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KelliWolfe said:
Are you willing to gamble 20 million Euros on that?
A few things:

People keep throwing around that 20,000,000 Euro number, because that is the big scary number being thrown around by the media. Bu the entire system is set up on a scale with different levels, with the $20,000,000 being the highest level, not the floor, and actually is specific to the highest level types of infringement. The law is convoluted to all heck, but it doesn't mandate automatic 20,000,000 ACROSS THE BOARD. That figure is for high-level infractions. And it is UP TO, not MINIMUM OF. There are actually multiple levels and a lot of variables that factor into fees.

"Ambulance chasers" will take advantage of the fearful and stupid, but in reality have no power. Much like the Do Not Call list here in the U.S. or Can-Spam Act, enforcement depends on reporting. And the law says that reports must be for ACTUAL violations, not theoretical. So Jane Doe the ambulance chaser demands that you show her the information you've collected on her, but you never collected any information on her. They can file a complaint, which will then be investigated...assuming the governing agency actually puts enforcement behind one-off complaints. History tells me they will instead be looking for patterns of behavior, because that is how every...single...government...agency involved in this type of stuff works.

Because processing complaints costs money, and there is zero point spending money to go after individuals who you aren't going to collect anything from if you are the government. Generally, they will go after those they can "make an example of" and that will generate a lot of positive press.

I think complying to the best of your ability if you actually collect user data is a good thing. But I also think some people are screaming "the sky is falling" because they see the big scary number.
 

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Edward M. Grant said:
If you send your story to an online critique group you have no control over it any more, because hundreds of people now have copies. Critters used to email me stories every week, so deleting it from the web site would be pointless. And even if it's only on the web instead of downloaded, people can copy-and-paste: they pretty much have to be able to do that in order to critique it.
There's a difference between individual copies with individual critique partners and someone keeping a story or excerpts of a story published against the wishes of the creator. These are very distinct and different things.

Someone using a critique site can be fine with one, and not so much fine with the other. It doesn't automatically follow.
 

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Like others have mentioned, Critters is in an awkward and unique position where it is confusing as to how they would adhere to GDPR.

If you send in a manuscript for critique, that manuscript is potentially sent out to many more people who can download it and read it at their convenience.  Critters can't "forget" that for anyone.  On the other side, if you send in a critique of a manuscript, it's impossible for Critters to "forget" that, too.  Seeing as the majority of their appeal is based off of subscribers to the site sharing information back and forth (and Critters facilitating and alerting everyone to that), it puts them in a precarious situation.

I think a large part of it is the fact that Critters main purpose is to facilitate this and make it easy for people.  They track and record who is able to send in a manuscript that gets critiqued (based on users having critiqued X amount of previous manuscripts) and they track and collect critiques for everyone.  There's also options where users can arrange for a longer critique (like a full novel) and get more credits, which I believe Critters facilitates to some extent by sharing emails (I forget the specifics, but I believe someone needs to first critique your starter and then you can ask them if they'd be interested in critiquing the rest over time as you finish writing it or if you have the full thing you can do it right away, so it's not a random data share).

Personally I don't think they're doing anything shady, but the website is really old, the functions are useful but obviously outdated, the methods they use aren't very up to date, and because of all that I can fully see why they would want to bow out of accepting EU users.
 
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Cerys said:
If you send in a manuscript for critique, that manuscript is potentially sent out to many more people who can download it and read it at their convenience. Critters can't "forget" that for anyone.
But there is nothing in the law that makes a website responsible for content NOT on their site. So if John Doe downloads or prints a copy of Jane Doe's story, and Jane later requests that her story be removed, Critters can, and should, remove the story FROM THEIR SITE. But there is no expectation that they will go onto John Doe's computer and remove the download, which he was permitted to download at the time.

This is no different than if an author removes a book from sale from Amazon. Amazon stops selling the book, but doesn't remove it from the Kindles of people who legally downloaded a copy when it was available.

If, on the other hand, they are maintaining databases of who does what that go back for a decade, then that is a problem. But maybe they should not be micromanaging their members to that level to begin with. But they have had TWO YEARS to prepare for this, and probably should have thought about this for the last two years instead of making a knee-jerk decision today.

That behavior isn't unique to them, of course. We actually see this all the time with regulations. When the U.S. FINALLY adopted the Globally Harmonized System of the Classification in 2012, and gave companies until 2015 to comply, three months before the compliance deadline the business community began running around like their hair was on fire, whining that they didn't have time to comply. Business publications were publishing end-of-business-as-we-know-it stories. Even though they had been given THREE YEARS to do it, and the international companies were ALREADY complying in Europe but for some reason dragged their feet in the U.S.
 

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Edward M. Grant said:
They're not published, they're on a password-protected website. Run by volunteers who donate their own time to help other writers. They may put a few ads on the site to make a few bucks, but it's a long time since I went there, so I don't really remember.
Anything published on a website is published. If I - as the author and owner of copyright - ask for it to be taken down, it has to be taken down, or the owner/administrator of that website is infringing on my copyright.

Anyone working with IP should be aware and respectful of that. And no, that it is behind a password screen doesn't mean it isn't published.
 
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