The media enterprise paid through the EU Parliament to make a video selling a copyright law it stood to make thousands and thousands from as soon as sued a photographer for complaining that that they had ripped him off


Yesterday, I wrote about how MEP Julia Reda resolved the thriller of the way the European Parliament got here to supply a batshit smear-marketing campaign video promoting the new Copyright Directive and smearing the competition to the Directive (including signatories to the biggest petition in human records): it grew to become out that the video has been produced with the aid of AFP, a massive media employer that stands to make thousands and thousands if the Directive passes.

Now this is terrible sufficient, but reading Mike Masnick’s Techdirt insurance of this issue reminded me of something else about AFP, the ones campaigners for the most potent feasible copyright regime: returned in 2010, AFP used a photographer’s pics of the Haiti quake without permission or compensation, and whilst the photographer complained, AFP sued the photographer, arguing that all images posted to Twitter are presumptively lawful to re-use and looking for a judgment declaring this view. (AFP lost and needed to pay the photog $1.2 million).

The factor being that AFP has an exceedingly particular form of copyright fundamentalism: with regards to copyright rules that could pad its backside line by way of thousands and thousands, no fee is just too excessive. But while it’s far playing fast-and-unfastened with others’ copyright, it’s going to threaten and try to bankrupt the aggrieved birthday party.

AFP, of direction, is a giant publisher that stands to benefit from Article 11 especially probably. And, reputedly, AFP has been one of the more aggressive lobbying groups in Brussels pushing for Article 11. Hell, all the manner lower back in 2005, AFP sued Google for linking to its tales (spoiler alert: it did no longer win). So for the EU Parliament to then use public budget to ask a genuinely involved birthday celebration to provide a propaganda video appears particularly questionable. This is akin to say, America Congress asking Pfizer to give a video with the intention to go out beneath “Congress” respectable imprimatur, about prescription drug pricing. That could be a scandal. Inside the EU, not too many officers appear particularly afflicted through this.

Of direction, it must be noted that AFP does now not exactly have the best track record on copyright itself. In 2010, the corporation becomes caught having used someone’s photo of the earthquake aftermath in Haiti with out-licensing, and when referred to as on it, AFP sued the photographer with a weird argument that anything that changed into published to Twitter was unfastened for all people to apply (no, without a doubt). Eventually, AFP was compelled to pay out $1.2 million for that debacle. You’d assume that experience would possibly make the enterprise a touch more magnificent cautious approximately helping extreme copyright positions, but for some cause within the copyright debates, the maximalists never think the law will critically follow returned to them.

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