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EU’s disastrous Copyright Reform bill approved (Page 2 of 2)

20th June 2018

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Updated 14th February 2019

And with the final version of Article 13 agreed after three days of talk in France we find out more about the particulars:

What is Article 13? The EU’s copyright directive explained (

Article 13 says content-sharing services must license copyright-protected material from the rights holders.

If that is not possible and material is posted on the service, the company may be held liable unless it can demonstrate:

  • it made “best efforts” to get permission from the copyright holder
  • it made “best efforts” to ensure that material specified by rights holders was not made available
  • it acted quickly to remove any infringing material of which it was made aware

And applicable to services that have been available in the EU for more than three years, or have an annual turnover of more than €10m (£8.8m, $11.2m), but perhaps soothing some meme-producing nerves by stating:

Article 13 says it shall “in no way affect legitimate uses” and people will be allowed to use bits of copyright-protected material for the purpose of criticism, review, parody and pastiche.

But then again it may be that what are indeed “legitimate uses” be itself put in quatation marks and it be easier to imagine GoogleTube et al. may just take a less nuanced safe playing view of content with little actual consideration of whether its use is “criticism, review, parody and pastiche” and, indeed, perhaps protestations from Google too that it could “change the web as we know it” may, like the EU’s “cookie consent” GDPR could still benefit their dominance being one of the few able to pick of the cost for the constant monitoring (Latest Picks 21st Jan. 2019):

YouTube already has its Content ID system, which can detect copyright-protected music and videos and block them. But critics say developing and implementing this type of filter would be too expensive for small companies or start-ups.

With German MEP Julia Reda—a member of the most unfortunately named when it comes to defending against potential plundering of content cargo Pirate Party of Germany—suggesting that services would have to “buy licences for anything that users may possibly upload”.

And while they tentatively wait to see if Blighty can actually get its finger out of its patriotic balloon knot over Brexit the European Parliament approved today its copyright overhaul:

Europe’s controversial new copyright law is as clear as mud (

One section of the new copyright law—commonly known as Article 13—is particularly controversial. In the final version, it became Article 17.

The “censorship machines” article seemingly already bogged down in sprouted Brussels morass as expected but with at least two years before the law takes effect time still for the wheels to fall completely off rather than actually diminish the Web 2.0 business model of platforms with little intrinsic content dependent on that which their users upload which they not will bear more responsible for.

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