‘Will EU content directive lead to backdoor internet censorship?’

June 10, 2018

POLITICAL PARODY:  Could memes like this one used by a prominent You Tuber – in this case not Black Pigeon Speaks – fall foul because of a rightsholder? This would also effect Memes that are critical of the current Government used by left-leaning platforms too. There is also the threat to freedom of speech on this or other memes. Would this be illegal after 20 June?

CONTACT HIM: Ashley Fox, Conservative MEP for the South West 5 Westfield Park, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6LT. Call 0117 973 7050. E-mail ashley.fox@europarl.europa.eu


CONTACT HER: Clare Moody, Labour MEP for the South West, Unit 32 Basepoint Business Centre, Jubilee Close, Weymouth, DT4 7BS. Call 01305 858285 e-mail clare@claremoodymep.com


CONTACT HIM: Those in the Christchurch, Bournemouth and New Forest area of the South Eastern European constituency, the nearest MEP to you geographically is UKIP MEP Raymond Finch, The Old Grain Store, Lyminster, Littlehampton, BN17 7QJ, Call 01903 885573, e-mail raymond.finch@ep.europa.eu



MANDATORY rules to install filtering technology via a proposed EU directive could decimate internet freedom, say campaigners.
What is exactly Article 13 or Copyright Directive entail? Proposals to discuss this legislation are being debated in the European Parliament on 20 June, ten days from now.
According to the site EDRi, all internet companies will be obliged to install filtering technology to prevent the upload of content that has been “identified by rightsholders”.
This means that any meme to contains an image by a rightsholder or a parody that uses a work identified by a rightsholder will be blocked.

ISPs will be held liable on copyright

Independent You Tubers and content creators claim that whilst the EU says this compliments its EU Commerce Directive on infringement of copyright, it would hardly give any protection to internet providers from liability.
To defend themselves from liability, ISPs could have to aggressively monitor and take down or delete any data from a user that generated any legal risk.
To deal with potential cases of unfair restrictions on freedom of speech, individuals or platforms would have to appeal to private redress mechanisms that will be created by the very companies that will impose the filtering technology.
A spokesman for EDRi says this: “Restrictions imposed by companies are almost always done on the basis of their terms of service, rather than the law. As a result, very few of the unfair deletions will be done on the basis of the law, so even this very limited ‘safeguard’ will not exist in reality.”

‘Only beneficiaries are tech giants’

Independent You Tuber Black Pigeon Speaks claims this article would be censorship through the back door and effect almost everything that the average person does on-line, with the biggest beneficiaries being the big tech companies.: “Article 13 threatens to destroy the Internet as we know it and to create a situation even more so than today that large tech companies will control what you can see and do on-line.

‘Users could be taxed for posting links’

“Should the Directive be adopted it will almost certainly impose harsh and widespread censorship on all the contents you share. It would make even the most hardened Oceana minister of propaganda blush. Remember these are machines making the decisions. If the filter detects copyright infringing content the user trying to post said content will have to pay a tax to get his/her material posted on line, that also includes people posting links to other sites.
Smaller internet firms could be economically penalised if they couldn’t afford to implement the censorship filters and prevent new entrants to the tech industry.

‘Filtering fines could threaten small firms’

He continues: “The directive totally disregards the content of the concept of fair use. On-line platforms will be expected to implement complex and expensive filtering systems and will be held liable for copyright infringement. potentially threatening fines that would threaten their economic viability and will almost certainly destroy small to medium-sized companies that cannot bear the cost to implement such filters.

‘Gamers, bloggers and You Tubers under threat’

“This would almost certainly destroy any new companies by almost raising the bar to entrants and economically restricting access to the market which is a big win for the big, tech companies. Article 13 threatens personal blogs, gamer live streams, video producers, discussion platforms like Reddit, 4Chan and even Facebook, sharing memes, parodies, remixes and even the ability to link.”

  • BLACK Pigeon Speaks recommends this message is spread word far and wide, share this link or his video or contact the MEPs above. I have listed two of the South West MEPs and one South East MEP with their contact details. There are four other MEPs for the South West and ten altogether for the South East, who include former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and prominent Tory MEPs Richard Ashworth and Daniel Hannan. Most of this content of this article apart from ERDi data,  is based on the information supplied by Black Pigeon Speaks and should be viewed and read as such.

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