The EU Is Waging War On What Makes The Internet Great

Authored by Oliver Wiseman via,

What is it about the European Union and bad tech laws with boring names? Brussels managed to transform four harmless letters into a byword for irritating compliance-induced spam and pop ups as well as a consolidation of power for the internet’s biggest players. Now that the GDPR dust has settled, along comes Article 13 of the Directive for Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which was approved by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs yesterday.

Article 13 requires websites to take “appropriate and proportionate” measures to make sure copyrighted material doesn’t appear on their pages. It would also require sites to “provide rightsholders with adequate information on the functioning and the deployment of measures”. Then there is the jargon-laden instruction for Member States to “facilitate… cooperating between the information society service providers and rightsholders through stakeholder dialogues to define best practices”.

Those appropriate and proportionate measures mean “content recognition technologies” along the lines of Content ID, the copyright filter that Google uses to stop YouTube users from uploading copyrighted videos. As open internet campaigner and writer Cory Doctorow has explained, everyone hates the filter:

“Big rightsholders say that it still lets crucial materials slip through the cracks.

Indie rightsholders say that it lets big corporations falsely claim copyright over their works and take them down.

Google hates Content ID because they spent $60,000,000 developing a system that makes everyone miserable,...

and YouTubers and their viewers hate it because it overblocks so much legit content.”

The EU seems to have looked at this way of doing things and decided it should be extended – by law – not just to all online videos, but to everything on the internet.

It is hard to overstate the extent of the threat this piece of legislation is to online culture as we know it. In an open letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, a group of internet pioneers that includes Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf and Jimmy Wales spell out the danger:

Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance of its users.

Article 13 essentially amounts to an outsourcing of copyright enforcement to internet companies and imposes a requirement to check everything posted online for copyright infringement. That will have grave consequences for both free expression and competition.

That the legislation is bad news for free expression is inevitable for two reasons. The first is the inadequacy of the technology. As Doctorow explains, YouTube’s filter just isn’t very good at distinguishing copyright from non-copyright material. The same would be true of whatever firms are forced to implement by Brussels. And so, plenty of material that in no way falls foul of copyright law will be caught by the filters. Given that the internet platforms now responsible for policing copyright have little reason to be anything other than risk averse when it comes to preventing infringement, overkill seems unavoidable under Article 13.

But the bigger problem is that identifying material shouldn’t be enough to automatically block its use. It’s not hard to think of harmless pictures that could be caught by a filter because of a logo on a t-shirt or a poster on the wall. There is also the question of what is known as fair dealing in UK copyright law and fair use elsewhere. These are the exceptions that allow people to use copyrighted material if they are doing so for research, criticism, review, parody or a number of other uses. A filter that automatically blocks copyrighted material would make no allowance for these important cases.

This is, among many other things, bad news for good fun. Memes – which very often involve the sharing, tweaking and re-sharing of copyrighted material – wouldn’t make it passed the proposed filters. Nor would countless other ways we use the internet.

Article 13 wouldn’t just hurt users directly by limiting what they can post online, but indirectly by further tilting things in favour of the internet giants. The EU likes to talk tough – and impose big fines – on big tech. So why does it keep passing laws that impose regulatory burdens large firms can shoulder more easily than their smaller competitors?

The benefits of this copyright clampdown are nothing compared to the benefits of an open, vibrant online culture. But whereas the former are concentrated among a handful of industries, the latter are spread thinly across society. Such fights will always be imbalanced ones. But they are made worse when, as in Brussels, decision making is dysfunctional, remote and democratically deficient. That makes the legislative process easier to exploit by vested interests. Healthy political systems sometimes pass bad laws. But unhealthy political systems pass many more of them.

It is probably too late to stop Article 13. After very little public debate, it is set to be waved through a plenary session of the European Parliament. And so, with lamentably little fuss, the EU will have taken a big step towards ruining what makes the internet so great.


ArtificalDuality Heros Wed, 06/27/2018 - 08:54 Permalink

The Internet is great for one thing: It lets people connect and go viral.

You're talking ZOG? Well.. at my current company my phone witnessed them satanist Jews expel an abduction and sacrifice threat about me. I'm the real deal. Here you can download the sound bite: . The snippet says "Trojka, do you want Goyim!", in Dutch as it's spoken, "Trojka, wil je gojim!".

It's a snippet from an 8+ hours recording during my work day where a good number of evil Jews work; one called me a 'scrawny bite' early in my employment. This recording is them talking in an integrated sports room at work, just after 5pm. I am constantly being terrorized by them. I have a good number of audio files recorded at work with condemning evidence.

Here you can read why they are on me. I have been under siege by them in my own country for a while now, by these Satanist Jew Kabballah cultists. They're real. And they've infested Western society everywhere.

Here are the posts, I suggest you read them well: Part I Part II

In 2015 I uncovered proof that the narrative surrounding the take-down of MH-17 is a total farce, a fabrication (the take-down by BUK missile). I can prove most Belling Cat images to be photoshop fraud by virtue of Laws of Physics. I've been on a truth-offense and they don't like it - I'm threatened and harassed. And, they're planning an abduction. As their Mossad Satanist agents call it: A "confiscation mission". After abduction, a satanic ritual murder by their female assassins will follow, after which they pass around goblets of blood obtained from the victim amongst their hard core satanist Jew culties.

MH-17 has been taken down by command of the Trojka through rogue NATO jet fighters under Zionist-Satanist control. They don't like their ruse being exposed by me. Let's make this go viral

In reply to by Heros

Heros ArtificalDuality Wed, 06/27/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

I agree on MH17, one of the most crass false flags in history.  But that isn't saying much.

Eric Karlstrom has written extensively about gang stalking.  Peddling Fiction on this blog has written about them gas lighting him.  I can well imagine that working in a feminized office in Holland is hell.  I think most of Antifa are members of one or more satanist sect.  You can usually tell them because they look like gouls and their skin is grey and pasty.


In reply to by ArtificalDuality

silver140 css1971 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 07:23 Permalink

Nothing to do with the "left". It's about parasitoid corporate fascists using the sociopathic, ecocidal Capitalist system to control the content of the internet to limit resistance while increasing monopolies and profits, forcing everyone into debt slavery on a resource war- torn, toxic-ally polluted and dying planet.

"A parasitoid is an organism that lives in close association with its host and at the host's expense, and which sooner or later kills it."

In reply to by css1971

edotabin kellys_eye Wed, 06/27/2018 - 04:27 Permalink

Yup. The second I saw where that GDPR thing was going, I knew it would all be downhill from there and said so a couple weeks ago. Giggle and FB may not like these "rules" but they have the depth to deal with them. These things require not only implementation but you must always check compliance and you also need to log and keep records. These are the hidden dangers for smaller site owners. It is simply ridiculous and "as usual" they have shrouded this behind noble causes.

Did they ask Al Gore before they did any of this? He gets the final say doesn't he?

In reply to by kellys_eye

Singelguy kellys_eye Wed, 06/27/2018 - 05:48 Permalink

The EU does not need reigning it. It is going to implode in the next few years all on its own. It will then be the wild west until the member countries decide which rules to keep and which rules to eliminate. The more the EU centralizes command and control in Brussels, the sooner the day comes when it self-destructs.

In reply to by kellys_eye

Lokiban Wed, 06/27/2018 - 03:40 Permalink

I am convinced people will find a way against those practices. I predict hostingproviders outside the EU will see an influx of EU customers.

MARDUKTA Wed, 06/27/2018 - 03:46 Permalink

When the fucks in charge want more and more control, they surely have something to hide.

Exposure and loss of control means loss of power for the bad guys.

SadhakaPadma Wed, 06/27/2018 - 03:48 Permalink

Greatest ilusion of westeners is they are free and it is guaranted. That why west falling into totalitarianism more and more and East becoming more and more free.

nailgunner44 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 04:08 Permalink

quick article rehash: they are going to ban memes. also the article doesn't mention it but these these sick fucks in Brussels are pushing for verification of identity for all internet users. they must be stopped at all costs.

Yippie21 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 04:10 Permalink

The left can't meme.  They've lost control.  Media is distrusted and globalism and political correctness is suddenly being checked.  So...  they must make memes illegal because because. 

Obamanism666 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 04:17 Permalink

2 attacks on the internet, This one and the state tax. Only trouble is try getting a Bot into court. Also now physically we have the suedo red guards of Chairman Maxine looking for POTUS people. Rules of Chairman Mao

MPJones Wed, 06/27/2018 - 05:22 Permalink

The EU is an incredibly evil organisation. It is important to understand that it is nothing but the latest manifestation of 'traditional' European fascism, a left-wing control freaky suppressive construct. European nations are in grave danger from this monstrosity which will eventually firmly and brutally abolish democracy in Europe. Europeans need all the help they can get from the USA and other freedom-loving peoples (if such still exist) to topple this most recent attempt at a European empire and liberate European nations.

Also, make no mistake: there are some truly evil people at the top of the EU, and that is a word I only use rarely and sparingly.

kwaremont MPJones Wed, 06/27/2018 - 05:39 Permalink

yes, that's the tragedy of european DeepEtatism (that's the advantage of the US or e.g. Switzerland - that they have at least some good roots, but in the most of the countries there is this CONTINUITY... often down to the dark ages, just catholibanism was replaced by socialist religion like in France)... and it's a disaster regardless of who rules this DeepState criminal organization - although one can agree that this current leftist neomarxist cancer is one of the worst possibilities

In reply to by MPJones

webmatex Wed, 06/27/2018 - 05:27 Permalink

As usual the EU made a bad decision for big business against the wishes and benefit of its citizens.

Happily it will not last much longer.

bigloser Wed, 06/27/2018 - 07:40 Permalink

While we're still somewhat unencumbered in the US, we should further the war effort against Europe (trade war, good start), beginning by target bombing the EU HQ in Brussels.

Actually, that may be all we need to do. The EU citizens would cheer.

josie0802 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 08:10 Permalink

Ef that. I'm a musician. Still more falsely claimed copyrights over the works of talented family and friends. Already spending way too much time on my YT channel contesting things as it is.  Good article.

hooligan2009 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 08:58 Permalink

right now, europeans need to get used to this message EXAMPLE, whenever they access data from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD THAT IS OUTSIDE THE EU. this will directly impact news aggregator sites with comments sections like ZH.

"451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact or call 800-346-1234."

A few questions/problems- here are just 3 issues.

1. Article 13(1) requires that the measures taken by providers to ensure copyright protection must be “appropriate and proportionate and may include the use of effective content recognition technologies”. Article 15 (1) ECD states that for the "safe harbour" providers “Member States shall not impose a general obligation to monitor the information which they transmit or store, nor a general obligation actively to seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity”.

2. The providers targeted by Article 13 (1) of the law fall under the safe harbor exemption provided in Article 14 ECD. Article 1 (2) of the law presents a list of existing Directives whose validity is affected but the ECD generates legal uncertainty, created by Article 13.

3. Offering generic and automated support to all users does not provide knowledge, and without knowledge, real control is excluded. Neutrality asserted in Recital 42 ECD is based on “knowledge” and “control” over the information stored or transmitted by the Information Society Service.

That's just a few points.

The EU is now stepping into the bounds of thought control and the restriction of ideas that do not conform to its libtard socialist demoNrat PROPGANDA.

prepare to be brain-washed, like with a cloth.

hongdo hooligan2009 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

Good points.  You can see an example of the consequences if you look at a Korean news station.  The talking head cuts to a video shot in public and 80% of the video screen is unfocused and blocked due to background logos (like on a passerby's T-shirt)  and privacy concerns that must be blocked to avoid copyright and privacy violations.  Unwatchable.  And many sports clips are totally blocked.

Of course the EU does not want the "citizens" to see content that is PC unfiltered.  They can arrest residents for stating facts that they disagree with, but not people residing in a foreign country.


In reply to by hooligan2009

hooligan2009 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

there is a desparate need for a "pirate internet" that is available within the EU but is "transmitted" outside EU jurisdiction.

sort of like "pirate radio", but not based on messages attached to bitcoin transactions.

any ideas?