Normally I would have very little interest in politics or posting anything about EU legislation on this website but Article 13 is different and it affects EVERYONE.
Article 13 is a crazy bit of EU legislation that for some reason the UK media and pretty much everyone else has let slide under the radar. But make no mistake folks. This is HUGE! This fundamentally affects the way all of us use the internet.
In a nutshell EVERY video or graphic you upload to your social media will be blocked within the EU unless you can prove you have copyright to the content. So no more sharing images, memes, humorous video clips etc unless you can prove it is your own content, created by you and does not infringe on anyone else’s copyright. Let that sink in for a moment!
There will be no more videos of people doing covers of popular songs, no more tutorials using popular media as examples. No more ANYTHING unless you have created it or you have permission from the copyright holder for every single thing that appears in your content.
Even more disturbing is that anything you have already uploaded will very likely be removed and the reason for that is easy to see. Article 13 makes companies like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram responsible for any copyright infringement taking place on their platforms. It is understandable then why they are not going to take any chances with existing material let alone any new uploads.
Ok you say, just make sure you only upload content you have created yourself right? Should be no issues then. Unfortunately that is not how Article 13 works. Even if everything in the video you create is your own or the image you upload has been drawn, painted, photographed by you…YOU still need to prove it! Have a think about that. How are you going to prove that everything in your content was actually created by you?
The goal behind Article 13 is laudable. To make sure copyright holders receive payment for their work. I think we would all agree with that right? However in typical EU fashion this legislation has used the “sledgehammer to crack a nut” methodology and in protecting copyright holders it also pretty much destroys the platforms on which they could make a living. It has been badly written and ill thought out. What makes this even more egregious is none of us voted for any of the people put in charge of drafting this legislation and all the people it negatively affects, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and us, the content creators were completely ignored when our input was asked for.
There IS still time to do something about Article 13. It has yet to be ratified by all the 27 member states of the EU but if we don’t do something now it could become law within two years and then the internet we all love…even with it’s flaws will no longer exist. Many of your favourite YouTubers will be no more and the channels we all enjoy will be gone for good.
You can voice your opposition to Article 13 here on the petition ‘Stop the censorship-machinery! Save the Internet!‘ which currently has over three and half million signatures.
If we continue to sit idly by and let legislation like Article 13 go unopposed we will have no one to blame for the consequences but ourselves.
For more discussion on Article 13 and how it affects you please visit our forum.