A new European Union bill requiring outdated copyright laws to be updated has officially been approved. After two years of debate, the controversial bill intended to bring the issue of copyright in line with the digital age is nearing a close.
The issue of outdated copyright laws placed artists and creativity firmly against the freedom of Big Tech. With the increasing power of Big Tech artists are without a doubt more vulnerable. To put it into comparison, YouTube pays music companies 20 times less than a “fairly licensed service” such as Spotify. After all is said and done, this is a massive ripoff for artists.
Two of the most controversial pieces of this legislature were Articles 11 & 13. Article 11 would require internet companies such as Facebook and Google to pay newspapers, magazines and agencies for posting links of their work. They call this the “link tax”, but proponents of the law say this won’t happen. Article 13 would make platforms such as YouTube liable for copyrighted material, requiring them to have agreements with rights holders of music and film and essentially protecting the artists.
Critics say the law with normalize censorship and restrict freedom, banning regular people from posting things like links or even memes. Essentially it requires all social media to scan all uploads for copyright as it is uploaded, and you can imagine how much that will ruin the web.
What’s next? Well, the European Parliament meets again in January to hash out the final details of the updated Copyright Laws. Stay tuned to see what further amendments will impact this debate.