What is your view on the new copy right laws found in Article 13?
Article 13 of Chapter 415 is a generic article aimed at protecting the works of artists from unscrupulous people who pirate works of art to the detriment of those who with such sacrifices produce them and is set to be welcomed by many musicians who claim the reforms are needed to fairly compensate artists.
The Directive comprises of a whole host of legislation aimed at updating copyright law for the digital age. Article 13 forces social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google and YouTube, to have responsibility over unlicensed user-uploaded copyrighted material. Under the new legislation, such platforms must take proactive steps to prevent users from sharing unlicensed copyrighted material and to detect videos and content that are copyright-infringed before they are available.
I do believe we need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all. Today some user upload content platforms refuse to compensate artists and all music creators fairly for their work, while they exploit it for their own profit.
Recently, European lawmakers agreed on a final text.
Let’s start with the positive. The latest text is an improvement over the version adopted by the European Parliament in September 2018. Platforms making a good effort to help rights holders identify and protect works should not face liability for every piece of content a user uploads, especially when neither the rights holder nor the platform specifically knows who actually owns that content. The final text includes language that recognizes that principle.
At the same time, the directive fails to clearly outline requirements for how rights holders should cooperate to identify their content. Instead, it introduces vague, untested requirements that could be imposed on well-meaning platforms, content creators and rights holders. This will likely result in online services over-blocking content to limit legal risk.
Additionally, the text is unclear on:
- what kind of content platforms like YouTube need to have licenses for – e.g. images, paintings, photos, etc. Given that is unclear, there’s no way to be 100 percent certain whether all the rights are covered at the moment of upload.
- potential new legal liabilities and responsibilities for creators.
The text will go back to the European Parliament for a final vote as early as March 12th. It will then be interpreted and implemented by each country in the EU over the next 1-2 years.