UN Human rights expert: Article 13 “neither a necessary nor proportionate response”

11 March 2019

David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion, has expressed their concern at the direction of Article 13. Kaye previously issued a statement in response to the Directive in June 2018 cautioning on the “restrictions on freedom of expression without prior judicial review”. They have now continued to warn legislators on the misplaced faith they may have in filtering technology, which may not be able to accurately identify the ambit of copyright exceptions such as criticism or parody:

“Misplaced confidence in filtering technologies to make nuanced distinctions between copyright violations and legitimate uses of protected material would escalate the risk of error and censorship. Who would bear the brunt of this practice? Typically it would be creators and artists, who lack the resources to litigate such claims.”

Indeed, Steffen Holly, Head of Media Management and Delivery and Fraunhofer IDMT, has also recently addressed the “fatal misbelief in technology”, despite being a member of a company that sells technologies such as AudioID and Shazam. They claim that filters will result in a “plethora of wrongly rejected media” that will be automatically blocked.