back to article Call your MEP! Wikipedia blacks out for European YouTube vote

Wikipedia is appealing to its users to swing a knife-edge vote in the European Parliament – even though the crowdsourced encyclopaedia itself won a specific exemption from the legal changes the EU has proposed (PDF). As European Parliament's legal affairs committee mulls over votes to tweak the EU Directive on Copyright in the …

  1. Aladdin Sane

    The people who run Wikipedia

    appear to be bell ends.

    1. VinceH

      Re: The people who run Wikipedia

      This is news to you?

    2. Grikath

      Re: The people who run Wikipedia

      judging from the downvotes, there's a couple "trusted editors" around....

      1. John Lilburne

        Re: The people who run Wikipedia

        They will all be sockpuppets of this one:

  2. James 51

    There's a lot of noise on twitter from Cory Doctorow and the like about how this will break the internet. Nice to have a little more light and a little less heat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Enemy of my enemy is my friend

      But the "more light" was only after the anti-Wikipedia screed. Somehow, for this author, extending copyright's reach is bad, unless Wikipedia says it is, then copyright is not so bad after all. This is more of a continuing obvious obsession. Apple is mentioned with more warmth here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enemy of my enemy is my friend

        It looks like you made more sense of this article than me......

    2. Paul Ellis

      @James 51

      I'm sure you've all heard the story of the great copyleft activist Cory Doctorow's wife, who had a photo of hers used by the Daily Mail without her permission. She went ballistic and wanted it taken down, and how was that to be achieved? By the use of... existing copyright law.

      1. Paul Ellis

        Ah! A thumb-down for recounting a story of Aesopian proportions concerning being careful of what you wish for.

        There's none as blind, etc.

  3. Killfalcon

    The problem I have so far... that the counters to the [probably exaggerated] claims of "making memes illegal" or whatever are all really hard to read, or at least the ones I've found so far. There's always a layer of un-explained jargon being used, which makes it tricky to work out if it's legit or just bafflement issued by someone who isn't actually sure what a meme is.

    It's just... if you're strongly asserting the rights of artists, then that *has* to interact with the practice of slapping dumb jokes on random photos someone else took, right?

    1. Paul Ellis

      Re: The problem I have so far...


      "It's just... if you're strongly asserting the rights of artists, then that *has* to interact with the practice of slapping dumb jokes on random photos someone else took, right?"

      Yes. Most of us like a laugh, and few of us object in practice to people *having a laugh* with our work. There's even a UK copyright exception - the Parody exception - legalising this, which was introduced in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.

      When, however, people start to make money off our work without our permission or paying us a bit if we ask for it, or using our work without our permission to promote ideas or organisations we object to, then we tend to get a bit shirty and need legislative tools with which to put a stop to it.

      Those of us whose entire income is based on licensing the copyright works we create - i.e. the work was only created in the first place to provided us with an income stream, not just for fun or 'art' - are particularly sensitive to this. We don't want rich internet corporations or pompous, self-righteous, deluded 'academics' from syphoning off part of our potential income. We can't afford it.

      If you want to use my work and ask me nicely first I am likely to say yes, and make it affordable for you. If you just arrogantly use it without asking first, because 'remix culture', 'open culture' or 'digital democracy', I'm likely to take the hump. I'm a bit old-fashioned that way and tend to think: 'It took me 10,000 hours to learn to do that. If you can't ask me nicely first you can fuck off and make your own.'

      I think this attitude is not unreasonable.

      1. Paul Ellis

        Re: The problem I have so far...

        Ah, at last a downvote. What's up? Do you object to me, and people like me, actually making a living from our work? And if you do, how, prey, are we to make a living?

        1. Tony Paulazzo

          Re: The problem I have so far...

          Do you object to me, and people like me, actually making a living from our work?

          No, it's more like your great great great grand children still earning a living from your work and the utter destruction of the Public Domain.

          Get Copyright back in balance and then we can talk, Mickey (the Mouse).

          EDIT: Not that I down-voted you, you are more than entitled to earn a living from creating stuff.

          1. Paul Ellis

            Re: The problem I have so far...

            @Tony Paulazzo

            "Do you object to me, and people like me, actually making a living from our work?

            No, it's more like your great great great grand children still earning a living from your work and the utter destruction of the Public Domain.

            Get Copyright back in balance and then we can talk, Mickey (the Mouse)."

            You have a point there. The Disney-driven extensions of copyright term are a pork-barrel embarrassment. 50 years after publication or death of author are sufficient.

            As far as legacy goes, we're allowed to leave physical property to our descendants and their ownership of it never expires. Most people seem not to object to that, even though it means the public will never get its hands on those assets.

            Yes, the Public Domain is important but I notice that the world is full of in-copyright images, films, music and text which nonetheless I am able to see, hear and read, often free of charge or at very low cost, and from which I can learn and culturally enrich myself. I don't live in a cultural desert as a result of copyright 'locking away' works, even 'orphan works', as Cory Doctorow, Mike Masnick and other Google shills would have us believe.

            If any of my work has lasting economic value at my death I'm damned sure I want my child to benefit, in the same way any other parent does with their estate. Then, I'm content for it to fall into the Public Domain after 50 years. The exceptions to this stance are well up the Pareto curve, and as we all know, hard cases make bad law, eh Mickey?

        2. phuzz Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: The problem I have so far...

          You can get a downvote for saying the sky is blue. I'm not sure if it's bots or just arseholes, but it's a rare comment that doesn't get a single downvote.

          1. onefang

            Re: The problem I have so far...

            I think a lot of downvoters are particularly rabid fanbois. In an article saying bad things about a particular OS, some fanboi will take on the task of downvoting every comment that also says bad things about that OS. At least until they get bored and move onto the next article.

            I suspect the next biggest group is prudes, downvoting anything that'll trigger a prude. Prudes hate it when other people enjoy themselves doing things you are not allowed to do in public, and it's the prudes that are the reason why we are not allowed to do these things in public in the first place. Typically if you scratch a prude, you'll find underneath is someone that does one or more of these things they hate others doing, but wont ever admit it. It irks them that some are quite happy to talk about these things in public.

            Then there are shills, I'm not sure how rampant that is here.

            Finally, there are the randoms that will downvote people pointing out that the sky is blue, or humour impaired randoms that just didn't get the joke, even if there's a joke icon.

            Personally I'm generous with my upvotes. Due to the fact that up/down votes for ACs are not counted anyway, I'm getting into the habit of just not voting for them at all*. The only things downvotes are good for is sorting comments by popularity, which I never do. Given all of the above, popularity is screwed anyway. Upvotes are good for earning your silver badge, but you have an entire year to get there if that's important to you, gotta get your bronze first. I'm about six months into my first year, I have plenty of upvotes, I'll skip right over bronze and get silver in late December. I'm considering being very helpful for the next six months, if I'm lucky I might skip silver as well and go straight to gold. A mans gotta have goals. B-)

            * I have noticed there is someone with the account name "Anonymous Coward", who has a badge, so we can easily tell them apart from the actual ACs. I'll give that person votes.

      2. John Lilburne

        Re: The problem I have so far...

        "or using our work without our permission to promote ideas or organisations we object to, then we tend to get a bit shirty"

        Indeed one of the memes currently being used by the supporters of Masnick, DFoctrow, the EFF and others has been so adopted by racists and anti-Semites that the creator has dropped the character from his comic.

    2. John Lilburne

      Re: The problem I have so far...

      "practice of slapping dumb jokes on random photos"

      This can be a major problem when a photographer takes an iconic photo which perchance is appropriated by the dumbfucks on the interwebs. The result being that the photo is debased and whatever value it had for the photographer is sucked out. An example is supplied by the cretinous Google shill Masnick here

      the problem being that the meme cause the photographer to be unable to license the photo because who wants to buy a license for something that is used as a joke?

      Switching to Wales, I don't think he has ever seen an example of IP theft that he didn't approve of. His organization has also been known to bully and threaten a 12 yo kid for several weeks over a butterfly photo, turning it into an existential threat to the site itself:,_January_2013,_Singapore.jpg

  4. Zwuramunga


    This could be the end of Cats on the internet.

    1. m0rt

      Re: Gentlemen...

      Don't be so bloody melodramatic.

      There will always be cats infesting technological forefronts. May as well say gravity is doomed.

    2. onefang

      Re: Gentlemen (and ladies to)...

      Is that the end of cats as content, or cats as users?

      Though they say on the Internet no one can tell if you are a dog, I've seen more cats snuggling up with warm laptops than dogs. I guess there's more cats using the Internet than dogs, and it was just the dog loving cat haters that made that quote to be about dogs instead of cats.

      As far as I'm aware, only monkeys have had copyright issues, so perhaps our feline masters are not concerned?

      1. Chronos

        Re: Gentlemen (and ladies to)...

        As far as I'm aware, only monkeys have had copyright issues, so perhaps our feline masters are not concerned?

        I was under the impression that the monkeys were the main offenders, bashing out the collective works of The Bard and all. Or was that typewriter manufacturers? I get so confused since that "Mix tapes are evil" thing which now seems like an aeon ago, whereupon I immediately burnt the C60 in my car with the likes of Bach's Third Brandenburg and the duet from Bizet's Pearl Fisher Suite on it. I'm sure Johann and Georges were gratified.

  5. fandom

    Google just carried on without them

    "When publishers in Germany and Spain withdrew their material, Google just carried on without them."

    I don't know about Germany but in Spain a law was passed to would have made Google pay publishers for Google News.

    Publishers were salivating about getting paid but then Google announced they were dropping the service.

    Some newspapers then asked for a law to make news aggregation sites mandatory for search engines, but the government kind of ignored them.

  6. MiguelC Silver badge

    This is worrying as a censorship tool

    On the one hand, you could say it will only block the uploading of protected content, as that's what it's meant to do.

    The question is how protected content is defined, now and in the future. For now, it's copyrighted works, but it might be other things in the near future.

    This will effectively work as a previous censorship system, and democratic societies have traditionally allowed works to be publish leaving courts to decide later on its legality (if challenged).

    And even when talking of copyrighted works, the system probably won't be able to make a distinction between illegitimate and fair use. Will there be an appeal system?

    Worse yet, if we take a look at Hungary (just an example), who have just made it against the law to help illegal immigrants ask for asylum. They could say that any literature on that subject is illegal to upload and apply filters on the matter.

    This goes along worrying trends we’re seeing/experiencing in Europe...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is worrying as a censorship tool

      Sadly, MiguelC, your post is so wrong and misinformed on so many counts I really don't know where to start. So I won't.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: This is worrying as a censorship tool

        AC answering MiguelC: this was an exceedingly unhelpful response. Either put in the work to explain the wrongness, or STFU.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is worrying as a censorship tool

          All right, then.

          There is no shortage of legislation already in force in EU countries to enable their state apparatuses to do exactly what MiguelC fears, right now. You could probably find well over a dozen UK Acts of Parliament that include such measures, ranging from hate crime laws via Acts against sedition and treason to public order offences, RIPA, and the Official Secrets Act. Future censorship and oppression of the huddled EU masses is not dependent upon the passing of the new Copyright Directive unaltered.

          As for the rest of it, it reads to me like Google-sockpuppet-Soros-funded Open Rights Group useful idiot SJW bleating. There's a huge amount of misinformation being spread in this way as Google and the rest (but particularly Google) manoeuvre to protect their monopolies and loopholes, particularly regarding UGC. I understand the appeal of PC activism: when I was young I was a contemporaneous SJW. Now I'm old, I'm not, because I have lived and learned. It's the usual story.

          Oh, and 'breaking the Internet'? In its current slurpaholic surveillance-capitalism iteration, sure. Go ahead, please, because on current form it looks as if it's going to need breaking before it can stop being the Wild West and mature into something approaching a foundation for a functioning market not dependent upon data slurping, unpaid labour, and straightforward breach of copyright.

          Oh, and 'digital democracy'? A fond Utopian dream which, while nice in principle, the ruling classes were never going to allow; and don't forget that Zuck, Page, Brin, Schmidt et al are all bona fide members of the ruling classes. Turkeys rarely vote for Christmas, especially when they know they're benefitting handsomely from the status quo because they rigged it that way.

          Finally, illegal immigrants? The name's a bit of a giveaway, isn't it? Most laws are aimed at hindering illegality, aren't they?

          Good enough for you?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "illegal immigrants"

            if one doesn't have an entry VISA before entering a country that requires one, you're illegal. but if you ask for asylum upon reaching said country there's a way to legality. what Hungary is doing is hampering that process by preventing NGOs from providing help. does it compute now?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "illegal immigrants"

              Oh yes. It always did. But I think we're going to have to agree to differ on just about everything.

          2. strum

            Re: This is worrying as a censorship tool

            >Good enough for you?


  7. Anonymous Crowbar


    The most important thing to me from the whole article is:

    There is some animal out there with 27,326+ unread mails and 442+ unread messages.

    1. The First Dave

      Re: Animals

      Do you/they mean a non-human animal?

  8. FrankAlphaXII

    Y'know, I like Wikipedia for what it is. Its got good hard science and physics articles for the most part, but the kind of games that Wales and Co. play are really annoying, like the constant sales pitch for donations to a foundation sitting on a pile of cash they're nowhere near exhausting. And they tend toward hysterics when there's no real good reason to.

    Copyright needs to be reformed worldwide. Hell, its not like publishers are actually paying creators as usual, but the level of extremism on both sides of the debate (as usual with politics in the late 2010s) isn't doing anyone any favors.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How will this affect pr0n? Asking for an almost blind friend.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      How nice of you... lend a hand.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This legislation is not for the benefit of artists

    Just in case anyone didn't realise.

    Far from it, in fact.

  11. ratfox
    Paris Hilton

    I'm confused

    On one hand, the article says that this would finally stop YouTube from ripping off artists. On the other hand, a lot of people are calling this "Content ID for the web", meaning that everybody would need to have a system similar what YouTube already has. Which would mean that YouTube would just carry on exactly as before.

  12. Hans 1

    Irony ?

    Crispin Hunt, chair of composers and songwriters association BASCA, said he thought Wikipedia was misleading users and abusing its authority.

    "This is a massive abuse of Wikipedia's audience and power. It's abusing every great principle it stands for in pursuit of [its] own ends. How can anyone ever believe them again?" Hunt told us today.

    A member of the biggest fraudsters club in modern times calls another entity a fraud.

  13. Simon Harris
    Thumb Down


    MEPs have voted down the currently proposed legislation, but will revisit the issue in September.

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