A New EU Law Could Ban Memes

A New EU Law Could Ban Memes

Adrian Ojeda, Staff Writer

The European Union is trying to pass a law named Article 13, that will ban content on multiple platforms that they think is stolen or copyrighted material. Article 13 will work as a filter and will force big platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Snap chat, etc, to take down content that they think is stolen or copyrighted. Content that can possibly be taken down from Article 13 are memes, music, parodies, music parodies, commentary videos, reaction videos, game play commentaries, game play videos, and more.

Instead of taking down copyrighted content, it takes down content that uses copyrighted material but under the Fair Use Act. The fair Use act is where people can use copyrighted material as long as they aren’t making a word for word copy of the material or just straight up steal it. But The European Union does not support The Fair Use Act. Article 13 will be decided on January 24th, 2019. Article 13 will only affect all of the countries in The European Union. But as a web user in The United States or any other country outside or inside The European Union, content that has been blocked by Article 13 will not be accessible to anyone from anywhere.

Just like the cons of article 13, there’s plenty pros as well. Article 13 is supposed to protect content creators. This means if someone stole another creators content, the filter will take it down.  Another benefit would be that article 13 will increase the security of big platforms, assuming that their security isn’t already decent by itself. Article 13 will also give more fame and popularity to artists due to other creators being taken down for allegedly stealing their content.

Not only users of big platforms are complaining, but owners of big platforms have complained about Article 13 as well. “Could have serious, unintended consequences for an open and creative internet” – Mark Zuckerberg (owner of Facebook). “Poses a threat to creators’ livelihoods and all of our ability to upload videos to share our voices with the world” – Susan Wojcicki CEO of YouTube. Also, 7th grader here at Dana, Angelina Schmitt thinks that article 13 is unfair. She says “I would say that it isn’t very fair to content creators because a lot of them put hard work and effort into their work.”

Article 13 will also potentially affect music and competition between big websites. Parodies of music and other pieces of music that have used material that The European Union thinks is stolen or copyrighted will be taken down or blocked. Article 13 will affect competition because smaller platforms that have been made in The European Union will have content taken down without any notice because the filter does not notify them. Article 13 can’t use their filter on larger platforms because they aren’t based in the European Union so instead they force them to take down the content they think is copyrighted. And if the larger platform does not comply then they will take them to court.

Finally, Article 13 will harm people’s careers. For example if someone in the European Union were to upload content that does not comply with article 13, the content will be taken down/blocked. When this happens, all the revenue made from that content will not be given to the creator. This can lead to content creators losing their jobs because so much of their content does not abide by article 13.