But if you thought America was the only one struggling with the idea of a free and open internet, you’d be wrong, because over in Europe, the EU just voted to pass an extremely controversial copyright law that could forever destroy the internet as we know it.
The law is designed, and I quote:
"To make certain that artists, notably musicians, performers and script authors, as well as news publishers and journalists, are properly compensated for their work when it is used by sharing platforms such as YouTube or Facebook, and news aggregators such as Google News. It's all about fair play for artists and journalists.”
On the surface, that looks completely agreeable. Creatives and journalists alike deserve to get paid for the work they do. The problem, however, rests specifically in two Articles within the bill, Article 11 and 13. Article 11 is only a small problem, stating that companies like Google need to pay journalists when they link to their articles, which is fair enough but could cause big problems for search algorithms and things like Google Alerts. The bigger problem is Article 13, which would state that any sharing site, such as Google, Imgur, or Facebook, would be liable for any copyrighted materials submitted by users to their platform.
That would mean those companies would have to prevent people from sharing any copyrighted materials.
That would shut down Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, Imgur, and basically every media site on the planet.
Now, the bill hasn’t exactly passed yet, but by all accounts, it’s expected to. Which means if you live in Europe now would be a great time to reach out to your governments and take a stand against this.
Otherwise, we’re all in for a world of hurt.