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Got some bad news for my fellow content creators...

Posted by Yomuchan - September 12th, 2018

Remember that crazy regulation that was proposed in the EU back in July this year? The one where memes would be illegal and all OC would be stopped under the guise of 'protecting copyright'? Got some bad news for ya - those unelected bureaucrats took a page from the FCC's playbook on net neutrality and tried that shit AGAIN... and it passed.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted to move forward with its new Copyright Directive. Article 11 narrowly passed with a vote of 13 to 12 and Article 13 passed with a wider margin of 15 to 10. The legislation will now have to undergo a plenary vote by the full Parliament. There’s no set timeline on when that will occur but its expected sometime between December of this year and the beginning of 2019.

Explaining what’s wrong with these two points of the legislation in detail is difficult because the articles themselves are so vague (think FOSTA, but for internet content). That’s the primary issue for critics. Both articles make unprecedented demands on anyone operating a popular website to monitor copyrighted material and to pay fees to news organizations when linking out to their articles.

Let's look'em over with some input from our european correspondent.

"Article 13 is a provision in the proposed EU Copyright Directive mandating that all content uploaded to the internet be monitored and potentially deleted if a likeness to existing copyrighted content is detected." This will kill memes too. This section of the directive will completely reconfigure websites’ responsibilities when it comes to enforcing copyrights. Until now, the so-called Ecommerce Directive has given online platforms broad protection from being subject to copyright penalties when they simply acted as a conduit for user uploads. It’s very similar to the laws in the U.S. that exempt YouTube from penalties as long as its making its best effort to take down infringing material when it’s reported. YouTube uses an automated content recognition system combined with an army of human beings to review the material users’ upload. It costs the company millions of dollars to do this. Critics of Article 13 say that every popular platform—estimated to mean the top 20 percent—that allows users to post text, sounds, code, still or moving images will need one of these systems.

Article 11 has been variously called the link tax or the snippet tax. Designed to mitigate the power over publishers that Google and Facebook have amassed in the last decade, it codifies a new copyright rule for linking to news organizations and quoting text from their stories. Online platforms will have to pay for a license to link out to news publishers, and this will theoretically help support organizations that are vital for public information and drive users to their homepages.

That all sounds decent in principle, but Article 11 doesn’t bother to even define what constitutes a link. Details will be left to the 28 individual countries in the EU to figure that out. That opens the door for political abuse of how news is spread in each country, and it will likely have the opposite of its intended effect.

That's why it's called a link tax. Pretty much they are trying to decrease the flow of information and freedom of speech on the internet so they can get more power and people will not know what EU is doing and it'll probably result in a nice european federation (aka The 5th Reich). At least I fear it'll go on that path.

So yeah, I think next step is to gtfo of EU as fast as possible but it doubt it'll be possible since this thing is too unknown by most people so they'll just vote for parties without thinking about leaving EU. Oh also this thing "To avoid being sued, international internet platforms would be motivated to comply with the strictest version implemented by any member state" which could mean either Everyone gets shit internet or we in EU will lose service to all those places since they can't meet up with the EU standards for this shit."


The consequences of Article 11 and Article 13 remain a matter of speculation, but the nature of the legislation—both its design and its vagueness that makes it ripe for abuse—make it all but inevitable that they will leave the internet torn and tattered in its wake.

However, the civil liberties group the Electronic Frontier said the vote was the “worst possible outcome” and MEP Julia Reda was unconvinced by the amendments, calling Wednesday’s vote a “severe blow to the free and open internet”.

“This law leaves sites and apps no choice but to install error-prone upload filters,” she wrote.

“Anything we want to publish will need to first be approved by these filters, and perfectly legal content like parodies and memes will be caught in the crosshairs.”

<sarcasm>We all know how amazingly good the Chinese "Great Firewall" is at blocking 'illegal content'.</sarcasm> Like that one time Garfield was flagged as a nude picture. It's the same thing today, but with the excuse of "copyright enforcement" over 'banning politically/adult/sensitive content'.

Once again, whether it is in the Americas or in Europe,  these bureaucrats prove again how detached from any sense of reality they are. It is technically simply not feasible. And even if, it would be cheaper to just turn off service. Maybe that's their intended goal; to switch off the internet because it's something they can't worm their greedy fingers into.

Man, those nazis must've been mega-spooked because Trump got elected 'by the power of memes', lololol.

According to legal analysts, there will be no room for OC in europe after this. "Copyright trolls will claim any and all OC for themselves and sue you for using it. This "law" will effectively remove all content from the internet unless it is explicitly licensed and paid for. Everything else will be blocked due to unresolved copyright ownership. That MSPaint doodle? SUE! That freeware game you made? Some chump with cash to spare just copyrighted the name. A conversation regarding company products? SUUUUEEEEEE!!!

What they don't get is that OC is what made internet culture and it is what will continue internet culture. They want to turn the internet into just another TV channel and threaten anyone who doesn't comply with lawsuits.

Be careful out there, and remember to use OPSEC to make sure those nazi scum can't track you down. 


Comments (7)

Its a real shit show for the western world

SHTF everywhere, by the looks of it.

This is really messed up.
It doesn't just effect europe, it effects everyone.
A site I went to earlier today that is north american based, had an announcement on their site saying, that they are changing their sites policy, to fit with the EU's new copyright law update.

Even more restrictions and censorship on the information you are able to share and receive, and that is never good.

Huh. And here I thought it'd just be restricted to EU-based sites. I should update the title, then...

So memes for Pirates now?

Yar har, If you make OC, you are a pirate!

Beyond the filters not working well, sites like Newgrounds can't even afford them. These laws effectively lock in sites like YouTube and Facebook as the only places where people can share content.

I think NG has done a pretty good job at content moderation and I like to think we won't end up in the crosshairs but it's hard to know what to expect when laws empower copyright trolls who are out to make a buck or stifle competition anywhere possible.

What also bothers me is that recent EU activity makes me question the entire purpose of the EU. They have such a great opportunity to make a united front on all sorts of progressive causes but by continually fucking up the Internet, they will push more and more people into the "abolish the EU" camp. I'm sure the Russian troll farms are ready to join in on that one.

Sup Tom! Between the way the GD fiasco showed up, and how we're currently forced to make concessions - and now this so-called filter, I'm just thinking this slippery slope goes a long way. I honestly worry for the future of Newgrounds. It's cool that you're doing your best to keep things going. Ganbatte, dude!

The way things are going, the 'Russian Troll' farm guys can just go on vacation in some tropical island and there'd still be people getting angry about how the EU is being run. Ah well, it's gonna get labeled the EUSSR one of these days.

Personally I believe that this won't hold long. A few years max. It'll be a shitty few years though. After this time, however, some political hotshot will have gathered a large enough mob behind them to use this as THE BIG PROBLEM OF OUR SOCIETY to win some vote, and then it'll get knocked over probably. At least that's how I see it

Pendulum, huh? Eh, in this scenario, its the only hope we have.

Yep, even a Pixiv has that on their site now.

Is it for just EU users only or for worldwide?

I can not be for certain, but If I am understanding the bill correctly, it should affect every user on the site, but it seems pixiv is interpreting the EU's bill differently.
It seems like pixiv is focusing more on the ads running on the site, and who they share users information and posts with, instead of policing the artwork users post to the site.
So, pixiv should be ok for posting fan art for now.