• Chantal Porter

Article 13-Copyright Law Debate has finally ended

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Article 13 has passed and the internet is now in a frenzy. A debate which started in 2016 according to the EU has now come to a final decision.

What is Article 13?

Article 13 is aimed at regulating the sharing of property on the internet. It focuses on holding stakeholders on the internet to similar copyright laws that govern traditional sources of information. According the EU "If the member states accept the text adopted by the European Parliament, it will take effect after publication in the official journal and then member states will have 2 years to implement it." It is expected that internet giants such as Youtube, Google News, Facebook etc will now have to focus on regulating the content that their users upload.

According to the EU's press release, internet users will still be free to express themselves as they do not intend on infringing on freedom of expression. One of the major issues that probably led to the passing of article 13 is the remuneration or lack thereof that property owners receive for the use of their materials. Since it's passing, tech giants have been frantic about the possible financial impact on their businesses.

The copyright law requires that internet companies are held accountable for all material uploaded to their platforms. This means that will now have to remove and report anything that violates the copyright law. To effectively monitor copyright, new systems will have to be employed as well. Presently, internet giants are expressing their concern about the costs associated with the directive and the overall implementation process.

To comply with the newly implemented copyright law as well tech giants will have to be open to discussing remuneration packages with property owners. Overall, the rights of Creatives are set to be better protected as they will also have the opportunity to negotiate costs on their terms.

So what does this mean for regular internet users?

Ultimately, a few practices that were etched into the framework of the internet will remain untouched while others will experience a revolutionary change. Based on the press release the following is set to happen:

  • The sharing of snippets will not be regulated under the new law however the EU warns against attempts at abusing this privilege.

  • Some online platforms (for eg. Wikipedia) will be exempt from this law. Startups will not face the same degree of stringency as their more established counterparts.

  • Materials used for learning and non- purposes will also be exempt from the copyright law to protect cultural heritage.

Article 13 represents a new era for Journalists, Artists, Authors and other individuals. Fair licensing agreements will now be apart of the conversation to protect the interests of these property owners.

Presently, internet stakeholders are not held responsible for the content that their users upload. Based on this major factor, they had no interest in speaking on copyright issues prior. This approach will be changed once this copyright law is fully implemented. Already, an article 13 petition has already been initiated by those who are against this copyright law. Nevertheless, the EU's Article 13 seems to be geared at curating a safer space for internet users and providing a fair environment for stakeholders and creatives alike.

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." - Amelia Earhart

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