Sunday, July 15, 2018

"Stifling Creativity" AKA The Profitable Ingenuity Of The Lawless

Applying bricks-and-mortar laws to the internet would "stifle creativity" and prevent "the sharing" of "information" and generally "end the internet as we know and love it". Such is the gist of the so-far-successful opponents of the controversial copyright law that was just rejected by the EU Parliament.

"Critics said the laws would stifle creativity..."

Allow this author to translate. The "creativity" that would be stifled" by a reform of European copyright laws is not the genius of authorship, musicianship, cinematic film making, or the artistry of a photographer or painter. No, it is the profitable ingenuity of thieves.

"Sharing"..."information", is usually a matter of monetizing stolen creations of others. Pirate sites don't publish and distribute helpful advice or uncommon knowledge. Their "information" is more likely to be illegal copies of movies, games, works of fiction, music. And, they don't "share" like one neighbor does to another over the garden fence. They broadcast (like tossing seeds in a wide arc over a ploughed --or plowed-- field), usually for the purpose of payment from advertisers.

Legal blogger Gill Grassie for the law firm Brodies LLP  examines what is legally or logistically unacceptable about the draconian Article 13 of the EU proposal.

To wit, bigger platforms might have been obliged to prevent copyright infringing work from being uploaded by users.  Additionally, websites might have had to pay a license fee for displaying  snippets of text snagged
(my term) from published  articles.

By contrast, and from the sharp end, here's a fine video analysis of piracy by film maker Ellen Seidler of who profits from piracy, and how, and why. (It's from 2012, but still relevant.).

If lawmakers were to intellectually follow the money, they might do a better job of protecting creators. Perhaps the wrong Congressional and legislative bodies are looking at the problem... and of course, too many lawmakers are campaign-funded and lobbied by entities that find piracy profitable.

Aatif Sulleyman for the Trusted Reviews site examines the reasons produced in a 2018 survey on why Britons steal online.

It seems to boil down to the love of a freebie. It's free, and it's convenient. Or at least, that is the popular perception.

(But, all this "free" stuff is ruining musicians' livelihoods. A musician debunks the idea of touring and T-shirts as an adequate substitute for record sales, and points out that concert performances provide zero income for songwriters: )

Aatif Sulleyman wrote this, about watermarking.

This author never expected a search for "remove watermarks on copyrighted content" to produce any search results at all. Wrong!

Colour me shocked.
On the other hand, the same socially responsible purveyors of useful information will also assist bricks-and-mortar perps.

I should probably now clear my cookies... and so, dear reader, should you.

The host of this blog (Blogspot) puts cookies on visitors' devices, and conveniently infers that visitors agree to deer-tick-like cookies piling on and burrowing in. Most sites to which this article has linked make the same inference.

Although "Cookie Consent" is the new panic according to legal blogger Eduardo Usteran, blogging for Hogan Lovells, blogs and websites have been obliged to let visitors know about their no-opt-out cookies
since an EU directive in 2009.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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