EU’s Article 13 Could See A Tectonic Shift in Internet Culture?

by: The Knowledge Group

September 25, 2018


In an attempt to crack down on copyright violations and better protect intellectual property, the European Union is now on the verge of adopting two new provisions that could dramatically change the internet as we know it in Europe.

The two provisions have been getting a lot of buzz in the media lately, as they could effectively ban memes, GIFs, and other shared content within EU nations. The content that these provisions could end up banning, however, have become irreversibly woven into the fabric of internet culture. Today, memes are used as a form of entertainment, a form of communication, a form of marketing for internet-savvy companies, and more. Reversing a major cultural trend is no easy task, and the EU could very easily end up adopting laws that are both highly unpopular and incredibly difficult to enforce.

Nevertheless, many experts argue that concerns over the two provisions have been blown out of proportion and that adopting them wouldn’t lead to internet users noticing any radical differences in regards to what they are able to share and view online. Critics of the provisions, though, aren’t convinced that this will be the case.

The biggest issue isn’t necessarily the laws themselves but rather the measures that website owners will have to take to ensure that they remain compliant. In order to prevent copyrighted material from being uploaded to their website, website owners will likely have to implement algorithmic filters designed to block all copyrighted content. The concern with this is that these filters could likely end up being much broader and more restrictive than even the laws themselves.

With all of the pushback that the provisions are currently facing, there is still a chance that they will never make it into law. If they do, though, Europeans need to be prepared for what may very well amount to a tectonic shift in internet culture.

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