ON SEPTEMBER 12, The European Parliament passed a new copyright directive, Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Article 13), but most of you probably haven't heard about the repercussions that will come from it.
Article 13 was initially posed as being a directive that will help smaller musicians, artists and content creators receive a fair wage for their work being used online, which is fair. However, not only does this article threaten the income of these people but it threatens what we will be allowed to share, view, and create.
We, the Millennial generation, grew up with new emerging technologies and quickly turned to new means of entertainment outside of television. An example of this is YouTube. Fewer and fewer people are watching television and are instead choosing to watch more shows online. In the past 10 years, YouTube has become a source to watch endless amounts of content, the three recent docu-series' made by YouTube sensation Shane Dawson raked in more than 200 million views combined, for example. Each video he has put out in the past few months has averaged around 13-22 millions views, that's more than what most TV shows take in, so it's easy to see that online is the way forward, well, was the way forward.
You might ask:
“What does this have to do with YouTube? How will this hurt us?”.
I’ll tell you how
Article 13 will make it that any content made within the EU, whether it be a YouTube video, a meme on social media or a song cover will need to be screened.
Again you might ask
"what does this have to do with me?"
Here's what will happen, if you can't prove the content you upload to the internet is 100% made by you or that you have permission from the person that made the content it will be blocked. An example of this is if you are going to do a song cover, you will need permission by the record label and possibly the original artist before you can post it. YouTubers who live inside the EU will no longer be allowed to reach their core audience if not everything featured in that video is theirs. If creators outside the EU do not have the proper permission to use visuals and intro and outro songs on videos, their videos may be blocked as well. This doesn't stop with YouTube though - Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Reddit and all other social media platforms will need to implement these algorithms.
Although the Irish government approved the article there is still a way to stop it. Twitter users and YouTube themselves have began using the #SaveYourInternet to let MEP’s know that this will do more harm than good. People have also recommended calling your local TD to let them know that you don't support the article. The last resort will be to start using Virtual Private Network or VPN’s. Article 13 is due to come into effect in January 2019. This is not something that will merely go away. This will affect us all.