The European Parliament has voted in favour of a controversial new copyright directive. The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, to give it its full name, is designed to update existing copyright laws for the internet age.

Simply put, the Directive on Copyright places more responsibility on websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to make sure that copyrighted material isn’t being illegally shared on their platforms.

Article 11 and Article 13 have been dubbed the “link tax” and “meme ban” articles respectively. YouTube support the goals of Article 13. However, the version written by the European Parliament could have unintended consequences that would change the web as we know it.

There’s a better way.

The proposed version of Article 13 would eliminate the existing notice-and-takedown system currently in place to protect rightsholders and platforms. This would make platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram liable. Not only that, but they would be liable at the moment of upload for any copyright infringement in uploads.

This, in turn, would mean that platforms including YouTube would be forced to block the vast majority of uploads from Europe and views in Europe. It’s potentially going to make a huge impact on the online work as we know it, especially as citizens of a European country. 

You can find out more about Article 13 from YouTube at youtube.com/saveyourinternet/

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