RED ALERT!…RED ALERT!…RED ALERT!…RED ALERT!

An EU (European Union) committee has approved two new copyright rules that could destroy the internet as we know it. Known as Article 11 and Article 13. The European Copyright Directive has been two years in the making, and now has been approved as of June 20th, 2018. The vote occurred less than a month after Europe’s last big piece of internet-related legislation — the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) — has already kicked in.

The EU Copyright Directive aka the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, is Europe’s attempt to smooth out copyright laws across all member states.

The last EU-wide copyright laws were placed in 2001, when the internet was a dramatically different place than it is today. It’s designed to update the law and make it more relevant to the internet we know and love now, as well as to anticipate changes down the line. However, the legislation is vague in terms of what actually needs to change and how it will be upheld.

There are two sections in particular that have drawn criticism for being overly harsh: Article 13 and Article 11. Their impact could mean a substantially shittier internet in the future. Article 13 could affect everything from memes to code, remixes to livestreaming. This is very serious.

Article 13 basically says that large internet platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Tumblr, but also many much smaller platforms, would need to have automated filters that capture copyrighted content uploaded by users or make people seek the correct licenses to post that content. It would potentially mean that tech companies would be forced to scan every single thing posted to their sites – and take down anything they think might be stolen. It would force all online platforms to police and prevent the uploading of copyrighted content.

YouTube already uses such a system — called Content ID — to protect copyright infringement, but the technology to do this is extremely expensive and has taken over 11 years to build and refine.

The photos above were taken from SAVE YOUR INTERNET a website sharing information on what one has to do in the fight. They did this in Europe, don’t let this happen in the United States!

Article 11, is also raising eyebrows. This section stipulates that companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft may have to pay publishers for showing snippets of news articles. Objections to Article 11 are not nearly as vocal, but they’re out there. It’s unclear what exactly would have to be licensed, (article snippets, headlines, even links themselves?) so the jury is out on how much of an impact it might have. There are fears it could outlaw news aggregators as we know them (TARGET DRUDGERPEOT.COM) or even prevent any sites other than giants like Google, who could afford the license, from even linking to articles at all.

Article 11 introduces a “link tax”, requiring that internet companies get permission from publishers to use a snippet of their work. On websites like Google and Twitter, for instance, a small part of the article is usually shown before someone clicks into it entirely – but, under the new rule, those technology companies would have get permission and perhaps even pay to use that excerpt. Imagine this, people!

Everyone knows that one of the biggest casualties of the proposed legislation would be online memes, which often use images that are subject to copyright. It almost seems like it was the memes were the target of this whole thing in the first place. Did you know that Spain wants to ban memes altogether that are aimed at politicians? As the EU is a “globalist” organization, it makes sense that they would target memes and the right. Why? Because the right makes the best memes. Heard of Pepe the Frog! Of course you have. Because it was a creation of the right.

These laws right now are just a problem for Europe. But this can change. This can easily happen in the United States. Cross your fingers, hold your breath and say ten Hail Mary’s that it doesn’t Europe is sooooo fucked. Why do we have to be???