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Highlights



 

One click and your jailed...

The government's Counter-Terrorism Act has received royal consent and makes it an offence to accidentally click on a link before you even know what it contains


Link Here 13th February 2019
Full story: Extremism in the UK...UK government introduces wide ranging ban on extremism
It will be an offence to view terrorist material online just once -- and could incur a prison sentence of up to 15 years -- under a new UK law.

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill has just been granted Royal Assent, updating a previous Act and bringing new powers to law enforcement to tackle terrorism.

But a controversial inclusion was to update the offence of obtaining information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism so that it now covers viewing or streaming content online.

Originally, the proposal had been to make it an offence for someone to view material three or more times -- but the three strikes idea has been dropped from the final Act.

The government said that the existing laws didn't capture the nuance in changing methods for distribution and consumption of terrorist content -- and so added a new clause into the 2019 Act making it an offence to view (or otherwise access) any terrorist material online. This means that, technically, anyone who clicked on a link to such material could be caught by the law.

 

 

Shopping: The Boys In The Band...

1970 USA gay drama by William Friedkin, once cut by the BBFC, just released on UK Blu-ray


Link Here 13th February 2019
The Boys In The Band is a 1970 USA gay drama by William Friedkin.
Starring Kenneth Nelson, Peter White and Leonard Frey. BBFC link IMDb
Cut by the BBFC for an X rated cinema release in 1970. Later uncut and 15 rated for home video. Uncut and MPAA R rated in the US.

The film is reported as the first US studio film to feature the word 'cunt' in Michael's line Donald, you are a real card-carrying cunt. The BBFC were still censoring the word in 1970, eg in Ulysses , so presumably t was the word 'cunt' that was cut by the BBFC for this cinema release.

UK: Passed 15 for very strong language, strong sex references, discrimination, drug misuse after compulsory BBFC cuts:
  • 2018 Second Sight (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 11th February 2019

Promotional Material

A group of thirty-something gay men gather to celebrate a birthday, but before long, tensions rise, secrets emerge and the insults begin to fly.

Director William Friedkin reassembled the original cast for his film adaption of the ground-breaking Broadway hit. Playwright Mart Crowley adapted his own play, creating a script full of acerbic speeches and cutting one liners for his cast of unforgettable characters.

Released 50 years after its Broadway debut – a year before the Stonewall riots - The Boys in the Band still has the power to shock.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Director William Friedkin and Writer Mart Crowley
  • 'Act 1: The Play'
  • 'Act 2: The Film'
  • 'Act 3: 40 Years of Boys in The Band'
  • More TBC

 

 

Lords of Chaos...

The Christian Institute calls for a ban of a film about black metal mayhem in Norway


Link Here 12th February 2019
Lords of Chaos is a UK / Sweden thriller by Jonas Åkerlund.
Starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen and Sky Ferreira. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

A teenager's quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s Members of the Norwegian death metal band perform a series of increasingly shocking publicity stunts leading to a very violent outcome.

It is based on real-life band Mayhem, and includes scenes of murder including the brutal killing of a homosexual man - and the burning of churches by satanists.

The latest most controversial film ever has been passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong bloody violence, gore, suicide.

According to the Telegraph the BBFC are understood to have been so concerned about the film that it was reviewed at the highest levels and suicide prevention experts were consulted before it was approved for an 18 certificate.

The Telegraph suggests the US film censors at the MPAA were similarly concerned before rating it R for strong brutal violence, disturbing behavior, grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, and pervasive language.

The BBFC said the film did not glamorise self-harm and that there was no reason to think the film would have a damaging effect on adults who chose to view it - although some might find it distressing.

Church groups have, however, have called for it to be banned. Speaking to The Telegraph, Simon Calvert, deputy director of The Christian Institute, said he was surprised the film had not been banned given the recent discussion about self-harm. He said:

In the current climate of concern over self-harm and suicide, you would have thought there might have been more consideration of the risk that vulnerable people might imitate what they see. The distributors ought to be asking themselves if it is worth this risk.'

The film is being distributed in the United Kingdom by Arrow Films and will be released in cinemas on 29th March.

 

 

The Cairncross Review...

Online platforms should have a 'news quality obligation' to improve trust in news they host, overseen by a censor


Link Here 12th February 2019

The Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry has delivered its final report, with recommendations on how to safeguard the future sustainability of the UK press.

  • Online platforms should have a 'news quality obligation' to improve trust in news they host, overseen by a regulator

  • Government should explore direct funding for local news and new tax reliefs to support public interest journalism

  • A new Institute for Public Interest News should focus on the future of local and regional press and oversee a new innovation fund

The independent review , undertaken by Frances Cairncross, was tasked by the Prime Minister in 2018 with investigating the sustainability of the production and distribution of high-quality journalism. It comes as significant changes to technology and consumer behaviour are posing problems for high-quality journalism, both in the UK and globally.

Cairncross was advised by a panel from the local and national press, digital and physical publishers and advertising. Her recommendations include measures to tackle the uneven balance of power between news publishers and the online platforms that distribute their content, and to address the growing risks to the future provision of public-interest news.

It also concludes that intervention may be needed to improve people's ability to assess the quality of online news, and to measure their engagement with public interest news. The key recommendations are:

  • New codes of conduct to rebalance the relationship between publishers and online platforms;

  • The Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the online advertising market to ensure fair competition;

  • Online platforms' efforts to improve their users' news experience should be placed under regulatory supervision;

  • Ofcom should explore the market impact of BBC News, and whether its inappropriately steps into areas better served by commercial news providers;

  • The BBC should do more to help local publishers and think further about how its news provision can act as a complement to commercial news;

  • A new independent Institute should be created to ensure the future provision of public interest news;

  • A new Innovation Fund should be launched, aiming to improve the supply of public interest news;

  • New forms of tax reliefs to encourage payments for online news content and support local and investigative journalism;

  • Expanding financial support for local news by extending the BBC's Local Democracy Reporting Service;

  • Developing a media literacy strategy alongside Ofcom, industry and stakeholders.

The Government will now consider all of the recommendations in more detail. To inform this, the Culture Secretary will write immediately to the Competition and Markets Authority, Ofcom and the Chair of the Charity Commission to open discussions about how best to take forward the recommendations which fall within their remits. The Government will respond fully to the report later this year.

DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said:

A healthy democracy needs high quality journalism to thrive and this report sets out the challenges to putting our news media on a stronger and more sustainable footing, in the face of changing technology and rising disinformation. There are some things we can take action on immediately while others will need further careful consideration with stakeholders on the best way forward.

A Mediatique report Overview of recent market dynamics in the UK press, April 2018 commissioned by DCMS as the part of the Cairncross Review found:

  • Print advertising revenues have dropped by more than two-thirds in the ten years to 2017;

  • Print circulation of national papers fell from 11.5 million daily copies in 2008 to 5.8 million in 2018 and for local papers from 63.4 million weekly in 2007 to 31.4 million weekly in 2017;

  • Sales of both national and local printed papers fell by roughly half between 2007 and 2017, and are still declining;

  • The number of full-time frontline journalists in the UK has dropped from an estimated 23,000 in 2007, to just 17,000 today, and the numbers are still declining.

A report Online Advertising in the UK by Plum Consulting, commissioned by DCMS as the part of the Cairncross Review (and available as an annex to the Review) found:

  • UK internet advertising expenditure increased from £3.5 billion in 2008 to £11.5 billion in 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 14%.

  • Publishers rely on display advertising for their revenue online - which in the last decade has transformed into a complex, automated system known as programmatic advertising.

  • An estimated average of £0.62 of every £1 spent on programmatic advertising goes to the publisher - though this can range from £0.43 to £0.72. *Collectively, Facebook and Google were estimated to have accounted for over half (54%) of all UK online advertising revenues in 2017.

  • The major online platforms collect multiple first-party datasets from large numbers of logged-in users. They generally, they do not share data with third-parties, including publishers.

Dame Frances Cairncross is a former economic journalist, author and academic administrator. She is currently Chair of the Court of Heriot-Watt University and a Trustee at the Natural History Museum. Dame Frances was Rector of Exeter College, Oxford University; a senior editor on The Economist; and principal economic columnist for the Guardian. In 2014 she was made a Dame of the British Empire for services to education. She is the author of a number of books, including "The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution is Changing our Lives" and "Costing the Earth: The Challenge for Governments, the Opportunities for Business". Dame Frances is married to financial journalist Hamish McRae.

The BBC comments on some of the ideas not included in the report's recommendations

See article from bbc.co.uk

The report falls short of requiring Facebook, Google and other tech giants to pay for the news they distribute via their platforms. Caurncross told the BBC's media editor Amol Rajan that "draconian and risky" measures could result in firms such as Google withdrawing their news services altogether.:

There are a number of ways we have suggested technology companies could behave differently and could be made to behave differently. But they are mostly ways that don't immediately involve legislation."

Frances Cairncross earned widespread respect as a journalist for her hard-headed and pragmatic approach to economics. That pragmatism is the very reason the government commissioned her to look at the future of high-quality news - and also the reason many in local and regional media will be disappointed by her recommendations.

What is most notable about her review is what it doesn't do.

  • It doesn't suggest all social media should be regulated in the UK
  • It doesn't suggest social media companies pay for the privilege of using news content
  • It doesn't suggest social media companies be treated as publishers, with legal liability for all that appears on their platform

This is because the practicalities of doing these things are difficult, and experience shows that the likes of Google will simply pull out of markets that don't suit them.

Ultimately, as this report acknowledges, when it comes to news, convenience is king. The speed, versatility and zero cost of so much news now means that, even if it is of poor quality, a generation of consumers has fallen out of the habit of paying for news. But quality costs. If quality news has a future, consumers will have to pay. That's the main lesson of this report.

 

 

Shopping: The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires...

1974 UK / Hong Kong action horror by Roy Ward Baker and Cheh Chang set for first US Blu-ray release on 9th April 2019


Link Here 10th February 2019
The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires is a 1974 UK / Hong Kong action horror by Roy Ward Baker and Cheh Chang (uncredited).
Starring Peter Cushing, David Chiang and Julie Ege. IMDb

Cuts required by the BBFC for cinema release and VHS but not implemented in the cinema version. Cuts waived for UK DVD. There is a shortened US R rated version, but the uncut UK version has also been released and is MPAA Unrated.

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
  • 2019 Shout! Factory [Uncut + US Versions] RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 9th April 2019

Promotional Material

Black Belt vs. Black Magic

Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and Count Dracula (John Forbes-Robinson) meet again in this spectacular kung fu horror thriller set in the village of Ping Kuei. After learning about the seven golden vampires of the village, Hsi Ching (David Chiang), Vanessa Buren (Julie Ege) and Mai Kwei (Szu Shih) offer to guide Van Helsing and his son to Ping Kuei to free it from the curse of Count Dracula.

Throughout their journey, the group encounters several unwanted attackers until they arrive at the golden vampires' derelict temple, inhabited by Count Dracula. In the temple, Van Helsing and the count begin a fearsome battle to the death 203 an ultimate clash between good and evil!

Presented here for the first time in high definition is Hammer's original uncut version. It was released in the US in an edited version called The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula, which is also included here in high definition as a bonus feature.

 

 

Shopping: Donnie Brasco...

1997 USA crime biography by Mike Newell just released on US Blu-ray/DVD Combo in the preferred Theatrical Version


Link Here 10th February 2019
Donnie Brasco is a 1997 USA crime biography by Mike Newell.
Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Michael Madsen. BBFC link IMDb
Exists as the preferred Theatrical Version and an Extended Version. The differences are uncontentious.

This release features the Theatrical Version.

US: Uncut and MPAA R rated for:
  • 2019 Mill Creek Entertainment RA Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 5th February 2019

Promotional Material

Posing as jewel broker Donnie Brasco, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone is granted entrance into the violent mob family of aging hitman Lefty Ruggiero. When his personal and professional lives collide, Pistone jeopardizes his marriage, his job, his life and, ultimately, the gangster mentor he has come to respect and admire.

 

 

Shopping: Double Dragon...

1994 USA action comedy adventure by James Yukich, once cut by the BBFC, just released on US Blu-ray/DVD Combo


Link Here 9th February 2019
Double Dragon is a 1994 USA action comedy adventure by James Yukich (as James Nickson).
Starring Robert Patrick, Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf. Youtube link IMDb
Passed PG uncut for 1995 cinema release in the UK, but was cut for a 12 rated 1997 VHS. Presumably uncut for 12 rated home video releases of 2015. Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated in the US.
US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:
  • 2019 MVD Rewind Collection (RA) Blu-ray/R1 DVD Combo at US Amazon released on 5t February 2019

Promotional Material

EVIL HAS JUST MET ITS MATCH!

From producers Don Murphy (Transformers franchise), Jane Hamsher (Natural Born Killers), Alan Schechter (Showdown), writers Michael Davis (Shoot 'Em Up) and Emmy® Award Winner* Peter Gould (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad) comes the cult classic movie based on the video game smash!

Double Dragon roars to life with amazing special effects, spectacular action sequences, and a knock-about sense of humor. It's the year 2007, and what remains of L.A. is now ''New Angeles,'' a city ravaged by earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gangs. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) is obsessed with finding the two halves of a talisman known as the ''Double Dragon,'' which will give him awesome mystical powers. Two teenage brothers, Jimmy (Mark Dacascos, John Wick 3: Parabellum) and Billy Lee (Scott Wolf, Party of Five) find themselves in possession of the amulet's missing half, thrusting them into the adventure of their lives. With the help of Maria (Alyssa Milano, Charmed) and her vigilante group ''The Power Corps,'' Jimmy and Billy must summon all of their courage, resourcefulness and martial-arts skills to stop the villain's malevolent plan.

Crackling with the energy and humor of its two heroes, Double Dragon is a high-octane action spectacular. Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

*2017: Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, Better Call Saul: Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training, 2013, 2014: Outstanding Drama Series, Breaking Bad

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of the main feature
  • Audio: English 5.1 Stereo, English 2.0 Stereo, German 2.0 Stereo
  • English, French and Spanish Subtitles
  • NEW! ''The Making of Double Dragon'' (full length documentary featuring interviews with stars Scott Wolf and Marc Dacascos, writers Peter Gould & Michael Davis and producer Don Murphy)
  • NEW! ''Don Murphy: Portrait of a Producer'' featurette
  • Archival ''Making of'' Featurette
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • 1993 Double Dragon Animated Series Pilot Episode #101: ''The Shadow Falls''
  • Storyboard Gallery
  • Press Photos, Marketing and Behind The Scenes Photo Galleries
  • TV Spots
  • VHS Home Video Trailer
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Collectible Mini-Poster
  • Reversible Sleeve Featuring Alternate Artwork

    Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned or In High Definition.

  •  

     

    Shopping: Dr. Seuss' The Grinch...

    2018 China / USA family cartoon comedy by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier just released on UK Blu-ray and DVD with cuts for a U rating


    Link Here 8th February 2019
    The Grinch is a 2018 China / USA family cartoon comedy by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier.
    Starring Benedict Cumberbatch. BBFC link IMDb
    BBFC category cuts were required for a U rated cinema releases in 2018 and video in 2019. Uncut and MPAA PG rated in the US.

    The BBFC cuts were to overdub the uses of the word 'ass' in a song.

    Summary Notes

    For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming, and visually stunning, it's a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism. Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Whoville when he runs out of food. Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter, and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch ...

    US: Uncut and MPAA PG rated for:
    • 2019 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment RA 4k Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 5th February 2019
    • 2019 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 5th February 2019
    • 2019 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 5th February 2019
    • 2019 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Amazon Prime VoD [US only] at US Amazon

    Promotional Material

    Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss' beloved classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, The Grinch is fun for the whole family!

     

     

    What have Donald Trump and Donald Tusk got in common?...

    Apart from the name Donald, and securing a place in hell, both put American corporate interests above European livelihoods. The Council of the EU approves copyright law that will suffocate European businesses and livelihoods


    Link Here 8th February 2019

    The Council of the EU headed by Donald Tusk has just adopted as the common position, the deal struck by France and Germany on the controversial EU Copyright Directive that was leaked earlier this week .

    While Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Luxembourg maintained their opposition to the text and were newly joined by Malta and Slovakia, Germany's support of the "compromise" secretly negotiated with France over the last weeks has broken the previous deadlock .

    This new Council position is actually more extreme than previous versions, requiring all platforms older than 3 years to automatically censor all their users' uploads, and putting unreasonable burdens even on the newest companies.

    The German Conservative--Social Democrat government is now in blatant violation of its own coalition agreement , which rejects upload filters against copyright infringement as disproportionate. This breach of coalition promises will not go down well with many young voters just ahead of the European elections in May. Meanwhile, prominent members of both German government parties have joined the protests against upload filters.

    The deal in Council paves the way for a final round of negotiations with the Parliament over the course of next week, before the entire European Parliament and the Council vote on the final agreement. It is now up to you to contact your MEPs, call their offices in their constituencies and visit as many of their election campaign events as you can! Ask them to reject a copyright deal that will violate your rights to share legal creations like parodies and reviews online, and includes measures like the link tax that will limit your access to the news and drive small online newspapers out of business.

    Right before the European elections, your voices cannot be ignored! Join the over 4.6 million signatories to the largest European petition ever and tell your representatives: If you break the Internet and accept Article 13, we won't reelect you!

     

     

    Shopping: The Fifth Cord...

    1971 Italy mystery thriller by Luigi Bazzoni, previously cut by the BBFC, just released on UK Blu-ray


    Link Here 6th February 2019
    The Fifth Cord is a 1971 Italy mystery thriller by Luigi Bazzoni.
    Starring Franco Nero, Silvia Monti and Wolfgang Preiss. BBFC link IMDb
    Uncut for X rated cinema release in 1972 but cut for 18 rated VHS in 1988. Later passed 18 uncut for 2019 Blu-ray. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.
    UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence:
    • 2019 Arrow Video (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 4th February 2019

    The previous BBFC cuts were:

    • The cut removes a shot of a man slashing a woman's neck with a knife after stalking her for a while.

    There is also a US release.

    Promotional Material

    The success of Dario Argento s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage ushered in a host of imitators, seeking to capitalise on this new, modern take on the giallo thriller. Many were highly derivative, but a number nonetheless rose above the crowd thanks to skilful execution and a willingness to experiment stylistically. Once such example is The Fifth Cord ¬ which, in the hands of director Luigi Bazzoni (The Possessed, Footprints on the Moon), turns a conventional premise into a visually stunning exploration of alienation and isolation.

    When a man barely survives a brutal assault en route home from a New Year s party, washed-up, whisky-swilling journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero, Django) is assigned to report on the case. Before long, the maniac strikes again, this time with fatal results. As the body count rises, Andrea falls under suspicion himself, making it even more imperative that he crack the case. His only clue lies in a series of black gloves found at the location of every attack, each with a finger cut off...

    Adapted from a novel by David McDonald Devine, The Fifth Cord boasts a complex, Agatha Christie-esque plot, outstanding cinematography courtesy of future Oscar-winner Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and supporting appearances by a raft of genre stalwarts, including Silvia Monti (A Lizard in a Woman s Skin), Edmund Purdom (Nightmare City) and Rossella Falk (Sleepless). Debuting here in high definition, arguably the most visually stunning giallo ever made now shines like never before.

    SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
  • English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by critic Travis Crawford
  • Lines and Shadows, a new video essay on the film s use of architecture and space by critic Rachael Nisbet
  • Whisky Giallore, a new video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie
  • Black Day for Nero, a new video interview with actor Franco Nero
  • The Rhythm Section, a new video interview with film editor Eugenio Alabiso
  • Rare, previously unseen deleted sequence, restored from the original negative
  • Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kat Ellinger and Peter Jilmstad
  •  

     

    Commented: Censorship machines roll on to lay waste European business...

    Article 13 is back on -- and it got worse, not better


    Link Here 6th February 2019

    Contrary to some reports A rticle 13 was not shelved solely because EU governments listened to the unprecedented public opposition and understood that upload filters are costly, error-prone and threaten fundamental rights.

    Without doubt, the consistent public opposition contributed to 11 member state governments voting against the mandate, instead of just 6 last year, but ultimately the reform hinges on agreement between France and Germany , who due to their size can make or break blocking minorities. The deadlock is the direct result of their disagreement, which was not about whether to have upload filters at all; they just couldn't  agree on exactly who should be forced to install those faulty filters :

    The deadlock hinged on a disagreement between France and Germany

    • France's position: Article 13 is great and must apply to all platforms, regardless of size . They must demonstrate that they have done all they possibly could to prevent uploads of copyrighted material. In the case of small businesses, that may or may not mean using upload filters -- ultimately, a court would have to make that call . (This was previously the majority position among EU governments , supported by France, before Italy's newly elected government retracted their support for Article 13 altogether.)

    • Germany's position: Article 13 is great, but it should not apply to everyone. Companies with a turnover below ?20 million per year should be excluded outright, so as not to harm European internet startups and SMEs. (This was closer to the European Parliament's current position , which calls for the exclusion of companies with a turnover below ?10 million and fewer than 50 employees.)

    What brought France and Germany together:

    Making Article 13 even worse In the Franco-German deal , which leaked today, Article 13 does apply to all for-profit platforms. Upload filters must be installed by everyone except those services which fit all three of the following extremely narrow criteria:

    • Available to the public for less than 3 years

    • Annual turnover below ? 10 million

    • Fewer than 5 million unique monthly users

    Countless apps and sites that do not meet all these criteria would need to install upload filters, burdening their users and operators, even when copyright infringement is not at all currently a problem for them. Some examples:

    • Discussion boards on for-profit sites, such as the Ars Technica or Heise.de forums (older than 3 years)

    • Patreon , a platform with the sole purpose of helping authors get paid (fails to meet any of the three criteria)

    • Niche social networks like GetReeled , a platform for anglers (well below 5 million users, but older than 3 years)

    • Small European competitors to larger US brands like wykop, a Polish news sharing platform similar to reddit (well below ? 10 million turnover, bur may be above 5 million users depending on the calculation method)

    On top of that, even the smallest and newest platforms, which do meet all three criteria , must still demonstrate they have undertaken " best efforts " to obtain licenses from rightholders such as record labels, book publishers and stock photo databases for anything their users might possibly upload -- an impossible task . In practice, all sites and apps where users may upload material will likely be forced to accept any license a rightholder offers them , no matter how bad the terms, and no matter whether the y actually want their copyrighted material to be available on the platform or not , to avoid the massive legal risk of coming in conflict with Article 13. In summary: France's and Germany's compromise on Article 13 still calls for nearly everything we post or share online to require prior permission by "censorship machines" , algorithms that are fundamentally unable to distinguish between copyright infringement and legal works such as parody and critique. It would change the web from a place where we can all freely express ourselves into one where big corporate rightholders are the gatekeepers of what can and can't be published. It would allow these rightholders to bully any for-profit site or app that includes an upload function. European innovation on the web would be discouraged by the new costs and legal risks for startups -- even if they only apply when platforms become successful, or turn 3 years old. Foreign sites and apps would be incentivised to just geoblock all EU users to be on the safe side.

    Now everything hinges on the European Parliament

    With this road block out of the way, the trilogue negotiations to finish the new EU copyright law are back on. With no time to lose, there will be massive pressure to reach an overall agreement within the next few days and pass the law in March or April. The most likely next steps will be a rubber-stamping of the new Council position cooked up by Germany and France on Friday, 8 February, and a final trilogue on Monday, 11 February.
    MEPs, most of whom are fighting for re-election, will get one final say. Last September, a narrow majority for Article 13 could only be found in the Parliament after a small business exception was included that was much stronger than the foul deal France and Germany are now proposing -- but I don't have high hopes that Parliament negotiator Axel Voss will insist on this point. Whether MEPs will reject this harmful version of Article 13 (like they initially did last July) or bow to the pressure will depend on whether all of us make clear to them: If you break the internet and enact Article 13, we won't re-elect you.

    Update: Now made even worse

    6th February 2019. See  article from eff.org by Cory Doctorow

    As the German Government Abandons Small Businesses, the Worst Parts of the EU Copyright Directive Come Roaring Back, Made Even Worse

     


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