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After FCC repealed Net Neutrality last year, the EU is trying to kill open internet the same way through Articles 11 and 13.

The EU parliament has approved the EU Directive on Copyright that says YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter needs to take full responsibility for copyrighted material that is shared illegally on their platform.

If by any chance you attended a football match and posted a video/photo on social media, it will be removed.

Anyone other than the official organizer or a copyright holder sharing the publication for commercial use will be deleted.

Early this year, Article 11 and Article 13 were approved by the EU parliament. This means it will be up to member states to implement this new rule in 2 years’ time.

The question remains, what happens when this rule gets implemented? What will happen to internet users? And is there a way to get around Article 13? Will VPN help?

Let’s discuss everything in detail.

What is Article 13?

Article 13 and Article 11 are a part of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

This new rule could change the internet as the controversial Article 13 will hold tech firms responsible for any copyrighted material posted without permission.

It will no doubt protect copyright owners of their content produced, but it will destroy user-generated content.

Who’s Behind Article 13?

Axel Voss, a German politician and a member of the EU parliament is the man behind Article 13. Although, the man himself was not aware of the last-minute amendments made by the JURI committee, which he termed a ‘mistake’.

When will Article 13 happen?

On March 26, 2019, the Copyright Directive was approved in a Coreper meeting. 348 votes were in favor of the Directive, 274 against, while 36 were absent.

A directive is not a law, and it takes about 18 to 24 months for implementation. So, probably around March 2021, it is expected to be implemented across EU countries.

It is no up to each member states to approve the decision and a maximum of 2 years to implement.

Will Article 13 affect the UK?

Yes, any UK company offering services to EU citizens will have to abide by Article 13.

It is likely that the UK will adopt a similar version of Article 13 for digital copyright, but not truly the EU directive.

Article 13 YouTube Ban

Lyor Cohen, head of music at YouTube has told the public that the new EU Article 13 will have a disastrous effect on creativity.

You can say goodbye to all the fan videos and mixes that people used to create.

In a newsletter, Cohen commented that the EU legislation will prevent users from sharing copyright-protected material illegally.

Article 13 Memes

Article 13 certainly prompted fear over the use of memes, GIFs, animated videos, or short video clips that go viral on the internet.

Previously, critics claimed that Article 13 would make it impossible for users to even share the tiniest part of copyrighted material work on Facebook, YouTube, or other websites.

But since minor tweaks were made in this new rule, memes were made safe for the purpose of ‘quotation, criticism, review, parody, caricature, and pastiche’.

Can a VPN Avoid Article 13?

Yes, a VPN can definitely avoid Article 13 and I will tell you why.

Whenever Article 13 happens, it will be implemented in EU countries at first. There’s a whole debate if other countries would follow its example or not.

If you happen to live in any of the EU countries, you could spoof your original location with the help of a reliable VPN.

Let’s say you’re living in Germany and you connected to an Indonesian server of a VPN. You will be able to share and upload anything over your social media network.

Since YouTube policies changes regarding countries, your videos will not be deleted. The same goes for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

How to Bypass Article 13 with a VPN

If everything plays out well by the end of 2021 and there are no further restrictions or changes by the EU, we believe that the following VPNs can easily bypass Article 13 restrictions:

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1. ExpressVPN

Jurisdiction: ExpressVPNs jurisdiction lies in British Virgin Island, the same place where Surfshark is based. Hence, this country does not fall under 14 eyes countries, and neither it asks companies to store users’ information.

Servers: It has 3,000+ servers and is available in 94 countries. Meaning, other than EU countries, you can access any country’s server with ease while at the same time enjoy online freedom.

Logging Policy: ExpressVPN has a perfect history of not keeping any logs. In many instances, governments of different companies have tried to take ExpressVPNs servers under their jurisdiction, but they couldn’t retrieve user data, because there was none.

Transparency Report: No transparency report could be found for ExpressVPN.

Cost: $8.32/month is the most reasonable pricing package you can get from ExpressVPN for 1-year plan.

2. Surfshark

Jurisdiction: Surfshark is based in British Virgin Island (BVI) that has no data retention laws. While living in any of the EU countries, you can connect to a server of a third-world country or any country that hasn’t implemented Article 13. You will have all the online freedom to you.

Servers: It has 800+ servers in 50+ countries. Connect to any country server other than EU countries and start streaming YouTube despite Article 13 ban.

Logging Policy: While reviewing the logging policy of Surfshark, it was clear that it did not store any kind of connection or usage logs that would let users in trouble.

Transparency Report: No, it does not provide a transparency report.

Cost: $1.99/month for the 2-year plan is the most affordable plan because its 1-year plan costs $5.99/month.

3. NordVPN

Jurisdiction: NordVPN is based in Panama, a country that is considered very safe when it comes to data retention laws. Nobody will know if you will be using a VPN to access YouTube or different websites.

Servers: The largest server network i.e. 5,200 servers and available in 60 countries. Choose a country of your choice that does not follow Article 13, and start accessing YouTube videos.

Logging Policy: NordVPN does not keep any logs whether it is connection logs or usage logs. It also posts a statement also called Warrant Canary that let users know if their government has asked to hand over any information of users. So far, it hasn’t received any applications or warrants.

Transparency Report: It does not show any kind of transparency report. All we know is, NordVPN is owned by Telecom.

Cost: $2.99/month for a 3-year plan is the most reasonable and affordable pricing plan.

4. PureVPN

Jurisdiction: PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, which is not a part of 14 eyes intelligence-sharing countries. This means Hong Kong’s government cannot ask PureVPN about their users’ information.

Servers: Having 2,000 servers in 180 locations. Other than EU countries, choose a server in whichever country you like and enjoy internet freedom.

Logging Policy: It only stores connection logs, but never does it keep usage logs. Everything that you do over the internet remains hidden.

Transparency Report: There is no such transparency report available by PureVPN.

Cost: $3.33/month for a 1-year plan which is affordable to many other VPNs present in the industry.

5. CyberGhost

Jurisdiction: CyberGhost is based in Romania, which does not come under intelligence-sharing countries. So, it is safe to assume that it would not share their users’ data even if they are forced to reveal government issues a warrant.

Servers: It has 3,692 online servers in 59 countries. To avoid EU article 13, this VPN is the best way to surpass its restrictions.

Logging Policy: CyberGhost does keep connection logs, but it does not store any kind of usage logs. You see, usage logs are the most important log that matters. This log keeps track of your online activities, but CyberGhost avoids keeping that log.

Transparency Report: Yes, it does provide a transparency report where it shows how many times the government has approached this provider for users’ data. But every time it has denied access.

Cost: $2.75/month for a 3-year plan is what makes this VPN the best one to buy. It is cheaper than the NordVPNs plan for 3 years.

Wrapping Up

Many big changes are coming to the EU. The vote in favor of Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive has been approved by the EU parliament.

This directive will change the concept of the open internet as to how we see it now. We will not be able to post any photos or videos if there even has a marginal trace of copyright material.

But there’s a way to get around this.

With a VPN, you can spoof your original location and connect to any other country’s server that is outside the EU.

With that, you can share any videos or pictures on social media without any barriers. An Article VPN is the perfect antidote to a new EU Directive.