The European Parliament has approved a controversial copyright law that threatens to ‘destroy the internet’, according to the digital rights group.
- The Copyright Directive intends to update copyright for the internet age. It also hands more power to companies to block their copyrighted content online.
- But this also includes user-generated content, such as online memes, that include copyrighted material.
Critics fear the legislation being brewed up in Brussels could stop people from sharing images or videos that have been altered or edited.
The laws would force Google, Microsoft and other to pay publishers for displacing snippets of news stories, which would effectively forbid EU citizens from sharing articles. This could also affect other online platforms like YouTube, Instagram and GitHub to install filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted material. This could prevent people from uploading remixes, memes, parodies and even links to articles on news sites.
HAS THE EU KILLED MEMES? HOW DO ARTICLE 13 AND 11 CHANGE COPYRIGHT LAW?
First of all, let us understand what is article 13 and 11.
What is article 13?
Article 13 of the revised EU Copyright Directive could affect memes and music remixes shared online.
This portion of legislation puts the onus of policing for copyright infringement on the websites themselves.
Until now, online companies have not been subject to copyright penalties when the user on their platform uploaded something that violates copyright.
However, that will be changed under Article 13. Online social media like Facebook with 2.19 billion active users share a copyrighted image without the correct permission from the rights holder.
But Facebook has funds to build a system that would automatically scan the copyrighted images but the problem with small sites is that they do not have funds to develop such system.
It’s exactly unclear what content should be posted and what not. But critics are sure that it makes no exception for fair use – which previously allowed people to remix and mashup copyrighted songs, or use short video clips from movies.
What is Article 11?
Article 11 in copyright Directive has been nicknamed the ‘snippet tax’.
It aims to limit the power that technology giants like Google and Facebook hold over publishers, whose work is protected under copyright law. Online platforms will have to pay for a license to link to news publishers when quoting portions of text from these outlets. This will support publishers to drive some web traffic towards them.
But while Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook will undoubtedly be able to afford a license, smaller firms may not.
The changes could outlaw small news aggregators, which pull-in articles from a variety of sources online.
It’s still unclear how large tornado this law will create. What do you folks think about this decision? Let us know in the comment.