Professional Storyteller

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EU: They're breaking the Internet & Copyright tomorrow

My normal focus is U.S. storytelling, with Net Neutrality here an issue requiring me to speak up, but the EU is taking action tomorrow that will affect the internet and copyright -- which is already messed up enough.  The EU will massively harm small publishers, new startups, and creators, including storytellers, across the world if they succeed.

Please go to https://savethelink.org/tweet-your-mep-saveyourinternet?src=162723#... for more information and the way to Tweet or email the 9 Members of the European Parliament who are all that stands in the way of the most drastic upheaval to the Internet and Copyright in its history.

If it helps you write a response, this is the message I sent each of them.  Feel free to adapt it.

Subject: Storytellers say Censoring Links Will Break the Internet

For freedom of expression, and for independent creators, small publishers and startups, please use your JURI vote to #SaveYourInternet.

I work as assistant administrator to Professional Storyteller and know this is important for storytellers throughout the E.U. including your own countries.   My own blog often requires

  • Creativity and free speech which will be harmed by Article 13 because algorithms struggle to tell the difference between infringement and the legal use of copyrighted material vital to research, commentary, parodies and more. This is far too high a cost for enforcing copyright.  Copyright was intended to include Public Domain for older material to keep our cultural heritage alive!  Just today I had an email from someone seeking guidance on this very issue and related to my own segments on "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."
  • No filter can possibly review every form of content covered by the proposal including text, audio, video, images and software. Article 13's mandate is technically infeasible and it is absurd to expect courts in 27 EU Member States to be constantly working out what the “best” filters might be.
  • It is a bad idea to make Internet companies responsible for enforcing copyright law. To ensure compliance and avoid penalties, platforms are sure to err on the side of caution and overblock. To make compliance easier, platforms will adjust their terms of service to be able to delete any content or account for any reason. That will leave victims of wrongful deletion with no right to complain – even if their content was perfectly legal.


OpenMedia

Tags: EU, European, Union, copyright, internet

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After I posted this I wondered if I shouldn't have made it a blog post here since the matter was soon to be decided.  As one storyteller, however, pointed out when I also sounded the alarm on Storytell, the email list hosted by the National Storytelling Network at Storytell listserv, "Suffice it to say that, regardless of the voting results, the topic will be far from over."

He was correct.  The vote went through and now is up to the EU Parliament https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/20/eu-votes-for-cop..., requiring platforms like Google and Microsoft to install filters. 

A related email just yesterday about clarification of Public Domain mentioned a case where Project Gutenberg posted 3 authors in the Public Domain in the U.S., but not in Germany so they were sued by the German Publishers.  I checked and found this article, https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180306/03423339363/project-gute.... As a result German users are now blocked from accessing Project Gutenberg. 

Public Domain initially was planned to begin after 14 years.  Its creation was intended to keep alive our cultural literacy.  That may have been naive, but the EU has already required sites all over the world to check to see if they meet their privacy requirements with General Data Privacy Regulation or GDPR.  This latest regulation makes that look like an annoying test of the water to see if they can control the worldwide web and more.

Hello all

Thank you LoiS, for putting it so well.  I managed to harvest all the email addresses from the site so I could send one message to all of them - freely adapted from Lois' point.  Here they are if anyone wants to do the same. I am not very good at Twitter so I went that route. And my email messsage is below.

francis.zammitdimech@europarl.europa.eu
emil.radev@europarl.europa.eu
pavel.svoboda@europarl.europa.eu
sylvia-yvonne.kaufmann@europarl.europa.eu
enrico.gasbarra@europarl.europa.eu
mady.delvaux-stehres@europarl.europa.eu
tadeusz.zwiefka@europarl.europa.eu
antonio.marinhoepinto@europarl.europa.eu
jozsef.szajer@europarl.europa.eu

Dear Member of European Parliament
 
Creativity and free speech will be harmed by Article 13 because algorithms will have difficulty telling  the difference between infringement and the legal use of copyrighted material vital to research, commentary, parodies and more. This is far too high a cost for enforcing copyright.  Copyright was intended to include Public Domain for older material to keep our cultural heritage alive! As a storyteller in Canada, I rely on Public Domaine material frequently for my research. 
 
No filter can possibly review every form of content covered by the proposal including text, audio, video, images and software. Article 13's mandate is technically infeasible and it is absurd to expect courts in 27 EU Member States to be constantly working out what the “best” filters might be.
 
It is a bad idea to make Internet companies responsible for enforcing copyright law. To ensure compliance and avoid penalties, platforms are sure to err on the side of caution and overblock. To make compliance easier, platforms will adjust their terms of service to be able to delete any content or account for any reason. That will leave victims of wrongful deletion with no right to complain – even if their content was perfectly legal. 
 
Sincerely
 
Elinor Benjamin, Storyteller, Halifax, Canada

This discussion contains the facts of the E.U. proposed copyright & internet requirements, which would affect the entire world.  I'm moving the follow-up to my blog article "The E.U. & You" unless there is a request to continue this discussion. The E.U. will consider the issue again this autumn, so it's definitely worth continued international attention.

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