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Comment Re: good luck with that one... (Score 1) 172

It remains the case that the law was brought down because of arguments about incompatibility with the current EU rules. Had those EU rules not applied, there would have been no basis for the issues raised in the judicial review. The legal technicalities of the judicial review process don't change that fundamental situation, nor does the lack (so far) of a CJEU reference.

Also yes, lots of other Member States have private copying exceptions, but most of them caved to industry pressure and introduced some sort of levy on their citizens in return. Those levies have been widely criticised, both for increasing prices of media and devices even where they would not subsequently be used for private copying purposes and for the manner in which the proceeds of those levies were distributed. If you read the EU resolution you linked yourself, you'll find it's extremely careful about the wording around that exception and it most certainly does not imply that the UK's private copying exception would be reinstated on the original basis or that similar levies should not be applied in the UK.

Comment Re:AV only helps if you are bad (Score 1) 197

Sure, but that trust only extends as far as whoever implemented those security measures and signed those binaries. We live in an era when your own OS may well be spying on you, your new laptop may be shipped with vendor-installed spyware right out of the factory, your new PC's CPU almost certainly has secondary functionality built-in that you can't examine or control, any of those things potentially lead to not just privacy but also system control vulnerabilities, and that's just the threats your chosen commercial partners openly-ish advertise before you get into criminals or state security services physically modifying something between the manufacturer's facility and yours.

Comment Re: AV only helps if you are bad (Score 4, Insightful) 197

Sometimes, but there are no guarantees these days. Once a system has been compromised, it is now almost impossible to make sure it's clean again no matter what you do to recover. In a world with the likes of UEFI and "hidden" secondary processors within CPUs, even wiping the hard drive and reinstalling from known good media isn't a reliable fix. It's all rather depressing, this so-called progress.

Comment Re: AV only helps if you are bad (Score 2) 197

The trouble is, all of that remains true if you have anti-virus software installed. Your odds might be slightly better overall, but AV software doesn't catch everything. In a few cases, AV software has even opened additional vulnerabilities itself.

It's surprisingly difficult to be sure that you're only running what you think you're running in 2016 and that your data is safe and private. That's a real and serious problem regardless of which if any AV tools you run.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 1) 172

I agree it's unfortunate that so many people just rely on headlines, and that those headlines are sometimes less than perfect, but that's just the reality of what happens. Did you hear the one about the Slashdotter who actually read TFA before commenting?

So as long as that remains the reality, news organisations could plausibly be losing a significant amount of the value of their work if others are allowed to literally copy and paste the headlines and maybe some introductory snippets and republish them without doing any of the real leg work required to get the stories.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 2) 172

It's a complicated relationship, with pros and cons. Certainly a lot of things get blamed on the EU without any rational justification. On the other hand, plenty of things also get blamed on the EU with some rational justification. There is one particularly evil political technique where something that would never get passed back home gets punted to the EU where it's relatively out of sight, and then comes back usually via a Directive a couple of years later, at which time the government can not only claim they have no choice about implementing it but also say they have no way to influence the details... even while their own representatives and allies within the EU were the ones pushing for the new measures in the first place.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 1) 172

The better news sites do provide more detailed and well-informed content. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of their readers still have the attention span of a goldfish, and thus that their headlines and early commentary are disproportionately valuable to those readers, regardless of the quality or quantity of the additional work from the news reporters.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 1) 172

Well, I'm with you on that principle as well. I can't see how an alternative scheme such as you suggested could be workable in practice, but if you had proposed some reasonable power of recall I would probably have agreed.

Still, even without that, it helps if we at least elect people who might act in our interests in the first place. Until money is an acceptable substitute for votes, the voters still have all the power on that one if they only choose to use it.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 2) 172

Yes, because EU. The entire basis for this disagreement was whether or not the UK government was allowed to introduce a private copying exception of the form that it did given the EU rules. If the government were not constrained by the EU Directive, all the questions about whether any harm was de minimis and pricing-in and so on would be moot.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 1) 172

Well, yes. The official campaigns argued as if Brexit was only about immigration and the economy, but in reality I suspect a lot of people voted to leave on the basis of democratic deficit and sovereignty arguments, a belief that the EU shouldn't be used to override national laws in this way. And frankly, in this specific context, I think they are right.

Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 172

Small snippets are not considered copyright infringment.

That's not entirely accurate. For example, here in the UK, there is no specific minimum amount of material that has to be copied before copyright is infringed. Any work significant enough to be subject to copyright protection in the first place is also potentially subject to infringement.

As an aside, the AC you replied to was overstating the position of US fair use law as well. The amount of the work being copied is only one of the four factors that determine fair use, and again there is no specific minimum required for infringement. If the original publishers could demonstrate (and I'm not saying they can or should, but hypothetically) that the headlines or excerpts being copied by automated news aggregators represented a substantial part of the overall value of the original work, then that copying would not necessarily be fair use.

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