Politics Thread


I suppose this may well be true in some parts of the interior where virtually everyone is northern european, but it doesn’t hold for the parts of the US I’ve spent time in along the coasts. We have a lot of Sicilians and more than a few Greeks in the Northeast so people tend to assume Mediterraneans are Italian or maybe Greek. Lebanese Christians get a pass too.


This is anecdotal, obviously, but I have a friend whose family flies to LA on a regular basis, and they’ve been “randomly selected” pretty much without fail ever since 9/11.

They’re 2nd Generation El Salvadorian-Canadian.


Are you from Europe or the USA? If you are from the USA, have you ever gone to Italy or Spain? Because saying that north Africans are physically indistinguishable from south Europeans is leaving me totally shocked. Since I am not from the USA, I can’t speak about the reasons people gives to discriminate them over there, but I can assure you that here in Spain the people who discriminates them does so because of the colour of their skin and their religion. And if for example, you had a person from Morocco living in Spain, and this person was Catholic (the biggest religion in Spain), this person would still be discriminated by racist people because they are clearly “not Spanish” since they are not white.


I have to push back on this one as I’ve met lots of Middle Easterners and North Africans who are lighter skinned than the Sicilians I grew up with. In fact I’d say the typical Syrian, Lebanese, Saudi and Iraqi is no darker than the typical Sicilian. Clearly you’ll find darker skinned people as you go deeper into Africa, but the Middle East has a greater association with terrorism in the popular imagination than Africa.


Oh yes, I have met some too that have a light skin color (I’m mostly talking about North Africans, since I wasn’t familiar with the term MENA, had to google it and thought it was used to refer to North Africans and not Middle Easterners), but in most cases you can tell by their facial features that they are not “white”. The same way you can see the differences (in many cases) between a white person from England and a white person from Poland.

With all this I stand my point that since is, in most cases, very easy to tell they are not caucasian, the discrimination against them is both for ethnicity and religion. In Spain this is very obvious since most of the MENA people we get are north Africans (generally clear facial features + skin colour) and not middle easterners. This also applies to the gypsy population. They are usually very catholic, still, they face heavy discrimination because they usually have darker skin, they have a distinguishable way of talking, and they are “criminals no matter what”.

Edit to add, I think is safe to say that in most countries with a clear racist background, people of certain ethnicities are going to be much more targeted by the police, controls at airports, etc etc, and this will be based on the colour of skin. Saying they are targeted for being Muslim is ridiculous unless they are hijabi, since then they have a clear display of their faith. But Muslim men who wear not traditional clothes? Or Muslim woman who not wear hijab? You can’t tell them apart from any other religion, they can be arab, black, asian, white, or any ethnicity you want to name, but I bet my ass that a white Muslim or an fair skin Asian Muslim is not going to be stopped half the time as Muslim of dark skin.


I hesitate to draw a conclusion based on an anecdote, especially when my own cousins with olive skin who I grew up very close to have never complained about such ill-treatment. My cousins don’t fly very often though so it may have more to do with TSA screenings at airports, or possibly TSA treatment of foreigners, than anything else. I certainly hear plentiful horror stories about the TSA behaving ridiculously and running amok.

I had to look it up too. I used it only because Jason did. I was primarily thinking in terms of the ME part of it, not the NA side.

The overwhelming majority of Americans are a mix of nationalities, especially 2nd generation and later. In my experience it’s highly uncommon for native-born Americans to be able to determine a European immigrant’s ethnicity based on appearance the way the immigrants themselves often can.

Fair enough. Darker North Africans may well be too dark or too African-featured to pass for caucasion. I shouldn’t have used a term that included them when I was originally only thinking of Middle-Easterners.

It is true that in the US black males, especially younger black males wearing hoodies are often unjustly stereotyped as “violent”. That’s not the same thing as being unjustly stereotyped as a “terrorist”. In the US these are two different negative stereotypes with Muslim and occasionally Sikh men (because they’re misidentified as Muslim) being the prime victims of the latter.


I’m almost certain it isn’t based on a generic foreign-ness. When my parents lived in the US (again, anecdotal), I used to fly over to visit them two or three times a year. Over the course of about 25-30 flights (about a dozen round trips) I was never selected by the TSA, despite being a first generation Canadian, and also visibly a PoC.


A certain undisclosed amount of the screenings are supposed to be random. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about elderly Swedish grandmothers in wheelchairs being strip-searched and toddlers being reduced to tears as they’re patted down. So white folk often get treated badly too. The public anger at the TSA treatment of the elderly resulted in modified screening procedures for them. It’s certainly possible that someone rolled snake eyes more than once, although three or more times makes me wonder if they’ve somehow been incorrectly added to one of the watch lists so they’re given extra scrutiny every time they fly.


I am beyond outraged today, our MEP’s capitulated wholesale to the biggest subsidized “content” businesses and a few ultra-rich “artists”.
And if that wasn’t enough they are determined to have censorship one way or the other, even if truly massive protests, which I do not see happening until it is far too late, succeed in getting this moronic “copyright” reform abolished in the spring they are still determined to censor all user comment sections and web-fora, like this one under updated “anti-terrorism” legislation. :unamused:

Also note the bottom categories, if the “populists” are the only ones to seemingly vote sensibly a majority of the time now, well…dear EPP and S&D “moderates” that is how you cultivate a populist backlash against the EU throughout Europe, once the new great European firewall comes online, which BTW, will be worse than the current Chinese one. So well done guys… :angry: :unamused:
Of course once they do win after the filter is implemented I would imagine the populists will be all too happy to merely modify it to allow for a greater ranger of entertainment content, but still use that “anti-terrorism” variant to clamp down on political speech.
In concert these two bills have the power to hand over Europe to the (mostly right-wing) populist backlash and possibly undo the EU. From where I stand mr. Wilders and Orban and misses Le Pen couldn’t have done it better on purpose if they tried.
Again, if this nonsense isn’t firmly rejected come springtime next year this will practically hand our established populists the keys to the kingdom. :unamused:

The Dragoon Saga (Sabres of Infinity, Guns of Infinity, Lords of Infinity) - General Discussion

To start with here is the link to the adopted amendments by parliament.

Let’s start with the old text as proposed by the Commission:

(39) Collaboration between information society service providers storing and providing access to the public to large amounts of copyright protected works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users and rightholders is essential for the functioning of technologies, such as content recognition technologies. In such cases, rightholders should provide the necessary data to allow the services to identify their content and the services should be transparent towards rightholders with regard to the deployed technologies, to allow the assessment of their appropriateness. The services should in particular provide rightholders with information on the type of technologies used, the way they are operated and their success rate for the recognition of rightholders’ content. Those technologies should also allow rightholders to get information from the information society service providers on the use of their content covered by an agreement .

Now the version with the amendments adopted by the Parliament today:

(39) Member States should provide that where right holders do not wish to conclude licensing agreements, online content sharing service providers and right holders should cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorised protected works or other subject matter, are not available on their services. Cooperation between online content service providers and right holders should not lead to preventing the availability of non-infringing works or other protected subject matter, including those covered by an exception or limitation to copyright .

This still defaults to either an upload filter or a massive human-staffed “copyright enforcement department”. As before only the largest companies, such as Google, Facebook and perhaps Microsoft and Amazon if they ever want to really get in on the platforming could afford such measures. Given that billions of works will need to be monitored under the new European censorship system, whereas the most sophisticated copyright filter in use by Youtube (Google’s Content ID) features a mere fraction of that and it plain and simply doesn’t work all that well. “Good faith” here mostly means caving in to big media, as this article only establishes a relationship of obligations between content platforms and rights-holders, not the public. Unless the ECJ finds that this blatantly violates the Constitutional Framework of the Treaties or the EU’s own Charter of Fundamental rights the public will have no standing here.

From a more practical consideration, the only thing the EPP/Voss “compromise” does is remove the explicit mention of content recognition technologies. However, when faced between employing potentially hundreds of thousands of workers and still risk falling short of the moronic obligations this new Directive imposes or making a prone to abuse, over-blocking filter will still be the default solution, but even if they do go with human “moderators” in vast numbers there already exists a word for that state of affairs “censorship”.

Going a bit further into the stuff that was added in the “compromise”

(39a) Members States should ensure that online content sharing service providers referred to in paragraph 1 put in place effective and expeditious complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case the cooperation referred to in paragraph 2a leads to unjustified removals of their content. Any complaint filed under such mechanisms should be processed without undue delay. Right holders should reasonably justify their decisions to avoid arbitrary dismissal of complaints. Moreover, in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC, Directive 2002/58/EC and the General Data Protection Regulation, the cooperation should not lead to any identification of individual users nor the processing of their personal data. Member States should also ensure that users have access to an independent body for the resolution of disputes as well as to a court or another relevant judicial authority to assert the use of an exception or limitation to copyright rules.

First of all the big companies are always incentivized to follow the strictest version any member-state adopts, while my government and Sweden’s and maybe Italy’s will seek to limit the damage to the maximum extent possible that will only impact purely local media, and then only if they geo-block the rest of the EU, otherwise compliance with the strictest interpretation will be required.

This second part does not compute, as it is impossible to launch an effective and transparant appeals process that meets legal standards without identifying yourself and if you go the legal route that appeal becomes a matter of public record. So, not only do you need to identify yourself but in the ultimate form your personal data would be processed by the courts too as a matter of public record, meaning anybody including Disney and Facebook can freely access that information.
In current practice this already creates a system of naming and shaming as no-one will sue or launch an appeal to unblock their perfectly legal nude vaction videos.
The only upside to this might be that the ECJ ,might interpret this to require the copyright trolls to identify themselves too, though of course, that doesn’t help if you’re up against Sony or Disney who simply identify as corporations with no personal liability. Again, since there is no specific penalty clause in the current rules you’d need to use a succesful appeal to launch an even more costly and time-consuming civil litigation (provided the abuse meets the legal standard of slander) to see any money at all.

The final part of course, being true judicial review is the mirage, castle in the sky I spoke of as Judicial reviews takes years and costs more then the average person even makes in a year. Worse is that since the adopted version lacks any penalty for unjust blocking all that will do is get content restored, you won’t recover any damages or your true court costs. Obviously, it is not worth the hassle to go this route if your funny cat video is blocked because it is judged to be too similar to another one uploaded by a copyright troll or because the cat was being funny while frolicking around on say an Ikea sofa. While it is worth it on principle if say one’s possible future campaign website of legitimate, political speech gets unjustly censored the time legal proceedings take would ensure that it is only valuable in theory as no one is served by their old campaign website getting unblocked years after the elections it was made for have taken place. Again there will be no damages, so you’d be paying for it either out of the campaign war chest or your personal pocket and recoup exactly none of it.

(39b) As soon as possible after the entry into force of this Directive, the Commission and the Member States should organise dialogues between stakeholders to harmonise and to define best practices. They should issue guidance to ensure the functioning of licensing agreements and on cooperation between online content sharing service providers and right holders for the use of their works or other subject matter within the meaning of this Directive. When defining best practices, special account should be taken of fundamental rights, the use of exceptions and limitations. Special focus should also be given to ensuring that the burden on SMEs remains appropriate and that automated blocking of content is avoided.

See my previous comment above, but the human reading of this likely defaults to member-states should implement and enforece the strictest version of the content filter, as the “best practice” in this case to ostensibly protect billions of copyrighted works and review them within hours is likely beyond the capability of human censors. Therefore, stating it again, the removal of the explicit reference to “technological solutions” and filters means nothing as there likely is no viable human solution that satisfies the outrageously biased demands of this new directive here.

For the second bolded part the value this reference to “fundamental rights” has in practice would be entirely up the ECJ to fill in, but that is going to take years. In the meantime risk-averse as they are business are going to err on what they perceive the safe side to be and try to over, not under censor.

SME’s (small and mid-size enterprises) I think are defined as having a turnover of less than 2 million Euro, so would CoG and this forum even qualify? Or would they have to subcontract to Facebook for a Facebook bot moderated sham version of a community for EU users, (where we can post only under our real name and Facebook profile) in the future?

This is a “red herring” as avoiding automated blocking is going to entirely depend on what legal definition for this the ECJ eventaully settles on. The most likely solution is to have an underpaid employee at Google and/or Facebook push a button every ten minutes to approve of all the automatically dectected “copyrght violations” and block them. This won’t lead to meaningful review as the state of AI is woefully insufficent to distinguish legitimate from illegitmate use of works and a single employee pushing the button on thousands of reports every 10 to 20 minutes isn’t going to meaninfully review or moderate any of them. Even if they somehow could, see my previous point, it would still amount to ax-ante gatekeeping censorship that relates poorly to freedom of expression and leaves seeking redress up to individual end-users withour a penalty clause for malicious abuse to rely on. At the very best this will have serious chilling effects. :unamused:

Edit, Mara has provided the legal way this already works in Spain, first the filter will do a preventive block then the uploader gets notified that they can contest it, but in an ecosystem of billions of works and 500+ million users the incentives will be there to keep contesting parties to a minimum, so the most likely recourse is to impose a heavy “arbitration” or court fee. If you don’t pay it and therefore don’t contest the filter block it will become definitive in a relatively short term, probably somewhere between 7 to 30 days while technically and legally avoiding being labelled as “automated” blocking. :unamused:

(39c) Member States should ensure that an intermediate mechanism exists enabling service providers and rightholders to find an amicable solution to any dispute arising from the terms of their cooperation agreements. To that end, Member States should appoint an impartial body with all the relevant competence and experience necessary to assist the parties in the resolution of their dispute.

One of the more disturbing clauses for jurists as these panels of expert mediators are likely going to prolong the legal struggle before a case finally reaches the courts for an advisory opinion, let alone the ECJ for years.
For the rest this is standard neo-liberal industry self-regulation behind closed-doors bullshit designed to make things less transparent and lock out the general public. :unamused:
This is a stalling clause making it more difficult to get a true legal assesment, making the process more costly and difficult and stalling for years. This is also framed as an imperative to member-states, not an option, so a member-state cannot choose to place this under the jurisdiction of its ordinary legal system and courts as a first resort but have to impose this legal speedbump by a behind closed doors panel of biased “industry experts” who may or may not have any legal training. .

(40) Certain rightholders such as authors and performers need information to assess the economic value of their rights which are harmonised under Union law. This is especially the case where such rightholders grant a licence or a transfer of rights in return for remuneration. As authors and performers tend to be in a weaker contractual position when they grant licences or transfer their rights, they need information to assess the continued economic value of their rights, compared to the remuneration received for their licence or transfer, but they often face a lack of transparency. Therefore, the sharing of comprehensive and relevant information by their contractual counterparts or their successors in title is important for the transparency and balance in the system that governs the remuneration of authors and performers. The information that authors and performers are entitled to expect should be proportionate and cover all modes of exploitation, direct and indirect revenue generated, including revenues from merchandising, and the remuneration due. The information on the exploitation should also include information about the identity of any sub-licensee or sub-transferee. The transparency obligation should nevertheless apply only where copyright relevant rights are concerned.

An attack on end-user anonymity and the right to be forgotten, finally making it legally relevant that today we license instead of buy most of our digital (entertainment) products. Therefore the most plausible sub-licensee of Youtube is the individual user or viewer. At worst this may end not just anonymous uploading but anonymous viewing as well, allowing even more of our viewing and browsing habits to be monetised by both big media and big tech. :unamused:

The best reference to the “link-tax” which should really be renamed to small and indepedent (news) media killer is that it has already failed in Germany and Spain and simply scaling up the failed policy to be EU wide won’t magically make it work on economy of scale.
But perhaps somebody more intimtely familiar with German or Spanish law can better address this than I can.
Any insights on Spain’s laws in this regard @poison_mara ?

No, it won’t to request enforcement you need to rely on the same big tech companies who are billed as the “losers” here. Sure, Facebook and Google now have to transfer more money to the big rights-holders, meaning big media businesses and a few ultra-rich artists, exactly the same people who could already afford to blanket big tech companies, small businesses and even end-users with lawyers already. On the other hand they also stand to profit immensely from becoming the internet gatekeepers, policemen and the de-facto framers of what will constitute “acceptable” political debate. This might be bad for people like me, but also certainly the right-wing populists as Facebook probably likes political differences in opinion to be limited to whether neo-liberalism is the “greatest thing ever!”, just “great” or merely “good” and whether or not Zuckerberg is a benevolent modern “god” or merely one of the greatest men in human history. :unamused: Other flavours of opinion could in practice be censored with almost no consequence under this nonsense legislation. :unamused:
They have also, again overlooked the problem that it is flat-out impossible to ever license with all supposed rights-holders not in the least because some works cannot be licensed on account that they are “orphan” works.
Finally, in practice small authors are often “represented” by grossly unrepresentative and damaging “copyright societies”.


Our legal system is a Nightmare. As Author society is a big lobby here. You have your cousin singing a copyright song in a wedding You legally has to pay a fee of about several hundred euros If you recording your own wedding well several thousands … Author association has detectives checking wedding places and schooling theaters even if the play is From Lope De Vega from XVII if was adapted enter in our copyright. Society despite the Author association.

And internet police cannot close a page without judge permission… Theoretically but they can block preventive until judge declaration. Our laws of data protection are a laugh, That is pure burocracy I have my mail spamming from every shop or even a dentist you have paid in past asking renew the old authorized permission…

We are the country where more piracy is committed in Europe by far. And These laws are helping the piracy. Even my dad considers piracy as a political way to oppose the big companies and author association. I can’t defend piracy as it’s stealing from rightful owners. Still, taking account my country laws is understandable why people hates copyright. An example steal a CD in a shop is about 300 euros fine. Steal virtually one song could in Theory go to jail several months.

I am not very into the ip and internet access stuff as I am terribly with technology and is a very complex matter but for what I hear is similar to rest of EU and follow current directives.

The trend is obviously censorship hide in the form of copyrighted claims.


Indeed, it was on the tip of my tongue, but this is also another likely interpretation of what “no automated blocking” might legally come to mean. Of course with the unprecedented scale of the new filter the courts would be overwhelmed if even a small fraction of the population contested so I can see something like a steep court fee of say at least 5000 Euro or otherwise if people don’t object within a “reasonable” term of say 7, 14 or even 30 days the block the filter wants to impose would stand on a “no contest” ground.
Obviously this won’t be user-friendly or in the interest of the general public, but then the directive takes scrupulous care to avoid mentioning the public or end-user as a party at all, except as a sub-licensee who has to provide all of his or her data for review with no attendant rights. :unamused:

Indeed, depending on how the ECJ review process interprets various bits of this directive it will have the possible effect of making pirates into the global “cool kids” and l33t heroes again as this is likely to send this message to voters across Europe: “You can have freedom of expression or copyright” not both. This might actually be a great theme for our (would-be) left-wing populists to embrace once the filter really does go through, but once it reaches that stage it will also make the battle between copyright and free speech into a zero sum game. If it does ever reach that stage while I like artists to be able to make a living without a corporate day-job or a necessary dependence on a possible future basic income, as our very own @Cataphrak is doing right now in the end I like to be able to freely express myself politically and otherwise even more.
So let’s just hope the Parliment comes to its senses and rejects this lunacy in the spring of 2019. Though that can only happen if we manage to have a physical “winter of discontent” out on the streets of Europe and while today’s young people are great at online protests we just saw how that was dismissed as “Russian bot spam” by Voss and co. I’m rather more skeptical about our ability to get masses of young people out on the cold, wintry streets of Europe.

Oh, and for final consideration if we do pass that filter and Facebook and Google invest billions in it and the ECJ or any future politicians then dare to abolish it afterwards we can expect to pay tens of billions in reparations for “lost profits” due to our new CETA agreement. :unamused:


Yeah, or worse… Like This EA joke lawsuits against Belgium commission.


Just popping in with a nuanced stance on this important political issue. :innocent:


Stop it! I really can’t right now. :sob:


Disliking spicy food is no laughing matter.


The unseen danger to placing expensive to comply regulations is that it will solidify the position of the big tech fiems into permanent monopolies because start ups won’t be able to pay the costs associated with compliance.


Also true, as someone working in criminal and civil rights law what most concerns me is the threat to our freedom of expression, but you are certainly right. Regulate the Internet like it consists only of Facebook, Youtube/Google and Twitter and you will get an internet that consists only of what content those parties deign to offer us. :unamused:



Medicare for all is a terrible idea in my opinion,