The EU will likely soon pass a new directive on copyright that will change the internet forever and this Orwellian move is getting almost no media attention.
Article 13 is being touted as the “End of Memes” in Europe and digital rights activists and policy experts have described as the most comprehensive and frightening move towards censorship of the free flow of information online in history.
The new directive will effectively make of user-generated content such as memes, YouTube videos, blogs and alternative media sites etc… impossible to continue to exist in their current formats.
The EU will mass monitor and censor anyone using any material that could be seen as infringing copyright, even material that is currently considered fair use such as links and quotes. This will mean only very large companies and media organizations will soon be able provide news as only they can afford to pay these copyright fees.
Ironically, these nightmarishly draconian measures will actually contradict the EU’s already established E-Commerce Directive.
This will mean that individuals, blogs and small media organizations will need to pay extortionate fees for a license to provide ‘links’ and these will be subject to taxes.
Copyright material can at present be re-used so long as it’s for commenting, parody, news reporting etc but this will all change with Article 13.
EU parliament member Julia Reda has warned this will mean an end to any kind of free speech online in the EU as well as crippling small and alternative news sites and innovators.
The EU parliament is likely to vote on this directive by the 23rd of June and people are encouraged to contact the MEP’s and voice their concerns.