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Article 13: What is it, and should I be worried?

by Gemma Bend

Earlier this week, the EU voted in favour of Article 13, a new, comprehensive, copyright directive, requiring companies to prevent the uploading of copyrighted content on their platforms, unless they get a licence to do so from the copyright owners.

The EU has given it’s member states 2 years to implement their own version of this law in their own governments, and to say it’s been controversial is an understatement.

The EU says the law is being put in place to stop the content hosts (think Youtube et al) from making money from other people’s content, without feeding profit back to the original content creators. Essentially, they’re making the big platforms legally responsible for hosting any copyrighted material.

How will they do this? Through upload filters. These upload filters will essentially scan all the content and stop anything that contains copyrighted content from being uploaded. Problem is, these filters aren’t always accurate, and the ones that are in place already, make mistakes regularly. So, by enhancing what they need to search for, there’s a worry that loads of content will be banned by mistake. There are tons of types of content that are allowed, even though they’re copyrighted. For example, if I post a snippet of a film into a video film review, that’s ok. If I post the film for people to just stream for free off my channel, that’s not ok.

So, does this only affect the big US firms? In short, no. That’s another reason Article 13 has its critics. It leaves smaller content hosting platforms with less bartering power to gain licenses from big content creators (like record labels, for example).

Confused? Don’t be. The Wired have put together a really handy video explaining Article 13 really simply.

If you want to talk about your video content, or how Article 13 could affect you, get in touch.