Poland files a challenge to new EU copyright law

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

First proposed in 2016, the EU passed the Copyright Directive after numerous failed votes and subsequent tweaks last March. Throughout the process to get it passed, critics maintained that the directive was stifling and poorly defined, and would have a devastating impact on the internet’s fundamental function as an information sharing service.

Proponents of the law said that it was about making sure fair compensation went to content creators – news sites, musicians, or artists – which in and of itself is a justifiable aim. The directive places the burden for infringement onto platforms, rather than users.

The problem though is that vague definitions and a lack of clarity about how to enforce such measures means that platforms are likely to over-filter content rather than leave themselves open to legal risks.

It is this issue that the Polish government is focusing on, and dubbing ‘preventative censorship’ in its new filing with the Court of Justice of the European Union – the EU’s top court. The Polish government says that the Copyright Directive “may result in adopting regulations that are analogous to preventive censorship, which is forbidden not only in the Polish constitution but also in the EU treaties.”

Alongside the announcement, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, tweeted that the new law is “a disproportionate measure that fuels censorship and threatens freedom of expression.”

Under current copyright law, platforms aren’t responsible for their users breaching rules as long as the company takes reasonable steps to remove anything infringing – YouTube’s handling of take-down requests is a good example. But under the new system, YouTube would be liable the moment a user uploads a video they don’t own the rights to, and so it’s likely that a new type of filter will need to be developed and deployed. In order to cover their own backs, platforms will almost certainly over-censor than under-filter.

Image credit: AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
"The problem though is that vague definitions and a lack of clarity about how to enforce such measures means that platforms are likely to over-filter content rather than leave themselves open to legal risks."
That being the case there is no good reason not to get down to the specifics. The only reason to leave it as it would be to allow bigger companies to play with the words in order to get by without compliance and that simply defeats the intended purpose .....
 
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Adorerai

TS Enthusiast
I can think of another reason it's vague. The EU can't fine you if the laws are too specific. This leaves it flexible for them to come up with what does and doesn't violate the law on a whim when extra revenue is needed.
 

ypsylon

TS Booster
Pure hypocrisy. In Vatican colony of Poland you land in jail for drawing a rainbow over some fictional, irrational "sacred" being (freedom of expression) or eating a banana the wrong way (freedom of expression), not to mention valid criticism of the regime (freedom of speech).

Of course law passed by EU is moronic, but so is Polish government.
 

ruid84

TS Rookie
Pure hypocrisy. In Vatican colony of Poland you land in jail for drawing a rainbow over some fictional, irrational "sacred" being (freedom of expression) or eating a banana the wrong way (freedom of expression), not to mention valid criticism of the regime (freedom of speech).

Of course law passed by EU is moronic, but so is Polish government.
I live in Poland. In my country religions are under special protection. Thus it is forbidden to desecrate sacred items, symbols, etc. But this law is old, imprecise and, as far as I am aware, nobody has gone to jail for breaking it(courts usually dismiss the charges). In fact, after the rainbow case you referred to, many people have replicate this desecration as a sign of protest and guess what? there where no mass arrests. Such incidents are usually blown out of proportion, as a part of political game. Right wingers usually condemn desecration, left wingers try to portrait the perpetrator as a victim, etc.... but it just politics. Regular people usually don't care and don't feel like their freedom of expression is under threat. People who feel otherwise are usual under influence of politics and TVN overdose(Polish equivalent of CNN). On the other hand, the issue described in the article is pretty serious. Thus, I don't see pure hypocrisy here.
 
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Bp968

TS Booster
Pure hypocrisy. In Vatican colony of Poland you land in jail for drawing a rainbow over some fictional, irrational "sacred" being (freedom of expression) or eating a banana the wrong way (freedom of expression), not to mention valid criticism of the regime (freedom of speech).

Of course law passed by EU is moronic, but so is Polish government.
I live in Poland. In my country religions are under special protection. Thus it is forbidden to desecrate sacred items, symbols, etc. But this law is old, imprecise and, as far as I am aware, nobody has gone to jail for breaking it(courts usually dismiss the charges). In fact, after the rainbow case you referred to, many people have replicate this desecration as a sign of protest and guess what? there where no mass arrests. Such incidents are usually blown out of proportion, as a part of political game. Right wingers usually condemn desecration, left wingers try to portrait the perpetrator as a victim, etc.... but it just politics. Regular people usually don't care and don't feel like their freedom of expression is under threat. People who feel otherwise are usual under influence of politics and TVN overdose(Polish equivalent of CNN). On the other hand, the issue described in the article is pretty serious. Thus, I don't see pure hypocrisy here.
You better stop it with your well thought out and logical response, there is no place for things like that here on the internet!
 
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Bp968

TS Booster
I can think of another reason it's vague. The EU can't fine you if the laws are too specific. This leaves it flexible for them to come up with what does and doesn't violate the law on a whim when extra revenue is needed.
The EU has been envious of the US tech sector for years but can't seem to create their own (I have some ideas as to why, and its not due to lack of quality people). So instead of creating their own they decided to just fine the US tech sector as an ongoing tax to fund Brussels.

I guess if you can't get your member states to pay up then its not a terrible idea. Bleed just enough that the company still makes money of they stay, but not so much that its cheaper to packup and go home.