What Should a Copyright Law Look Like?

The EU Article 13 copyright law is controversial. And I think it is fair to say that many, if not most, or even all, people in here think it is a bad law with far too much restriction, and largely unenforceable.

What is wrong with Article 13 and what should a good copyright law look like?


Some would even argue that there should not be any copyright law. But realistically, that is not going to happen. Intellectual property is here to stay. But this law’s restrictions are extreme: it doesn’t even allow for ‘fair use.’ I know Europe never really had a fair use exception, but this would have been a good time to put one in. Instead they went the other way completely.

The following blog post from our own @alberto illustrates the clumsiness and counter-productive nature of the rule. In it he tells the story of how he wasn’t able to photograph an old poster in the House of European History in Brussels, a museum dedicated to spreading knowledge and understanding about being European to Europeans:


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The main copyright holders I know are musicians who write and record their own music. One is East Bay Ray, the guitarist for the punk band, The Dead Kennedys. Another is a trio of angelic folk singers, The Wailin’ Jennys.

In both cases they have seen their revenue from recordings drop down to negligible numbers over the past 20 yrs. This means they have to tour much more in order to be full time musicians. Ray is 70 years old. The Jennys all became mothers over the past decade. Touring is much more of a hardship when you are a mother, and sometimes it just isn’t doable.

Will this new article 13 law help them and other copyright holders earn their living from their recordings? Not unless it succeeds in forcing YouTube to stop allowing people to watch copyrighted material for free and they succeed in stopping stream-ripping sites from searching them for items to rip. I do not see how they are going to accomplish that. As of last fall, YouTube had done nothing about it.

Meanwhile, smaller sites may soon be required to pre-approve posts and links uploaded from their users, an expense many cannot afford. And this in the service of stopping piracy that hardly occurs on small sites anyway.

Would be nice to post this direct question in different channels as well. To do that an image would be good. @johncoate how about this:


Just took a screenshot of the first view of imagesearch in Google when you search for copyright. Should I add it to your post?

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Sure that’s fine. Thanks!

Perhaps remove the possibility to pursue legal messure on copyright if the material is made public.