In case you're wondering: the just voted to impose filters on all the text, audio, photos, videos, etc you might post. If you think this will help photographers or other creators, you don't understand filters.

First of all: pirates laugh at filters. The most sophisticated image filters in the world - those used for state censorship in China - are trivial to evade Anyone whose occupation is beating filters will beat filters.

But people who are legit? Including photogs? They're FUCKED. Filters can be intentionally bypassed if you know the trick, but if you're (say) a news photog whose photo of a protest includes a bus-ad with some stock imagery, the filters will not be able to know that you're legit.

There are thousands of ways that filters can accidentally finger your legit works as piracy, and if you're not a pirate, your remedy is to file appeals, cross your fingers, and hope a platform with a billion users and millions of people in your situation will review your case.

That's photos: but they're also going to be filtering text. Your text. Tweets, Facebook posts, blog entries. If something looks like a match for a registered copyrighted work, it will be blocked - by black-box algorithms that will make trillions of filtering decisions every day

Software code: are you a dev? Do you think you could analyze a program readout and determine whether it is an "original work" whose substantial similarity to a known program is incidental, or plagiarism?

Multiply this by videos, by audio, by every other media type.

The "creators groups" who supported this batshit proposal said over and over that these technical issues would be solved once nerds were told they had to solve them. They said NERD HARDER. i

Their unwillingness to entertain the technical arguments, to educate themselves on the technical issues that will plague working creators and their audiences alike was absolute malpractice.

They have done more to discredit copyright today than anything else in technological history. Their (ridiculous) insistence that copyright required mass censorship and surveillance to survive will be heard and believed.

They've told Europe: You can have free speech, or copyright, not both. They will be believed. Make people choose, and they'll choose.

My fellow artists: you will not like the choice they make. You have made piracy into a form of political protest today.

This will come up for another vote in January. i'll be honest, this is likely to be a pro forma exercise. It's almost inconceivable that the whole will be voted down. But so long as there's even a tiny chance we can save Europe from this lunacy, we'll fight.

We'll fight in Europe's courts, too: there's no way that asking multinational corporations to send all of our communications to American data-centres to be analysed by algorithms and arbitrarily censored passes European constitutional muster.

We'll fight in the 28 European parliaments when they sit to make national legislation.

We'll fight in the upcoming elections.

Hell, even if we'd won tonight's fight, we'd have to keep fighting.

The fight to keep the internet free and open isn't a fight you win, it's a fight you commit yourself to.

Censoring, surveillance and controlling the nervous system of the 21st century is a prize beyond measure for every dictator, every fool, every troll.

Everything we do today involves the internet. Everything we do tomorrow will require it. Every problem everyone has involves the internet, and everyone's solution to that problem will eventually look like this: "Can't we just destroy the internet a little to solve my problem?"

Making people understand that the mechanisms for censoring and surveilling the internet for their noble cause will be hijacked by griefers, trolls, dictators, stalkers, harassers, criminals and authoritarians is a long, arduous process we'll have to repeat and repeat.

We can start by making "breaking the internet" a political third rail. I've been in policy fights where politicians were being asked to do things that would make people replace small, inexpensive TV components and they were TERRIFIED.

Old people watch TV like crazy, and vote like crazy. Breaking TV, even a little, is political suicide.

That's how we'll win the internet freedom fights. By targeting and destroying the political careers of any politician stupid enough to vote in favour of this idiocy.

The fight isn't over. It was never going to be over. We had a terrible, crushing setback today. Brutal beyond measure.

When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla. We'll fight on. Because the stakes are to high to surrender.


@selea @doctorow they voted to add it to the bill, which is pretty much guaranteed to pass once they're done

... Or music, or computers, or contemporary culture, or law.

#Brexit may turn out to have been a good idea, after all!


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