Online Dialogue Under Threat from EU’s Copyright Directive

The EU is voting on a collection of laws that will affect how content is shared online. These laws are referred to as the ‘Copyright Directive’, and it will have an impact on how the internet is used, not just in the EU, but around the world!

Everyone’s Online Freedom is at Stake

Overall, the Copyright Directive is not all that controversial, as it will change things for the better. At least it seems that way, considering how the Copyright Directive is designed to update copyright laws and protect content creators, so that they get paid for their work.

But two measures, Articles 11 and 13, have left critics concerned about how everyone’s online freedom will be at stake.

Even though there was uproar before, the directive has managed to reach this far for its final vote. There was hope that the problematic articles would be removed, but they have survived, and may quite possibly be implemented.

Understanding Articles 11 and 13

  • Article 11

Article 11, also known as ‘link tax’, will give publishers authority to charge people for linking their content. Analysts believe this law will give publishers the leverage they need to tax something as simple as a hyperlink or a link to an article or blog.

Since links drive conversations across forums, this could affect how people communicate with each other online. So much so, there is a chance that social media platforms, independent blogs and forums could go extinct!

  • Article 13

With this law, content censorship will be in full swing. Basically, what will happen is that content platforms will be held responsible for copyright violations, rather than submitters.

There are numerous use cases where usage of copyright material is considered to be legal, like for political commentary or satire. But only human users will be able to identify content for fair uses. Since there will be so much content, it is highly unlikely human reviewers will go through all of them with ease. It is here that AI filters will be relied upon, which will find it difficult to discern between a simple violation and political commentary or satire. Due to this, any and all copyrighted content will be filtered out. Eventually, it will kill memes, as they originate from copyrighted photos – along with political commentary and satire of course.

How to deal with this Violation of Online Freedom?

The vote for the Copyright Directive will be held in the European Parliament on the 12th of September, 2018. If you want to vote against it, contact your respective representative and ask them to do so, unless the law is modified to ensure the internet remains preserved the way it should be.

Click here to share your thoughts with your MEP about the Copyright Directive. However, if you are not a part of the EU, you will be prevented from doing so. In this case, use Ivacy VPN to connect to any VPN server part of the EU, and you should be able to raise your voice against laws that violate online freedom.

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Author: Ivacy

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