What Is Article 13 And Will It Affect Us?

Sofia Serge, Staff Writer

The European Parliament has voted in favor of Article 13, and people are left in outrage. Article 13 is part of the Directive on Copyright, which is making an attempt to reshape law for this new age of internet.  

Basically, 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. This is different from usual, because before, for the most part, the only people that could copyright were the owners of/companies that produce whatever is being copyrighted.


This new set of “threats” has left many people feeling angry, because this could affect things in their day to day life. Getting into Article 13, a part of Directive on Copyright, is being referred to as the “meme ban.”


Article 13 states that “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorised protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.” To put it simply, this article means that any websites that host large amounts of user-generated content are responsible for taking down that content if it infringes on copyright.


This leads us into the “meme ban.” The threat of banning all copyrighted material has left people wondering whether memes, which are using images, videos, etc. will be banned as well. Proponents of the legislation argue that memes are protected as parodies and so aren’t required to be removed under this directive, but many others are worried that the sites could take them down anyways.


But, that’s not the only thing people are worried about. People are also worried about what this could mean to YouTube. YouTube itself is even one of the most vocal critics of the Directive, claiming that Article 13, “threatens hundreds of thousands of creators, artists, and others employed in the creative economy.


For creators and artists that built their careers out of publishing remixed or transformative works, or just inserting clips into their video that don’t belong to them, this could be a big problem. And although the directive would only take effect in Europe, this would still affect everyone around the world.


So, although you might not think this will affect us, you might want to think again, and think of all the “copyrighted” content that you won’t be seeing.