This month marked a historical moment for the internet. On March 26th the EU Parliament passed various copyright laws including the controversial Article 13 legislation surrounding online content.
The new legislation comes after years of debate and continues to prove controversial worldwide, with critics continuing to oppose two sections specifically: Article 11 and Article 13. However, despite various attempts by the movement’s largest critics (Google & Youtube) the directive passed and will now have to be implemented by each individual country within the union.
So, what is Article 13?
Article 13 is part of the Directive on Copyright. The article states that “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorised protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.”
Down to its
While that might seem simple, no one is yet to agree on how these platforms are expected to not only remove the content but find it in the first place. Past versions of the legislation referred to ‘content recognition technologies’ (or content ID) which
Many of the large user-generated companies already hold content ID platforms. YouTube’s filter allows copyright owners the right to claim ownership of content already uploaded, then gives them the opportunity to either block the video or monetise it by running advertisements. This system already proves unpopular due to its inconsistency and vulnerability to abuse, something that would only be heightened if potentially infringing videos could not be uploaded at all.
The final point of Article 13 sets out which platforms exactly will need
- It has been available for fewer than three years
- It has an annual turnover below €10 million
- It had fewer than give million unique monthly visitors
This means that a large number of sites will need to install upload filters – even those that are non-profit, or user monitored.
Yeah, yeah but what about my memes?
The reason that Article 13 has been dubbed a ‘meme ban’ is
That’s all though?
Not quite. The directive needs to be interpreted by each member state individually when passing it into national law – for example, Article 12a could stop anyone who isn’t the official organizer of a sports match from posting any videos or photography of said match too. This would mean the end to viral sports GIFs and might even stop people posting photos onto social media when they attend a match themselves.
Pros and Cons
Over the past few
Opposing groups include CCIA (the Silicon Valley lobbying group including Google, Facebook,
Without a doubt, Youtube is the largest opposer of Article 13. The platform famous for content creators, let’s play gaming and product reviews fear that their creative output will be stunted through the guise of copyright
When will these laws come into practice?
While Article 13 has passed
The scope of Article 13 and its counterparts is still to be seen however one thing is for certain, the next few years will see a large change to how we use the internet in the future.
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