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On September the 12th, Members of the European Parliament are to vote on the amended copyright directive which was formed to revisit legislation on copyright for the internet. The main attention is on article 11 and 13 which has made internet users stressed.

Even though copyright protection is a good thing and original creators should be given credit and compensation for their work, there are concerns that these laws would totally change the way we use the internet.

In fact, they may in a way destroy the internet as we know it today.


Article 11 – Link Tax

Article 11 focuses on the linking tax, this would enable original owners of the content to receive compensation when their links are used. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. This would mean that you’d end up paying for article titles or hyperlinks.

Playing it hard on links would mean that so many links on social forums, blogs, discussion platforms, and online communities would be wiped out overnight! In real terms, these links are one of the reasons why the internet has expanded so much and have had an exponential effect on the growth of many websites and platforms.

Requiring authorization for every link would make it almost impossible to function the internet as we do now, slowing down the process of content creation and link sharing.


Article 13- The Meme Killer

This article makes content censorship obligatory and holds the content platform liable for violations of copyright rather than the submitters of the content.

One problem with this article is that only the human mind can clearly judge if there is a copyright issue or not. In many cases, copyrighted content is legal such as quotes, political statements.

As there would be billions of articles and content pieces to analyze, this part of the problem will have to be assigned to artificial intelligence filters.  That would make the whole issue problematic as it lacks the intelligence to judge what really copyright infringement is and what is not.

This is where the title meme killer comes from as most of the content in memes is made on images which are copyrighted. This lack of ability to judge makes the article 13 a huge concern for internet users.


Final Verdict

Ensuring credit and compensation to the real owners is definitely a good thing, as in the physical world real ownership matters, likewise, it is important in the cyber world as well. However, it has to be understood that the internet and its utility has grown far more than it was initially envisioned.

Today internet has become too large to be chained in such laws, while better ways to ensure credit to owners of content can be thought of, simply implementing these laws without proper methodology would suddenly make the internet look like a barren land.