EU Takes Initiative to Protect Europe’s Creative Industries

via Copyright Directive that Sparks Backlash from Internet Moguls

intellectual property law in nashville tn

EU Takes Initiative to Protect Europe’s Creative Industries via Copyright Directive that Sparks Backlash from Internet Moguls

Author: Kelsey A. Bourke

In September, the EU voted in favor of new copyright law reforms that have the potential to transform the internet as we know it. These changes balance the rights of content creators against the demands of free speech and open access, and they have sparked debate between the creative and tech industries.

Although it is meant to protect content creators and has received strong support from the like, the Copyright Directive faces the lash of critics who claim its reforms could be detrimental. Facing the most scrutiny are Articles 11 and 13. Within Article 11, the EU seeks to protect the principle of fair pay for European creatives by pushing companies to distribute revenue to the artists and journalists whose work they share. The heavily contested Article 13 calls for “effective content recognition,” and requires that internet platforms for sharing information define and employ methods of screening content to discourage the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works.

Back in June, companies discussed an earlier proposal of these changes in the form of an open letter. Seventy of the biggest names in the internet signed the open letter which explains the “imminent threat” Article 13 poses to the future of our global network. The letter argues that the automatic filtering of content called for by Article 13 “takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.” The letter claims the impact of Article 13 will fall most heavily not on the “large American Internet platforms (who can well afford the costs of compliance),” but rather on their competitors and ordinary users of these Internet platforms. “The damage that this may do to the free and open Internet,” the letter explains, “is hard to predict, but in our opinions could be substantial.”

The Copyright Directive faces a final vote in January 2019, after which its implementation depends on its interpretation by individual EU member states. If approved, the Copyright Directive will surely have a large impact, not only on the EU, but worldwide.

Works Cited
“Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive Threatens the Internet.” 12 June 2018. https://www.eff.org/files/2018/06/13/article13letter.pdf. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

Browne, Ryan. “’Catastrophic’: EU passes controversial copyright law that could hit the likes of Google and Facebook.” CNBC. 12 Sept. 2018. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/12/eu-lawmakers-pass-controversial-digital-copyright-law.html. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

Livni, Ephrat. “The EU has approved a copyright law that could change the Internet as we know it.” MSN News. 12 Sept. 2018. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/the-eu-has-approved-a-copyright-law-that-could-change-the-internet-as-we-know-it/ar-BBNdL42. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

Malik, Kenan. “A fairer deal on web copyright doesn’t need the bovver boots from Brussels.” The Guardian. 8 Apr. 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/08/fairer-deal-on-web-copyright-eu-free-speech-open-access. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

“Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market.” Eur-Lex. 14 Sept. 2016. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52016PC0593. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

Rankin, Jennifer. “EU votes for copyright law that would make internet a ‘tool for control’.” The Guardian. 20 Jun. 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/20/eu-votes-for-copyright-law-that-would-make-internet-a-tool-for-control. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

Vincent, James. “EU approves controversial Copyright Directive, including internet ‘link tax’ and ‘upload filter’.” The Verge, 12 Sept. 2018. https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/12/17849868/eu-internet-copyright-reform-article-11-13-approved. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

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