Google Spent More Than $36 Million to Scuttle Article 13 & the Copyright Directive

Google Spend Over $36 Million to Scuttle the European Union's Copyright Directive Initiative
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Just how far is Google willing to go to avoid paying artists what’s fair?

Several weeks ago, the European Union Legal Affairs Committee ruled on a controversial measure.  Dubbed Article 13, internet tech giants – including Facebook, Google, Microsoft – would have to install “effective technologies” to ensure content creators, artists, and authors receive fair pay for their work online.  The committee approved the initiative.  It heads to the European Parliament for a vote.

Now, the search giant wants to do everything in its power to bury the initiative.  And, it has the funds to do so.

According to UK Music, Google has spent over €31 million ($36 million) on lobbying European Union members against Article 13.

The European Union’s Lobbying Transparency Register has confirmed that in 2016 alone, the search giant spent €5.5 million ($6.5 million) to “try and influence policy decisions.”  Google paid eight consultancy firms, including McLarty Associates, MUST & Partners, and MKC Communications.  14 Google staff members have also worked on EU policies.

Google’s lobbying initiative hasn’t stopped there.  The company has also lobbied the European Parliament through 24 other organizations, including OpenForum Europe.  According to Michael Dugher, head of UK Music, the 24 organizations have spent €25 million ($29 million) to lobby EU member countries.

But, why does Google fear Article 13?


Under the ‘Directive on Copyright in the Digital Services Market’ (Article 11 for journalists along with Article 13 for the music industry), platforms that host user-generated content (UGC) would have to obtain music licenses.  It would also prevent further ‘safe harbor’ provisions.  Basically, the Copyright Directive would finally place websites like YouTube and Vimeo on par with streaming music platforms.  They would have to pay higher royalties when hosting videos featuring copyrighted music.

Article 13 would also force the platforms to introduce content recognition systems.  These would block UGC that infringes on existing copyrights.  Social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter, would likely also have to install the systems.

Simply put, the measure would end YouTube’s historic exploitation of ‘safe harbor’ loopholes in the European Union.  Google would now have to pay the music industry royalties for user-generated content featuring copyrighted content.

Mass Hysteria – “Article 13 means the end of memes, remixes, and ‘Internet Freedom.'”

Critics have argued that Article 13 would ‘censor the internet.’  Comedian Stephen Fry, for example, has argued that the vote would outright ban meme sharing on social media.  Users could no longer create and share remixes and other unique content online.

On Twitter, he warned his followers,

“#Article13 threatens EU creators, leaving us vulnerable to censorship in copyright’s name.  Don’t believe the creepy pretence that it’s there to protect © holders.  It’s about putting power in the hands of media corporations. We can stop it!”

Of course, he – along with other critics – didn’t provide proof to support these claims.

Crispin Hunt, Chair of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors, has fought back against the ‘censorship’ claims.  On Twitter, he wrote,

“It’s not about censorship at all.  That’s a lie propagated by SV to manipulate the public to keep on giving their creativity for SV to monetize it.  Article 13 only means that when someone uses someone else’s work to make $ they (the platforms not the user) pay the creator.  Ace.”

Hunt also slammed Fry for spreading false information.

“Stephen Fry is one of those copyright millionaires he can afford to give away his work – several million others can’t.  We want culture to have value online.”

Dugher also refuted the claims.  He wrote,

“Some absolute rubbish has been written about the EU’s proposed #copyright changes.  Among the most ludicrous is the claim it will mean the end of memes, remixes + user-generated content.  This is desperate + dishonest.”

He added the Copyright Directive will “protect rightsholders in the digital age.”  Tech firms would finally have to pay artists the true value of their works.

“To put it bluntly, we in the music industry want to stop firms like Google-owned YouTube ripping off creators and fairly reward them for the use of their work.”

English singer/songwriter Billy Bragg also voiced his support for Article 13.  With the measure’s passing, YouTube’s ‘value gap’ would finally disappear.

“YouTube, which has 1.3bn users, paid £650 million ($858 million) royalties to music companies last year compared to the £4.3bn ($5.7 billion) returned by streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music, which have fewer listeners.”

European Union members will meet on July 5th to hold a vote on the Copyright Directive.


Featured image by Bloom Energy (CC by 2.0)

45 Responses

  1. Jimmy

    Shitty and biased article. I seriously expected something better

    • Kyu

      This site is basically a “voice” for the music industry, so you can expect it to be anything less than heavily biased

      • lastevns

        You clearly cannot create and/or don’t expect to be paid for your work when you do create something. People with talent who put in the hours and get lucky enough to make an uplifting piece art (music, book, painting, photograph, etc), should expect to get paid. That you’re sucking the proverbial c*ck of Google is an embarrassment. Betting they’re not paying you either.

        • blademan9999

          How exactly does forcing sites to install upload filters help artists.
          Because it’s virtually impossible to create a filter that can understand the concept of fair use, and therefor there will be lot of non-infring content that gets blocked, this hurts small artists instead of helping them.

    • Blobbo

      generation loser pussies no guts to fight to get paid for jack squat, so they love sucking the tech giants. Punks. The next generation will have their balls drop I’m sure.

  2. zdsf

    If this article goes through, this site will also be at risk, you retards.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Article 13 would have zero impact on DMN’s site, though it would have a big impact on the industries we cover.

      The Directive also includes Article 11, which would impact DMN.

      I’d urge you to take a look at the actual bill.

      • Bob's Your Uncle

        Odd comment — it is/was decidedly *not* a bill. It is/was a “directive” that leaves enabling legislation to individual member states. Neither you nor I nor anyone else knows how the resultant laws might come to pass, and they will all be different.

        You’re plainly wrong about its potential DMN impact, which is as great or minimal as the user interaction you choose to implement. You already have a comment section, so there is potential impact (quoting lyrics without permission, links to potentially controversial, infringing material, software, services, etc.), which will grow if and when you give readers a bigger voice and reach (or die in competition with those who do).

        It’s about freedom of expression, not money, and yet you weigh the financial impact on the industry you cover to freedom for your audience. Quite the trade you’re willing to make. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, fought for our interests and won.

        • Not A Shill


          Support the music industry by downloading Spotify™ right now!


    • Holly

      Coward. Go to the location and throw down if you feel like such a bad*ss.

  3. NameGoesHere

    If you are reading this article, don’t panic! The supporters of this bill are a minority. The rest of those who know about the issue are opposing it, including the creator of the Internet. If we stand together, we can stop the bill.

    • Jack Mioff

      You obviously have never created anything of value in your life. Genuinely creative artists invest incredible amounts of effort, time and money into creating music, art, film or photography. They have a right to be compensated fairly for their published work. Assuming you are gainfully employed, do you work for free? Fucktards like you want everything for free, so you steal images, music and other fruits of someone else’s creative labors – and for what? To produce fucktard entertainment like memes, rant videos and other mindless bullshit to entertain yourself on the Interwebz. You should put more effort into creating something instead of whining that you can’t steal other people’s shit anymore.

      • Amber

        Why should have they have that right? And who decides what is fair? “Artists”? You?

        If you want to create “art”, then fine, go ahead. If you want to share it with others, then fine, you can to that, your choice. You will still have your work. But if you want to make money of it, then you will have to find a suitable business model where people would want to pay for your art (e.g. concerts, festivals, live shows, etc). And if you cannot do that, then you are simply not in demand (not good enough). In other words you are on the same level as the “fucktard entertainment” that you speak about, which does not merit any compensation in the first place.

        As for “theft”: theft implies loss value. In such cases you often speak of “potential revenue”, because you do not actually lose anything. The ironic thing is that your potential revenue assumes the censoring in the first place. Not dissimilar to saying that the “the loss of potential revenue of not making everyone to give me $100 is $100 for the ‘art’ I created, therefore everyone must give me $100”.

        So the next time you open your browser and go to this site to most a comment, consider the man-years of time, billions of dollars and creativity the “artists” you speak of cannot even comprehend investment in the software (the web-browser, DMN server, libraries, etc) that you enjoy for free. Obviously if you would like, then you can contribute to the cause by donating to Mozilla, Linux foundation, or whatever that is being used. The key difference is that those people do not demand you to pay for their work and will not go through your stuff to check if you use it.

          • Amber

            lol. said “Verified on Twitter” without any argument whatsoever to the issue

        • Fengus

          What an absolute load of hogwash.
          If my or other people’s work is good enough to use on people’s videos or channels to make revenue of, its good enough to pay for.
          I see many people commenting negatively on this bill who seemingly haven’t had their work ripped off, redistributed and monetised without their consent.
          I’ve had my music uploaded into YouTube more times than I can keep track of.
          YouTube has no interest in helping; takedown notices are laborious and time consuming; the process seemingly designed to make it harder for me to take stuff down than for the perpetrators to keep it up.
          I’ve had responses ranging from ‘I did it because I liked it and wanted to share (it wasn’t yours to share) to ‘I’m doing you a favour by giving you more exposure’ – yes, really.
          My music is available to buy on all the major platforms, so that isn’t the issue.
          The issue is that people don’t value stuff they can download/listen to for free – and that is exactly what Google is doing.
          They don’t want to spend the money to pay artists fairly either.
          Biased my *ss…you just don’t like the message so you diss the messenger.

        • Fengus

          And Amber, your comparison is way out of whack.
          You’re comparing open source and community based software and tech with copyrighted commercial material; there is no comparison.
          The difference being that people willingly and knowingly contributed their time to that endeavour.
          That’s vastly different to artists releasing music commercially and then having it uploaded illegally to YouTube and other platforms.
          The difference, if it needs spelling out, is choice and intent.
          I volunteer my time teaching a next generation about music and composition for free a couple of times a year; that doesn’t mean that therefore my entire body of work is free.

        • Gabby Jamz

          If we didn’t create it what would you eat. It still wouldn’t cost you. You don’t have to pay to listen to the radio, unless you want to.
          May the Blessings Be.

          • Fengus

            Honestly mate, what are you rambling on about?
            If we didn’t create what? Music? Art? Bloody memes and funny videos?
            The point is that yes, someone somewhere does pay for the radio you listen to, unless it’s some rogue internet radio station.
            Cause guess what; radio stations need a broadcasting license. The dj’s And people who run/manage the station need to be paid.
            The music they play needs usage fees paid too.
            So there are generally 2 ways that happens , either via a broad tv/radio license as happens in the UK, or in the case of commercial stations via advertising and running silly call in competitions.
            So yes, the music they play does get paid for via licensing fees. As it should be.
            Perhaps the question should be why you shouldn’t get paid if someone else is exploiting your music for commercial gain?

      • Ordinary Kid with Computer who is Not Paid by Record Labels


  4. Blobbo

    Anything Google hates, I support. Larry Page is scum to the core.

    • NameGoesHere

      How hard is it not to hate school internet? Because that’s what the Internet will look like if this bill succeeds. Censors on everything we’ve created because somebody decided that we shouldn’t be looking at something.

      • Jack Mioff

        Articles 11 and 13 are like sandblasters grinding away at the layers of mindless rambling self-absorbed narcissistic bullshit smothering intelligent life on the Internet. Good riddance to bullshit memes, bullshit blogs, and bullshit videos created by legions of bored jackasses with nothing better to do than steal other people’s creative work to produce more mindless bullshit.

        • Not affiliated with the RIAA

          I agree! Here’s your paycheck btw.
          >>> [[[lemonparty.exe]]] <<<

  5. Neptune

    The internet only works because Google controls it. This bill will take away their power over the internet. Is that what you want? You better hope the internet doesn’t break

    • Johnny Neptune

      I’m Johnny Neptune, and I’m going to be forced to file civil litigation against you for your unauthorized usage of my intellectual property… FAGGOT

  6. Rayath

    It’s nice that so many artists are publicly supporting these articles. Makes it easier for me to add them to the list of people and organisations I don’t want to give my money to.

    • Anonymous

      *sigh* judging your reaction to this article, you weren’t giving them money anyway…that’s the whole point.

      • benis

        50 memes per shillpost, and it’s not google, it’s reptilians from reddit. How much is the record industry paying you?

  7. Johnny Neptune

    Some Faggot in 8chan told me to come here and leave a comment. What a douchebag!

    • Not Sponsored By MAFIAA

      Reported for visiting H8chan. Should have known that the people opposing this copyright directive were the same shitbeans that endlessly espouse wrongthi-I mean hate speech on the internet!

  8. muhvagina69696969


  9. Patrick

    Please stop abusing content creators, I want to make content without needing to worry about me accidentally humming a song, burn in hell.

  10. Alex

    Wow, the bias and the ignorance in this article is mind blowing.
    Art 11 would affect your own website you fucking mongoloids.