Proposal to fight the Article 13/17 (Copyright Directive), while there is still time!


#1

Hello everyone,

I have been following the Copyright Directive subject since 2018, and I’ve tried to spread the message among my friends, co-workers, about the dangers of this directive. Very few listened and probably even fewer acted on it.
Most people just said: “no, there won’t be any catastrophe, things will work out in the end”. Typical… let someone else care about it.

I’m Jorge, a portuguese citizen, and I work in internet projects since the late 90’s. I grew up enjoying a free internet and appreciating the freedom principles of this new digital era, and I do not wish to see ours and the next generations becoming trapped in a censorship machine.
Yes, there are things to perfect, to further defend copyright holders, but not at the strong expense of freedom of speech and freedom of operation.

So, straight to the point: I know it’s hugely disappointing to see the European Parliament approving this directive, but there is still a minor chance to change things and we have to fight for it. I cannot stand still watching this, it is too important for our society!
If Europe is not a beacon of freedom, what have we become? If this is the way Europe wants to behave towards Internet, how can we blame brexiters for wanting to leave “this” Europe? We have to fix this.

I know the big platforms like Google, Facebook and others will be able to cope with the directive (with filters, money thrown at lawyers, etc) and now I’m mostly worried about the small platforms where people participate in forums, blogs, etc. That is where freedom right now is most in peril!

I have been reading about Julia’s efforts for some months and yesterday I was browsing over the Saveyourinternet Twitter account and I saw that they retweeted a tweet about fighting the Directive and that mentioned EdgeRyders…
I came to visit this forum and from what I’ve seen, there seem to be some community managers who could be truly important in the next steps of this fight.
So that’s why I’m here. :slight_smile:

Time is of essence and we must change the way we have been fighting. Let’s now go directly to the “big guys”, the top politicians. Let’s get them take the heat/info from influential people around them (see below). I hope that will make them hear better what we have to say about the dangers and unfairness of this Directive.
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First question: does anyone know for sure when is the Directive going to be approved by the Governments? Is it in the Council of 9th May? If so, we still have time!
Can you confirm that date? I found it here:
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/calendar/?dateFrom=2019%2F03%2F27&dateTo=2020%2F03%2F28&filters=2031
Update: because the Brexit Deal wasn’t approved at the UK parliament, an extraordinary European Council was called for the 10th April. That gives us much less time, but it still doable if we get to work!

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My proposed plan to fight old Article 13 (now Article 17):

  • For each european Country, identify 50 important forums/blogs/services with user generated content that are mostly small/amateurs, but well known, popular, with a strong public voice (not too underground) and are over 3 years old

  • Contact them. Show them first the devastating effects. Ask them if they agree with the Copyright Directive, articles 13 and 11 and if they are confident about staying on business after the new directive? What do they plan to do once the corresponding new law is created?
    1 - acquire or develop upload filters software? (note: Youtube spent 100 millions building their upload filter)
    2 - change to a human approval system for posts/comments?
    3 - acquire licences from every and each copyright holder in the world and operate as usual? Assuming co-responsibility on user content posted, risking being sued and going to court?

  • Identify also 20 important sites/foruns/services with user generated content that are big (>10M annual revenue)

  • Contact them. Show them first the devastating effects. Ask them if they agree with the Copyright Directive, articles 13 and 11 and if they are confident about staying on business after the new directive that demands upload filters and co-responsibility on user content. What do they plan to do once the corresponding new law is created?
    1 - acquire or develop upload filters software? (note: Youtube spent 100 millions building their upload filter)
    2 - change to a human approval system for posts/comments?
    3 - acquire licences from every and each copyright holder in the world and operate as usual? Assuming co-responsibility on user content posted, risking being sued and going to court?

  • For those that show signs of opposition and disconfort:

    • ask them to put up warnings to their users that the new directive may put them out of business or severely affect them
    • ask them and their users to contact/email the government to ask for an urgent intervention to revert the bad aspects of the directive!
    • follow-up frequently to see if they got any response from the government
  • Copy and repeat for several european countries

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Note 1: Upload filter cost: https://venturebeat.com/2018/11/07/youtube-weve-invested-100-million-in-content-id-and-paid-over-3-billion-to-rightsholders/
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Note 2: Youtube may also be happy to sell subscriptions to upload filters, cost unknown…
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/article-13-youtube-what-next
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Note 3: Upload filters are not foolproof. If posts/comments with copyrighted content happen to appear in your service, your service may still be sued (not only the user that was responsible for it)
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181214/17272041233/youtubes-100-million-upload-filter-failures-demonstrate-what-disaster-article-13-will-be-internet.shtml
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END OF PLAN
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Expected Results: governments should start receiving contacts from influent people who own and/or participate in these forums/blogs.

That should be a big help for our cause: governments receiving feedback from entrepreneurs / “VIP” people, from people that are known in society (and not only “young youtubers”), journalists, people that really use these services and are afraid of loosing them! And specially people that KNOW politicians and people that can get ACCESS to politicians.
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Unfortunately, we must admit that these VIP “influencers” usually have more influence over governments than anonymous users…
Human nature works like this:

  • if they come for others… people let it go (politicians that don’t use many forums or blogs are the first to vote happily for the Directive)
  • if they come for us or for our friends… we will listen! (politicians will listen more carefully if their friends, people they trust, warn them of what is going to happen)

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So let’s get the fight to the inner circle of the governments, lets get influent people, friends of politicians, to take the role of bringing the message to governments, to make them see this is a big mistake.
The demonstrations on the street and anonymous users actions (emails, contacts) have not worked as desired, so we must try another route…

Let’s go big, let’s go directly to the VIP people that have a voice in digital media and have a connection to the center of decision: the government. Let’s make the governments see how people can get hurt for real, their friends, their fellow entrepreneurs, their influential VOTERS!

There are many influential persons running blogs and forums (cooking, automobile, marketing, finance, etc). We really have to go after the “popular” and well-connected blogs and forums (not the underground ones, because those will not have easy access to politicians).

We have to show them the effects of this Directive, they will be scared for sure. So they will ACT now, because the Directive is already approved (they thought it was too extreme? well, now it’s real).
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Last note: do you know about the Iceberg of Ignorance?
Basically, what I’m saying is:

  • politicians are at the top and the message of protests doesn’t reach them efficiently (noise / obstacles / disinterest)
  • so, we must take a shortcut and take the message to the “Team Managers” (forum operators and bloggers), hoping they are people or they know people that have access to politicians. So they can pass along to the politicians the message about the wrong things in this Directive!

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I can get this to work in my country, I know some people with good connections, I know journalists, I can reach to youtubers too, use social networks, user personal contacts, etc.
And I’m sure that people in other countries can do the same. You can probably identify easily a small group of people for each country that are energetic and willing to use the same plan.
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Does this proposal make sense to you? What do you think would make it better, more effective and more pragmatic to reach the hearts of people with influence around the governments?
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Which countries are the most interesting “targets” and could overturn the vote in the European Council? We should start with the strongest of those, of course.

Let’s do this??


What similar approach could we take about old Article 11?
I know it’s about the link tax but I’ve not been focusing so much about it (other than Google News could stop existing and that curated blogs would get hurt also). I also know that similar initiatives failed in Spain and Germany.
But what is key here is: what specific and down-to-earth reasons could we use to contact and convince influent people (bloggers, others) about the negative impact of old Article 11?



Our Internet is under threat! :worried: Please fight.
#2

Hello Jorge, welcome here, and thank you for that great energy you’re investing to fight for our beloved Internet :blush:

For Germany, have a look at Foren Gegen Uploadfilter. These are 470 mostly German forums with together 19.5 million members which came together to advocate against article 13.

Unfortunately, it did not help so far. Likewise, the petition with 5.5 million signatures did not help anything. And the demonstrations did not help anything. The majority of politicians are an Internet-agnostic gerontocracy that keeps ignoring us.

And honestly, I don’t think that any plan has a chance of success in the last ten days before the Council vote (which is typically just a formality). Did any European law so far fail at that step? I hardly ever discourage anyone from doing what they see suitable, but here I’d like to propose a different plan:

  1. Of course, let’s vote in the European elections for candidates that want to reverse this copyright “reform”, and not vote for anyone who endorsed it. Voting is, after all, the recurring opportunity for a non-violent revolution, embedded in the democratic system. Or, it should be.

  2. It’s time for dismantling the system thoroughly and completely by civil disobedience against the copyright reform. As far as I am concerned, the EU’s law-making process lost all moral authority with a blatantly anti-democratic vote like that for the the copyright “reform”.

    So a campaign for forums and platforms to ignore article 13 and to implement technical and legal countermeasures that allow doing so might be more useful at this point, as building citizen-controlled darknet infrastructure is a good tool against further state interventionism in the Internet, anyway. There are a lot of options, including so-called bulletproof hosting in countries suitable for offering it. We could start with mapping out ideas and options, and then to a crowdfunding campaign to create a toolkit that allows forums to safely ignore the article 13 nonsense.


#3

Hello matthias,
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my text and reply.

Thank you also for the link to the Uploadfilter platform in Germany. It’s good to see that my points are exactly the points that those forums identified. I’m glad to see that in Germany people are so much conscient and prepared for what is coming. In Portugal, the issue was played down a lot, mostly with the attitude “someone will work things out”.

That Open Letter from the forums (I’ve just read the english version) was very good. So was the petition (I also signed and donated) and the demonstrations.
BUT, looking back now, I feel that one thing wasn’t done too well: taking the issue to the personal sphere of relationships of politicians.

Not address them with general actions or contact them as anonymous people that they have never heard before. The key may be (it’s my hope) to make influential people to talk to the elected politicians at the governments, because a politician will more easily hear what a friend/acquaintance has to say (unfortunately that’s how it works many times… many politicians are deaf to the people outside their bubble).

Of course we must use our votes well. BUT… also for that to happen, it will be important for us to create right now a network of people in several countries, that will call for politicians to declare their stance and to encourage people to vote for those that want to reverse. Also, the forums will be important to spread the word (forums are much better for that, than social networks where people don’t read much and where the posts reach is small, except for big pages).
Building this network to work for the Elections takes time and is not incompatible with starting with a protest plan right now to pressure the governments. On the contrary, we should start right now.

Regarding civil disobedience I believe is not so easy. Here are some points:

  • if the forum is in the EU (or it’s owner is in the EU) it is liable. So, not working according to the law, may result in serious legal trouble.
  • creating forums in the darknet or underground internet, may work for a while (until the authorities get there) and that would only serve the small percentage of people who would know how to install and configure software to use those darknet forums
  • hosting in other countries is not a viable option, because if the users or the forum owner are in Europe, they are still liable for legal action. Example: Youtube may escape this regulation if they shutdown video uploads from Europe (in that case, Europeans will only be able to view videos from other countries). They cannot allow european people to upload new videos without a filter (and that filter will also have to cover text, it’s a new thing from this Directive).

I believe my plan is realistic. But in case you want an “easy” action to defend forums, I will give you one suggestion: every 35 months, a forum can buy a new domain and transfer the userbase (with previous users agreement) to the new domain, in fact creating a new legal entity. Therefore, switching every 2.9 years, small forums will be able to escape the terrible upload filter. It’s doable? Sure. But it’s a lot, lot of trouble (and some users will be lost in the process).


#4

most cool, that ‘iceberg of ignorance’ - it’s one we want to melt! (unlike the real ones!) and for soooo many issues… to (re)spark interest is a great challenge and to keep some free internet (without having to go darknet) also seems very important.


#5

This is soo 2019 :slight_smile: