Tech leaders, business owners and digital teams across Europe are in a state of dismay following a new ruling that could change the nature of the internet forever.
Article 13 (unlucky for some!) part of the E.U Copyright Directive would enforce copyright responsibility onto platforms rather than individuals, with potentially huge and damaging implications for many.
It would mean that any website that allows individuals to post an image, meme, video footage or soundbite would have to use content recognition technologies to filter out anything that dares to be a breach of copyright! Which would totally transform the internet culture as we know it ! Unless websites are willing to pay for the use of these copyrighted materials they will simply be removed from the sites.
For some, this ruling will be a huge win; Phil Sherrell, head of media, entertainment and sports at law firm Bird & Bird said: “Rights holders will be delighted as the directive provides them with additional rights and should strengthen their ability to negotiate royalty payments from online platforms that use their work.”
However for streaming sites, social media platforms and smaller businesses that thrive on a sharing culture it could be a serious blow. YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl said that endorsement of Article 13 risked “discouraging or even prohibiting platforms from hosting user-generated content”.
So love them or hate them the meme culture as we know it looks set to be shaken up!