Dark day for the internet freedom as the European Parliament on Tuesday finally approved the controversial article 17, formerly known as article 13. A directive that would place heavy restrictions on content sharing.
According to Blog archive, the main purpose of Article 13 is to limit music and videos on streaming platforms, based on a theory of a “value gap” between the profits that platforms make on uploaded works, verses those the copyright holders of those works receive. However, the proposal extends far beyond music, requiring platforms to monitor every type of copyrighted work–text, images, audio, video, and even code. Article 13 would have an impact on just about everything that happens online, threatening freedom of expression, privacy, and the free flow of knowledge on the Internet.
The news has seen thousands of protesters over the weekend took to the streets of Germany marching under the slogan “Save your Internet” to challenge a new European Union copyright law dubbed the “Memeban”.
Thousands have taken to the streets in Germany.
— DW News (@dwnews) March 24, 2019
The articles 4b and 4c contained in Article 13 could bring birth to the feared upload filter. This would lead to tight restrictions of uploads on media-sharing websites like YouTube, Instagram or Twitter. This includes the use and circulation of Memes.
The legislation was adopted with 348 votes in favor and 274 against amid protest.
“The directive aims to enhance rights holders’ chances, notably musicians, performers and script authors, (creatives) as well as news publishers, to negotiate better remuneration deals for the use of their works when these feature on internet platforms,” the Parliament said in notes accompanying the news that the directive has been passed.
More than 5 million people had signed a petition against the law on Change.org, arguing it puts the freedom of the internet in “danger.”
“In a stunning rejection of the will [of] five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety,” said rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a blog post.
This will require Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. to take responsibility for copyrighted content.
“YouTube, Facebook and Google News are some of the internet household names that will be most directly affected by this legislation,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
Youtube while reacting to the new law noted that the Final version of EU copyright directive was an improvement but cautioned against its implementation arguing that it could affect Europe’s creativity and digital economy.
However, there is still hope that the bill could be overturned before adoption into law as it must first be approved by the Council of the European Union. The process requires that at least one key country changes its mind. A vote is scheduled to take place April 9.