2019 Artist Enemy Countdown #4: Prof David Kaye UN Special Rapporteur Human Rights

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UC Irvine Professor David Kaye has been the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression since 2014.  So in this time Kaye has spent a lot of time advocating for the protection of journalists in autocratic states all over the world.  Selflessly traveling to some of the most dangerous and repressive places on the planet to protect free expression. A true advocate for human rights!

Nah.  Just kidding.   The dude mostly sits in his cushy offices at UC Irvine in Orange County California scolding first world countries with robust free speech protections like Canada and the EU for proposing modest improvements to copyright protection regimes on internet platforms.  As a result Kaye is protecting internet monopolies from having to pay artists. What an idiot.

Q. Best way to repress/discourage freedom of expression?

A.  Defund it.

You can tell this guy never spent any time living in the real world working for a living. You think he’s ever considered market forces and free expression?  Nah, that would require venturing outside of his academic bubble into the real world.

But even more disturbing, while Jamal Khashoggi was being dismembered the UN Special Rapporteur was largely devoting his energies to undermining Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive by falsely claiming that Article 13 is a four alarm free expression emergency.  It violates the UN Human Rights Declaration!!!!

It does no such thing and Professor Kaye knows it.

As we detailed on this blog previously David Kaye has written virtually identical screeds (one to Canada one to the EU) to support his highly questionable views that forcing trillion dollar internet companies to do a better job protecting authors from copyright infringement is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Kaye supports his argument by disingenuously  switching (in footnote citations) between elements of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and then things that are not in the real Article 19 but from a private foundation that has the similar name Article19.org.  Footnote formatting rules make it almost impossible for non lawyers to tell the difference between the two.  We earlier called this “academic phishing” as it relies on mistaking on official document for another similarly named document of questionable provenance.

Kaye also supports his arguments by citing something called the Manilla Principles. A binding international treaty right?

Nah.  It’s just a private document created by a group of NGOs, many funded by Google and Open Society Foundations; and others that don’t seem to exist at all. The Internet Research Agency is likely impressed.

If you haven’t grasped the level of fuckery here take a moment to think about it. This  would be like the stagehands at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland (writing from backstage right now) producing a document called The Portland Principles that among other thing gives stagehands “the right to leave burning bags of canine feces on doorsteps of corrupt UN Special Rapporteurs.”   When confronted by authorities they would simply claim The Portland Principles gave them the right.

The whole sad David Kaye saga is chronicled here.

Not going out on a limb here by saying David Kaye willfully misleads the reader into thinking Universal Declaration of Human Rights says things it doesn’t. This is a gross violation of his obligation as a special rapporteur; academic and as a decent human being.   Why does this guy still have a job?

Ladies and gentleman I give you 2019 Artist Enemy #4: UN Human Rights Rapporteur David Kaye.  Congrats professor.  Now go work for Google.

(See former UNHRC Rapporteur Frank La Rue https://archive.google.com/advisorycouncil/ )

About Dr. David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.