French Political Party Voting For Mandatory Copyright Filters Is Furious That Its YouTube Channel Deleted By Filter

from the but-we-didn't-mean-for-US dept

It's been a long tradition here on Techdirt to show examples of politicians and political parties pushing for stricter, more draconian, copyright laws are often found violating those same laws. But the French Rassemblemant National (National Rally Point) party is taking this to new levels -- whining about the enforcement of internet filters, just as it's about to vote in favor of making such filters mandatory. Leaving aside that Rassemblemant National, which is the party headed by Marine Le Pen, is highly controversial, and was formerly known as Front National, it is still an extremely popular political party in France. And, boy, is it ever pissed off that YouTube took down its YouTube channel over automatically generated copyright strikes. Le Pen is particularly angry that YouTube's automatic filters were unable to recognize that they were just quoting other works:

Marine Le Pen was quoted as saying, “This measure is completely false; we can easily assert a right of quotation [to illustrate why the material was well within the law to broadcast]”.

Yes, but that's the nature of automated filters. They cannot tell what is "fair use" or what kinds of use are acceptable for commentary or criticism. They can just tell "was this work used?" and if so "take it down."

Given all that, and the fact that Le Pen complained that this was "arbitrary, political and unilateral," you have to think that her party is against the EU Copyright Directive proposal, which includes Article 13, which would make such algorithmic filters mandatory. Except... no. Within the EU Parliament, Rassemblemant National is in a coalition with a bunch of other anti-EU parties known as Europe of Nations and Freedoms or ENF. And how does ENF feel about Article 13? MEP Julia Reda has a handy dandy chart showing that ENF is very much in favor of Article 13 (and the Article 11 link tax).

So... we have a major political party in the EU, whose own YouTube channel has been shut down thanks to automated copyright filters in the form of YouTube's ContentID. And that party is complaining that ContentID, which is the most expensive and the most sophisticated of all the copyright filters out there, was unable to recognize that they were legally "quoting" another work... and their response is to order every other internet platform to install their own filters. Really?


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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 11:45am

    Nerd Harder

    Obviously they didn't mean they wanted THEIR stuff filtered.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Nerd Harder

      Filters are for the bad things. The fact that bad is subjective never enters their pointy little minds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 18 Jun 2018 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Nerd Harder

      Yup. Nerd harder. The Internet industry needs to own up to their responsibility of keeping free speech going without casualties like the defense industry owns up to their responsibility of keeping world peace without casualties.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 8:06pm

        Re: Re: Nerd Harder

        There would be no need for nerds to nerd harder if politicians and police could politic harder and cop harder. After all, it's a LOT easier to write perfect laws than it is to write perfect code (by entire orders of magnitude) and it's a lot easier to enforce the law flawlessly than it is to tell the difference between a licensed work and an illicitly copied one.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Hero, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:02pm

    Why not just do what the EU did with GDPR law and say it doesn't apply to them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:11pm

    Well they are French...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:16pm

    People who do not understand how technology works and expect those geeky tech wizards to just magic them up a solution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:18pm

    well if monkey selfy lawsuits have taught us anything, it's definitely that ALL content has a copyright holder.
    And OBVIOUSLY they had not obtained the rights to use the French Language© in their works

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonmylous, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:21pm

    Ostriches are lousy politicians

    Maybe.... maybe an allegory will work? Let me try.

    *ahem* Dear politicians. Creating laws requiring internet companies to create algorithms that account for fair use is like passing laws requiring the Sun to burn less brightly in order to reduce global warming. It looks great on paper, but to anyone even slightly educated, you appear foolish.

    We live in the Digital Age now. Stop clinging to your ignorance as if it were some badge of pride or honor. Learn about these things so you can make laws that actually help your constituents, and the world. Copyright does need reform, but not in the ways that the industry players want. they have a duty to make money for their shareholders, and nothing more. YOU have a duty to your citizens, and no one else. Its about time you remembered that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rico R, 18 Jun 2018 @ 12:30pm

    Fighting Piracy Rule #451

    The trouble is that no automatic robot is going to reasonably determine what is fair use and what is not... And this case definitely shows it! How can a computer ever determine if the material is used in a transformative manner? Or if the small portion that's shown is at the heart of the work? Can it determine if the market is harmed or usurped? These are things that HUMANS alone can determine on a case by case basis. But in the name of piracy, it's better to prevent everyone from using anyone else's copyrighted content (and by anyone else, I mean those who can hire a team of lawyers using their pocket change) than to let the human rights holders think for themselves! That won't ever lead to censorship!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Fighting Piracy Rule #451

      How can a computer ever determine if the material is used in a transformative manner? Or if the small portion that's shown is at the heart of the work? Can it determine if the market is harmed or usurped?

      Well, this is France. Their rules are not necessarily the same as America's. And since they're willing to change their copyright laws, they could redefine their "fair use" equivalent to be friendlier to algorithms, e.g. to require a cryptographically signed letter of permission from the copyright holder. Not impossible, just a terrible idea.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rico R, 18 Jun 2018 @ 6:40pm

        Re: Re: Fighting Piracy Rule #451

        True, but the article says they cite a quotation exception, which is essentially saying it is criticism or commentary and thus fair use in US law. Perhaps what's needed instead is an algorithm that geo-block fair uses to the US only, fair dealing to the UK only, quotation exceptions for France only, etc. What could possibly go wrong?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 8:09pm

        Re: Re: Fighting Piracy Rule #451

        Copyright laws are set by international treaties to a very great extent. France is signatory to most of the same treaties the US is, and those treaties mean that the laws actually are very similar -- if they weren't, then countries would not be in compliance with the treaty.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 1:34pm

    Oh yes of course, it was the filter that did it! Uh huh.

    I suspect any chance of Google winning this battle has been permanently flushed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 1:43pm

    Techdirt just drew a NAZI SWASTIKA as my "AC" symbol

    YouTube's ContentID will automatically flag anything it interprets as a Nazi swastika and take down the video, as many WWII history buffs have painfully discovered. Techdirt just identified me as a Nazi by drawing a swastika in my auto-generated Anonymous Coward avatar. While I'm no expert in French law, I'm quite sure that displaying Nazi swastika symbols would be illegal under French law ... and German law, and Austrian law, ...

    Here's a small cutout from a screenshot:

    https://imgur.com/IVRIBtV

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 4:32pm

      If you squint REAL hard, get drunk and take some LSD maybe

      Yeah, if either you or YT think that that is a swastica, either the filter is hilariously broad(YT) or you're looking for it(you). A slightly tilted square with four boxes inside it does not a swastica make.

      As for 'displaying a nazi swastica being illegal under french/german/austrian law', even if an automatically generated image counted, and even if TD was found in violation... TD is in america, so it has no reason to care, any more then they need to be careful not to blaspheme to avoid violating any religious laws from any middle east country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 5:10pm

        Re: Re: coddling the (Jewish?) "snowflakes"

        I only point out these kind of things to poke fun at the sheer madness that's gripping the Western World these days, causing people to freak out at the slightest whiff of anything they imagine might remotely resemble a swastika (whether of the Nazi or Asian variety).

        Perhaps one of the worst examples might be those 4 buildings on a California naval base that were around for half a century without anyone ever noticing anything wrong, but then as soon as a satellite photo goes viral, then the image becomes such a Crime Against Humanity that the buildings must be rebuilt, in this case at a cost of 14 million dollars, just to stomp out any trace of that dreaded Nazi imagery which can only be seen from the air. And now, it looks like they'll need to be rebuilt all over again because the stench of Nazism is still there. (damn you, Google Earth!):

        SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A multi-million dollar renovation on a naval building in Coronado, which some said is shaped like a swastika, is now complete. However, the building still resembles a swastika despite promises made by the Navy to change the design.

        The buildings at Naval Base Coronado, which were constructed in the late 1960s, are grouped together in a way that clearly looks like a swastika, which people found so offensive that the Navy agreed it had to be changed.

        http://www.cbs8.com/story/31256883/buildings-on-local-base-still-look-like-swastika

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 2:01am

          Re: Re: Re: coddling the (Jewish?) "snowflakes"

          "Perhaps one of the worst examples might be those 4 buildings on a California naval base that were around for half a century without anyone ever noticing anything wrong, but then as soon as a satellite photo goes viral"

          So, your argument is that it's OK so long as you do it in such a way that nobody will notice? It was there for half a century without complaint because people didn't have access to the satellite images, not because there was some change in how people would react to knowing that their government constructed something with apparent Nazi symbolism.

          "And now, it looks like they'll need to be rebuilt all over again because the stench of Nazism is still there"

          Yeah, the needless deaths of millions of people will take time to recover from.

          "The buildings at Naval Base Coronado, which were constructed in the late 1960s"

          The real questions are these: Why did an architect, working for the military so close to the war, decide to design a building that so clearly looked like the symbol of the enemy that the moment people were able to see it from above, everybody recognised it as such? Did he think he could get away with secretly inserting symbolism, assuming that nobody would ever notice, or was it a horrible coincidence that somehow got signed off at numerous levels without anyone noticing in the plans something that's so instantly obvious in the finished product?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 6:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: coddling the (Jewish?) "snowflakes"

            Let's not forget that people are taught and conditioned to be offended at something. Offense is determined by culture, not something we are all intrinsically born with. It's grossly inappropriate for us to apply the sensibilities of one particular culture in a certain time amnd place to another time and place.

            It would seem that like the Confederate battle flag, the Nazi swastika has only become a symbol of "hate" in the US in recent years. It's quite possible that in 1960, the swastika was still seen as an ancient Asian symbol that a bunch of kooky Germans decided to adopt as their own for a short period of time.

            It's funny that although the Nazis had many other symbols, and the Confederate States of America had many other flags, they are today represented by a single icon in the eyes of the general public, who probably would not instantly recognize many if any of the other symbols used, just like (and this is pure speculation) a typical architect in 1960 would not have batted an eye at a building layout that would today almost certainly draw an instant gasp of horrified disbelief.

            Anyway, far more people died in captivity under Marxism than under 'Naziism' or 'Confederatism', yet for some strange reason we are not taught to view Marxist symbols in anything close to the same light.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 19 Jun 2018 @ 8:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: coddling the (Jewish?) "snowflakes"

              "Offense is determined by culture, not something we are all intrinsically born with"

              Indeed. Which is why symbols historically associated with Nazis and slave owners have become popular with racist types, even if they didn't start off meaning that.

              "It's quite possible that in 1960, the swastika was still seen as an ancient Asian symbol that a bunch of kooky Germans decided to adopt as their own for a short period of time. "

              Extraordinarily unlikely. It's far more likely that people will have been unaware of its origins and only knew it from its use by the Nazis. Those are people who experienced the war, they did not have the historical distance that we do. Also remember that the Nazi version of the swastika was deliberately oriented differently compared to the Buddhist symbol, an orientation that seems to be shared by the building (though this can be disputed it were indeed deliberate).

              "It's funny that although the Nazis had many other symbols, and the Confederate States of America had many other flags, they are today represented by a single icon in the eyes of the general public"

              Most religions and cultures have more than one symbol, but some can be changed by their use more than others. There are other Nazi symbols that existed, of course, but they have not been adopted by modern-day neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the same way. Similarly, although there were certainly other Confederate flags, that particular battle flag was adopted as a symbol of racism long after the US civil war. I'd read up on how it was rallied behind during the civil rights era. These symbols were not picked randomly.

              "a typical architect in 1960 would not have batted an eye at a building layout that would today almost certainly draw an instant gasp of horrified disbelief. "

              I find it unbelievable that a person who was alive during the war, and went through the post-war discovery of the depths of the atrocities committed during that times would find the symbol less significant than those today, even if that person was a child at the time. A professional architect working for the military less than a generation following the war would at least be aware of its major significance, and was quite possibly a member of the military at the time of the European theatre. Even if he somehow came up with it as a functional design rather than a deliberate tribute, the money you're concerned about would have been saved if someone had realised how it looks from above. There's no questioning what it looks like, only a question as to why. The reaction to it would likely be the same back then, if people knew what it looked like from the satellite view

              "Anyway, far more people died in captivity under Marxism than under 'Naziism' or 'Confederatism'"

              So? Even if you're correct and not just deliberately trying to conflate a bunch of left-leaning/communist/whatever evens under "Marxism" (what is a "Marxist symbol", anyway?), that means nothing. Just because you'd personally put Nazis lower on the list of atrocities does not mean that their symbol should not be controversial. The KKK killed less people and co-opted the uniform of Spanish monks, but that doesn't mean that those robes aren't still offensive today, even if they are being worn during Semana Santa by the orders who originated them. That may be unfortunate and even wrong, but that's reality.

              "we are not taught to view Marxist symbols in anything close to the same light"

              I grew up in the 80s, where Soviet symbolism was certainly something American movies and politicians taught you to fear. Perhaps it's not as prevalent now because the old Soviet bloc no longer exists, while racist and Nazi symbols continue to be rallied behind? I don't recall anyone seriously flying the hammer and sickle recently, but I can think of recent events where literal Nazi symbols were used as a rallying point.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 8:11pm

        Re: If you squint REAL hard, get drunk and take some LSD maybe

        It actually looks more like a QR code with no content. Which seems fitting.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 2:18pm

    Mansick against Le Pen, for Youtube = custom-fit for attack.

    If simply don't accept Mansick as an "authority" because he once quipped "Streisand Effect", he's no more than another yahoo ranting on teh internets.

    On the surface, it's difficult to believe that all these incidents only occur against "the right".

    Mansick has ZERO proof that Youtube takedown was the dreaded "filters": he's at best just stenographing its press release. He not only hasn't investigated, but won't, already has the STORY the way he wants it.

    But he does have direct tie that as a "journalist" he should state in every piece involving a "sponsor":

    https://copia.is/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sponsors.png

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 2:30pm

      Re: Mansick against Le Pen, for Youtube = custom-fit for attack.

      Please try to maintain, sorry: achieve, a certain level of orthography in your ad hominem attacks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 2:43pm

      Re:

      Please provide more proof of your claim that Mike Masnick is a Google shill and the necessary citations required for verifying your evidence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 18 Jun 2018 @ 4:06pm

      Re: Mansick has ZERO proof that Youtube takedown was the dreaded

      Apart from the fact that that’s what YouTube said it was. And what Le Pen herself accepts it was.

      Would she lie?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2018 @ 7:03pm

      Re:

      You asked for harsher filters. You got them. The fact that you managed to have your heroes hoist themselves on their own petard once again is a feature, not a bug.

      SESTA voted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      R.H. (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 8:46pm

      Re: Mansick against Le Pen, for Youtube = custom-fit for attack.

      Firstly, various left-leaning YouTubers have been hit with similar issues recently ((LGBTQ+ creators having blatantly anti-gay ads run against their videos due to the ad purchasing algorithm)[https://www.advocate.com/media/2018/6/06/why-are-antigay-ads-running-lgbt-videos-youtube] ) as well.

      Secondly, Copyright Strikes on YouTube are all automated. You can't get a manual copyright strike.

      All you have to do is look for it and you'll find evidence of neutral algorithms pissing-off humans across the political spectrum.

      As an aside, why do you still post here? I think this is the first time I've had something to directly contribute to you so, this is the first time I've replied to you but, I don't think I'd regularly comment in a forum where my opinion was clearly unwanted.

      There's sounding an alarm and there's looking deranged and I think you've crossed that line. At this point, I feel that you are either trolling or are seriously suffering from some sort of paranoia. A friend of mine from high school just got out of a psych ward after shooting up his neighbor's house due to paranoia. If that's the case with you, you should get this checked out before you do something more than rant on the internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        R.H. (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 8:47pm

        Re: Re: Mansick against Le Pen, for Youtube = custom-fit for attack.

        Of course, I screwed up the link and hit submit rather than preview...sigh. Oh well, the point should still get across.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 2:22pm

    "Marine Le Pen was quoted as saying, “This measure is completely false; we can easily assert a right of quotation [to illustrate why the material was well within the law to broadcast]”. "

    So what you are saying is you expect to be treated differently because you're right. It is a pity they can't see that this is what they are pushing for happening to everyone. Their own outrage blinds them to their desire to do this to others.

    Lots of people have been screwed by various iterations of what you want to happen, because it is flawed can while you can imagine it the technology doesn't exist.

    There is no clear central index of who owns what, so it will always be hit or miss.
    There is no clear understanding of fair use that can be applied by a machine.
    There is no clear worldwide list of rights, they lobby for & get insane rules all over the globe.

    Expecting the public & tech companies to bear all of the burdens to protect rightsholders from nightmares of imagined money slipping away while they are ignoring market demand & encouraging the problem chasing boogeymen they could make vanish if they just tried to meet consumer demand & not try to reserve 10,000 new rights about how, where, when. how many can use the content they were paid for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      TFW the brain glitch hits, & the first check missed it...


      because it is flawed can while you can imagine it the technology doesn't exist.

      because it is flawed and while you can imagine it the technology doesn't exist.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 19 Jun 2018 @ 12:57am

      Re:

      "Marine Le Pen was quoted as saying, “This measure is completely false; we can easily assert a right of quotation [to illustrate why the material was well within the law to broadcast]”. "

      So what you are saying is you expect to be treated differently because you're right.

      Not just right. Far right. You can't apply the same standards to them because otherwise they'd be locked out of political discourse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2018 @ 9:45pm

      Re:

      Marine Le Pen acting like that is no surprise - the far right have no sense of self awareness - it is a prerequisite to fall for their bullshit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 3:06pm

    'Curse you equal treatment under the system we want!'

    It would be nice if they came out of this realizing that the same system that just killed their channel is the very same one they're wanting to roll out to millions, and make mandatory, but since that would require them to admit to being wrong I suspect it's not going to happen.

    As-is I can't help but enjoy some good old schadenfreude as they get slammed by the very system they support and are trying to inflict on others, and are left in a position where almost anything they say defending their own stuff can be used against them, and/or expose some glaring hypocrisy/expectation of special treatment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Beta (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 5:39pm

    Sauce bonne pour l'oie...

    “This measure is completely false; we can easily assert a right of quotation [to illustrate why the material was well within the law to broadcast]”.
    -- Marine Le Pen

    "Marine Le Pen is a tech-illiterate simpleton who thinks that human law, not mathematics, underpins the universe (and is therefore what computers can do), and every year she celebrates Hitler's birthday by squeezing into a latex Eva Braun suit and dancing to the French version of 'You Can Leave Your Hat On'."
    -- anonymous source

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 18 Jun 2018 @ 7:09pm

    The French...

    Doing copyright filtering like they do war.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Talmyr (profile), 20 Jun 2018 @ 6:09am

      Re: The French...

      Hey, at least some of them fought for the whole war, unlike you. They actually declared war on the Germans, and suffered because they have a long border with them (plus Belgium). Some people had to chicken the War out until somebody declared war on them...

      Plus you profiteered off the other Allies!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zem, 18 Jun 2018 @ 8:49pm

    I would expect nothing less form the nation that said we could have our cake and eat it too. Time for another revolution!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 18 Jun 2018 @ 11:49pm

    Freedom of WHAT??

    For all that espouse FREEDOM..
    How many laws to FORGET THE PAST are there??

    WHO are these folks supposed to represent??
    NOT humans..NOT consumers..NO anyone with an opinion..
    AND not anyone that KNOWS THEIR PAST..as a group of individual..


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Rally
    Rassemblement national populaire, RNP, 1941–1944) was a French political party and one of the main collaborationist parties under the Vichy regime of World War II.

    Created in February 1941 by former members of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) of the neosocialist tendency and led by Marcel Déat, the party was heavily influenced by fascism and saw the circumstances of the occupation as an opportunity to revolutionarise France.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rally_(France)
    Its major policies include opposition to the French membership of the European Union, the Schengen Area and the Eurozone, economic protectionism, a zero tolerance approach to law and order issues, and opposition to free migration.[14] As an anti-European Union party, the FN has opposed the European Union since its creation.

    The articles I read say its a Far right group..but all I see is a popularity group..
    https://www.rassemblementnational.fr/

    At the bottom is a forum list..its not..
    It looks like allot of rich people who want to keep control... I dont think the PEOPLE know whats going on..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DogBreath, 19 Jun 2018 @ 10:56am

    Time for a new adage

    "The pen is mightier than the sword", may be true, but it would appear that "The automatically generated copyright strikes are mightier than Le Pen".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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