For citizens of the internet, you may think this would be something to rejoice. Article 13, the controversial bill put forward by the European Parliament, was recently put on the backburners, delaying any implementation that website owners would need to abide by. This may sound like an excellent turn-around, but this has happened before – And it’ll come back to haunt us again. If you’re unfamiliar with Article 13, or want to know what’s next, read on.
What Is Article 13?
The European Parliament voted in favour of a draft version of the European Copyright Directive last year, which was, in their eyes, a major victory over websites such as YouTube. The idea behind the bill wasn’t just to get back at YouTube, but rather to try to appropriate copyright as well as it could. As such, some of the ideas included content filtering on upload, meaning that websites where users upload content would have to be monitored more closely.
This was, to many people, a bit of an attack on the internet. Millions of people took to petitioning, with the intent to fight the article completely. Whilst the article initially won the support of the European Parliament, meaning it’d affect those of us here in the UK, it seems that the bill has been put on the backburner once again, until they can revise the article to a point of satisfaction for all sides.
What Does This Mean?
It means that it’s not over. You should continue to make your voice heard, as in the coming months, there’s no doubt that amendments will be put forward to the article. Article 13 also has another article which is less talked about, but equally as divisive – Article 11. You may have heard of the term ‘Link Tax’ before – That’s what Article 11 is all about. It’s legislation that ultimately could prevent websites to offering links elsewhere without getting explicit permission from the website you’re linking to, as well as holding some form of agreement with the other website.
This was just a quick article to let you know that things are moving with this. Just because things sound good right now doesn’t mean we should stop; this is as much our internet as it is a legislators. If you don’t want to be told you can’t upload your favourite cat pictures, because of copyright reasons, then you too should fight to make sure it stays away. If you want to put your name to a petition, then feel free to click here.
If you’re passionate about keeping the web a collaborative place, where you can share images and memes (Yes, protect the memes), then you really should sign the petition. However, if you’ve got any opinions about Article 13, please leave them below, or over on Facebook and Twitter – But remember, let’s keep it civil!