**Update: European Parliament has passed the “Creativity Killer Law” aka EU Copyright Directive.
What is the EU Copyright Directive?
The EU Copyright Directive is probably the most controversial law the EU Parliament has ever voted to approve.
The new directive, while being created with the sole objective of revamping copyright laws, introduces a few points that’ve sent every netizen running for the hills in fear for their privacy.
While the law is controversial, to say the least, two particular articles included in the directive have invited a fury of backlash from the digital population. Article 11 dubbed the “Link Tax” and Article 13 dubbed the “Upload Filter” by the community can effectively change the way the internet is used.
If you are not a journalist or have any work related to press publications you can skip to Article 13
Article 11 “Link Tax”
Bad news for bloggers using snippets of publications for reference! Article 11 of the EU Directive requires bloggers or researchers to pay a tax for using snippets on their blogs without permission from the actual content owner or creator. No more just citing the sources or giving backlinks.
Article 13 “Upload Filter” & Privacy Concerns
Article 13 targets web-based platforms that host large amounts of user-generated and uploaded content, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, 9gag, and the likes. The new Directive makes it mandatory for these platforms to filter and monitor everything uploaded on them and prevent copyright infringement. The platforms might also be asked to monitor user behavior along with the content being uploaded on them.
The EU Copyright Directive Might Kill Internet Freedom!
The MEME KILLER!
At the moment, the meme community is in an uproar because this directive will effectively kill the entire meme ecosystem. The content being used in memes will easily be classified as copyrighted, taking the meme community, political satire, and basic fun down with it.
This is not just speculation, the Directive has actually been called the “ban meme” movement.
Besides the ban meme movement, several independent content hubs might come under fire as well, such as:
- Facebook Pages that are built around a niche or a sports
- Instagram communities that curate content as a bouquet
- Youtube channels that show reaction videos or movie trailers or quite possibly even funny cat video compilations will be TAKEN DOWN!
- Facebook Pages that are built around a niche or a sports
Reddit will get CENSORED in the EU
Reddit’s best part is the copyrighted content being shared and discussed. However, under the new EU Directive, Reddit will face huge fines that it just cannot pay or else Reddit will face censorship in the EU to the tune of being completely blocked.
The EU Copyright Directive will impact Reddit in the worse way. Reddit is our playground. It’s a place we all go to laugh, learn and communicate with our fellow netizens and here we are right now talking about losing access to Reddit in the EU because of the Copyright Directive.
Fan Pages on Facebook will get closed!
We love getting curated content on our favorite sports teams and other interests in our Facebook streams. All such pages will be subjected to the censorship that is outlined in this directive, which will result in blockage or removal of these fan pages!
No more beautiful covers on YouTube!
So many of us discovered amazing artists on YouTube via their covers of popular songs. This was okay under the “Fair Use” policy of YouTube. The artists that we have grown to adore and love will be CENSORED under this directive.
Reaction Videos would be gone!
Because reaction videos are based on copyrighted content, in most cases they will be targeted by the EU Copyright Directive and will also be censored and blocked. These are the videos that made us laugh and relate to other people – it became a part of our global culture and was a byproduct of human collaboration…and it’s not at risk at just being….CENSORED…, it just might get killed!
Some of our favorite content is on websites like Reddit, YouTube, Imgur and Twitter by net celebrities that have been part of our lives since we first started using the internet. It’s devastating to know that this content might get censored under this directive.
Basically, any content that is considered to be owned by someone else even while being used under the “Fair Use” policy provided by YouTube would face the mighty CENSOR-Hammer!
This might be the worst part of it all. Every content hub that allows user-generated content (pretty much all the ones we love fall under this category) will have to monitor their user’s every move. It’s only logical to think that they will deploy some sort of surveillance technology to accomplish this. This is behavior monitoring at it’s worst!
Not to mention that even if big tech giants deploy such surveillance systems, the small, crowd-powered content hubs won’t be able to deploy them and would eventually have to shut down!
The surveillance and monitoring mentioned in this directive are AUTONOMOUS – this means that the system that will be monitoring you with a bunch of autonomous bots that will follow YOUR activities and take actions on their own.
Italian Wikipedia down for protest against EU Copyright Directive – Source
The proposal has already met with the firm disapproval of over 70 computer scientists, including web creator Tim Berners-Lee ( here ), 169 academics ( here ), 145 organizations working in the fields of human rights, freedom of the press, scientific research and the computer industry ( here ) and the Wikimedia Foundation ( here ).
For these reasons, the Italian Wikipedia community has decided to obscure all encyclopedia pages. We want to be able to continue to offer a free, open, collaborative encyclopedia with verifiable content. We therefore ask all Members of the European Parliament to reject the current text of the directive and to reopen the debate by examining the many proposals of the Wikimedia associations, starting with the abolition of Articles 11 and 13, as well as the extension of the freedom of panorama to the whole EU and the protection of the public domain .
Google shuts down in SPAIN because of this LAW – SOURCE
It’s a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain. It’s free to use and includes everything from the world’s biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers. Publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News — and the vast majority choose to be included for a very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues.
But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.
Reddit concerned over it’s accessibility in EU after the approved directive – SOURCE
UPDATE 9/12/18: Unfortunately the vote didn’t go our way, with both Articles 11 and 13 passing. We’re going to have to assess what this means for Reddit and determine what next steps might be. While this isn’t the result that we hoped for, I’d still like to thank all the redditors who contacted their MEPs about this. We’ll keep you updated about what comes next. For those interested in the details of how individual party blocks and MEPs voted, Julia Reda has more details here.