The EU: Filtering True News from Social Media?

by the Editor
Published 17/9/2018
Slight amendments to remove needlessly harsh comments, no big change to content - 8/4/2020 and 10/11/2020

There has been much talk about articles 11 and 13 of the EU Copyright Directive. Article 11 has been cited as having the potential to create a link tax and Article 13 has been looked upon for the issue of upload filters.

I decided to take a look in to the actual text of the Directive to write this article. After much searching through the EU Commission website, I found what I believe to be the original text and also the amendments which I found before finding the actual original Directive text itself.

The Directive itself is a little confusing and as such I have yet to be able to pin down where commentators on other sites are deriving the link tax from precisely so that my be one for another article, but for this article I will focus on the upload filters.

Now these filters are already in place on FaceBook and YouTube to censor copyright music in uploads. The question therefore would be what is behind Article 13?

Due to the aforementioned muddle on the EU site, I would like to apologise if I have got anything wrong in my article. I have tried to make this accurate and gather all the information, but the EU site isn't exactly conducive to being able to find all the information that you need easily in my opinion.

Before we go any further, please find below the original Article 13, the amendments I have found to it and the full original bill without amendments. The list of amendments to the entire bill can be found on the EU website. I would have liked to present you with the revised version, but the EU website doesn't seem to want to make it that easy. This Directive has been given initial approval, but will face the usual formality of a final approval in January 2019.

"Article 13

Use of protected content by information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users

1. Information society service providers that store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users shall, in cooperation with rightholders, take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders for the use of their works or other subject-matter or to prevent the availability on their services of works or other subject-matter identified by rightholders through the cooperation with the service providers. Those measures, such as the use of effective content recognition technologies, shall be appropriate and proportionate. The service providers shall provide rightholders with adequate information on the functioning and the deployment of the measures, as well as, when relevant, adequate reporting on the recognition and use of the works and other subject-matter.

2. Member States shall ensure that the service providers referred to in paragraph 1 put in place complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case of disputes over the application of the measures referred to in paragraph 1.

3. Member States shall facilitate, where appropriate, the cooperation between the information society service providers and rightholders through stakeholder dialogues to define best practices, such as appropriate and proportionate content recognition technologies, taking into account, among others, the nature of the services, the availability of the technologies and their effectiveness in light of technological developments."

"Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Recital 13 a (new)

(13a) To encourage innovation also in the private sector, Member States should be able to provide for an exception going further than the mandatory exception, provided that the use of works and other subject matter referred to therein has not been expressly reserved by their rightholders including by machine readable means."

Original Full Text

Content recognition filters are what concerns me here. I'm not here to judge the motives of the members of the European Commission in this Directive, but it's fairly obvious what could come of this.

The actions of the government in leaving the EU, but immediately entering into a "deeper" partnership, coupled with signing EU law on to the statute books is being exposed on social media.

Some may use quotes from organisations like the BBC or Channel 4 in their posts. A content recognition filter set up to filter out copyright news articles takes out these posts and effectively prevents the elements within the government that have gone rogue from being exposed for their crimes. It also has the potential to eventually bring about a situation where you can't share Craven Freedom content on the main social media sites despite me having no interest in enforcing copyright on my work here.

In my research preparing to write this article I found this article:

I reproduce some of the content below:

"(39c) The content recognition technologies market is well developed already [...] However, the absence of clear legal obligations to use these technologies enables dominant market operators to refuse to use those tools [...]

That makes it undeniable: Establishing “clear legal obligations to use” “content recognition technologies” remains the purpose of Article 13.

But wait, there’s something that sounds like a safeguard:

1b. Members States shall ensure that the implementation of such measures [...] shall in accordance with Article 15 of [the E-Commerce Directive], where applicable not impose a general obligation on online content sharing service providers to monitor the information which they transmit or store.

“No general monitoring” would mean no upload filters. But before you get your hopes up, notice that only counts where the liability limitations established in a prior law, the E-Commerce Directive, apply. And:

(38) Online content sharing service providers [...] cannot benefit from the liability exemption provided for in Article 14 of the E-Commerce Directive.

So if a service falls under Articles 14 & 15 of the E-Commerce Directive (which refer to each other), it doesn't need to monitor. But also, services accepting uploads don’t fall under it. These passages just mean that pure hosting providers (webspace/server providers) don’t need to surveil their users – web services that allow posts or uploads will need to."

Would this impact the Craven Freedom. Perhaps not the main site, but would the powers that be try and enforce it against the messageboard (note: 10/11/2020 - messageboard taken down since this was written due to it not taking off)?

Rest assured the Craven Freedom has taken relevant precautions. Our site is hosted outside of the EU and we go firstly by God's law and then we obey the Common Law of England (unless it contradicts God's law). The Magna Carta makes it unlawful for us to be a member of the EU. As such the Craven Freedom will operate under the real law of the land and not feel compelled to obey any EU Directives (unless of course they happened to coincidently be the same commands as in God's law).

The action of taking the country into the EU actually constitutes treason. We need to remember that we have laws in this country and they apply to everyone in the country including each MP. Also it is worth remembering in terms of the servant/master role, the Members of Parliament are not sovereign over the people in this country. In fact they are the servants.

The Craven Freedom absolutely supports the rule of law. We would not want to rebel against God by wilfully and gratuitously opposing the authorities He is allowing to be in place. I would rather not pay tax given what I know about the government, but from scripture I feel that we are to pay our taxes and the authorities will be responsible for what they do with that tax. However, I cannot obey laws which try to silence those trying to do what is right. Laws or legalities which violate what is right and put us in a position where we are ordered to either do wrong ourselves, to not do what is right or not speak out about wrongdoing, simply cannot be obeyed for obvious reasons. The scriptures show that there are times when we must disobey the earthly authorities. For my part I want to strike the right balance with mildness.

To finish I think these verses show something of the attitude we should have. All come from the King James Version:

Titus Chapter 3 Verse 2:

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.


Ephesians 6:

Verse 10: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Verse 11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Verse 12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Verse 13: Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Verse 14: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Verse 15: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Verse 16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Verse 17: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:


Romans 13:

Verse 1: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Verse2: Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Verse 3: For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Verse 4: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Verse 5: Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Verse 6: For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Verse 7: Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.


Acts Chapter 5:

Verse 27: And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,

Verse 28: Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.

Verse 29: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Verse 30: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Verse 31: Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Verse 32: And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."

Some might argue that there are contradictions here, but I would disagree. To me it seems that we are to obey the laws we live under except where they violate God's laws and standards.

We live in a country where there are lots of immoral laws so we have to be very careful. We have to have the courage to disobey laws and regulations that need disobeying, but to do so politely and reasonably with an explanation so that we can try and encourage others to see the sense behind our actions. The other important factor here is we must not go too far and start to be wilfully disobedient of any law just because the government seems to be operating against God. The will of God must be done.