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Article 13 could destroy the internet as it is

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(Michael Hrenka) #1

I’ve recently found information about a planned EU directive that shall be voted on in June 20th this year.

Here’s the relevant directive (bold emphasis by me): DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
on copyright in the Digital Single Market

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52016PC0593

Article 13
Use of protected content by information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users

  1. Information society service providers that store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users shall, in cooperation with rightholders, take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders for the use of their works or other subject-matter or to prevent the availability on their services of works or other subject-matter identified by rightholders through the cooperation with the service providers. Those measures, such as the use of effective content recognition technologies, shall be appropriate and proportionate. The service providers shall provide rightholders with adequate information on the functioning and the deployment of the measures, as well as, when relevant, adequate reporting on the recognition and use of the works and other subject-matter.
  2. Member States shall ensure that the service providers referred to in paragraph 1 put in place complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case of disputes over the application of the measures referred to in paragraph 1.
  3. Member States shall facilitate, where appropriate, the cooperation between the information society service providers and rightholders through stakeholder dialogues to define best practices, such as appropriate and proportionate content recognition technologies, taking into account, among others, the nature of the services, the availability of the technologies and their effectiveness in light of technological developments.

So, this is about forcing internet content providers to install filters that automatically delete uploads of copyrighted materials. On first glance, this doesn’t sound too terrible, but critics pointed out huge problems with that. A very brief summary of what might be affected by article 13 is found on the site Save Your Internet that also makes it easy to contact the relevant MEPs about this.

In brief, this kind of enforced automated censorship is an infringement on free speech that may end the freedom of creative expression and information on the web as we know it.

For more information check out the following sources:

I think it’s necessary that we act against such efforts that threaten our freedom. I’m not interested in waking up in a world whose internet has been crippled much more severely by article 13 than by the Chinese Firewall!


#2

gotcha ^^


#3

seems like free speech is forced into the darknet.


(Steffen Rattay) #4

I wonder whether such laws could be enforced on P2P (decentralised) services, since there is no “service provider”.


(Michael Hrenka) #5

Good question. Let’s assume that we had a blockchain that’s used to store a network of websites. Then wouldn’t the miners be the “service providers”, or would they rather have a role that’s more comparable to that of ISPs? I consider it possible that we will face legal decisions that make miners responsible for what’s done on blockchains.


(Steffen Rattay) #6

The miners are not in the role of the ISP, as they power the content, not the connection.

I think that mining a blockchain that contains illegal content could be criminalised. This would mean that Bitcoin could be criminalised because miners are storing the blockchain, which contains embedded child porn (as far as I know). I don’t think decentralised applications will stay a legal gray-zone for long, and while rightfully no government can regulate the system itself, it can prohibit and criminalise to it. But that could also mean that every blockchain would be attackable by embedding illegal data into it, making blockchain and distributed networks risky to use for miners, because they cannot predict the legal consequences of participating.


#7

It’s nothing new to me, I heard about those plans a year ago.

This is just one more proof that “copyright” and “intellectual property” are outdated concepts that don’t fit into the internet and don’t need to be reformed, but abolished.