Poll

Shall this motion pass?

Yes!
4 (100%)
No!
0 (0%)
Abstain!
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Voting closed: June 18, 2018, 02:57:48 PM

Author Topic: MOTION: Resolution of opposition to censorship engines PASSED 4-0-0  (Read 858 times)

Jubal

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It's one of those rare "Exilian should take a position on this" motions: I think this is de facto Exilian's position anyway because this will be horrible (like, potentially fatal for most independent forums generally horrible) for us if it passes. The issue is around the proposed Article 13 of the EU's new digital copyrights bill, which I've included in a references section below the motion text.

A13 is basically about what information platform providers (like Exilian, as we're a place where you can post information) are required to do to stop copyright infringement. At present, it's already the case that if e.g. a publisher spots that one of our users has copypasted a whole article and wants us to take it down, we're obliged to do so. That's no problem. The new law, however, asks such sites to prevent such availability, allows rightholders to pre-emptively supply the lists of what they want filtered, and mention "content recognition technologies" as a way of doing this. A content recognition technology here basically means something that scans all of every post before it gets posted, checks it against a huge database, and then blocks anything it recognises.

There are two huge problems with this. One is that an automated machine can't discern fair use and parody - so it'd block memes if they contained copyright images, or parodies of texts despite those having legal protection. The other is that the obligation of installing and working this kind of censoring engine is huge, and it's unclear how far down the scale of websites it'll go. If the eventual law required Exilian to implement such a machine, it would probably just kill us because all the techs for doing it are proprietorial and would cost too much. Even if it turns out not to hit us directly, we don't want to be banned from using potentially copyright-adjacent content on our social media outlets (just look at all the mods etc we've made that use someone else's IP).

As such, here's an emergency motion declaring opposition to this to allow me to go shout at some people on twitter about it. :)

Motion text:

The Plaza resolves:

1.
a) That the continued functioning of Exilian's website is of central importance to the fulfilment of our constitutional objectives.
b) That the imposition of specific technologies on websites to comply with legal obligations is a risk both to their continued functioning and to the future-proofing of such legal obligations.
c) That the judgement as to what constitutes a breach of intellectual property law and rights is complex and can only reasonably be made by a human being.
d) That users deserve to have their rights to use copyrighted works in parody form and other fair use arenas protected, and to not be subjected to unwarranted surveillance of their published material.

2.
a) That therefore Exilian opposes any legislation that requires websites to install automated pre-scanning of posted content for copyright purposes
b) That Exilian official outlets may make public statements to this effect.


References:

Useful links:
https://boingboing.net/2018/06/07/thanks-axel-voss.htmlhttps://boingboing.net/2018/06/07/thanks-axel-voss.html
https://action.openrightsgroup.org/say-no-article-13s-censorship-machine
https://www.communia-association.org/2017/09/14/updated-position-paper-article-13-remains-terrible-idea-needs-deleted/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/06/eus-copyright-proposal-extremely-bad-news-everyone-even-especially-wikipedia

Text of A13:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Lizard

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Re: MOTION: Resolution of opposition to censorship engines
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 03:00:32 PM »
Yaaaas.


We can probs get other people here to yell, too.
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Jubal

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Re: MOTION: Resolution of opposition to censorship engines
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 03:07:00 PM »
PASSED 4-0-0

And yeah, I've tweeted about it a bit. With my politics hat on I'm organising a private letter to the Lib Dem MEP (we only have one nowadays), too. I might put a frontpage announcement up later calling for people to contact MEPs, if I get time.
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