Why Is The EU Parliament Pushing Fake Propaganda From Hollywood?
from the a-hollywood-story dept
What the hell is going on in the EU these days? The EU Commission put out a Medium post that literally mocked the public as an “angry mob” for raising legitimate concerns about the EU’s proposed Copyright Directive. And that followed a bizarrely incoherent “Q & A” page put out by the EU Parliament’s Legislative Affairs Committee (JURI), spewing pure nonsense about the Copyright Directive. In both cases, those involved were publicly mocked for this (to the point that the Commission even took down its post, but blaming others for misunderstanding it as the reason).
But now the EU Parliament is doubling down on this absurdity. Its official Twitter feed posted this bit of pure propaganda:
Your memes are safe ?
Freedom of expression is not affected ?
It's all about fair payment to content creators ?
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) February 27, 2019
If, for some reason, you can’t read that, it says:
Your memes are safe ? Freedom of expression is not affected ? It’s all about fair payment to content creators ?
And then urges people to watch a short video that is simply bullshit propaganda put forth by an industry association, called “Europe for Creators.” Think about this for a second. Here is the official feed of the entire European Parliament — which has not yet voted on the EU Copyright Directive — posting corporate propaganda from a trade group, pushing misleading to outright false messages, in support of a bill that is designed to financially benefit that industry.
In what world is that okay?
MEP Julia Reda has gone through and highlighted many of the problems with the video in a detailed Twitter thread. To make it easier to read, I’m turning that thread into plaintext here:
This video by @Europarl_EN on the draft #copyright directive has sparked a lot of outrage, and rightfully so! First, the Commission called critics of the reform as a mob, now the Parliament chimes in…. The Parliament should maintain neutrality in its communication until the final version of the #copyright directive is adopted. The video not only creates the impression that the directive has already been agreed, there are several factual mistakes and problematic aspects:
In the beginning of the video a balloon is shown, carrying the ?Europe for Creators? logo. It belongs to a controversial lobby campaign by a group of collecting societies, music publishers and record producers. The logo of Europe for Creators tries to rip off the logo of @EFF, possibly to create the impression that this is a civil society campaign. Advertisements for commercial interest groups have no place in a video of a political institution.
The video claims that the reform is directed at ?large platforms?: In fact, the size of the platform does not matter for the application of #article13, merely whether it hosts ?large amounts? of protected content. This can also be the case for a platform run by a single person. The video says a lighter regime applies to platfoms that have an turnover below 10 Million *or* less than 5 million unique visitors. This is just wrong. Actually, the lighter regime only applies if both criteria are met, and platforms are also younger than 3 years old.
Another false statement is that ?there is no requirement for platforms to put filters in place?: Yes there is, as soon as a rightholder does not wish to offer a license, para 4 (b) and (c) require platforms to use an #uploadfilter in order to escape liability.
The video says ?your memes are safe?: This is misleading. #Article13 says that member states should allow parodies, but the criticism is not that memes will be illegal, but that filters will block them automatically, because they can?t distinguish a parody from ?? infringement.
At the end, @AxelVossMdEP says that any change to a copyrighted work is allowed under #Article13. It?s not. There?s a list of exceptions in Article 13 (5) that should apply: quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody & pastiche. Other transformative uses remain forbidden.
Reda then notes that, as a member of Parliament, she has submitted a request to inspect the internal documents that resulted in this video being made and published on the official EU Parliament Twitter feed. I actually think Reda could have gone even further. Beyond the flat out lies by Axel Voss in the video (saying 10 million Euros “or” less than 5 million uniques, and leaving out that those only apply to companies less than 3 years old), Voss also makes this odd statement, saying that if a company qualifies they are “a little bit exempted.” How is one “a little bit exempted”? He’s actually choosing his words carefully, because he knows that even if you qualify for all three conditions (which will only cover a very small number of platforms) you’re not really exempted at all. You just have slightly less onerous conditions thrust upon you.
Of course, with elections coming up in just a few months, it does seem like the EU Parliament may regret this decision. Just skimming through most of the responses to this tweet, it doesn’t seem to be convincing anyone of anything… other than that they want to vote the bums out in May.
You vote in favor of censorship, we vote you out.
— flatEarthIsNonsense (@NonsenseFlat) February 27, 2019
You?ll only break the internet, its interconnected communities, creativity & freedom of expression. You have no idea what you?re even doing. People won?t vote for you next election, nor will they stand for this if you let it go through. It will be a crime against human rights.
— Acorn (@Alittleacorn) February 28, 2019
This video is full of false and misleading information. Also, the directive has NOT been voted on. What is this video doing on the account of the European Parliament and why was it created on behalf of it? This is serious!#SaveYourInternet #deleteArticle13 #deleteArticle11
— ????? ???????? ? (@PiratepartyGR) February 28, 2019
Thankfully, elections are coming. Let's make sure the next people sitting in those chairs will actually put citizens right's above lobbying interests.
— Carlos Martins (@ptnik) February 28, 2019
Even a cursory read of the drafts provided prove you are either ignorant or lying. Why are you ignoring the very real consequences of the proposed policy and instead clinging to some fantasy "intent" that will never occur? Stop fellating lobbyists.
— Steven Wittens (@unconed) February 28, 2019
All of the three statements are disputed, and I would like for the @Europarl_EN to stay neutral or to refrain from statements until there has been a debate and a vote during the plenary. This view does not represent the view of all Members of the European Parliament.
— Yana Toom (@YanaToom) February 28, 2019
So, the people that run the European Parliament approve of Article 13? Does that mean they're going to lean on most of the parliament members to vote the way they want them to?
— Jamie Foxworthy (@Jamie_Foxworthy) February 27, 2019
And there are a lot more like that. Indeed, I don’t seem to see anyone actually praising the EU Parliament’s decision to post this nonsense, which makes you wonder why they even bothered.