Europe's Article 13 by Maxim Sindall
In the past month, the EU has agreed on Article 13 and 11, which are pieces of internet regulation that are becoming increasingly controversial. The controversy has sprouted from the internet’s global nature. As the internet is connected worldwide when a major legal authority creates internet regulation it is applied globally. Companies cannot just sector off a jurisdiction with the countries own regulations, as they would be essentially closing their service solely to that one country. This would then restrict communication and interaction with other countries with different regulations. This would create borders, to our currently borderless internet. Therefore, when a powerful legal authority creates a set of regulations, it would need to be mandated globally by all companies.
The articles that are being passed are focusing on copyright law, which hopes to modernize copyright laws for the internet age. The regulation is putting more responsibility on the tech giant’s like Google, for the control of copyrighted material. Until now, The copyright holders have had the responsibility of enforcing their own copyright protection. This regulation would bring responsibility to the platforms instead of the copyright holders. Critics on the regulation argue that it will cause fees for platforms sharing links to the media. Also, they claim, it has threatened the existence of memes which are a strong part of internet culture. Mems are usually funny videos or photos that can talk about issues, history, or sometimes have absolutely no meaning. Memes are in danger as the content usually found includes copyrighted photos, videos, and sounds. The worry is that as companies adopt the policies, memes will have to be systematically taken down as they violate the directives stated. Currently, Article 13 & 11 still need to go through a series of steps where it will be further revised and potentially changed. For now, the direction of the new directive is still unknown and if passed could change the internet forever.