During the EU copyright reform, there were massive protests, mainly targeted at the upload filters required by Article 13/ Article 17. Now, almost one year after the vote, the video platform YouTube is intensifying the use of the controversial upload filters – not because of the copyright reform, but in order to limit the use of staff with regards to the coronavirus.
The Pirate Party criticises this step by YouTube and demands that the video platform uses another way of checking its content than by an error-prone censorship infrastructure that restricts our fundamental rights.
Patrick Breyer, MEP of the Pirate Party Germany, criticises:
“The use of error-prone upload filter censorship machines on YouTube restricts the freedom of expression and information of all of us! YouTube admits in its statement that the use of upload filters could not only block more videos, but also those videos that do not break any rules. Do we really want to allow non-transparent, error-prone algorithms to decide what we can still publish, write and watch on the internet?
YouTube simply uses the coronavirus as an excuse as employees can just as easily check videos from their home office.
Altough YouTube promises to use upload filters only ‘temporarily’, we cannot be sure about this. Furthermore, not only Article 13/ Article 17 of the copyright reform, but also the planned TCO regulation threatens to make the use of upload filter censorship machines mandatory in the future.”