Monday, June 11, 2018

EU's proposed rules on copyright could kill off user-generated content, critics warn

Proposed European Union regulations threaten to 'destroy the internet as we know it', digital rights groups warn.

The Copyright Directive is an attempt to redesign copyright for the internet and harmonize aspects of the law across Europe.

A proposed addendum, Article 13 states that platform providers should 'take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rights-holders for the use of their works'.

This would cause internet platforms to filter user-generated content, including text, audio, photos and video to protect copyrighted works - which could spell trouble for the future of memes.

While noble in theory, critics and campaigners say the legislation, which the European Parliament will vote on later this month, would be an excessive restriction on free speech.

And, it could mean the end of memes, remixes, and other user-generated content that routinely brings joy to the internet.

'Should Article 13 of the Copyright Directive be adopted, it will impose widespread censorship of all the content you share online,' said Copyright 4 Creativity, a campaign against the proposed article.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and 56 other rights organisations sent an open letter to European lawmakers in October outlining their issues with legislation.

The European Parliament will vote on Article 13 later this month. Critics argue it would be an excessive restriction on free speech. Pictured: A Lebron James meme

'Article 13 appears to provoke such legal uncertainty that online services will have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens' communications if they are to have any chance of staying in business,' it read.


1 comment:

Stan B said...

Austria has already destroyed Youtube's "safe haven" status - using the argument that since they "recommend" video, and monetize it, they are profiting from copyright violations that they allow to happen, and are liable to copyright holders for damages.

Basically, the Austrian Court said that if Youtube doesn't STOP copyright violation BEFORE the video is actually published (basically requiring a complete review of all videos to determine if they violate any copyright laws) - then they are guilty of violations the same as the content creator.

This EU law would just be another nail in the coffin of Online Content Creation, especially where commentary and criticism are concerned.