Article 13 and Growing EU Censorship

Article 13: New Mass Censorship Tool

Though internet censorship has been growing exponentially, especially over the last two years, it has been largely limited to a few sites.

But that is about to change…

 

What is Article 13?

Article 13 proposes to help online content creators by making content hosting sites like Youtube or Reddit liable for copyright infringement, rather than the creator.

This means if you are a creator that posts copyrighted content onto, let’s say Youtube, and the content owner sues, you will not be held accountable. Instead of suing you, the content holder would sue Youtube. You, the content creator would not be held liable for any damages.

Sounds great right?

Well, Perhaps President Reagan said it best:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

– President Ronald Reagan

So, whats the problem? Let me explain.

How Copyright Violations are Now Handled

Currently, site guidelines and copyright issues are mostly handled by flagging. Content is either flagged by the general community, bots, or in the case of copyright infringement, the injured party.

Though this  “flagging system” certainly has flaws, ie targeted harassment, or missed copyright violations, it generally allows for a relatively open and free discussion.

How Copyrights Will be Enforced If the Bill Passes

If Article 13 passes the current flagging system will become secondary.

This is due to the fact, that the proposed article will force sites to review content before it is ever uploaded to avoid being sued for copyright. Instead of being able to load a video directly to Youtube, it will need to be reviewed first for copyright issues. 

Obviously, this will slow down the process of uploading content. But it gets worse. If the site is unsure whether or not a piece of the content is in violation, they will likley air on the safe side and reject questionable content. 

And because copyright laws aren’t exactly black and white, this could mean a lot of videos, will never be seen. For example reaction videos and commentary on other videos may likley be outright banned. 

But it gets worse still….

What’s the Big Picture?

Since it formed in 1999, the European Union has been grasping for power. The EU was introduced to be a government over top of 28 nations, none of which voted for the system to be put in place. It is part of an attempt to form larger global governments. 

Global governments can only grow, if no one talks about them, or sees their tricks. Article 13 is an attempt to create a tool for massive censorship. Once it is put in place and content hosting platforms are sufficiently intimidated by its authority,  it can grow its control.

For example, meme’s are a powerful political tool. In fact, it is widely believed that much of the 2016 election result was based on memes.

In fact I was shocked to see that even Wired magazine called Article 13 “The EU’s Meme Ban“.

Article 13 a Ban on Memes


So how exactly is Article 13 a ban on memes? Quite simple.

Meme’s are based on popular images in which text or images can be rearranged to spread a message.

 

As you can see the meme above is based on an image from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Is it a copyright infringement? As I said the law isn’t black and white. Would JR Tolkien sue me for posting it?

Not likely, but would he sue Instagram for letting 100,000’s of users post it, well it may be worth his time then. Therefore popular sites may simply opt out of allowing memes. Especially since the EU could simply pay individuals to sue for copyright infringments, and whether they are actually or not, content hosting sites aren’t likely to stand up on your behalf.

Censorship Beyond Copyright Violations

Once Article 13 is firmly in place, and the EU has threatened the content hosting sites with enough lawsuits, it can grow its censorship quickly.  In the UK, for example, there are already laws against “hate speech”. What exactly hate speech is can never be solidly discovered, because it’s an opinionated term. 

For example, the EU could quickly ban any content it deems as hate speech through the same methods it has caused companies to control copyrighted content. If the EU deems talking about borders or being proud of being French or German as hate speech, well it can simply intimidate the content host sites with the same tools used to stop proposed copyright violations.

What’s the bottom line?

Global governments are seizing power worldwide, and censorship is one of their most powerful tools. Always be wary when a government appears to be doing good, and dig a little deeper.  Article 13 is only the surface.

The Road To Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

Proverb

 

Washington State Residents Vote to Strengthen Gun Control, but There’s a Catch

New Washington Gun Law

Many new state referendums passed during the 2018 mid-term election. This one however stands out from the rest, and its slipped by with very little news coverage.

And it shows exactly what is wrong with a so called democracy.

But get this, one police chief is taking a stand, from the small town of Republic, Wa.

So what is this new law?

Let’s take a look….

black rifle

Washington’s new gun law.

Here’s what you need to know…

Washington State citizen’s voted to outlaw semi-auto purchase and possession for people of the ages 18-21. This bill passed with a 60% majority, but as usual, things aren’t as they first seem.

The Initiative 1639, not only restricted semi-auto purchases for people under 21, it also made the process of purchasing semi-automatic firearms more difficult for all ages as well.

Now all purchasers of firearms will have to:

  • Pass a more rigorous background check
  • Go through 10 day waiting period
  • Complete a training course.

Some of those points in the bill with exception of age, already apply to handgun purchases in many states across America. In Washington however they have expanded the language of the law to include ALL semi-automatic firearm, and added a number of other stipulations; secure gun storage, safe handling and quite a few other points.

The full language of the bill can be found here.

The bill’s top funder was Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, he donated $1.25 Million to push the law through.

The disparity between the two expenditures likley contributed greatly to the bills passing. In fact, Paul’s single donation was more than all funding by the opposition.

       Supporting Expenditures — $5,263,345.29

       Opposition Expenditures — $808,019.22

Police chief calls for “Sanctuary City” for gun owners.

auto automobile blur buildings

Fortunately, some officers still take a stand for the Constitution. In particular, one officer, Republic Police Chief Loren Culp, refuses to enforce the unconstitutional law.

In Particular, he is upholding the law of the Washington State Constitution. Unlike the, often described as “complicated”,  2nd amendment of the US Constitution, Washington State’s Constitution is much more clear on individual gun rights:

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

-Article 1 Section 24 Washington State Constitution

Republic Police Chief Culp, took to Facebook to speak his mind. Stating:

As long as I am Chief of Police, no Republic Police Officer will infringe on a citizens right to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!”

-Republic Police Chief Culp

He continued on:

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 9.27.56 PM.png

Well, what more can I say. We have a tragic infringement on the rights of the people, fortunately not all is lost, and we see that there are certainly still officers that are here to protect and serve the people.

The NRA is also suing Washington state on the issue.

 

More Gun Law News: NY Senate pushes forth bill to extend background checks to include social media accounts and search history:

Is Colorado the first state to Abolish Slavery?

Colorado Bans All Slavery!!!

During the 2018 mid-term elections, Coloradians voted to pass a revolutionary ballot measure, and it’s getting almost no attention!

But doesn’t the 13th amendment of the US Constitution already outlaw slavery already?

Well, not exactly.

The 13th amendment of the US Constitution

The 13th amendment of the US reads as follows:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

As you can see, the 13th amendment does not entirely ban slavery. If you are convicted of a crime, you can be subjected to labor, without pay.

Because of that small “except” phrase you may have heard people calling for the removal of the 13th amendment. In most cases this is not because they actually believe in slavery, but because they feel the 13th amendment is actually slavery in disguise.

Colorado State Constitution

But the ballot measure, which passed in Colorado was in regards to amending the language of the Colorado State Constitution. The states amendment is similar, but has a slightly different language.

There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

The ballot measure which has passed during the 2018 mid-term, will ban the practice of forcing prisioners to work without pay, in the state of Colorado. This will be accomplished by changing the language of the amendment.

What’s the bottom line?

It’s difficult to know how this will impact the legal system. My biggest objection to the forcing prisioners to work without pay (or very minimal pay) is that the prisons, most of which are privately owned, actually make a profit on the backs of the prisoners that work for them.

Whatever your opinion on Colorado’s decision to ban slavery in prison, it is undeniable that prisons do not rehabilitate anyone, and like most things the government does, they usually stand in the way.

Fortunately most of us won’t spend out lives in prison, but regardless you have to treat prisoners fairly, and this is something we do not consider often enough. Though there are many in prison for rebrehensible crimes and deserve to be locked away, many are in there for actions that are only worsened by the current system, some of them are even innocent of any crime at all.

Prison reform is a major issue, and we will have to continue to focus on the issue for those who are unable to speak.

Until then, here are Some interesting stats on for profit prisons.