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SOCIAL MEDIA, HATE SPEECH AND FREE SPEECH



Media businesses like Axel Springer of Germany have become frustrated because even as their content has spread online, it is platforms like YouTube, owned by Google, and Facebook that have grown into advertising powerhouses on the back of the material.

Those media companies have been seeking a rewrite of Europe’s copyright laws that would give them more power to restrict how their content is distributed. They also cited concerns that Silicon Valley was not playing a strong enough gatekeeper role when it came to curtailing hate speech, violent extremism and fake news.

Supporters of the bill argued that stricter copyright laws would give content creators more leverage against internet behemoths such as Google. Publishers have long complained that such companies profit from the work of others.

“The real issue is Google’s market power,” said Lionel Bently, a law professor at the University of Cambridge who focuses on copyright. “The content industry feels it can’t negotiate on a level playing field.”

Operators of websites have long been protected from liability when unlicensed content is posted by a user. Instead, they are required only to remove infringing material once it is brought to their attention. In effect, if someone posts a movie clip on YouTube, or shares the text of an article on Reddit, those websites are not held legally liable.

Hollywood movies are often brought down and then reposted. Google has responsiblity to stop copyright infringment. The Onus is on Google to proactively stop copyright infringment. Google has to hire people to prevent copyright infringement. Current law is not working. bad policy.



Facebook and Google do have a legal responsibility to make sure copyright law is enforced on their websites. A movie studio shouldn't have to scan all of youtube each day in order to alert youtube that youtube is illegally distributing a pirated version of the studio's film. That is too much to expect from the movie studio. Google and youtube are in the best position to make sure that pirated content doesn't appear on their website. Google and Facebook can scan for copyrighted material and make sure that it's not easily reposted under different file names. Both Google and Facebook have billions of cash just lying around - they can put this money to use in building the automated systems they need to in order to safeguard copyright in their forums - which are essentially subsections of the larger internet.

This would not allow the studios from blocking parodies of their movies or news broadcasting about movies. What is protected is the actual movie. The product. Free Speech rules would still apply to using parts of the media to make new works. Google's algorithmic approach cannot handle something as complicated as parody.

“There’s no way that those algorithmic filters are going to be able to decide that something is fair use, parody, a meme or a mash-up,” said Danny O’Brien, international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights nonprofit group that opposed the bill.

Algorithms catch the most obvious infringements - otherwise the case needs to go to humans to figure out. If there are issues with constitutional rights, the issue can go to federal court to sort out.

Another requirement, favored by book and news publishers, would prevent websites from using pieces of their content without authorization. -> This is a bad idea. Pieces of content is too broad. Pieces of films is too broad. This would stop all sorts of parodies.