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 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It'll protect the filter company though."

    It certainly will. There's at least one snake oil salesman waiting in the wings who was backing article 13(17) for all they were worth.

    Snake oil is snake oil though. As the filter needs to be 100% correct in not allowing infringing material, and that's very far from what content id (the best filter currently in existence) can provide, it's pretty much a given that there will be numerous actors pushing relatively cheap and non-functional solutions onto platforms dumb enough to trust them.

    After which one copyright troll will suffice to put that platform out of business.

    This leaves any platform which wants to do business in the EU and has an accurate assessment of reality with one of two options; Spending 100 million USD on filter development, or buy a license to use contentid (arguably almost as expensive).

    Pretty much given it takes exactly one five minute cost-benefit analysis to come up with the conclusion that doing business in the EU isn't profitable at all.

    Youtube, with a filter already paid for and developed, can risk it - but will have to tighten filtering paradigm by a lot, as the current operation still results in takedowns. Service will turn to shit in any nation to implement the directive, effective immediately.

    France has historically led the march into incredibly bad decisions where immaterial rights are concerned and this time around promises to be no different. Vive la France


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