Memes, remixes, and other user-generated content may disappear online, if the EU’s new copyright rules become law, warn experts.
Digital rights groups have launched a campaign against the Directive on the right of the author, that the European Parliament will vote at the end of the month.
The legislation aims to protect the holders of rights in the age of the internet.
But critics say that misunderstands the way people interact with the web content and the risk of excessive censorship.
The copyright Directive is an attempt to reshape the copyright on the internet, in particular the rebalancing of the relationship between rights holders and online platforms.
Article 13 provides that platform providers should “take measures to ensure the operation of the agreements entered into with the rights holders for the use of their works”.
The criticism is to say that, in fact, requires all internet platforms to filter all the content put online by users, which many believe would be an excessive restriction of the freedom of speech.
There is also concern that the proposals are based on algorithms that will be programmed to “play it safe” and eliminate everything that creates a risk to the platform.
A campaign against the Article 13 – Copyright 4 Creativity – said that the proposals could “destroy the internet as we know it”.
“If the Article 13 of the Directive on the right of the author to be adopted, impose widespread censorship of all content that you share online,” he said.
You are inviting users to write to their CONGRESSMAN on the eve of the vote on June 20.
Jim Killock, executive director of the UNITED kingdom’s Open Rights Group, told the BBC: “Article 13 is to create a” Robo-copyright regime, where the machines zap anything that they identify as infringing the copyright rules, despite the prohibitions of the law that require a general monitoring ” of users to protect their privacy.
“Unfortunately, while the machines can detect duplicate uploads of Beyonce songs, can’t spot the parodies, understand memes that use copyrighted images, or do any kind of cultural judgement on what creative people are doing. We see this too often on YouTube already.
“In addition, the EU wants to apply the Robocop approach of extremism, hatred, and anything else you can think of to get away with it, once put in place, for copyright. This would be disastrous.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and 56 other rights organisations sent an open letter to the European legislature in the month of October outlining their concerns in relation to Article 13.
“The article 13, it seems to lead to such legal uncertainty that the online services will have no other alternative but to monitor, filter and block the citizens of the EU communication if they are to have any chance of staying in business,” the reading.