Have you heard of Article 13 and how it could kill our internet and send us back to the stone age? Today, I just wanna rant about a BIG BROTHER named EU.
hello I’m Kaycinho, I’m a digital alchemist but I could have started this episode by saying hello I’m George Orwell and this is almost 1984.
You may not have heard about it, but the EU has reached a new level by planning the censorship of the internet as we know it.
I’m not a lawyer, so I won’t get into the details of Article 13 and 11, but from what I have read in my research, and from the content I’ve watched from lawyers discussing the matter such as Youtuber Law, basically Article 13 of the EU’s new copyright directive could kill the internet as we know it.
Article 13 from the EU: my opinion
Now before we move on, I want to insist on something. I totally agree with the fact that content creators should be protected. Let me repeat that: I totally agree with the fact that content creators should be protected. Just not by applying impossible measures.
I only use my own content, so I could say that I don’t feel concerned, but that would be a mistake.
Because, behind the excuse of protecting content creators, the EU wants to force platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and others to check that the content posted does not infringe copyright laws.
Now you may “That ‘s rightful and that was already the case wasn’t it?“. Indeed, but the main difference is that up until now, the check was not due before the content was published.
For example, the other day I was live-streaming an event on Facebook, and because there was some music in the background, the stream was automatically stopped by Facebook giving me the choice to stop there, or to resume if I confirmed I had the rights to use that music even though it was distant in the background. I was not sure so I stopped the streaming and asked the organizers. But had I resumed, in case of infringement, I would have been held liable. So although the system may not be perfect, it works!
Article 13 from the EU: impossible measures
But now basically, if I understood correctly, if I take Youtube’s example, there are roughly 500 hours of video uploaded every single minutes on Youtube, and if Article 13 was to be applied, Youtube would have to pre-watch each video to make sure there is no copyright infringement: so no memes, no music, no logos from other brands, may be no quotes, no images, no sound effects?
So imagine the consequences. Because this is virtually impossible, even if Youtube employed a million employees, Youtube would have no solution other than block the EU viewers and content creators.
Article 13 from the EU: we are all concerned
So if you’re in the rest of the world, at that point, you may think “Well, to bad for them, but I don’t really care“. And that would be a mistake.
Because first, many channels that you love may come from the EU, and then many Youtuber from your country make a living also because a lot of their viewership comes from the EU.
Second, if this goes through, it may give ideas to the government of your country. It would be like “Censorship 101 for dummies”. And then your freedom would be next in line.
After that, we’d be left with a boring internet merely recycling content from old school tv channels.
Twitter? Can’t post that meme – Message from the Thought police
Facebook? Sorry, that cat’s race is protected, and you don’t have the authorisation from its creator – Message from the Thought police
Pinterest? Sorry madam, the quote was not created by you – Message from the Thought police
Article 13 from the EU: what about the consequences?
So what would happen to content creators? That EU directive was created to protect them right?
Well here’s what could happen:
- a lot creators would be out of work
- consequently a lot of businesses would be out of work : affiliate marketers promoting and making commissions on creators products
- also a lot graphic designers, web studios and marketing agencies would lose a big part of their customers because if there are no creators and no one promoting their products, well, that would mean less business
- so for all these types of services that could still maintain shop, prices would go up
- and I could go on and on and on…
I’m not saying this is what is going to happen, but it could. Who knows the consequences?
Once again, I may not have grasped all the subtleties of this directive, and from what I understood, the final text has not passed yet, but if you have to be a lawyer to understand what is going on, how do you expect anyone to believe that the EU citizens agreed with something like that if it was that unclear?
Article 13 from the EU: a bully named Big Brother
I remember, as a teen, I had big hopes for the EU and the promises of peace and prosperity that came with it.
But today, I’ve reached a point where I’m getting tired of the EU.
This is not democracy, this is becoming a silent dictature
This is not democracy, this is becoming a silent dictature where people who are only accountable to themselves take measures upon measures to restrict our freedom.
Think about it, an organization ruling a territory of 500 million inhabitants gets to dictate how the other 6.5 billion human beings should live their lives.
How’s that for a bully?
First it was GDPR. Yes there are good things in GDPR if it protects our privacy and prevents us from being spammed all day long. But guess what? I still get 200 emails a day.
But, okay, let’s say that something had to be done… What I don’t like is that europeans never really had their saying in this, because it was passed in the EU without the ability for the citizens to go against it.
If things like that happen at state level, well, there are ways to have leverage, but with the EU, they just decide and never really have to face the consequences.
Article 13 from the EU: ruling the digital world?
They decide laws that they can then push down the throats of the member states and consequently, down the throats of the EU citizens, and now they want to push it down the throats of anyone breathing on planet earth.
So if you’re living in South-Africa and you want to send an emailing to your 50 000 members on your email list to would redirect to your website, and one member happens to live in Austria for example, then you must take measures that may cost you thousands of dollars or even more depending on the size of your digital assets, just because Big Brother from the EU says so.
Now, just imagine for one minute, that China decides to do the same, with their own laws. And India. And the US. And Australia. And so on. Each setting up their own set of rules to be applied to the entire human population.
That wouldn’t be manageable would it? So why does the EU thinks it can force the whole world into adhering to its nonsense policies?
Now how sick is that?
Article 13 from the EU: what’s the catch?
I’m sure there are men and women in the EU institutions that want to do good. Unfortunately is seems that they are a minority, looking at the all nonsense going on in the EU.
Or maybe it comes from a good intent, but because the only thing they understand about digital is how to click on Send after writing an email, they shouldn’t be allowed to decide of our fate when it comes to the Digital Age.
But I’m not naive, there are many interests at stake. Big media groups have suffered ever since the internet has developed and grown into gigantic proportions. So this could be their chance to get back in the game.
But the world has changed Big Brother.
We don’t like your policies.
We don’t like your old school television. We don’t want to sit and wait for the next show. We want to watch who we want to watch, when we want to watch it, and on the device we prefer.
We don’t need to sit and watch the news after it happened, when we can hop on Twitter, and get real-time info.
We don’t want to be spoon-fed shows that tell us what to like, when we can hop on Youtube, and choose our own entertainment and the individuals we want to follow.
We don’t want to get in debt to make long and boring studies, when we can learn a lot more online, get in business and provide for our families without becoming slaves of the system.
Dear EU, if your interest is really content creators, please stop this nonsense.
Open the debate, and work with us to come up with solutions that will benefit most parties while still ensuring our freedom of speech.
Article 13 from the EU: is it too late?
Now you may think that there is nothing we can do about it, but that is wrong, there are the hastags #SaveYourInternet #SaveTheInternet and #Article13 that you can use to spread the word. There is also a petition you can sign and together we may be able to make a difference.
I count on you. It’s about you freedom, my freedom, and the internet of tomorrow.
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