Hot! New EU Law Could Radically Change Everything You Love About the Internet

Last week, the Legislative Committee of the European Union voted on a bill–dubbed the EU Copyright Directive–that could potentially change the internet as we know it for the worse.

According to Gizmodo, much of the legislation has seen widespread approval but two parts–Article 13 and Article 11–could bring radical crackdowns on fair use and the creative side of the internet.

The main problems are that both articles are extremely vague in their wording and they impose sweeping demands on websites to monitor for posted copyright material appearing on their sites.

Article 13, specifically, reverses the previous protections that sites had from copyright penalties when they functioned as only a platform for others to publish. Take YouTube for example, as long as they took necessary steps to take down copyrighted material once notified, they’d not be responsible themselves.

But the difference with a site like YouTube and other sites is that YouTube has millions of dollars to spend on making sure copyrighted material isn’t published on their site, from a legion of humans looking out for it to high tech software to spot it. If the EU law passes though, all websites could be held to the same standard and punished if copyrighted material shows up on their site.

The bill says that “effective content recognition systems” and “appropriate measures” must be taken by platforms to make sure infringed material is not published, but they never specify in clear language what that exactly means. Opponents of the measure say that this requirement and the fact that no exceptions are made for fair use could severely harm freedom of speech and expression on the net.

As for Article 11, also called the “link tax”, it says that websites will have to pay for a license or pay fees to link out to news publishers or use quotes from their stories. The idea is to help support struggling news sites but critics say it is more likely to drown out independent publishers or smaller sites who can’t afford the licesnse–while internet giants like Facebook and Google obviously will.

And if that wasn’t enough, the new law could spell the end for our beloved memes. Sites like Reddit and other social media outlets would be obliged by law to pull down any copyright images with witty captions down.

Read the full story here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Weekly Reload Bonus - Neon 54 casino!