Giving creators more copyright powers to combat exploitation by monopolistic corporations is like giving your kid more cash to compensate for having his lunch money stolen by schoolyard bullies. They'll take that too.
Give creators 100 years of copyright, and corporations will require that it be assigned to them for the full duration as a condition of publication.
Give them the right to license - and thus, prohibit - excerpting, and corporations will take that right as a condition of access to the market.
Give them the power to decide which works can appear on the internet, and corporations will take that power, non-negotiably.
What will corporations do with that power? They'll use it against indies and anyone else who steps out of the monopolised ecosystem. They'll make it so that new works can't be published because they'll refuse to license excerpts (samples, quotes, etc) to them unless they sign
They'll claim the background images (stock art in ads, building facades, etc) in news-photogs' street-scenes and use filters to block indies' work, forcing them to go to work for a big agency.
They'll use this power to crush small labels, and they will "combat fraud" by making the takedown and put-back systems so baroque that you'll need esoteric, specialist knowledge (which they alone possess) to use them.
As the martial arts proverb goes: "Any weapon you don't know how to use belongs to your enemy." In the class war between creators and corporations, the esoteric weapons of copyright will be wielded against us.
#Article13, which raises the cost of operating a platform by hundreds of millions in order to operate copyright filters, is a gift to monopolists. People cheer because they see arrogant US tech firms being made to spend that money.
But they ignore the potential unseating rivals who can't possibly afford this, who will vanish as a consequence. The big companies don't even have to buy them out to get rid of them anymore, just wait for the compliance costs to kill them.
Big Tech hasn't been neutralised by the #CopyrightDirective, they've been sold a Perpetual Internet Domination license. If you think they're bad in 2018, give it a competition-free decade. You're really not going to like Big Tech 2028.

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More from @doctorow

Oct 7, 2018
I used to write POs for >$1MM worth of Apple equipment/year and spent hundreds of hours dealing with their service centers. The argument that allowing total monopolization of the repair process "maintains system integrity" isn't supported by the actual service experience.
It should not surprise anyone that a company that arrogates the right to sue competing service centers and thus need not fear any competition does not perform as though its customers might choose to take their business elsewhere.
There is literally no corporation on Earth that couldn't make this argument: "Why should we let farmers fix their tractors? How can we maintain their integrity unless we get a monopoly? Do you know how important the food supply is?"
Read 15 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
This is now a daily occurrence. Wake up, discover which lie Crispin has been told and repeated in public, all the while dodging the substance of the critique of his organisation's support for mass internet surveillance and censorship.
Who can forget the day he said that my (bestselling) first novel was a failure, and that my publisher thereafter rejected me? (All my novels are bestsellers, and my publisher just bought another one from me).
Or the day he found a hatchet-piece about seven-year-old blog post I'd written defending copyright, and tweeted that it was evidence that I didn't respect copyright?
Read 21 tweets
Sep 14, 2018
You mean, that thing I've been saying all along is true? That large corporations routinely commit copyfraud, that they act with impunity, and there there are no real remedies? And that once we create automated filters these corporations can use to claim our work, it'll be worse?
Or that you found a blog by someone whose understanding of my position on copyright is just as flawed and cartoonish as yours?
In small words, then: giving creators more "copyright" does no good if we're in concentrated markets where intermediaries (entertainment & tech companies, who have interlocking boards and overlapping major investors and are basically the same thing) rule all.
Read 12 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
Dude. They literally just voted down "freedom of panorama" (the right to take pix in public spaces without getting clearance for every t-shirt, billboard and architectural facade) and voted in mandatory filters that will block anything that appears to match a copyrighted work.
The day this goes into effect will be the last day that independent photogs can operate. Without a rights-clearance house behind you, you won't be able to post any street-scenes: riots, parades, stock, police brutality, etc to any platform.
Multiply by all the other ways that filters will catch dolphins in tuna nets: without the backing of multinational entertainment corps, no artist will be able to publish their works. What do you suppose that will do to our negotiating leverage with Big Content?
Read 4 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
In case you're wondering: the #EU just voted to impose filters on all the text, audio, photos, videos, etc you might post. If you think this will help photographers or other creators, you don't understand filters.
First of all: pirates laugh at filters. The most sophisticated image filters in the world - those used for state censorship in China - are trivial to evade… Anyone whose occupation is beating filters will beat filters.
But people who are legit? Including photogs? They're FUCKED. Filters can be intentionally bypassed if you know the trick, but if you're (say) a news photog whose photo of a protest includes a bus-ad with some stock imagery, the filters will not be able to know that you're legit.
Read 19 tweets
Aug 16, 2018
Your daily reminder that James Clapper isn't your friend: he's a guy who lied and lied and lied about mass surveillance, including to Congress, including to the Congressional committee he specifically answered to (that is to say, perjured himself).
And he used his ongoing security-cleared status to amass a private-sector fortune as a military/intelligence contractor, a role he propped up with regular appearances on TV where his access to classified data was an implicit source of credibility for him.
He's one of thousands of ex-spook, ex-military far-right jerks who believe in, and were complicit in, secret assassination programs, mass surveillance, psyops against peaceful protesters, illegal arms deals to prop up dictators, etc etc.
Read 4 tweets

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