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Intended consequences...

YouTube warns its video creators that their livelihood is at risk from the EU's upcoming censorship machines


Link Here 22nd October 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe
YouTube has warned its video creators about the likely effect of the EU's upcoming censorship machines:

YouTube's growing creative economy is at risk, as the EU Parliament voted on Article 13, copyright legislation that could drastically change the internet that you see today.

Article 13 as written threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people -- from creators like you to everyday users -- to upload content to platforms like YouTube. And it threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere. This includes YouTube's incredible video library of educational content, such as language classes, physics tutorials and other how-to's.

This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world. And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ. The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies. It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content. We realize the importance of all rights holders being fairly compensated, which is why we built Content ID and a platform to pay out all types of content owners. But the unintended consequences of article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk. We are committed to working with the industry to find a better way. This language could be finalized by the end of the year, so it's important to speak up now.

Please take a moment to learn more about how it could affect your channel and take action immediately. Tell the world through social media (#SaveYourInternet) and your channel why the creator economy is important and how this legislation will impact you

 

 

Some are more equal than others...

Parliamentary committee of feminists calls for the censorship of pornography for adults


Link Here 22nd October 2018

A Parliamentary committee of feminists has issued a document mainly on the subject of harassment according to their definitions. The Women and Equalities Committee have published a document titled: Sexual Harassment of Women and Girls in Public Places. It contains a section calling for the censorship of pornography for adults:

Pornography

92. There is specific concern about the role of pornography in contributing to harmful attitudes to women and girls and providing a context in which sexual harassment takes place, and that it is increasingly being used by young people as a source of sex education, with negative consequences. One man who participated in our focus groups said, "I think the problem is that not only has [pornography] become normalised, it is also considered acceptable, even expected." This was worrying, as the research also showed that men in particular--who are far more likely to be regular users of pornography than women --believed that pornography was harmful because it engendered unrealistic expectations of sex.

93. Our research did not find a strong relationship between attitudes towards pornography and attitudes towards sexual harassment, although it did suggest some clear trends that need exploring in further research. For example, people who find legal pornography acceptable are generally more likely to find sexual harassment acceptable than people who find legal pornography unacceptable. However, our research asked about attitudes rather than behaviours (for example, use of pornography or sexual harassment perpetration), and research both internationally and in the UK suggests that there is a relationship between the consumption of pornography and sexist attitudes and sexually aggressive behaviours, including violence. We asked Dr Maddy Coy whether there is a link between men viewing pornography and the likelihood of them sexually harassing women and girls. Dr Coy told us:

There is a meta-analysis of research that shows that. It was pornography consumption associated with higher levels of attitudes that support violence, which includes things like acceptance of violence, rape myth acceptance and sexual harassment, yes. [ ... ] The basis of some of those studies can be critiqued [ ... ] but the findings are consistent across individual studies and the meta-analysis that pulled them together that there is a relationship between pornography consumption, attitudes that support sexual violence and likelihood of committing sexual violence.

94. The BBFC told us that it knows through its work with charities that children report that exposure to pornography, much of which is accidental, is impacting on their attitudes and their behaviours. A rapid evidence assessment for the Children's Commissioner for England in 2016 found that children's exposure to pornography was linked to unrealistic attitudes about sex, belief that women are sex objects and less progressive gender role attitudes.

95. One woman told us that the Government should recognise pornography, sexism and objectification as a public health risk and use the media to inform society of the harms associated with them: "This could be done in the same way the amazing effort by the Government worked in turning people's attitudes around regarding smoking." Our research suggested that, whilst men may believe that pornography can be harmful, this does not necessarily lead them to think it is socially unacceptable. This has implications for how the Government develops policy to tackle the harms associated with pornography; focusing messaging solely on harms may not be the most effective approach with men and boys. More research is needed to develop policies that address these issues.

96. The Government is not consistent in its understanding of the research suggesting a relationship between pornography and sexually harmful behaviour. On the one hand, in a range of ways government policies and media regulation already assume that some media content is sexually harmful. For example, in introducing the new policy of age verification for online pornography the Government says: "We will help make sure children aren't exposed to harmful sexualised content online by requiring age verification for access to commercial sites containing pornographic material." The Minister told us that she very much hoped that the policy would have an impact on attitudes towards women and sexual harassment. The draft consultation on the new statutory guidance on Relationships and Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education states that: "Some pupils are [ ... ] exposed to harmful behaviours online, and via other forms of media, which may normalise violent sexual behaviours." Chief Executive David Austin told us that, as a regulator, the BBFC takes into account research evidence about the effect of men viewing violent pornography when determining classifications:

For example, we will not classify depictions of pornography that feature real or simulated lack of consent, encourage an interest in abusive relationships, such as sex with children or incest, that kind of content. We definitely take that into account.

The Government also restricts adults' access to hard copy pornographic films to licensed sex shops and licensed cinemas. It is therefore clear that government policy and media regulation is already based on an understanding that pornographic content can be harmful.

97. It is odd, therefore, that the Government's written evidence to us expressed doubt about the strength of research suggesting a relationship between the consumption of pornography and sexually harmful behaviours. It stated that "there is currently limited evidence to suggest a link between the consumption of pornography and sexual violence". The Minister for Women told us that she was commissioning research on the impact of online pornography on attitudes towards women and girls, saying that:

We have to be careful about the research, which is why I have commissioned this research over and above everything that has gone before. We have to acknowledge the fact that the Crime Survey for England & Wales has shown a reduction in sexual violence since 2004--05, while online pornography has exploded exponentially. I have to bear that in mind in terms of what we are doing, which is why I want thorough research looking not just at gang criminality, frankly, but also at how this affects people forming healthy relationships in adult life. [ ... ] I know the Children's Commissioner did some research in 2014 that showed some evidence, but I do not think it could be described as being unequivocal in the links between these things. I would like to be entirely clear on that.

98. The Government's approach to pornography is not consistent. It restricts adults' access to offline pornography to licensed premises and is introducing age verification of commercial pornography online to prevent children's exposure to it. But the Government has no plans to address adult men's use of mainstream online pornography, despite research suggesting that men who use pornography are more likely to hold sexist attitudes and be sexually aggressive towards women.

99. There are examples of lawful behaviours which the Government recognises as harmful, such as smoking, which are addressed through public health campaigns and huge investment designed to reduce and prevent those harms. The Government should take a similar, evidence-based approach to addressing the harms of pornography.

100. The BBFC, the regulator for age verification, believes that, as a result of the new policy, "accidental stumbling across commercial pornography by children online will largely become a thing of the past." However, writer and commentator Melanie Phillips told us she was more sceptical about pornography websites abiding by the new law because the "commercial impulse is so enormous ." Furthermore, pornography accessed through social media is not part of the new regime, because it does not come within the definition of 'commercial pornography' under the draft regulations published in 2017, though not consulted upon. As pornography is also accessed through social media, this gap could undermine the effectiveness of the policy.

101. The definition of 'commercial pornography services' for the Government's policy on age verification of pornography websites should be amended to include social media, to ensure that this policy is as effective and comprehensive as possible.

102. BBFC classification guidelines address content related to discrimination: "Potentially offensive content relating to matters such as race, gender, religion, disability or sexuality may arise in a wide range of works, and the classification decision will take account of the strength or impact of their inclusion." The BBFC told us that preliminary research to inform new classification guidelines suggests increased public concern about sexual violence. We believe that the new guidelines provide an opportunity to be clearer about normalised sexism as discrimination, and to name sexual harassment as a form of sexual violence in order to be clear about the regulation of its depiction.

103. British Board of Film Classification policies and guidelines should be explicit about categorising normalised sexism as discrimination. The policies and guidelines should name sexual harassment as a form of sexual violence in order to be clearer about regulation of its depiction.

 

 

It couldn't possibly be our policies that are so unpopular with the people...

The dissatisfaction must be caused by something else... like fake news


Link Here 22nd October 2018
Full story: Fake news in the UK...Government sets up fake news unit
A committee of MPs has claimed that the government is not taking the urgent action needed to protect democracy from fake news on Facebook and other social media.

The culture committee wants a crackdown on the manipulation of personal data, the spread of disinformation and Russian interference in elections. Tory MP Damian Collins, who chairs the committee, says he is disappointed by the response to its latest report. Collins has accused ministers of making excuses to further delay desperately needed announcements on the ongoing issues of harmful and misleading content being spread through social media.

When the Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee issued its interim report on fake news in July it claimed that the UK faced a democratic crisis founded on the manipulation of personal data.

The MPs called for new powers for the Electoral Commission - including bigger fines - and new regulation of social media firms. But of the 42 recommendations in its interim report, the committee says only three have been accepted by the government, in its official response, published last week.

The committee has backed calls from the Electoral Commission to force social media advertisers to publish an imprint on political ads to show who had paid for them, to increase transparency. Collins also criticised the government's continued insistence that there was no evidence of Russian interference in UK elections.

Collins said he would be raising this and other issues with Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, when he appears before the committee on Wednesday.

 

 

Offsite Article: Millions of porn videos will not be blocked by UK online age checks...


Link Here 21st October 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
The government makes changes such that image hosting sites, not identifying as porn sites, do not need age verification for porn images they carry

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Searching for censorship...


Link Here 21st October 2018
Australian Government Looks To Creep Site Censorship Into Search Censorship

See article from techdirt.com

 

 

State actors...

US Supreme Court accepts case that could define internet giants to be state actors and hence should only censor content according to constitutional law, not its own morality


Link Here 18th October 2018
After the recent censorship purge of over 800 independent media outlets on Facebook, the Supreme Court is now hearing a case that could have ramifications for any future attempts at similar purges.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a case that could change free speech on the Internet. Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor.

The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.

DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez claimed that they were fired from Manhattan Neighborhood Network for speaking critically of the network. And, though the case does not involve the Internet giants, it could create a ruling that expands the First Amendment beyond the government.

 

 

Not taking censorship lying down...

MoneySupermarket survey finds that 25% of customers will take action if their porn is blocked


Link Here 16th October 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
In a survey more about net neutrality than porn censorship, MoneySupermarket noted:

We conducted a survey of over 2,000 Brits on this and it seems that if an ISP decided to block sites, it could result in increasing numbers of Brits switching - 64 per cent of Brits would be likely to switch ISP if they put blocks in place

In reality, this means millions could be considering a switch as nearly six million having tried to access a site that was blocked in the last week - nearly one in 10 across the country.

It's an issue even more pertinent for those aged 18 to 34, with nearly half (45 per cent) having tried to access a site that was blocked at some point.

While ISPs might block sites for various reasons, a quarter of Brits said they would switch ISP if they were blocked from viewing adult sites - with those living with partners the most likely to do so!

Now switching ISPs isn't going to help much if the BBFC, the government appointed porn censor, has dictated that all ISPs block porn sites. But maybe these 25% of internet users will take up alternatives such as subscribing to a VPN service.

 

 

A birthday treat...

Russia's internet censor offers social media users the chance to be officially banned for a day


Link Here 16th October 2018
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
To celebrate the fourth year of its presence on Russia's most popular social media platform, the country's internet censor Roskomnadzor has offered users the honour of being censored for a day.

Posting on VKontakte, Roskomnadzor made light of its role in web censorship, which has included banning access to Wikipedia and instant messaging service Telegram saying:

Friends, only today and only to mark our anniversary, we are handing out one-day bans to anyone who wants them. You can then tell all of your friends that RKN [Roskomnadzor] itself has blocked you.

Social media users who responded with the hashtag #anu_v_ban, (roughly translated as let's ban you), will be banned.

 

 

Paying for unsafe legislation...

The Government picks up the tab for legal liabilities arising from the BBFC being sued over age verification issues


Link Here 12th October 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
As far as I can see if a porn website verifies your age with personal data, it will probably also require you tick tick a consent box with a hol load of small print that nobody ever reads. Now if that small print lets it forward all personal data, coupled with porn viewing data, to the Kremlin's dirty tricks and blackmail department then that's ok with the the Government's age verification law. So for sure some porn viewers are going to get burnt because of what the government has legislated and because of what the BBFC have implemented.

So perhaps it is not surprising that the BBFC has asked the government to pick up the tab should the BBFC be sued by people harmed by their decisions. After all it was the government who set up the unsafe environment, not the BBFC.

Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced in Parliament:

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has received approval from Her Majesty's Treasury (HMT) to recognise a new Contingent Liability which will come into effect when age verification powers under Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 enter force.

The contingent liability will provide indemnity to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) against legal proceedings brought against the BBFC in its role as the age verification regulator for online pornography.

As you know, the Digital Economy Act introduces the requirement for commercial providers of online pornography to have robust age verification controls to protect children and young people under 18 from exposure to online pornography. As the designated age verification regulator, the BBFC will have extensive powers to take enforcement action against non-compliant sites. The BBFC can issue civil proceedings, give notice to payment-service providers or ancillary service providers, or direct internet service providers to block access to websites where a provider of online pornography remains non-compliant.

The BBFC expects a high level of voluntary compliance by providers of online pornography. To encourage compliance, the BBFC has engaged with industry, charities and undertaken a public consultation on its regulatory approach. Furthermore, the BBFC will ensure that it takes a proportionate approach to enforcement and will maintain arrangements for an appeals process to be overseen by an independent appeals body. This will help reduce the risk of potential legal action against the BBFC.

However, despite the effective work with industry, charities and the public to promote and encourage compliance, this is a new law and there nevertheless remains a risk that the BBFC will be exposed to legal challenge on the basis of decisions taken as the age verification regulator or on grounds of principle from those opposed to the policy.

As this is a new policy, it is not possible to quantify accurately the value of such risks. The Government estimates a realistic risk range to be between 2£1m - 2£10m in the first year, based on likely number and scale of legal challenges. The BBFC investigated options to procure commercial insurance but failed to do so given difficulties in accurately determining the size of potential risks. The Government therefore will ensure that the BBFC is protected against any legal action brought against the BBFC as a result of carrying out duties as the age verification regulator.

The Contingent Liability is required to be in place for the duration of the period the BBFC remain the age verification regulator. However, we expect the likelihood of the Contingent Liability being called upon to diminish over time as the regime settles in and relevant industries become accustomed to it. If the liability is called upon, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

It is usual to allow a period of 14 Sitting Days prior to accepting a Contingent Liability, to provide Members of Parliament an opportunity to raise any objections.

 

 

The new UK porn censor lays out its stall...

The BBFC launches a new website


Link Here 11th October 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust
There's loads of new information today about the upcoming internet porn censorship regime to be coordinated by the BBFC.

The BBFC has launched a new website, ageverificationregulator.com , perhaps to distance itself a bit from its film censorship work.

The BBFC has made a few changes to its approach since the rather ropey document published prior to the BBFC's public consultation. In general the BBFC seems a little more pragmatic about trying to get adult porn users to buy into the age verification way of thinking. The BBFC seems supportive of the anonymously bought porn access card from the local store, and has taken a strong stance against age verification providers who reprehensibly want to record people's porn browsing, claiming a need to provide an audit trail.

The BBFC has also decided to offer a service to certify age verification providers in the way that they protect people's data. This is again probably targeted at making adult porn users a bit more confident in handing over ID.

The BBFC tone is a little bit more acknowledging of people's privacy concerns, but it's the government's law being implemented by the BBFC, that allows the recipients of the data to use it more or less how they like. Once you tick the 'take it or leave it' consent box allowing the AV provider 'to make your user experience better' then they can do what they like with your data (although GDPR does kindly let you later withdraw that consent and see what they have got on you).

Another theme that runs through the site is a rather ironic acceptance that, for all the devastation that will befall the UK porn industry, for all the lives ruined by people having their porn viewing outed, for all the lives ruined by fraud and identity theft, that somehow the regime is only about stopping young children 'stumbling on porn'... because the older, more determined, children will still know how to find it anyway.

So the BBFC has laid out its stall, and its a little more conciliatory to porn users, but I for one will never hand over any ID data to anyone connected with a servicing porn websites. I suspect that many others will feel the same. If you can't trust the biggest companies in the business with your data, what hope is there for anyone else.

There's no word yet on when all this will come into force, but the schedule seems to be 3 months after the BBFC scheme has been approved by Parliament. This approval seems scheduled to be debated in Parliament in early November, eg on 5th November there will be a House of Lords session:

Implementation by the British Board of Film Classification of age-verifications to prevent children accessing pornographic websites 203 Baroness Benjamin Oral questions

So the earliest it could come into force is about mid February.

 

 

Preventing children and non human operators from being able to access porn...

BBFC publishes its sometimes bizarre Guidance on Age-verification Arrangement


Link Here 11th October 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust

The BBFC has published its Age Verification Guidance document that will underipin the implementation of internet porn censorship in the UK.

Perhaps a key section is:

5. The criteria against which the BBFC will assess that an age-verification arrangement meets the requirement under section 14(1) to secure that pornographic material is not normally accessible by those under 18 are set out below:

a. an effective control mechanism at the point of registration or access to pornographic content by the end-user which verifies that the user is aged 18 or over at the point of registration or access

b use of age-verification data that cannot be reasonably known by another person, without theft or fraudulent use of data or identification documents nor readily obtained or predicted by another person

c. a requirement that either a user age-verify each visit or access is restricted by controls, manual or electronic, such as, but not limited to, password or personal identification numbers. A consumer must be logged out by default unless they positively opt-in for their log in information to be remembered

d. the inclusion of measures which authenticate age-verification data and measures which are effective at preventing use by non-human operators including algorithms

It is fascinating as to why the BBFC feels that bots need to be banned, perhaps they need to be 18 years old too, before they can access porn. I am not sure if porn sites will appreciate Goggle-bot being banned from their sites. I love the idea that the word 'algorithms' has been elevated to some sort of living entity.

It all smacks of being written by people who don't know what they are talking about.

In a quick read I thought the following paragraph was important:

9. In the interests of data minimisation and data protection, the BBFC does not require that age-verification arrangements maintain data for the purposes of providing an audit trail in order to meet the requirements of the act.

It rather suggests that the BBFC pragmatically accept that convenience and buy-in from porn-users is more important than making life dangerous for everybody, just n case a few teenagers get hold of an access code.

 

 

A significant number of responses raised concerns about the introduction of age-verification...

BBFC publishes its summary of the consultation repsonses


Link Here 11th October 2018
Full story: BBFC Internet Porn Censors...BBFC: Age Verification We Don't Trust

BBFC Executive Summary

The British Board of Film Classification was designated as the age-verification regulator under Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act on 21 February 2018. The BBFC launched its consultation on the draft Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements and draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers on 26 March 2018. The consultation was available on the BBFC's website and asked for comments on the technical aspects on how the BBFC intends to approach its role and functions as the age-verification regulator. The consultation ran for 4 weeks and closed on 23 April 2018, although late submissions were accepted until 8 May 2018.

There were a total of 624 responses to the consultation. The vast majority of those (584) were submitted by individuals, with 40 submitted by organisations. 623 responses were received via email, and one was received by post. Where express consent has been given for their publication, the BBFC has published responses in a separate document. Response summaries from key stakeholders are in part 4 of this document.

Responses from stakeholders such as children's charities, age-verification providers and internet service providers were broadly supportive of the BBFC's approach and age-verification standards. Some responses from these groups asked for clarification to some points. The BBFC has made a number of amendments to the guidance as a result. These are outlined in chapter 2 of this document. Responses to questions raised are covered in chapter 3 of this document.

A significant number of responses, particularly from individuals and campaign groups, raised concerns about the introduction of age-verification, and set out objections to the legislation and regulatory regime in principle. Issues included infringement of freedom of expression, censorship, problematic enforcement powers and an unmanageable scale of operation. The government's consultation on age-verification in 2016 addressed many of these issues of principle. More information about why age-verification has been introduced, and the considerations given to the regulatory framework and enforcement powers can be found in the 2016 consultation response by the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport1.

 

 

Nasty Gal censorship...

PC doesn't get much more crazy than an advert censor banning a perfectly healthy looking model over a couple of camera angles that make her look a little thin


Link Here 10th October 2018

Three TV ads for an online retailer for womenswear, Nasty Girl, seen in June 2018:

  • a. The first ad featured a model posing in various outfits including swimwear, a dress and a tank top with a skirt. The model was also shown playing tennis and golf.

  • b. The second ad featured the same scenes shown in ad (a), with large on-screen text regarding next day delivery.

  • c. The third ad was an abridged version of ads (b) and (c) with large on-screen text regarding next day delivery.

22 complainants who believed the model looked unhealthily thin challenged whether the ads were socially irresponsible.

Nasty Gal Ltd stated that the model featured in the ad was a UK size eight and that her body mass index (BMI) was within the healthy range for an adult woman.

Clearcast stated that the model weighed 134lbs and was 178cm tall with a BMI of 18.8, which sat well within the healthy weight and BMI range in accordance with NHS guidelines. They said that some viewers may subjectively view the model to be too slender, whilst others would recognise her to be of a healthy appearance, which was supported by the NHS guidelines.

ASA Assessment: Complainsts upheld

The ASA considered that while the female model in the ads generally appeared to be in proportion, there were specific scenes, which because of her poses, drew attention to her slimness. For instance, the ads showed the model lying on a sun lounger stretching her arms, which emphasised their slimness and length. Furthermore, towards the end of the ads were scenes showing the model spraying mist on herself, which placed focus on her chest where her rib cage was visible and appeared prominent.

We considered that the model appeared unhealthily underweight in those scenes and concluded that the ads were therefore irresponsible.

The ads must not be broadcast again in their current form. We told Nasty Gal Ltd to ensure that the content in their ads were prepared responsibly.

 

 

Europe's politicians are a menace to the World...

EU Internet Censorship Will Censor the Whole World's Internet


Link Here 10th October 2018
Full story: Copyright in the EU...Copyright law for Europe

As the EU advances the new Copyright Directive towards becoming law in its 28 member-states, it's important to realise that the EU's plan will end up censoring the Internet for everyone , not just Europeans.

A quick refresher: Under Article 13 of the new Copyright Directive, anyone who operates a (sufficiently large) platform where people can post works that might be copyrighted (like text, pictures, videos, code, games, audio etc) will have to crowdsource a database of "copyrighted works" that users aren't allowed to post, and block anything that seems to match one of the database entries.

These blacklist databases will be open to all comers (after all, anyone can create a copyrighted work): that means that billions of people around the world will be able to submit anything to the blacklists, without having to prove that they hold the copyright to their submissions (or, for that matter, that their submissions are copyrighted). The Directive does not specify any punishment for making false claims to a copyright, and a platform that decided to block someone for making repeated fake claims would run the risk of being liable to the abuser if a user posts a work to which the abuser does own the rights .

The major targets of this censorship plan are the social media platforms, and it's the "social" that should give us all pause.

That's because the currency of social media is social interaction between users . I post something, you reply, a third person chimes in, I reply again, and so on.

Now, let's take a hypothetical Twitter discussion between three users: Alice (an American), Bob (a Bulgarian) and Carol (a Canadian).

Alice posts a picture of a political march: thousands of protesters and counterprotesters, waving signs. As is common around the world , these signs include copyrighted images, whose use is permitted under US "fair use" rules that permit parody. Because Twitter enables users to communicate significant amounts of user-generated content, they'll fall within the ambit of Article 13.

Bob lives in Bulgaria, an EU member-state whose copyright law does not permit parody . He might want to reply to Alice with a quote from the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov , whose works were translated into English in the late 1970s and are still in copyright.

Carol, a Canadian who met Bob and Alice through their shared love of Doctor Who, decides to post a witty meme from " The Mark of the Rani ," a 1985 episode in which Colin Baker travels back to witness the Luddite protests of the 19th Century.

Alice, Bob and Carol are all expressing themselves through use of copyrighted cultural works, in ways that might not be lawful in the EU's most speech-restrictive copyright jurisdictions. But because (under today's system) the platform typically is only required to to respond to copyright complaints when a rightsholder objects to the use, everyone can see everyone else's posts and carry on a discussion using tools and modes that have become the norm in all our modern, digital discourse.

But once Article 13 is in effect, Twitter faces an impossible conundrum. The Article 13 filter will be tripped by Alice's lulzy protest signs, by Bob's political quotes, and by Carol's Doctor Who meme, but suppose that Twitter is only required to block Bob from seeing these infringing materials.

Should Twitter hide Alice and Carol's messages from Bob? If Bob's quote is censored in Bulgaria, should Twitter go ahead and show it to Alice and Carol (but hide it from Bob, who posted it?). What about when Bob travels outside of the EU and looks back on his timeline? Or when Alice goes to visit Bob in Bulgaria for a Doctor Who convention and tries to call up the thread? Bear in mind that there's no way to be certain where a user is visiting from, either.

The dangerous but simple option is to subject all Twitter messages to European copyright censorship, a disaster for online speech.

And it's not just Twitter, of course: any platform with EU users will have to solve this problem. Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, Flickr, Tumblr -- every network will have to contend with this.

With Article 13, the EU would create a system where copyright complainants get a huge stick to beat the internet with, where people who abuse this power face no penalties, and where platforms that err on the side of free speech will get that stick right in the face.

As the EU's censorship plan works its way through the next steps on the way to becoming binding across the EU, the whole world has a stake -- but only a handful of appointed negotiators get a say.

If you are a European, the rest of the world would be very grateful indeed if you would take a moment to contact your MEP and urge them to protect us all in the new Copyright Directive.

( Image: The World Flag , CC-BY-SA )

 

 

Offsite Article: China flexes its political muscles in Africa...


Link Here 10th October 2018
Full story: China International Censors...China pressures other countries into censorship
Learning that development 'aid' may be used to leverage media censorship and academic controls

See article from theglobeandmail.com

 

 

Minuses outweigh the plusses...

Google announces the shutdown of Google+ as it is beset by similar privacy failures to Facebook


Link Here 9th October 2018
The Google+ social network exposed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of people using the site between 2015 and March 2018, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. But managers at the company chose not to go public with the failures, because they worried that it would invite scrutiny from regulators, particularly in the wake of Facebook's security failures.

Shortly after the report was published, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ by August 2019. In the announcement, Google also announced raft of new security features for Android, Gmail and other Google platforms that it has taken as a result of privacy failures..

Google said it had discovered the issues during an internal audit called Project Strobe. Ben Smith, Google's vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post:

Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.

The audit found that Goggle+ APIs allowed app developers to access the information of Google+ users' friends, even if that data was marked as private by the user. As many as 438 applications had access to the unauthorized Google+ data, according to the Journal.

Now, users will be given greater control over what account data they choose to share with each app. Apps will be required to inform users what data they will have access to. Users have to provide explicit permission in order for them to gain access to it. Google is also limiting apps' ability to gain access to users' call log and SMS data on Android devices.Additionally, Google is limiting which apps can seek permission to users' consumer Gmail data. Only email clients, email backup services and productivity services will be able to access this data.

Google will continue to operate Google+ as an enterprise product for companies.

 

 

Don't tell your doctor anything lest it be used against you...

British Government proposes Orwellian scheme to connect up people's health records with data snooped from their social media use to nag them about their health


Link Here 8th October 2018

People's medical records will be combined with social and smartphone surveillance to predict who will pick up bad habits and stop them getting ill, under radical government proposals.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is planning a system of predictive prevention, in which algorithms will trawl data on individuals to send targeted health nags to those flagged as having propensities to health problems, such as taking up smoking or becoming obese.

The creepy plans have already attracted privacy concerns among doctors and campaigners, who say that the project risks backfiring by scaring people or being seen to be abusing public trust in NHS handling of sensitive information.

 

 

Petition: Online Forums Bill...

Tracking a disgraceful internet censorship bill from Lucy Powell


Link Here 8th October 2018
The Online Forums Bill is a Private Members' Bill that was introduced on Parliament on 11th September 2018 under the Ten Minute Rule. The only details published so far is a summary

A Bill to make administrators and moderators of certain online forums responsible for content published on those forums; to require such administrators and moderators to remove certain content; to require platforms to publish information about such forums; and for connected purposes.

The next stage for this Bill, Second reading, is scheduled to take place on Friday 26 October 2018.

There is a small petition against the bill

Stop the Online Forums Bill 2017-18 becoming law.

Thought control by politicians, backed by the main stream media has led to ever more sinister intrusions into people's freedom to criticize public policy and assemble into campaign groups. ?More details

By requiring platforms to publish information about closed forums and making Administrators responsible for content is Orwellian and anti-democratic.

See petition from petition.parliament.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Kidz Bop's censored songs aren't just annoying -- they're problematic...


Link Here 8th October 2018
A children's media 'expert' on what Kidz Bop censorship says about how sex and violence are perceived in America.

See article from vox.com

 

 

Composing a tug on the heartstrings...

Canadian TV music group calls for a levy on broadband use over 15 GBytes per month to compensate them for declining income


Link Here 7th October 2018

In Canada, there have been ongoing discussions and proposals about new levies and fees to compensate creators for supposed missed revenue. There have been calls to levy a tax on mobile devices such as iPhones, for example. This week the Screen Composers Guild of Canada took things up a notch, calling for a copyright levy on all broadband data use above 15 gigabytes per month.

A proposal from the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC), put forward during last week's Government hearings, suggests to simply add a levy on Internet use above 15 gigabytes per month.

The music composers argue that this is warranted because composers miss out on public performance royalties. One of the reasons for this is that online streaming services are not paying as much as terrestrial broadcasters.

The composers SCGC represents are not the big music stars. They are the people who write music for TV-shows and other broadcasts. Increasingly these are also shown on streaming services where the compensation is, apparently, much lower. SCGC writes:

With regard to YouTube, which is owned by the advertising company Alphabet-Google, minuscule revenue distribution is being reported by our members. Royalties from the large streaming services, like Amazon and Netflix, are 50 to 95% lower when compared to those from terrestrial broadcasters.

Statistics like this indicate that our veteran members will soon have to seek employment elsewhere and young screen-composers will have little hope of sustaining a livelihood, the guild adds, sounding the alarm bell.

SCGC's solution to this problem is to make every Canadian pay an extra fee when they use over 15 gigabytes of data per month. This money would then be used to compensate composers and fix the so-called value gap. As a result, all Internet users who go over the cap will have to pay more. Even those who don't watch any of the programs where the music is used.

However, SCGC doesn't see the problem and believes that 15 gigabytes are enough. People who want to avoid paying can still use email and share photos, they argue. Those who go over the cap are likely streaming not properly compensated videos. SCGC notes:

An ISP subscription levy that would provide a minimum or provide a basic 15 gigabytes of data per Canadian household a month that would be unlevied. Lots of room for households to be able to do Internet transactions, business, share photos, download a few things, emails, no problem.

[W]hen you're downloading and consuming over 15 gigabytes of data a month, you're likely streaming Spotify. You're likely streaming YouTube. You're likely streaming Netflix. So we think because the FANG companies will not give us access to the numbers that they have, we have to apply a broad-based levy. They're forcing us to.

The last comment is telling. The composers guild believes that a levy is the only option because Netflix, YouTube, and others are not paying their fair share. That sounds like a licensing or rights issue between these services and the authors. Dragging millions of Canadians into this dispute seems questionable, especially when many people have absolutely nothing to do with it.

 

 

Offsite Article: Don't let the EU give any privacy in the proposed E-Privacy legislation...


Link Here 7th October 2018
We believe in privacy...BUT...you can't have it as it stops the IWF and internet companies from snooping on your messages

See article from iwf.org.uk

 


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