With days to go until the #CopyrightDirective vote, #Article13's father admits it requires filters and says he’s OK with killing Youtube

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/13/youtube-killer.html

I don’t understand how this would kill Youtube. Clearly it will unplug the EU, but I can still have my cute cat videos in the US, right? Right?


Nothing kills legislation like mandatory sponsoring/funding provisions (applying to governments) to create a marketplace for filtering wholesalers to offer their services at subsidized prices for startups, especially if these “startups” are local news organizations.


That’s true, but youtube would be giving up on 500 million people (until Brexit kicks in of course, then a bit less) in some of the richest countries in the world. That’s a hard pill to swallow. And it might be more profitable to simply enact filters for everything everywhere instead of trying to divvy up their services in that manner. But I admit I don’t know all the technical challenges involved, and if their subnets are set up right, they might be able to apply their filters to the EU subdomains without affecting others, if needed.

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Unless Britain decide to apply Article 13 to their laws if it’s part of the deal

Did some math with the pledge site and the list of how the german MEPs voted in the September vote. 15 of the MEPs that voted for Article 13 (or were absent (2) or did give a neutral vote(1)) in September pledged to vote against it. Thats 12 votes less for Article 13. And thats only the MEPs that pledged. Then there are the three MEPs of the EPPfrom Luxemburg who switched sides to vote against it. Thats in total 15 votes less for Article 13 and 18 more against it. In the September vote it was 366 for it and 297 against it. If all of those MEPs stay true to their word that would be 351 for Article 13 and 315 against it. And thats just the german MEPs who switched sides AND did the pledge and the EVP MEPs from Luxemburg. If we keep the pressure up, we might have a chance to turn this! We have to keep fighting! Never give up!


That’s not what this is about at all. They don’t want to kill YouTube. They want to sell everyone licenses to the content.

The statement is already starting with a wrong assumption. It’s turning YouTube into an infringing version of Netflix. The aim of YouTube is to provide access to material from and by the creators. Providing infringing content is just a side-effect that he’s trying to portray as the main agenda. It’s pure framing.

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Of course technically the original content on YouTube is also “copyrighted material” which YouTube makes money from (legally, as those creators gave YouTube a rather expansive license for their works through the EULA).

Somehow I doubt Axel Voss wants YouTube to start paying license fees to those copyright holders, though :confused:


Well that’s okay, they’re only Europeans.

I’ll make this simple.

Axel Voss, you are a money-grubbing asshole and moron. Please do the world a favor and jump into a volcano.

Every other person on Earth


You know, constant access to copyrighted work is not a Maslowian need on a hierarchy for survival.

Streaming video is convenient, but YouTube is a swamp of copyright violation, and I tend to side with makers as opposed to ‘freebertarians’ – “Since this can be free, thanks to the internet, I consider it free …” – and again, YouTube is NOT OBLIGATED to put up every piece of video someone, somewhere, wants to upload for public viewing.

Personally, I want YouTube to hire human moderators to filter YouTube content so that Google could create new jobs to replaced the journalism, newspaper, creative and professional artistic work they killed, but no, it’ll be an algorithm: Algorithms never get sick, never need child care, never need a 401 (k). And YouTube will keep being what people want it to be, with no thought as to if that’s actually good.

The cure for bad regulation isn’t no regulation; the cure for bad regulation is better regulation. And again, the demand that YouTube be an unending font of images of anything one might look for is a) not necessarily what YouTube can and should be and b) Not a human right.

I know that a pro-regulation stance isn’t popular around here, but, really, YouTube is responsible for the content it carries, and if the only way to do that is humans or filters, then it has to be done.

At 400 hours uploaded per minute, you’d need a minimum of 24,000 constant streams of observation, double that for needing to research and verify, and then quadruple to get constant coverage around the clock, and that’s 200,000 jobs.

That’s a conservative estimate, but yeah, that’s a bit much to ask, sorry.

Again, I ask: What law or custom says YouTube must instantly host/post/share eeeevery second of video uploaded?

Also, YouTube could pay 200,000 full-time good job salaries like it was tip money, you know?

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It couldn’t. AFAIK Youtube still isn’t profitable for Google. Their business model depends on having a really low cost per user, so low as to be indistinguishable from free, and then making profit by selling their customers’ information/attention at a slightly higher price.

Any time you introduce any extra costs into this process, especially costs that can’t stay fixed while their income and growth scales (like server costs thanks to smart automation and Moore’s law) that hurts their bottom line a lot more then you may imagine. The need for human moderators would scale with the growth of the platform.

I agree with you that human moderation would be better then automated filters. I disagree that it would be a good solution. But even if it was a good solution, it’s never going to be applied by Youtube since it doesn’t fit into their business plan.

If YouTube isn’t profitable for Google, then why do they bother running it? Or, rather, if YouTube is considered so important it has to be kept afloat with Google’s Money, then can’t Google afford that?

And if human moderation would destroy YouTube’s business model, then that is their problem as a publisher – and their responsibility.

Same as just about anything coming out of silicon valley, lock down a monopoly with a ginormous investment with the hope of recouping it when the costs of running it go down (Moore’s law etc) and the income goes up (because of the monopoly). So they will expect it to make a profit at some point in the future.

I personally would love to see Google/Youtube destroyed. And it’s becoming more and more clear that the intention of this law is to do just that, or at least take some of Youtube’s money and siphon it over to the entertainment industry. I’m not even necessarily against that (although it won’t even do the artists any good at all, it’s just one greedy fucked-up industry trying to get money and power from another equally fucked-up industry).

The problem with the law is that it doesn’t just affect youtube/facebook/etc, it targets the entire internet. Everything on the net will be affected because of a really dumb fight over some even dumber “content”. This is the internet we all live on.

If you really side with makers you wouldn’t want to support this law either. There is clear evidence what works to reduce copyright infringement and “being though on it” never gets very high on the list of solutions. The number one solution is making it easy to pay for access to the content, something the entertainment industry is really slow at understanding.

I appreciate your efforts, but I can’t see this from your side – these companies need humans making decisions for the content they publish. If they can’t have humans making decisions, they don’t deserve publish the content. Google’s long-term survival isn’t my problem; neither are the hopes and dreams of narcissists who need to broadcast their lives 24/7 and insist there be no moderation or supervision of their livestream.

I’m not saying it should be. I’ll leave Google’s business out of it, I was only mentioning this since that can make their motives more clear, but that’s not really all that relevant for this discussion.

This is where I’m having trouble seeing it from your side. You do realize these new laws govern the entire internet right? Not just Youtube? Do you really want every single thing that gets uploaded to the internet to be moderated by a human? Not just video, but also all music, images, text, code, everything. Don’t you see this is a really bad situation?

Well, the entire Internet needs human moderation; it’s in desperate need of it.

Seriously, Web sites are publishers. Publishers should be held responsible for what they post. Again, if we have fewer things posted to the internet, I don’t think that’s a crisis as much as an inconvenience.

This may be true, but I don’t see a plausible solution for this moderation, who is going to do this, what criteria will they hold? Deciding on whether or not something is fair use can take a judge quite some time, how do you imagine decisions like this can be made at this immense scale? And if you say just “let them upload less” then how do you decide what gets uploaded and what gets left behind?

The result of laws like this is not that the amount of content is diminished but the type of content. This will result in silencing of small independent productions doing fun creative stuff while the big cooperations will just keep flooding the internet with more and more content. It will make the internet into something more like the television, and less like the more participatory medium it is now.