German Government Confirms That Article 13 Does Mean Upload Filters, Destroying Claims To The Contrary Once And For All
from the now-delete-it-from-the-text dept
Techdirt has just written about an important intervention by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression in the debate about Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive. David Kaye said that most Internet sites “would face legal pressure to install and maintain expensive content filtering infrastructure to comply with the proposed Directive.” Despite the evident expertise of Kaye in this area, some may try to dismiss this clear condemnation of Article 13 as the UN interfering in a legislative process that really only concerns the Member States of the EU, and no one else. That makes the following official reply by Christian Lange, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, to a question submitted by a member of Germany’s national parliament, rather significant:
In the [German] federal government’s view it appears likely that algorithmic measures will have to be taken in connection with large volumes of data for practical reasons alone.
That translation of the original German comes from Florian Mueller, who has written a blog post (in English) about the political background and significance of this statement. He notes that it appears in the well-respected German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “that used to spread the no-upload-filter propaganda [but] now considers it ridiculous to deny that Article 13 involves upload filters.” So the appearance of this confirmation that Article 13 will indeed require “algorithmic measures” — AKA upload filters — in a serious German newspaper represents an important moment in the continuing battle to get MEPs to understand the damage this measure will cause, and to prevent it.
It is now inarguable that Article 13 will require the deployment of upload filters across many sites in the EU. The UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye has warned that upload filters put freedom of expression under threat, and harm creators and artists the most. Putting those two together means that any European politician supporting Article 13 is inevitably attacking a fundamental human right in the EU, and making life worse for artists. With just two weeks before the final vote in the European Parliament, now would be a really good time for EU citizens to ask their MEPs whether they are happy to be remembered for that, or would rather help to remove Article 13 completely.