Save Your Internet

How does Article 13 affect the Internet?

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Save Your Internet

Photo of person browsing the internet.

Photo of person browsing the internet.

fancycrave1

Photo of person browsing the internet.

fancycrave1

fancycrave1

Photo of person browsing the internet.

Dylan Wilkins, Writer

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#SaveYourInternet is a phrase that you might’ve heard while watching ‘Youtube’ or when viewing your favorite content creator’s story on ‘Instagram’. This viral phrase is worse than it sounds and may change the way content is viewed.

On January 18, 2019, negotiations on the controversial ‘Article 13’ (the new European Union copyright law) had surprising results after members of the European Union couldn’t agree on a united position. Article 13 has been put on a halt after the most recent European Union meeting.

#SaveYourInternet is referencing the European Union’s recent ‘Article 13’. Boiled down, Article 13 states that any website that hosts large amounts of user-generated content, (for example, ‘Youtube’) will be held responsible for removing any content that infringes on copyright. However, it isn’t that simple, no one can agree on how this will be implemented. According to, ‘Videonitch’ 300 hours of video is uploaded to ‘Youtube’ every minute. The issue a majority of people have with Article 13 is that large companies are expected to implement a system which detects copyright and anything that it believes is copyright to be stopped from being uploaded. Many people believe that the system might mess up and prevent non-copyrighted content from uploading.

“The directive would put the legal onus on companies to ensure that copyrighted material was not being uploaded to their sites – including through user posts on sites like Facebook and ‘Youtube’.” Global Policy Director, at Public Knowledge, Gus Rossie said,.

One example of this includes memes. Many fear their precious memes will fall under the copyright policy. However, many members who voted for article 13 state that memes will not be affected. However, those against Article 13 believe, even if unintended, the copyright program mentioned previously will mess up and read memes as a form of copyright.

Article 13 can affect hundreds of jobs around the world. Those who create sports games compilations, may find that their jobs at jeopardy. Since original owners of videos used will not be creating the copyright claims and the program previously mentioned will be, this could create copyright on things that shouldn’t be. This could totally remove song parodies and game commentaries.

CEO of ‘Youtube’, Susan Wojcicki, who is highly vocal about article 13 states, “This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world.”

Article 13 is not the only issue. ‘Article 12a’ could stop anyone who isn’t the official organizer of a sports match from posting any video media of the match onto social media. This might put a stop to viral gifs of players performing their victory dance or scoring the winning touchdown. But with the articles above, it all depends on participating countries views on how to handle them. This might mean the fans won’t be able to post pictures of themselves at the big game. This would limit a person’s social freedom and could cause many issues for those unaware of the legal changes. However, changes to media freedom will all depend on each participating member of the European Union and their take on the new laws.

Axel Voss is one of the backers of the bill, he believes that Article 13 will be terrible to the internet.

“We have agreed a new set of rules that will do exactly the opposite of killing the internet.” Axel Voss, German lawmaker said.

However, he was not exactly certain as to what he voted for. In fact, reporters state that Voss let out a huge sigh when the vote tally flashed inside Parliament.

“I didn’t know that this was in the proposal so far, so of course I have to deal with it now. I do not consider that the commission and council will have this inside the proposal.” Voss, continued.