Article 13 – The Meme Killer

Internet is no more a luxury but a necessity. The dependency on this modern-day way of life has increased manifolds over the last decade. Some use it to make a living, some use it for their own entertainment and some use it to convey their opinion on a certain topic. Unfortunately, the EU wants to take total control of the internet and they are planning to do so through Article 13.

For the ease of all, I would like to address a few questions to give a clarity to readers.

What is Article 13?

Well it is  part of the European Domain on copyright in the Digital Single Market. Article 13 will help avoid copyright claims. However, to do so the companies such as ‘YouTube’, ‘Facebook’, ‘twitter’ etc… will all need to apply filters which will detect any copyright material and stop it from uploading.

How is this bad?

Article 13 being in its embryonic state has a far way to go to reach maturity. The impact on users during this phase would be to deprive many, of material which aids them in earning their livelihood; parodies, music remixes and even a gif relating to a movie will be blocked, which is the current case.

This will be achieved through filters, i.e. an algorithm which is programmed to just detect any copyright content which unfortunately includes memes because a bot doesn’t understand context. “It’s very hard to make these tools identifying content, because they can’t identify context, and so they make decisions that are likely to be bad,” says Jim Killock at the Open Rights Group, a UK digital rights campaign group.

Is there a positive to this?

There is somewhat of a good intention here which is to ensure artists and producers receive fair payment for their work by putting an end to pirated music and videos.

Is there hope for anyone in the EU?

Since the European council has voted for Article 13, it is now up to the individual member states to turn the new rules into national law. Which means there is still hope for us as some states might interpret the rules a little bit more leniently than others. I personally think that this is a good change if the filter somehow only removes actual copyright content.

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