Study shows copyright filters hurt creators rather than help them

from filters-are-just-bad department

The European Copyright Directive contains one of the worst ideas of modern copyright law: what amounts to an obligation to filter downloads on major sites. Despite repeated explanations as to why it would cause enormous harm to creators and members of the public, European politicians were seduced by the soothing words of the legislation’s supporters, who even went so far as to deny that filters of download would be required.

The harmful effects of the European copyright directive have yet to be felt, as national legislatures struggle to implement a law with deep internal contradictions. However, upload filters are already used on an ad hoc basis, for example YouTube’s Content ID. So there is already growing evidence of the problems with this approach. A new report, from Colombia’s Fundación Karisma, adds to concerns by providing additional examples of how creators have already suffered from upload filters:

This research revealed several cases of wrongful notices of alleged copyright infringement targeting public domain content, original content, or instances of judicial override of copyright law. Digital producers who are the target of these unfair notices claim that the appeal process and counter-notification procedures do not help them protect their rights. The recourse interface of the various platforms taken into account has not been able to resolve the cases, which leaves the digital creators helpless with no other alternative than what they can obtain from their contacts. This system harms the ability of these producers to grow, maintain and monetize an audience at the same time as it affects the freedom of expression of independent producers because it creates a strong deterrent for them. On the contrary, this system encourages the biggest production companies to claim copyrights on content for which they do not hold any rights.

As this summary notes, it’s not just that the material was blocked without justification. The problem is compounded by appeals processes that are biased against creators and a system that is rigged in favor of Big Content to the point where companies can falsely claim copyright over the work of others. The Fundación Karisma report is particularly valuable because it describes what happened in Colombia, complementing other work that generally examines the situation in the United States and the EU.

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Filed Under: copyright, copyright filters, creators, eu copyright directive, fundacion karisma, upload filters

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