September 2018

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Monday, September 10th, 2018 06:11 pm
Dear Claude Moraes, Charles Tannock, Seb Dance, Mary Honeyball, Gerard Batten, Syed Kamall, Lucy Anderson and Jean Lambert,

I am writing to you all in the hope that you will be voting to block Articles 11 and 13 that go to vote this Wednesday. They will be devastating to free speech, education and unbiased news reporting as well as ensuring unassailable advantage to pre-existing media companies, preventing any new competitors from rising.

Even if we make the assumption that Article 13 were a good idea in principle, which under it's current terms I do not accept, the closest existing system for automatic content detection is the one used on Youtube, which is both universally disliked by content creators for being both inaccurate and almost impossible to fight back against without going to court. To the best of my understanding, the system created by Youtube cost somewhere in the region of 60 million USD to create. The system that article 13 would necessitate any online media provider, regardless of their size, to create would need to be several magnitudes more complex and expensive to create and maintain. A small media startup does not have half a billion dollars to spend on an automatic enforcement engine. It will firmly put all media ownership under the control of Google and Apple, the only companies that will be able to hamfistedly step into this role on others behalf should it go through, and put copyright enforcement in Europe soley in the hands of American businesses.

Please do not allow these companies that are already actively disrupting the political landscape to have final say on who is permitted to say what with no legal recourse an individual can afford.

Likewise Article 11 is farcical. The idea that, under current amendments, no one can use more that two consecutive words from a news headline without paying a licensing fee is ludicrous. The suggestion that parody and other "fair use" doctrines will be exempt does not actually exist within the document itself. And as an aside, satire is something a machine cannot yet detect as might be required for Article 13.

As an engineer I tell you these policies are technically unenforceable. The only thing they are good for is being selectively abused, as and when it suits the powers that be. For all other purposes they fail. They will only obstruct business, market and social growth. They will be chains that people fight to break. They will make half the world the enemy of those few who embrace it.

Yours sincerely,

Peter William Turpin


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