The European Union is up to shenanigans yet again. This time they're trying to kill your internet. Articles 11 and 13 of their newly drafted Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market would force any website that enables users to upload content for public consumption to implement costly, draconian content recognition algorithms that would preemptively filter out content that could be claimed by content creators including works covered under Fair Use and make those websites pay for the privilege to link to content.
In English, Please!
Digital content is currently regulated by a legal doctrine called Fair Use, which enables the use of others' content for transformative purposes, either for the purposes of commentary and criticism or satire. In the United States, this is codified by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act(DMCA); websites operating out of the United States have to comply with these standards if they host content or risk potential lawsuit.
With over half a billion people in the EU, many of whom are users of US-based sites like Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, however, the EU's new digital copyright rules could become the new standard if action is not taken to stop it. The new measures would call for websites that host content to use available filtering algorithms to block content that is potentially in violation of copyright laws preemptively regardless of fair use. This has the potential to not only crash the meme market but also anything that could be shared online, even the very hyperlink system upon which the internet is based. It would enable news publishers to charge search engines for the right to show their articles for up to a year after publication and that this would extend to the smallest extracts of text according to EDiMA, a trade association that represents internet industries in Europe.
Save Your Internet
On June 20, members of the EU parliament are slated to vote on the new rules. Citizens of the EU can contact their MEP regarding this and use #SaveYourInternet and #DeleteArt13 to spread awareness.
For more information, visit saveyourinternet.eu.