Copyright directive could spell the end of memes, gifs and video montages

March 29 10:16 2019 Print This Article
Microsoft has already adopted the EU’s GDPR policy as its new global standard.

The EU is never far from the headlines. Brexit, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its regular multi-billion dollar fines for Google have kept Brussels near the front of our minds for the past couple of years.

Now it has a new crusade. This time, the European Union is looking to tackle internet copyright and has passed a new directive that could change how we all use, and enjoy, the internet.

This week the European Parliament passed a new copyright directive that will scare the likes of Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (et al) more than any previous law ever has. How? By making them directly responsible for any media shared on their platforms.

While this might seem radical and a bit heavy-handed. It’s long overdue. Facebook and Google, in particular, have reaped the rewards of user-generated content for too long. Both companies have made billions of dollars by essentially aggregating content in a unique way. All without taking any real responsibility for what that content actually is.

This new directive places the blame firmly at the door of these major internet platforms. Which has to be a good thing. The bad news, however, is that it all seems a little clumsy and risks upsetting established internet cultural norms.

Memes, gifs and video montages are all likely to be the collateral when this law is implemented by each EU member state.

And while this won’t directly affect the rest of the world, the EU is a big enough player to scare big companies into line.

The European Union is looking to tackle internet copyright.

Microsoft has already adopted the EU’s GDPR policy as its new global standard. Will it do the same for this new copyright law? Probably. Recent history suggests that it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world follows the EU’s lead with its technology legislation.

Traditional media isn’t the only thing that’s being shaken up. The directive also suggests that there will be a new “link tax”. This is aimed at platforms that display content scraped from other sites without any permission. And, as far as I can tell, this is aimed directly at search engines. Meaning Google specifically will now have to alter its search results pages so they no longer display meaningful content that’s been directly lifted from a website.

If the death of memes, and having to actually visit a website to view content, is the price we (or the EU) have to pay for internet reform, I think it’s fair. Tech giants have operated outside the boundaries of social responsibility for long enough.

The original article (and image) was originally posted here:

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GDPR Associates
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