No Pizza for the EFF (or: Throwing out the Baby with the Bathwater)

After the drama around the copyright reform votes in Parliament, the policy is now in trilogue negotiations. The tone has changed but nevertheless the debate continues. Last week, arch-techno-apologist Cory Doctorow wrote a letter on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (actual grass-roots, Silicon Valley-funded). As usual, Netopia disagrees with Doctorow on most points:

Articles 11 and 13 are ill-considered and should not be EU law

The many pains of the current internet regime come from the lack of responsibility on the part of the intermediaries. These articles are one way to make them more accountable. It’s not all great, but something needs to be done. If not this, then what? If we are to believe Doctorow, there is no problem.

Rightsholders systematically overclaim copyrights that they do not own

The letter gives some examples of abuse of copyright protection systems. But the far greater problem is the abuse of copyright online. Doctorow focuses on a small problem to take attention away from the big problem. Intellectual property crime cost up to US$461 Billion world-wide in 2013 according to a report from the EU Intellectual Property Office. By all means, let’s have good methods to deal with abuse of the systems put in place. Surely, that can be done without ignoring the big problem. No one argues that home delivery of pizza should be banned because pranksters sometimes order pizza for somebody who doesn’t want it.

Articles 11 and 13 are bad ideas that have no place in the Directive

Sure, so what’s your idea mr Doctorow? The problem doesn’t go away just because you don’t like the proposed solution. Your argument is a text book case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, sir.