It's not long until the new EU Copyright Directive will be up for its final vote. In the week of March 25th it could be a point where we see a lot of things begin to change. Like any piece of major EU policy, it has been under discussion for many years and in fact had its areas of controversy resolved a year ago. This was until, German MEP Axel Voss took over as the MDEP of the Directive and thought it would be good reintroducing the long-abandoned idea of forcing all online services to use filters to block users from positing anything that anyone, could claim as their copyrighted work.
As you can imagine there are a lot of deficiencies with adding filters to every online community and big platform so that the idea became political death. This is because small and medium sized businesses explained that you can't fix the EU's internet by imposing costs that only big tech businesses would be able to afford. This would then wipe out all European competition.
Voss quite frankly dismissed all mention of filters from the Directive and went on to argue that he didn't care how online services guaranteed that their users didn't infringe anyone's copyrights, even copyrights in works that had only been created a few moments before and that no one had ever seen. Voss went onto to explain that his feelings are that he didn't care how billions of users content gets checked, just as long as it all got filtered.
In a new interview with Voss he stated that the only way to comply with Article 13 would be for every company to install filters. Just to note, with the UK's current affairs it looks like they possibly might end up remaining in the EU. If this is the case and Article 13 get's accepted in the final vote, then the UK will also be effected. Can you imagine a world where you scroll on Facebook to find the daily pages you like, not showing any content because of these copyright laws? Don't forget about YouTube as well, content creators will get restricted even more than they currently are.
Voss seems to act hyperbolic in his response to a question asked being "whether filters will be sufficient to keep Youtube users from infringing copyright. Voss said that "If the platform's intention is to give people access to copyrighted works, then we have to think about whether that kind of business should exist." Ultimately if Article 13 makes it impossible to have an online platform where the public is allowed to make work available without having to first submit to a legal review, maybe there shouldn't be a place where the public can make works available. It could result in massive complications and many people will be effected. I believe this shouldn't be an issue that we have to deal and because of the Brexit situation in the UK, many citizens don't realize the impact this many cause.
What can you do?
Pledge 2019 - MEPs are extremely interested in the issues this could cause for voters, so make sure to get your MEP to vote against Article 13.
Protest - Two days ahead of the vote on the 23rd there will be protests running in cities and towns in every EU member-state.
Hope that this won't be the end of the internet and content creators.
We will know over the next week what will be the decision on Article 13 so make sure to keep an eye out. We will be making an announcement as soon as we can provide the relevant information. We'd be interested to hear your views on this situation, so make sure to message us on Social Media running up to the vote.