Comments: 12
Linda Hilton 9 months ago
Would this affect ALL social media platforms that operate in the EU? Twitter? Facebook? Goodreads? Amazon?

Would it affect trademarks as well? Amazon and eBay already do some policing of trademarked goods and counterfeits thereof, but this could get really hairy for crafting sites like Etsy where a huge portion of the sales -- and the site's revenue -- comes from trademark infringing merchandise.

Thanks for posting this, MbD. Much food for thought.
Murder by Death 9 months ago
Yes to the first question; I don't *think* so to the second, although someone more versed in EU law should answer that one. Our trademark law is seperate from our copyright, so from a US perspective TMs would not come into play.

But yes, any site wanting to do business (or have a presence) in the EU would be required to adhere to this new legislation.

Article 11 wouldn't effect us much here (I don't think) but it will be disastrous from a fake news perspective; people will only link to free/cheap sites, which will be unlikely to offer factual information - and boy will this be easy to game...
"So it goes." 9 months ago
Thoughts I have without doing ANY research of my own. Does this mean without being asked by a publisher to review a book we could actually be sued (or booklikes could be sued) for our quotes in a review? What about the book covers etc? I can probably live w/o memes, but on a book site, there has to be a way to live within the law and still share books we like.

And as you point out from the Fake News perspective, this will only make everything worse.
Murder by Death 9 months ago
I'm not worried about the covers much - they fall under fair use for just about all the copyright laws I know of. We use them as being representative of the product itself for use in discussion of said product. Quotes, you would THINK, would fall under fair use too, and probably do in most situations. What gives me pause are the statements on some copyright pages (which I read because I'm a demented nerd) that state explicitly that NO excerpts from the book can be used without written permission - and leave it at that. They'd probably have no problem with our usage, but as printed, we'd be legally out of bounds to do so.

Going forward, publishers can sort this out easily enough with a new copyright statement that clarifies what's permissible, but will this new legislation - if passed - be enforced retroactively? ie will it apply to copyrights before 2018? Cuz that could get sticky.

I'm guessing BL wouldn't be sued, so much as fined? Not sure there at all though because I know EU laws are more restrictive about who can/how suits can be filed.
"So it goes." 9 months ago
OK - on a quick and dirty skim through the first few links, I'd say EU residents: make some noise to your representatives! "There are protests being organized across Europe; Internet-savvy figures like Stephen Fry and Neil Gaiman are raising the alarm. And MEPs are beginning to see the light." Unfortunately, they're only now hearing from anyone who thinks this is a bad idea. The above link provided by MbD has a bunch of other good links in it too. I know what I'm doing w/ my evening.
Linda Hilton 9 months ago
So, here's the thing: just because someone CAN sue, doesn't mean they will. Take fanfic: Hasbro allowed James Roberts to publish a Transformers novel, and even sell at cost to print it at conventions, because they knew it kept up interest. Later, they picked him up to write for the comics. I've heard rumors that DC and Marvel - at lest before they were snapped up by bigger companies - were loathe to sue those who sold fan art of their characters on eBay because it was common enough for those people to be picked up and become the next big thing in comics that they didn't want to sue them and ensure they never again worked for them. (Even if it happened a couple times only, if the creator became big enough it could be a Big Deal.) Many TV shows, movies, comics, etc have fan art and fanfic written about them - and the creators don't get sued, there is no action, and these aren't taken down. These companies realize that fanfic stokes the fire, especially if movies have sequels or during summer breaks and/or a hiatus during a show: there's new material they aren't paying for that works as advertisement.

What I'm saying is this is worrisome - but I'm not 100% sure shows will go after GIFs and memes. Why would they? Free advertising, especially if something goes viral. It literally costs them nothing and there are usually more benefits than downsides.

Also, when people go against the fans who create these, stifle their talks about the shows, or whatever, there's fan backlash. I think because it would be seen as stifling the creative community who loves these things, the studios/publishers/whoever hold the rights will be unlikely to go after Booklikes. Or whatever site. The backlash would still be there. It might be more enraged if they went after a single person, but I think it would still be there and still create a lot of bitterness if they went after a corporate website, especially one that was about sharing the love of books/fandoms like BL.

I see that it's now pushed back to September, but I also think we should realize that there's a reason more fanfic, GIF, and memes aren't taken down: it's not about assigning blame to a single creator of memes or a website. It's about the pros being large, and the cons being small, to having these exist in the first place.

None of this is meant to say that I agree with these laws. I think they are incredibly worrisome. I think it would be a Very Bad Plan to push them through. But I'm not 100% convinced BL would change all that much if they were pushed through.

I could be 100% wrong, but in my experience it's rare for people to go up against this kind of thing because others have and Primus, the backlash.
Murder by Death 9 months ago
I agree with you in theory Grim, but as I read Article 13, if it had passed (and praise all that's good and holy it's been postponed), companies would have HAD to set up filters at the software level to scan for copyright infringement if they wanted to do business in the EU. It's (a small) part of what is so concerning, because how does an algorithm scan for copyright infringement while still allowing fair use / satire / homage material through? It was going to be a big snarly mess.

Hopefully with the postponement, wiser heads will prevail - I mean, statistically speaking, wiser heads HAVE to prevail somewhere, don't they?
That's different.

Hopefully THAT won't go through.
Bark at the Ghouls 9 months ago
This would pretty much shut down most websites. I know I'd stop blogging.
Murder by Death 9 months ago