The End of the Internet is Nigh! Well, that’s what some content creators and commentators would have you believe.

- Article 13

The End of the Internet is Nigh! Well, that’s what some content creators and commentators would have you believe. It would be this point where we would insert an image of Homer Simpson shaking a bell with an advertising board stating the same message.

However, the EU has backed the controversial copyright law, that some are saying could change the nature of the internet and destroy user creator content.

The new rules mean that technology companies will be held responsible for material posted without proper copyright permission.

The EU Copyright Directive was backed by MPs and the two clauses that are causing the most concern for critics are Article 11 (link tax) & more notably article 13 (upload filter).

Article 11 states that “search engines and news aggregate platforms should pay to use links from news websites.” Article 13 will hold “larger technology companies responsible for material posted without a copyright licence.”

Despite many memes and GIFs using copyrighted material, thankfully, the EU Parliament has made tweaks to the law making memes ‘safe for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche’. However, it is unclear how tech firms will be able to enforce a blanket filter.

What is Article 13?

Article 13 states that content sharing services must license copyright-protected material for the rights holders. In the event where the license cannot be obtained the service in which the content was posted will be held liable unless it can demonstrate that:

  • It has made its ‘best-efforts’ to get permission from the copyright holder
  • It has made its ‘best-efforts’ to ensure that the material specified by rights holders were not made available
  • It has acted ‘quickly’ to remove the material in question of which it was made aware of

The rules apply to services that have been active in the EU for more than three years or have an annual turnover of more than €10 million.

What does Article 13 mean for the Internet?

In order to enforce this, internet platforms may be forced to upload filters to evaluate anything which goes online. Sites such as YouTube and Facebook already have copyright filters in place and have spent years and substantial amounts of money on developing their technology. However, despite their investments, they still haven’t been able to find a foolproof method of preventing content that shouldn’t be there from surfacing online.

What are the Concerns?

This new EU Directive has been dubbed the death of the meme and while this may seem dramatic it might just be that. It is the platform that will be responsible and not the user who uploads it. The likelihood of this is although Article 13 doesn’t specifically force companies to use a filter on what their users are uploading, ultimately many experts believe they will be left with no choice.

Another concern is that algorithms make mistakes and might take down legitimate used content. So even if memes and GIFs are excluded from the new laws, there may and probably will be cases where they might be rejected.

Who does the Affect?

Not to blunt but everyone! Whether you’re a content sharer as part of recreation or as part of your occupation, the new rules will limit what you can and can’t post online.

Article 13 is causing the biggest concerns for YouTubers, Vloggers and Twitch streamers who heavily rely on copyrighted material as part of their content. For example, when a gamer creates and posts a video of him gaming to YouTube the video itself is the copyright of the gamer as well as the video game studio who created the game. So, in this scenario, the video would need to be authorised by both parties before it can go online.

Do You Need Help with Article 13?

If you’d like to know more about Article 13 and what it could mean for you, speak to Netbiz Group today. We’re one of the leading online authorities in the Midlands shedding light on some of the biggest tech news as well as providing a range of services such as Web Design, Web Hosting SEO and Social Media Marketing.

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