An EU committee has approved two new copyright rules that campaigners warn could destroy the internet as we know it. The two controversial new rules – known as Article 11 and Article 13 – introduce wide-ranging new changes to the way the web works
The implementation of Article 13 would mean that large internet platforms like Facebook and Reddit would need to introduce automated filters that captured copyrighted content uploaded by their users.
Crazily enough, the biggest casualty of this law would be memes. Tech companies would have to scan their site for new content and take down whatever might be copyrighted. Memes use images that are copyrighted and thus could be the first and foremost victims of such legislature.
In a statement Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, said for the Independent: “Article 13 would create a Robo-copyright regime that would zap any image, text, meme or video that appears to include copyright material.
“This would lead to the censorship of completely legal material, including news and campaigning videos, seriously damaging free expression.”
A great explanation from Gizmodo’s article on this insanity:
Article 11 has been variously called the link tax or the snippet tax. Designed to mitigate the power over publishers that Google and Facebook have amassed in the last decade, it codifies a new copyright rule for linking to news organizations and quoting text from their stories. Online platforms will have to pay for a license to link out to news publishers, and this will theoretically help support organizations that are vital for public information and drive users to their homepages.
That all sounds decent in principle, but Article 11 doesn’t bother to even define what constitutes a link. Details will be left to the 28 individual countries in the EU to figure that out. That opens the door for political abuse of how news is spread in each country, and it will likely have the opposite of its intended effect.
Google can afford a license, there’s no guarantee smaller organizations can. Member of European Parliament Julia Reda is firmly opposed to Article 11 and 13. She recently wrote on her website: “Instead of one Europe-wide law, we’d have 28, with the most extreme becoming the de-facto standard: To avoid being sued, international internet platforms would be motivated to comply with the strictest version implemented by any member state.”
Related articles about it:
gizmodo.com/the-end-of-all-thats-good-and-pure-about-the-internet-1826963763 (with great explanations of both articles)
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