Meanwhile, the EU has voted to kill the Internet as we know it and possibly aid in creating an even bigger surveillance machine in the process.

Civil disobedience is the way forward on this one. We redouble our efforts to create decentralised alternatives and if they’re deemed illegal by this myopic legislation, so be it. Fuck ’em. We go to jail if we need to.

If you had any illusions that the battle for personhood and human rights would be easier in our age, think again.

Potential Civil Disobedience could be very easy.

Simply create fake torrent / multimedia files with suggestive names such as Major_Blockbuster_720p_PirateGroup.mkv and upload away everywhere.

Seed said file as widely as possible and post magnet or plain torrent links on sites.

The whole thing can be scripted trivially and a simple PC can saturate a good amount of bandwidth.

When the Copyright Police comes knocking on your door, politely inform them of the fake nature of this file.


If said Copyright Police complains and demands proof, show them the file contains public domain artwork.

If just 5% to 15% of all Internet user actually do that, I guarantee you the system will crumble under its own weight.

@ParadeGrotesque That's not how it works. They are targeting hashes of files, so, first you'd need to create a file with a hash collision of an actual pirated movie.

@ParadeGrotesque perhaps the first funny application for all that raw hashing power and brute force infrastructure they called bitcoin :-D

@amenthes Targeting hashes? OK, I'll bite.

How do you know a file is potentially infringing? I mean "my_cat.jpeg" for instance.

Do you calculate the hash every time? Costly. Very costly. One million uploads = one million hash. MD5? Nope, SHA256 at least (or risk collision).

And here is the thing: add a blank frame or two to a pirated movie = different hash. Back to square one.

These people *will* scan the file names first. Ergo, include keywords in file name. Force hashing. Crash system.

@amenthes Seriously, though: you cannot win this one. There are just too many ways of running circles around it.

This law is probably going to be applied to ban torrent and irect download sites. But nobody cares, because they will use a VPN to Belarus or something.

And remember: they have to do this for all files being uploaed, or risk missing something valuable. False positives / negatives are fiendishly difficult to process.

I still think civil disobedience is the way to go. Upload away!

@ParadeGrotesque I could forward you a legal document I received from Waldorf Frommer (german: "Abmahnung", no clue what the correct translation is!). The evidence is: someone allegedly offered a file with a matching hash, they then apparently proceed to download a tiny fraction. If it matches, you get an Abmahnung.

No clue, how "you cannot win this" is meant. I have no intention of winning anything. And Waldorf Frommer and law firms like it are winning just fine with this strategy.

@ParadeGrotesque also, I believe you should look into how file sharing works. Torrent, for example, only works well when there are multiple identical copies available. And it is based around hashes anyway.

@ParadeGrotesque their strategy is not one of "winning every time" but of "if one in ten people just pay us good money, we're coming out ahead".

@amenthes That's very true, but we are not talking about a single law firm here... We are talking about the entirety of the EU.

The law firm you are talking about has a narrow mandate: protect the interest of a single German film-maker. And even then, I am sure they check a very narrow slice of file-sharing.

The scope of this law, and the size of the EU (+/- 500 million people) almost guarantee it cannot be applied "as is" if there is widespread civil disobedience.

@ParadeGrotesque you're probably right, in the completely generalized scenario it might work like described.

@ParadeGrotesque and one could of course extend it to have bots posting random files to twitter and similar networks. Saturate your upstream as long as you're not using it :-D

I'm predicting that objections to the cost of implementation are going to be countered by CaaS, Compliance as a Service, so those building AI to meet this requirement will be able to monetize it. Plan for weaponized uploads to target providers, rather than customers, of this service

@aral I'm waiting until sites like deviantArt and SoundCloud figure out that the Magical Copyright Oracle doesn't exist and simply conclude it's more profitable for them to block EU altogether rather than spend all the money on overworked human jaintors.

The creators mentioned by the propos's authors are going to be so pleased! No one can steal their work if they have nowhere to share it.

@phoe @aral the internet is already hella balkanized, so this is a distinct possibility. Wouldn't obviously be a bad thing, though.
@aral surely if we post hard enough on the fediverse we can overthrow them

To battlestations fellow futurists!

@aral The current positional paper that got voted through yesterday seems not very clear to me, but it looks to me that non-commercial sites and even smaller commercial ones are exempt from #article13 - and even if not: I think we could also see this as a chance for the #fediverse, as FaceTube will just stop working for some content and people will start looking elsewhere.

@aral Honestly I think this kind of exaggeration is what made many MEPs vote for the proposal. #article13

@johmue Yeah, man, I’m the problem. Go treat yourself to a pint for figuring it out.

@aral "On this one". I don't think I know any other way than civil disobedience to old white dudes without a shred of tech or scientific understanding trying desperately to control my life to shit.


The final vote has not yet happened. Good chance now to engage with the MEP's.


It's interesting that, as an American who has been to Europe and has the outside perspective, that I'm not surprised by this.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that I am like most Americans and aware of our cultural hypocrisy, so we can more easily see it elsewhere.

For all that the EU enshrines so many things in law, it has a worse track record than we do in actually practicing what it preaches.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Aral’s Mastodon

This is my personal Mastodon.