Back to main page

The EU Copyright Directive

In 2016, the European Union started working on a new copyright directive to be more applicable to new technology. Their last reform of copyright was in 2001, and they believe they need another. More information is available on Wikipedia.

Article 11-13

The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was largely uncontroversial, until they added aricles 11 and 13. These articles are poorly written, and are unclear what it means and how they will be enforced. Article 11 forces "news sites" give a paid license to people who want to quote more than one word from the article while linking to it. Most links have more than one word in itself, so this effectively is a "link tax". Under article 11, to link to a news websites, you would have to obtain a paid license from them.

Article 13 (often called either "Censorship Machine" or "Meme Ban") holds all but the smallest websites responsible for the copyrighted content posted by its users. It allows for other methods of keeping copyright content off, but this would effectively require most websites to compare all user content before it is posted against a database of copyrighted material. Anyone can add to these databases, even if they are not the copyright holder, or even if the material is not copyrighted.

YouTube uses its own copyrighted material censorship algorithm. There are many example of why it does not work effectively, and produces many false alarms. For example, one person had his video of 10 hours of static -- which he made himself -- caught by the filters. With over five copyright claims all demanding money from the advertissments displayed.

Further Resources

These are some links to other useful reading on the subject, and copyright in general.