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Article 13: A guide to the new EU copyright rules and the ban on memes

The objections to Article 11 are less vocal, but they’re out there nonetheless. It’s unclear what exactly would have to be licensed (snippets? headlines? links themselves?) so the jury is out on how much of an impact it might have. Many members of the European Parliament also support the overhaul of EU copyright law. However, the controversial draft of the directive was finalized on February 13, 2019. To this day, even with the meme ban never occurring, a quick internet search for Article 13 yields several negative responses and old content from 2019. In 2019, nearly 5 million individuals signed a petition to stop draft Article 13, started by, and became one of the largest petitions in EU history.

  1. Draft Article 13 caused controversy because its initial phrasing implied that the responsibility for ensuring copyright compliance fell on the service and not the content creators.
  2. Many members of the European Parliament also support the overhaul of EU copyright law.
  3. On May 23, the Polish Prime Minister’s office announced it would bring a court case against Article 13 to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  4. It’s an already unpopular system due to its propensity for false positives and abuse, and this would be heightened if potentially infringing videos could not be uploaded at all.
  5. Certain services are exempted, including non-profit encyclopaedias like Wikipedia, software development platforms like Github, and cloud storage services.

The European Union has passed a wide-reaching update to copyright laws, the first since 2001. Most of the changes in the EU Copyright Directive are uncontroversial, setting out how copyright contracts are managed and licensed, but Article 13 could have a huge impact on how material is shared online. Put simply, it makes websites responsible for ensuring that content uploaded to their platforms doesn’t breach copyright. The updates will become law once member states enshrine the rules in legislation in their own countries.

Who’s in favor of the directive?

The Max Planck Institute, a nonprofit group, notes that Article 13 could threaten freedom of expression and information as enshrined in the European Charter of Human Rights. An organized campaign against Article 13 warns that it’d affect everything from memes to code, remixes to livestreaming. Almost 400,000 people have so far signed a petition against the provision. In a letter addressed to the president of the EP, Antonio Tajani, around 70 internet luminaries, including Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, expressed their concern that the provision could cause “substantial harm” to the internet. YouTube already uses such a system — called Content ID — to protect copyright infringement, but the technology to do this is extremely expensive and has taken over 11 years to build and refine.

What’s Article 11?

The European Copyright Directive has been years in the making, and on Tuesday, March 26, the European Parliament is due to vote on the final version of it. Many people interpreted it to mean that snippets and images from a news story are still subject to the link tax, including big names like Google. Draft Article 13 caused controversy because its initial phrasing implied that the responsibility for ensuring copyright compliance fell on the service and not the content creators. It will now be up to the EU’s member states to enact Article 13 and the Copyright Directive.

There are fears it could outlaw news aggregators as we know them or even prevent any sites other than giants like Google, which could afford a license, from linking to articles at all. The EU Copyright Directive — or to give its full name, the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market — is Europe’s attempt to harmonize copyright laws across all member states. On June 20, 2018, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee voted to approve the draft legislation, but then a couple of weeks later, on July 5, the Parliament as a whole rejected the measure. That was hardly the end of the matter, and the individual EU institutions followed up with their own input.

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It is platform owners rather than internet users who bear the brunt of these new rules, but they may spell the end of some of your favourite content-sharing websites. If you own a website or a forum in which people can post text, images or video clips, you will be responsible for ensuring no unlicensed material appears. Article 13 was part of a draft of a European copyright directive and required platforms that host user-generated content to have measures in place to prevent their users from violating copyright laws, sparking controversy.

Outside the political sphere, some musicians also voiced support for the Directive, like James Blunt, who uploaded a video expressing why he advocates for Article 13. Mass monitoring of that scale necessitates automation, likely in the form of upload filters. It was introduced to the public in the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Copyright Directive), a comprehensive copyright and licensing directive that sets overarching standards for the European Union (EU).

What is Article 13 and what does it have written in it?

Users say the rules risk killing off vibrant internet culture, such as memes, which often repurpose unlicensed material. And the legal status of streamers, who post videos of themselves playing video games online, is in question. How much of an article has to be shared before a platform has to pay the publisher? The Directive on Copyright would make online platforms and aggregator 255+ best day trading signals groups on telegram sites liable for copyright infringements, and supposedly direct more revenue from tech giants towards artists and journalists. Others question whether the problem of copyright infringement is serious enough to require such sweeping legislation. For certain, tech companies going into business in Europe will have to negotiate an extra layer of regulation which didn’t exist before.

Along with the ePrivacy Directive, people saw both as attempts to protect the public rather than corporate interests. But due to the edits to the final Copyright Directive, such worries subsided and no mass monitoring needed to be implemented. Although the Article 13 vote has been passed by the European Parliament, this doesn’t mean its provisions take place straight away. The Directive on Copyright has gained vocal critics on both sides of the debate, but you can broadly chunk up defenders and detractors into two categories.

Boiled down, all this article is saying is that any websites that host large amounts of user-generated content (think YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) are responsible for taking down that content if it infringes on copyright. Currently, platforms such as YouTube aren’t responsible for copyright violations, although they must remove that content when directed to do so by the rights holders. It’s become known by the most controversial segment, Article 13, which critics claim will have a detrimental impact on creators online. For nearly a decade, content on Reddit was largely unchecked and unmoderated by the company at large.

An additional level of approval can be denoted with Reddit awards, which come in various denominations and are available for purchase; a certain number are included with Premium subscriptions. All forums have the same general structure, but moderators can add specific icons, banners, and “flair” that can be used within the forum. Flair are tags that appear after a username—for example, a label that allows a person in a fitness forum to indicate that they are a weightlifter, yogi, cyclist, runner, etc. A user can view recent posts in all of the subreddits that they have joined in their home page feed. Reddit is an online social media forum where users share news stories and other content. Reddit was launched in 2005 by American entrepreneurs Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian; it became a publicly held company in 2024.