So-Called Meme Ban Laws Nearing Final Stages in the EU


The EU’s new copyright laws are entering the final phases before being approved by the EU Parliament.

Updating laws that have stood on the books since 2001, these new directives have drawn a lot of criticism from Internet users – and even some massive corporations – but also has garnered praise from copyright holders and creatives.

goat meme
Image by BrickRedBard

The most controversial aspect of the new law, Article 13, would require a lot of web services to start monitoring what people upload to their platforms.

Basically, it’s going to involve filters and, in some cases, human monitoring as well. Huge companies like Facebook and Instagram are going to need to start investing in technology to prevent so-called copyright infringement by their users, or face fines themselves.

This is the crux of the controversy because it would kill memes, among other things, and could absolutely upend business models like YouTube.

Another aspect of the copyright law, Article 11, means that publishers can charge people who link to and quote their articles online according to Fortune.

Deputy director general Ursula Pachl of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC.), “Today’s agreement to reform EU’s copyright law is a disappointing outcome for consumers…It will become much harder for users to share their own, non-commercial music, video or photo creations online. This reform is not based on the reality of how people use the Internet.”

The Computer and Communications Industry Association VP Christian Borggreen said this of the proposed copyright laws: “We fear the law could harm online innovation, scaleups, and restrict online freedoms in Europe…We urge governments and members of the European Parliament to thoroughly assess the consequences of this text before officially adopting it.”

The Computer and Communications Industry Association counts among its members Facebook, Amazon, and Google, three of the most prominent services that will be hugely impacted by this change in the European Union.

Though it isn’t the law of the land yet, the basic language is final and now it begins its process through the EU’s legislative process.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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