Article 13 – Freedom of Internet in Danger?

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Article 13 – Freedom of Internet in Danger?
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Mar 31, 2019

The European Parliament voted a preliminary agreement on new rules for the protection of copyrights on the Internet, including a controversial Article 13.

According to the article, the Internet platform is obliged, before the content appears, to check its ownership. The aim of the new regulation is to better protect rights and revenues for the creative industry, but, critics warn, could limit freedom of speech.

The new rules could make Google sign contracts with musicians, performers, journalists, publishers, in order to use their work on the Internet. For YouTube, Facebook and Instagram - new filters to prevent users from downloading copyrighted material from their platforms. This will affect users worldwide.

Experts say that it’s likely to reduce the attractiveness of content on the Internet and the ability to set up some content. On the other hand, this can lead to an increase in piracy on those platforms that work completely illegally, while content-sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook and others, they probably have some change in the business model, because they will have to pay extra for some copyright.

It took three years for new legal solutions to be voted. It remains to be approved by all 28 Member States. Two years are the deadline for the implementation of the directive for the industry, which in the Union is worth 915 billion euros a year.

"I know that many young people may be disappointed with this decision, but I want to tell them that we do not want to filter and censor the Internet, nor to abolish YouTube." But we want YouTube to give fair compensation to those who create the content of this platform, says Axel Voss, rapporteur for the copyright law.

European Digital Agenda Commissioner Maria Gabriel says this is a key moment for European culture, digital economy and the defense of European values.

"The reform is in favor of all authors, journalists, publishers, filmmakers, musicians, researchers, librarians and many others," says Gabriel.

Soon after the adoption of the regulation, Google announced that copyright reforms would cause "legal uncertainty" and cause damage. Previously, the creative team of YouTube also tweeted:

"The final version of the European Copyright Directive is an improvement, but we remain worried. Article 13 could still have unwanted consequences that could damage the European creative and digital economy. We ask the European states to take this concern into account while applying for new rules", the team said.

On the eve of the vote, support groups in Strasbourg, and across Germany, tens of thousands of citizens walked. The laws that have regulated this area so far have not been changed for nearly 20 years.

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