Article 13- The DEATH of the Internet

Memes are dying!

via Jason M.

Memes are dying!

This September the European Parliament voted in favor of article 13, a new law aimed to update copyright laws for the internet. It makes platforms such as Youtube, as well as social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter, responsible for any copyrighted content on their site. The solution is an automated filtration system that would remove anything remotely related to copyrighted content. However, this has sparked a major uproar from people worldwide because this could spell the end to all user-created content, including memes.

Putting it simply, sites such as Youtube are so popular because of the diverse range of content on them, including parodies, remixes, and reviews, but with article 13 passed, Youtube is now responsible for any copyrighted content on their site, not the one who posted it. While Youtube does not wish to limit what can be posted on their site, they do not want to face fines, and therefore have to install a strict filter preventing anything even slightly related to content that is copyright protected. This means no more video game playthroughs/walkthroughs, no more remixing songs, and so much more. This could spell the death for some of the most popular Youtube channels. As for social media, any meme posted which uses an image from a movie, book, tv show, etc, will be taken down. People also worry that using an automated system may cause problems, such as take down posts which did not break copyright rules.

Article 13 was not the only new law passed by the EU this September. With it came Articles 11 and 12. Article 11 is known as the link tax, and while not as infamous as article 13 is, it could create some drastic changes in search engines. Article 11 states that you must pay a “tax” to use someone’s link on your website. Search engines, which sole purpose are to provide numerous amounts of links to the public, will now have to pay every individual website whose link they support. This could mean search engines may start forcing users to pay to use them, or even decrease the number of websites they share. Article 12, which is not as well known as the other two, does not allow people from showing a sports match unless you have permission from the people hosting the match.

These new laws are not being rejected by everyone. Many musicians like Article 13, as it protects their work from being stolen by people and used as their own. Many others also support Article 11, as it protects their content from being misused. Either way, you look at it, these three new laws will have major effects on the internet as we know it.