Since 2001 there has not been any significant addition to EU copyright law until now. The European Parliament has recently passed a vote on a proposed upheaval of the current EU copyright law known as the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, also known as the EU Copyright Directive. These changes are massive, and they will affect everyone from YouTube to the small social media providers; from content creators to business owners. The proposal is due to be finally passed on Monday
While this directive comes with better provisions for a creator’s intellectual property, it reveals a laundry list of regulations for online business owners no matter the size.
Let’s take a look at how the new EU copyright directive will affect each party, focusing on the most controversial Articles: 11 and 13.
Small scale or medium artists benefit the most from these overhauls. Previously, there have been many provisions that protect large musical, digital, or print artists from having their work stolen, namely being able to afford the representation that is needed. Rarely, however, were the independent artists in the same boat. With the new copyright provisions, the EU would begin to hold company’s like YouTube and Facebook accountable for the distribution of copyrighted material, instead of solely relying on the action of the rights-holder.
The Content Creator
With the increasing constraints on reusing other’s material in the EU, some influential content creators may lose some copyright works. It is important to point out that the recreation of parodies, caricatures from copyright works are exempted.
The Small-Medium Business
To comply with these new restrictions, small to medium size businesses will most likely need to employ filtering software. These software solutions could be very expensive for smaller internet platforms costing thousands of pounds. There was a fair amount of backlash on this part of the article, and compromises allowed these smaller internet companies to be exempt if they met three specific criteria: under €10m in revenue per year, less than 5m users, and younger than three years old. These criteria are criticised to be too vague to be helpful, however.
The News Agency
These new proposed regulations will also benefit news agencies and other publications by giving them increased control over their created content. The so-called “link tax” delivers accountability to content creators in Article 11. The tax does not immediately charge people for using a hyperlink, however, as you would assume from the nickname. Instead, it empowers the press to exercise their rights over their articles. Companies like Google will not be able to show full snippets of EU news articles anymore without first bargaining with the publisher.
The BigTech Company
As you can probably imagine, some of the biggest opponents of this new bill are the Big Tech companies; namely, YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter. Not only will they need to ramp up the amount of filtering that they are doing, but it opens them up to potential lawsuits and headaches when something is mistakenly removed or mistakenly published.
These new changes will mean a lot for EU residents. While each specific country of the EU will need to decide how stringent they will be when implementing this new directive, you can be sure that there will be changes on the horizon. Whether you are a part-time musician or full-time executive, it is imperative that you understand the implications of the proposed directive.