Flickus flackus flum

Jacobs tankar om och med kvalitet

Today I have emailed some key members of the European Parliament

written by jacob, on Jun 18, 2018 1:58:00 AM.

Dear MEP,

I am the owner of a small business in Sweden. We develop an accounting system with an integrated web shop for small businesses and non-profit organisations and provide it as a web based service. The service is promoted and available at http://www.eutaxia.eu.

Before you vote on article 13 in the upcoming votes concerning the Copyright Directive, I would like you to consider my business case.

I am going to take one of my customers, Näsets Paddlarkubb, as an example. It is a kayaking club. You can reach their web shop through their home page at http://www.npk.nu. One day they decide that they want to sell one of the clubs racing kayaks. They register it as an item in their web store and upload a picture and a video. The picture shows the kayak and the video shows someone winning a race with the kayak. The web store is open for public consumption and is reachable from the clubs website.

From what I understand, I am as the provider of the service supposed to filter the contents for copyright infringement. Let us start with examining what the image and the video might contain.

  • It could be a picture taken by the uploader.
  • It could be a picture taken by another club member. It could be used either with or without the permission of that club member.
  • It could be a picture from the manufacturers web site and it could be used either with or without the permission of the manufacturer.
  • It could be a stock photograph which could either be in the public domain, under a Creative Commons License or under a commercial license. In the latter case, the user may or may not have paid the to use the photo.
  • The picture could be taken in front of the Poseidon statue in Göteborg. The statue is created by Carl Milles who died 63 years ago. This means that the scupture is not part of the Freedom of Panorama for another 7 years.
  • The video may be from a members hand cam, from the local TV station or a video from a commercial producer of an olymic winner in the same kind of racing kayak. It could even be from a major movie shown in movie theaters.
  • The image and the video may show something completely different.

This raises a number of questions, that I think you need to be able to answer satisfactorily before casting your vote.

  • How is the filter supposed to determine who took the photograph or who made the video?
  • If permission to use the photograph is required, how is the filter supposed to determine if permission has been given?
  • If the image has been used under terms of fair use, how is the filter supposed to determine that?
  • How is the filter supposed to determine that the uploaded media is pertinent in the context. This may after all determine if the contents are under fair use, or not.
  • How is the filter supposed to determine when the copyright holder died?
  • How is the filter supposed to handle Freedom of Panorama?

Next we come to the issue of the filter.

  • Am I supposed to build this filter within my company? We put about 8 man days a month into maintaining and improving our product and have a back list of improvements that will take years to implement. Where are the resources for me to work on an advanced filter?
  • Am I supposed to buy/lease a filter from a third party provider? What will that cost? How much work is it to integrate in my current setup? My revenue stream is about €50 per customer and year and each customer may have thousands of items that would need filtering. Since I obviously won’t be able to develop the filter myself, I wonder about liability in the case that the filter doesn’t work as expected. Will the filter vendor take on the liability towards copyright holders, or will I have the liability for something I have no control over?
  • All software requires maintenance, both for technical reasons and legal reasons. How much maintenance work do you expect the filter to require? With new contents, new content types, new ways of working around the filter, will the work to maintain the filter be much larger than the work to maintain my service?

As you can see, I have a well founded worry that article 13 will force me out of business. I wonder how many other small IT companies all over Europe have the same concerns. I fear that article 13 may kill the the entire eco system.

Please vote NO to article 13.

Best regards

Jacob Hallén
Open End AB