Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

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uk music love In 15 days’ time, MEPs will again vote on censorship machines and link tax in copyright proposals of Article 13. The legislation would see platforms such as YouTube compelled to introduce upload filters, to prevent unlicensed content being offered to the public. A new ‘Love Music’ campaign, bankrolled by powerful industry players, aims to ensure a thumbs-up from MEPs. But the opposition is out, in force.

In 2016, the European Commission announced plans to modernize EU copyright law, something that was to later develop into a worldwide controversy. A major part of the proposal is Article 13, a text that aims to make online services liable for uploaded content unless they take effective and proportionate measures to prevent copyright infringements. The implication is that platforms such as YouTube would be compelled to implement upload filtering and then proactively monitor to prevent future infringing uploads.

The #LOVEMUSIC campaign site asks visitors to add their signature to the Make Internet Fair petition, which calls on EU decision-makers to recognize that platforms like YouTube are involved in reproducing and making our works available under copyright laws and ensure that the safe harbor non-liability regime does not apply to them as it is meant for technical intermediaries only.

While most protests are taking place on the Internet, the platform that will be most affected by Article 13, opponents of the proposed legislation have been urged to gather in public too. Julia Reda MEP previously published details of a day of action to take place yesterday in various locations around Europe, but that will be just the tip of the protest iceberg as September 12th draws closer.

Following their shock defeat in July, major players in the music industry called foul, claiming that the protests had been automated and organized by big tech, something addressed by Reda recently. She wrote:

They’re claiming the protest was all fake, generated by bots and orchestrated by big internet companies. According to them, Europeans don’t actually care about their freedom of expression.

We don’t actually care about EU lawmaking enough to make our voices heard. We will just stand idly by as our internet is restricted to serve corporate interests.

To prove these predictions wrong, one of the focal points of the ‘NO’ campaign is a Change.org petition . At the time of writing it has in excess of 951,000 signatories, with the million target probably just a few days away.

But it is not just the music companies that are ‘Love Censorship’. Journalists from 20 countries joined the call for European MPs to approve the censorship proposals. News companies also see the article 13 censorship rules as helping them to claim more money from the internet giants.An open letter signed by more than 100 prominent journalists from major news outlets warns that the internet companies are fleecing of the media of their rightful revenue was morally and democratically unjustifiable. The letter written by AFP foreign correspondent Sammy Ketz says:

We have become targets and our reporting missions cost more and more. Yet, even though (the media) pay for the content and send the journalists who will risk their lives to produce a trustworthy, thorough and diverse news service, it is not they who reap the profits but the internet platforms, which help themselves without paying a cent.

It is as if a stranger came along and shamelessly snatched the fruits of your labour.

Critics, however, argue the reform will lead to blanket censorship by tech platforms that have become an online hub for creativity, especially YouTube. They say it will also restrict the usage of memes and remixes by everyday internet surfers.

Unfortunately the numbers taking to the street in protests yesterday weren’t too great. Between 80 and 150 people came to the protest in Berlin, according to various estimates, but most other events seemed to have fewer than two dozen. Based on photographs shared online, it seems that all of the protests combined drew between 500 and 800 people in total.

It would be foolish to expect a million people to take to the streets over copyright legislation, and the lack of protest doesn’t prove that Europeans don’t object to Article 13. Certainly, some do. But the actual number seems smaller than hoped.

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scarborough spa complexUp until this week, I had never heard of a man with the username Sargon of Akkad. Apparently, he is a political YouTube blogger, and seems to have an opinion on everything.

From my research, he is disliked by the far right and the far left. He gives his opinions in an honest way and invites debate. Nothing I have seen so far shows he is a hateful person. A lot of what he says I totally disagree with, but he certainly has a right to say it.

I heard of him because he was due to appear last week at Scarborough Spa. The event was cancelled following a risk assessment. The risk appears to be a campaign by a local left wing group to stop him appearing, and it worked.

Labour councillor Rob Barnett said: Scarborough Spa are to be congratulated for refusing to allow their stage to be used. We don’t need division — we need unity to fight for a better society.

Obviously, the society that Mr Barnett wants is one where censorship rules over freedom of speech. I find it very worrying that a political group should seek to censor those who do not agree with them.

…Read the full article from yorkshirepost.co.uk

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alison chabloz videoA woman has been convicted for performing offensive songs that included lyrics denying the Holocaust.Alison Chabloz sang her compositions at a meeting of the far-right London Forum group.

A judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court found Chabloz had violated laws criminalising offence and intended to insult Jewish people.

District judge John Zani delayed her sentencing until 14 June but told the court: On the face of it this does pass the custody threshold.

Chabloz, a Swiss-British dual national, had uploaded tunes to YouTube including one defining the Nazi death camp Auschwitz as a theme park just for fools and the gas chambers a proven hoax. The songs remain available on YouTube.

The songs were partly set to traditional Jewish folk music, with lyrics like: Did the Holocaust ever happen? Was it just a bunch of lies? Seems that some intend to pull the wool over our eyes.

Adrian Davies, defending, previously told the judge his ruling would be a landmark one, setting a precedent on the exercise of free speech.

But Judge Zani said Chabloz failed by some considerable margin to persuade the court that her right to freedom of speech should provide her with immunity from prosecution. He said:

I am entirely satisfied that she will have intended to insult those to whom the material relates. Having carefully considered all evidence received and submissions made, I am entirely satisfied that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Chabloz was convicted of two counts of causing an offensive, indecent or menacing message to be sent over a public communications network after performing two songs at a London Forum event in 2016. As there wa nothing indecent or menacing in the songs, Chabloz was convicted for an offensive message.

See The Britisher for an eloquent and passionate defence of free speech.