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No More Memes Over Internet

EU’s proposed rules that can make memes, remixes and any other user generated contents content disappear from online.

There are some groups, known as Digital Rights Groups are campaigning against the Copyright Directive. Later this month European Parliament will vote on this.

The legislation aims to protect rights-holders in the internet age.

To justify this, the critics say it someway misunderstands the way audience engage with web content and risks excessive censorship.

The Copyright Directive is an attempt to reshape copyright for the internet, in particular rebalancing the relationship between copyright holders and online platforms.

According to the Article 13, the platform should “take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rights-holders for the use of their works”.

A campaign against Article 13 – Copyright 4 Creativity – said that the proposals could “destroy the internet as we know it.”

It also said, “Should Article 13 of the Copyright Directive be adopted, it will impose widespread censorship of all the content you share online”.

It is urging users to write to their MEP ahead of the vote on 20 June.

Executive director of the UK’s Open Rights Group, Jim Killock told BBC, “Article 13 will create a ‘Robo-copyright’ regime, where machines zap anything they identify as breaking copyright rules, despite legal bans on laws that require ‘general monitoring’ of users to protect their privacy.

Unfortunately, while machines can spot duplicate uploads of Beyonce songs, they can’t spot parodies, understand memes that use copyright images, or make any kind of cultural judgement about what creative people are doing. We see this all too often on YouTube already.

Add to that, the EU wants to apply the Robocop approach to extremism, hate speech, and anything else they think can get away with, once they put it in place for copyright. This would be disastrous.”

56 other rights organizations along with The Electronic Frontier Foundation sent an open letter to European lawmakers in October outlining their concerns about Article 13.

It read, “Article 13 appears to provoke such legal uncertainty that online services will have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens’ communications if they are to have any chance of staying in business.”

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