start up would ever offer a better deal to creators - not a startup that survives very long at least.

Business works exactly the opposite way: the largest you are, the better condition you can give to customers and supply chain partners, so long there's enough competition (which is why is so critically important to have strong, continent or world-wide governmental organizations which can produce and enforce anti-monopoly laws.. but that's for another thread).

Small companies are extremely unlikely have the will and the capability to offer any better condition to anyone. Look at Spotify... that is a exactly a startup for you. Better conditions for the creator are the last thing they care for.

A large company can be challenged in court, if necessary, and cannot fly under the radar. If there is any possibility of getting better conditions for recorded music, it will happen with big companies, good laws and powerful courts which have the wherewithal to enforce them. That a Far West situation could be better in any way, it seems like a totally illogical position to me (I get the romance of course: who doesn't like a good western, but from the comfort of one's sofa?).

So what we're effectively doing is outsourcing our European web censorship to a small collection of large American companies.

This is an over-dramatization built over a misunderstanding. The whole business model of Facebook, Google, YouTube Twitter and companies such as these is to not discriminate. That's why they have ended up in trouble in the last months! They don't care what political side you are, which tastes you like, which music you do - whatever content attracts public, the better - as it drives advertisement revenue and data collection that can be re-sold for profit. It's the new radio, the new TV, the new supermarket membership card.
In other words these companies have a very, very strong built-in incentive to let pass as much content they can. The less regulation there are, the happier they are. That's why they 've been fighting with their nails to avert this kind of legislation. They only exercise censorship when they are compelled to by a disgusted general public.

If you do think that Fb and Google are too dominant, it makes no sense to oppose the only thing that can rein them in.

Beyond that: once upon a time opening a restaurant ment cooking something and have the space to serve it. Nowadays, any restaurant must comply with stringent hygienic rules, storage protocols, seating regulations etc; it is subject to frequent controls, and gets closed if it doesn't pass. The reason for that is that so the likelihood of dying out of food poisoning is much less, which we may agree to is a good thing. Of course that leads to a much bigger cost in running a restaurant than just cooking some food, and precludes some people from opening one! I guarantee that there are many less startups in restoration than there otherwise could be. Doesn't seem to have ever hurt Jamie a little bit. ;-)

There are dozen of other examples, from financial institutions which need quite strict requirements in place to open shop, to garages with security requirements and so forth. Similarly, if you want to deal with copyrighted content on a business basis, it's only natural that you must have in place the machinery to do so - both monitoring and administrative. I'd bloody hope so! :)
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