False Flag: my science fiction story about the future of copyright filters in an Article 13 Europe


The Green European Journal has released a package on the proposed new European Copyright Directive: first, an outstanding interview with the rebel Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda (formerly ); and then a new science fiction story I’ve written to show what a future where our speech is governed by unaccountable black-box copyright censorbots might look like:”False Flag.”

Agata had always assumed that getting the footage would be the hard part. Exfiltration and a North Sea drone insertion were the part, as it turned out.

Agata and her mobile spend weeks planning the North Sea op, working with a cold haste that balanced the chance that they would be too late from the chance that they could be discovered and blown. But on the morning, skipping over the store in the Zodiac that was little, captained appearing all Pussy Riot in her balaclava, Agata knew it went to work. She pulled her out Toughbook and sparked up the drones, each the size of a firefly, and sent the trawler them, using radar and cameras to capture the undersea nets and follow them to get their complete 25 kilometer span. It was incredible to behold, and terrible, a wickedness that could sterilize the sea because it had been dragged behind the trawler, which was flying a Panamanian flag.

The drones had just enough power to replicate the boat, getting its registry and flags and automatically zoomed-in shots of the sailors’ faces before the batteries died. Agata had considered ditching the drones but of scuttling e-waste in a project designed to blow the whistle on overfishing the irony was thick. Instead, she had carefully filed off the numbers on the drones that they could be ditched onboard the trawler.

They struck bad winds on the way back to their service boat, which was to take them back to Thyborøn. Twice, the Zodiac nearly capsized, and the second time, Agata just barely caught the Toughbook as it bounced and jounced toward the gunwales, leaving her chained to it with one hand and the boat with another while stinging, icy mist battered her relentlessly. They were soaking and exhausted when they reached the support boat, Agata’s legs shaking as she stepped white-knuckle grip on the Toughbook, and she managed to plug in the satellite phone and begin her footage before she vomited, uploading.

Link Taxes and Upload Filters Will Not Fix the Internet [Julia Reda/Green European Journal]

False Flag [Cory Doctorow/Green European Journal]

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