After Insisting That EU Copyright Directive Didn't Require Filters, France Immediately Starts Promoting Filters

from the because-of-course dept

For months now we've all heard the refrain: Article 13 (now Article 17) of the EU Copyright Directive would not require filters. We all knew it was untrue. We pointed out many times that it was untrue, and that there was literally no way to comply unless you implemented filters (filters that wouldn't work and would ban legitimate speech), and were yelled at for pointing this out. Here's the MEP in charge of the Directive flat out insisting that it won't require filters last year:

Over and over and over again, this is what they insisted. Of course, we all knew it wasn't true, and the German government quietly admitted that filters were necessary a few weeks ago. That didn't stop the vote from happening, of course, and the Parliament questionably moving forward with this plan. Still, it's rather striking that just a day after the vote, as pointed out to us by Benjamin Henrion, France's Minister for Culture gave a speech in which he admits that it requires filters and hopes that France will implement the law as quickly as possible in order to start locking down the internet. The quotes here are based on Google translate, so they may not be perfect, but you get the idea. Incredibly, in talking about the Directive, Riester starts off by saying that the passing of the Directive was "despite massive campaigns of misinformation" which seems rather ironic, since it's now clear the misinformation came from those who insisted it didn't require filters, because soon after that he says:

I also announce that the Higher Council of Literary and Artistic Property, the HADOPI and the CNC will jointly launch in the coming days a "Mission to promote and supervise content recognition technologies".

In other words, now that the law is passed, it's time for everyone to install filters.

Riester also suggests that France may be the first to transpose the Directive into French law, meaning that it may be implemented long before required under the Directive. As he said: "there is no time to lose on this subject." If you're a site that has any user-generated content in France, good luck. Your government just sold you out. Of course, if you're a company selling filters, I guess send your lobbyists over to Paris quick and cash in.

Filed Under: article 13, copyright, eu copyright directive, filters, france, franck riester, minister of culture


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  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Filters are censorship

    "If the thing that is impacted is publishing information on the public internet, then going underground with that to somewhere the public can't see it defeats the purpose. Piracy was never going to be affected by this law and is a red herring."

    Not according to the public portrayal of the legislation - from the lobbyists backing it.

    The reality is what we just discussed - legitimate venues will become conspicuously inconvenient to use, rolling us right back to the 1990's where piracy was the be-all, end-all of obtaining entertainment.

    "Except you can't get around this law like you can others."

    The point is that you can - much as it was with prohibition there is a demand which will be met. The law will make so much of normal legitimate online interactions so odious the default will become circumvention from the consumer side.


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