EU hijacking: self-driving car data will be the manufacturer


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As bad as the US is on overexpansive views on the scope and term of copyright, I think that the EU is usually worse.


What happened to Herbie’s 8?


Wasn’t it a 56?


DSLR manufacturers may as well claim copyright on the data their sensors generate when you drive your camera around


Herbie’s number was a 53.


Lately, at the very least, that’s been unarguably true.
I don’t even know how this particular move would work, legally - it goes against the basic notions of what is copyrightable.


Fifty Three!


Money and politics.


One hopes that it wouln’t work. But copyright is often the excuse for terrible nuisance lawsuits.


Interesting to see how that plays out vs the GDPR. I might not be allowed to use my own car’s data because the car manufacturer owns the copyright, but the car manufacturer might not be allowed to use it either, because it’s my private data, and it’s no one’s business to know how and where my car is driving.


I can’t quite decide if the theory that the vendor owns all the data forever is one that would send enthusiasts of ‘moral rights’ into sublime passion or remind them that lots of types of art are produced in part or in full with machines manufactured by someone not the artist(and often licensed-not-sold in the case of anything with software or firmware).

Edging awfully close to the point where copyright is so ‘strengthened’ as to be effectively impossible for the ‘creators’ to actually have any(and bog even the largest and most powerful down in rights clearance hell for essentially everything).


Given that agreement among respectable Europeans claiming to be in the service of art and culture(and some quiet repurposing of rules with less lofty motives) is the foundation of ‘basic notions of what is copyrightable’; they may not be entirely irrational to hope that they can simply change it until the contradiction goes away.

I wouldn’t want to see the result; but it’s not as though there’s an ontological failsafe that prevents someone from trying to give the Berne Convention a gritty cyberpunk reboot.


I suspect that ‘anonymization’ (regardless of what any pesky nerds have to say about it) will end up being judged much more generously than ‘transformative use’ will; thus solving this tragic under-exploitation of delicious, delicious data.


And consider the “positive” law tradition of the continent; “basic notions of what is copyrightable” are relevant in political debate, but are completely irrelevant in law.
For example, in Austria, everything to do with copyright is defined in one short law (116 paragraphs). It already has some provisions for “protecting” databases that don’t fall under proper copyright because there is no creative work involved, and there is no obstacle to adding more.

Removing “protections” is another matter, of course, as there are EU directives and international treaties prescribing a minimum level of “protection”.


Come on, you know they will make you sign a licensing agreement that means the car won’t start unless you hand that data over ‘so that we can improve our services to you’.


Yes, I know they will try to break the law - the GDPR states quite clearly that if other services (such as starting a car) are conditional on my agreement to the use of my data, then my agreement to the use of the data is not valid.
This is of course only if the service does not itself depend on the data processing, so there is some legal wiggling room.

I expect the lawsuits to be long and drawn out, but if the self-driving cars in question are from Tesla or Google, they will lose, as it’s a nice opportunity to help the local car industry along…


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