In case you're wondering: the #EU just voted to impose filters on all the text, audio, photos, videos, etc you might post. If you think this will help photographers or other creators, you don't understand filters.
First of all: pirates laugh at filters. The most sophisticated image filters in the world - those used for state censorship in China - are trivial to evade… Anyone whose occupation is beating filters will beat filters.
But people who are legit? Including photogs? They're FUCKED. Filters can be intentionally bypassed if you know the trick, but if you're (say) a news photog whose photo of a protest includes a bus-ad with some stock imagery, the filters will not be able to know that you're legit.
There are thousands of ways that filters can accidentally finger your legit works as piracy, and if you're not a pirate, your remedy is to file appeals, cross your fingers, and hope a platform with a billion users and millions of people in your situation will review your case.
That's photos: but they're also going to be filtering text. Your text. Tweets, Facebook posts, blog entries. If something looks like a match for a registered copyrighted work, it will be blocked - by black-box algorithms that will make trillions of filtering decisions every day
Software code: are you a dev? Do you think you could analyze a program readout and determine whether it is an "original work" whose substantial similarity to a known program is incidental, or plagiarism?
Multiply this by videos, by audio, by every other media type.

The "creators groups" who supported this batshit proposal said over and over that these technical issues would be solved once nerds were told they had to solve them. They said NERD HARDER. i
Their unwillingness to entertain the technical arguments, to educate themselves on the technical issues that will plague working creators and their audiences alike was absolute malpractice.
They have done more to discredit copyright today than anything else in technological history. Their (ridiculous) insistence that copyright required mass censorship and surveillance to survive will be heard and believed.
They've told Europe: You can have free speech, or copyright, not both. They will be believed. Make people choose, and they'll choose.

My fellow artists: you will not like the choice they make. You have made piracy into a form of political protest today.
This will come up for another vote in January. i'll be honest, this is likely to be a pro forma exercise. It's almost inconceivable that the whole #CopyrightDirective will be voted down. But so long as there's even a tiny chance we can save Europe from this lunacy, we'll fight.
We'll fight in Europe's courts, too: there's no way that asking multinational corporations to send all of our communications to American data-centres to be analysed by algorithms and arbitrarily censored passes European constitutional muster.
We'll fight in the 28 European parliaments when they sit to make national legislation.

We'll fight in the upcoming elections.

Hell, even if we'd won tonight's fight, we'd have to keep fighting.
The fight to keep the internet free and open isn't a fight you win, it's a fight you commit yourself to.

Censoring, surveillance and controlling the nervous system of the 21st century is a prize beyond measure for every dictator, every fool, every troll.
Everything we do today involves the internet. Everything we do tomorrow will require it. Every problem everyone has involves the internet, and everyone's solution to that problem will eventually look like this: "Can't we just destroy the internet a little to solve my problem?"
Making people understand that the mechanisms for censoring and surveilling the internet for their noble cause will be hijacked by griefers, trolls, dictators, stalkers, harassers, criminals and authoritarians is a long, arduous process we'll have to repeat and repeat.
We can start by making "breaking the internet" a political third rail. I've been in policy fights where politicians were being asked to do things that would make people replace small, inexpensive TV components and they were TERRIFIED.
Old people watch TV like crazy, and vote like crazy. Breaking TV, even a little, is political suicide.

That's how we'll win the internet freedom fights. By targeting and destroying the political careers of any politician stupid enough to vote in favour of this idiocy.
The fight isn't over. It was never going to be over. We had a terrible, crushing setback today. Brutal beyond measure.

When life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla. We'll fight on. Because the stakes are to high to surrender.


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More from @doctorow

Oct 7, 2018
I used to write POs for >$1MM worth of Apple equipment/year and spent hundreds of hours dealing with their service centers. The argument that allowing total monopolization of the repair process "maintains system integrity" isn't supported by the actual service experience.
It should not surprise anyone that a company that arrogates the right to sue competing service centers and thus need not fear any competition does not perform as though its customers might choose to take their business elsewhere.
There is literally no corporation on Earth that couldn't make this argument: "Why should we let farmers fix their tractors? How can we maintain their integrity unless we get a monopoly? Do you know how important the food supply is?"
Read 15 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
This is now a daily occurrence. Wake up, discover which lie Crispin has been told and repeated in public, all the while dodging the substance of the critique of his organisation's support for mass internet surveillance and censorship.
Who can forget the day he said that my (bestselling) first novel was a failure, and that my publisher thereafter rejected me? (All my novels are bestsellers, and my publisher just bought another one from me).
Or the day he found a hatchet-piece about seven-year-old blog post I'd written defending copyright, and tweeted that it was evidence that I didn't respect copyright?
Read 21 tweets
Sep 14, 2018
Giving creators more copyright powers to combat exploitation by monopolistic corporations is like giving your kid more cash to compensate for having his lunch money stolen by schoolyard bullies. They'll take that too.
Give creators 100 years of copyright, and corporations will require that it be assigned to them for the full duration as a condition of publication.
Give them the right to license - and thus, prohibit - excerpting, and corporations will take that right as a condition of access to the market.
Read 11 tweets
Sep 14, 2018
You mean, that thing I've been saying all along is true? That large corporations routinely commit copyfraud, that they act with impunity, and there there are no real remedies? And that once we create automated filters these corporations can use to claim our work, it'll be worse?
Or that you found a blog by someone whose understanding of my position on copyright is just as flawed and cartoonish as yours?
In small words, then: giving creators more "copyright" does no good if we're in concentrated markets where intermediaries (entertainment & tech companies, who have interlocking boards and overlapping major investors and are basically the same thing) rule all.
Read 12 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
Dude. They literally just voted down "freedom of panorama" (the right to take pix in public spaces without getting clearance for every t-shirt, billboard and architectural facade) and voted in mandatory filters that will block anything that appears to match a copyrighted work.
The day this goes into effect will be the last day that independent photogs can operate. Without a rights-clearance house behind you, you won't be able to post any street-scenes: riots, parades, stock, police brutality, etc to any platform.
Multiply by all the other ways that filters will catch dolphins in tuna nets: without the backing of multinational entertainment corps, no artist will be able to publish their works. What do you suppose that will do to our negotiating leverage with Big Content?
Read 4 tweets
Aug 16, 2018
Your daily reminder that James Clapper isn't your friend: he's a guy who lied and lied and lied about mass surveillance, including to Congress, including to the Congressional committee he specifically answered to (that is to say, perjured himself).
And he used his ongoing security-cleared status to amass a private-sector fortune as a military/intelligence contractor, a role he propped up with regular appearances on TV where his access to classified data was an implicit source of credibility for him.
He's one of thousands of ex-spook, ex-military far-right jerks who believe in, and were complicit in, secret assassination programs, mass surveillance, psyops against peaceful protesters, illegal arms deals to prop up dictators, etc etc.
Read 4 tweets

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