Back on 12 September 2018, 751 European Parliament members voted on a directive that could potentially impact on services such as YouTube in a major way. After three days of talks in France, the final version of a hugely controversial new EU copyright law has already been agreed and is the biggest shake-up on copyright laws since 2001.
Otherwise known as the European Copyright Directive or Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, EU’s Article 13 has stolen the limelight in recent times, and is set to have a profound effect on many people around the world in terms of copyright legislation.
Making those hosting user content on platforms such as YouTube liable for copyright infringement, Article 13 enforces aggressive protection for rights holders. This essentially means that far stricter filters than the current Content ID system on YouTube will be implemented. In turn, this could directly impact upon anyone from meme channel owners to game streamers.
But, just what exactly is the EU Copyright Directive all about? Who exactly does it affect? These are just some of the questions you might want to be answered when it comes to Article 13. Thankfully, we’ll cover each of these topics and more in the following article, along with an overview of why you should use a VPN and an explanation of why YouTube creators such as Philip DeFranco are strongly opposed to the rules set out by the European Union Article 13. So, let’s not delay any further and get down to the details.
What is the EU Article 13?
Covering how online content sharing services should deal with television programs, movies, and other copyrighted content, Article 13 forms part of the so-called new EU Copyright Directive and places liability for copyright violations on the content platforms.
The final text of the derivative is a combination of versions that were compiled by three different sources – the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, and one by the European Commission.
Referring in particular to services which provide public access to copyrighted material through digital platforms such as Dailymotion, YouTube, and Soundcloud, Article 13 states that any content-sharing services must obtain permission from copyright holders before uploading material. Otherwise, the company or uploader can be held liable for copyright infringement.
This has the potential to affect thousands of people around the world who upload content such as videos and music. However, for smaller companies and start-ups, developing and implementing a filter can prove to be a costly affair. What’s more, mistakes made by algorithms mean that legitimately used content could be taken down unfairly.
With that in mind, the next section will delve deeper into exactly who will be affected by Article 13 should it come into play at some point in the future. Continue reading to find out everything that you need to know.
Who will be affected by the EU’s Article 13 Copyright Directive?
From online gamers who stream content via YouTube to owners of meme channels, and everything in between, plenty of content creators on hugely popular platforms which includes the likes of YouTube and Soundcloud will be directly impacted in future. This is because Article 13 puts a set of regulations in place that makes them liable for copyright infringement.
This will mainly impact the two following groups:
- content creators: they could be blocked from uploading content that has gained them a lot of popularity over their careers, including memes, parodies, gaming videos, and more. While these are for the most part exempt from Article 13, the platforms’ quickly put-together algorithms won’t be able to distinguish between parodies and copyrighted content.
- EU consumer: this can potentially impact EU residents who want to enjoy various content online. It’s likely that content platforms such as YouTube, Soundcloud and others will geo-restrict content. YouTube already does this to a certain extent, blocking particular videos based on IP addresses. In this way, if the platforms don’t show copyrighted content to EU residents, they won’t be in violation of Article 13.
Furthermore, during the transition period of the UK leaving the European Union, Britain must follow the directive if it becomes law. Of course, this would only apply if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. Otherwise, the UK would not be affected by the Copyright Directive and would instead have to abide by its own laws on copyright.
How VPNs can help you bypass Article 13
The EU’s Article 13 can impact users in two ways, and VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) can help users find a workaround to avoid those impacts.
1. Avoid the upload filter
Since Article 13 places the responsibility of the copyright checks on the platforms themselves, and not the users (as is the case in most other countries), the platforms will have to find a way to avoid content that infringes on various copyrights from being uploaded in the first place. This calls for a copyright upload filter that will block users from uploading songs, games, movie clips or other videos (but not memes or GIFs).
However, this will only apply to the EU, and it’s highly likely that platforms like YouTube will apply the filter based on European IP addresses. If you want to get around this upload filter, use a VPN to change your IP address to another location, like the US.
2. Bypass content geo-restrictions
The second way that Article 13 impacts users is an extension of what YouTube is already doing now: geo-restricting certain content. At the moment, various videos are blocked to German users that are easily available for American users.
With the new Article 13, we can see that only being extended, where copyrighted content will be available to the rest of the world, but blocked to EU residents. That means that users can miss out on a lot of popular videos, jokes, and more.
Of course, VPNs are great for getting around geo-restrictions, since users can easily change their IP address from a European one to an American one.
Recommended read: Best VPN Services
Philip DeFranco and his stance on the European Union Article 13
Hugely popular YouTube creators such as Philip DeFranco have made their voices heard when it comes to the EU Copyright Directive. He highlighted that content creators will be heavily impacted when it comes to uploading their material based on game streaming, meme creation, and many other categories.
Often referred to as the “meme ban,” Article 13 could potentially have huge implications when it comes to online censorship, and could potentially spark the end of the meme culture and user-generated content. Therefore, it’s safe to say that content creators on platforms such as YouTube see Article 13 as a bad thing that could potentially change the face of the internet as we know it forever.
By this point, you should be completely aware of the implications which would arise from the EU Copyright Directive (Article 13). It’s clear to see that it is going to change the way we use the internet forever once the legislation comes into play. But, you’ll be happy to know that a VPN can help you get around the restrictions, as outlined in this article.
So, even if Article 13’s rules do become a reality, you’ll be able to bypass the censorship and enjoy the same content just as you would before. Just be sure to take care when it comes to uploading content on platforms such as YouTube. We’re pretty sure the last thing you want is to get onto the wrong side of the law!