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Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive: the future of the internet will be dark and closed

Today the European Union took up the controversial Article 13 for discussion and voting that deals with copyright content. This will become a law in every member countries when the members vote on it. This article will make online platforms responsible for uploading copyrighted content, like music and films.

Copyright rules for Digital Space

The initiative was taken in 2001 to make copyright laws fit for the digital space. An attempt to make the sharing of content like television programs, movies, music in line with the copyright rules. This will bring into the most popular platforms into ambit: YouTube, Soundcloud, DailyMotion.

Shifting the burden of copyright

The Article 13 makes these platforms accountable to copyrighted content. However, these platforms can publish copyrighted content after getting the permission from the owners or creators. They cannot publish any copyrighted material, if they by error publish any copyrighted material, those should be removed as soon as possible when brought to notice.

Algorithms to decide the copyrighted content

Google has criticized the move. This will prevent any fresh content from being uploaded. It is also impossible for anyone to get licenses for every content that is uploaded. However, there is a content ID for all the content that is uploaded, which determines if the matter is copyrighted or not. However, this is welcome feat, but will prove to be expensive for small publishers. There is also a danger of algorithms misinterpreting the content and could block and legally approved content. 

Costlier Content

The responsibility of shifting the burden of protecting the copyright from the owners/creators to the platforms. Many music performers and content creators have welcomed the move as they will be remunerated adequately for every time their content is played. Now that websites will be required to pay for any link that contains copyrighted content.

Increased complexities

One line games is one example of complexity of the matter. Any game creator who shares the game on gameplay services such Twitch and YouTube shows how complex the copyright issue could be. A video game has various copyrights, code copyright, music copyright, dialog copyright, graphics copyright.  Now the game creator must put his copyright of the game and the studio copyright where the game was created.

Exemptions..at last!

However, there are long list of exemptions. Memes that use music, and movie clips are exempt from the article. Alongside, any profit encyclopedia, open source software platforms, cloud storage services, online market places and many more.

Internet for all.. alas no more

This action of passing the article 13 will restrict much content that used to be freely enjoyed and shared. Tim Barnes Lee creator of Internet also criticized the move as he did not create the internet for a few but for all. This move will defeat his very intent of creation and make the Internet a dark, closed and restricted.


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