EU Plans To Filter Internet Content

Antonette Summerville, Op-Ed Writer

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  Article 13 is the new excessive use of government regulation on the Internet since the highly unpopular Net Neutrality repealed in 2017, but the European Union (EU) thought another annoyance was appropriate.

  The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market created Article 13, otherwise known as the ‘meme ban,’ to limit how copyrighted content is shared on online platforms.

  For a teenager, even sharing or posting pictures or videos online that you do not own for a small laugh could potentially cause legal issues.

  Online websites and users would be held responsible for the usage of copyrighted material.

  This policy jeopardizes free content creation throughout social websites because sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter will have to appeal to the strictest Internet policy to avoid lawsuits. Both users and creators will have less content to make and enjoy, ignoring their rights to Fair Use.

  Unfortunately, the EU has already passed legislation since Jan. 2019, stating that users of copyrighted material will have to comply to copyright claims in ‘good faith.’

  Good faith has yet to be clearly defined, but if the wording isn’t changed or if the Article isn’t stopped by the time of its implementation, social media creators will have no defense against any copyright claims.

  The ambiguity of ‘good faith’ would supply prosecutors with a loophole: ‘If the defendant does not agree to remove their content in good faith, their Fair Use argument will be ignored, and they’ll lose their content rights.