Author: Sean Ramsden

What is Article 13? And what does it mean for the future of our Internet?

Sean Ramsden

The future of the internet is decided in a few weeks – but it seems like no one is talking about it!

The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market – which is designed to protect copyright content – is the proposed legislation.

Proposed law within the package is wide ranging, however Article 13 is one of the most controversial.

I believe copyrighted content should stay in the hands of the creator, and no one else.
However I do think it’s very important that people have the freedom to talk or publish the public’s opinions on a copyrighted piece. Our freedom of speech depends on it.

Sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Daily Motion, Reddit, Snapchat and many more could now be named liable for copyright infringements under the proposals.

Content blocking – which has been utilised by some sites – has been shown to be ineffective at times, especially when the technology is trying to decipher videos, pictures or sounds to prevent viewers from seeing it.

This could deter sites from allowing people to upload any kind of content whatsoever, copyrighted or not.

If this law passes, sites such as YouTube will have to drastically adapt or stop user generated content entirely.

So what does this mean for us?

If this law passes, I feel it could well spell the end of our online freedom of speech. It will affect thousands of businesses, jobs and educational services as they rely on these sites for advertising and getting their businesses recognised.

Why is this happening?

They say it’s down to protecting creative freedom and copyright laws, however I think it’s simply down to the money.

The big corporations aren’t happy with the idea of free or cheaper entertainment. The music industry in particular isn’t happy with its songs being played on sites like YouTube as more money is made from subscription sites such as Spotify.

From a business perspective, this seems understandable. But don’t forget that some of our top artists such as Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran and many more all originated with help from user generated content.

Uploads give people the chance to see what’s really going on in the world. The silencing of user generated content, will be the silencing of our online public voice.

Is it worth it?

Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of The World Wide Web) is dead against this and is trying to combat these types of laws before they happen along with many others.

So if you want your online freedom it’s time to join the campaign and #SAVEYOURINTERNET.
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