The European Union’s Article 13 copyright ruling could result in big regulations for YouTube creators. It has many adversaries, including YouTube’s CEO.
If you aren’t already familiar with Article 13, it’s a new requirement that, if approved, will force YouTube to become even stricter when preventing copyright content from being uploaded and shared. Why? Because the article will make YouTube solely liable for stolen content on its platform.
Currently YouTube allows creators to upload remixed copyright material because of the Fair Use Act. However, Article 13 could change that. Because YouTube will be more liable under the ruling, the platform will have to use harsher filters. These filters could result in more creator’s work being flagged and suppress creator’s videos.
Susan Wojcicki’s response
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently wrote a letter to speak out against the EU’s Article 13. She wrote about her concerns and attacked the EU decision to approve the copyright directive.
“This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” Wojcicki wrote. “And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European Creators, businesses, artists, and everyone they employ. The proposal will force platforms, like YouTube, to prioritize content from a small number of large companies. The burden of copyright proof will be too high for most independent creators to instantly demonstrate. There is a better way forward for copyright online but it’s critical you speak up now as this decision may be finalized by the end of the year.”
There’s been a number of YouTube executive critics of the EU’s new regulation ruling. YouTube’s head of business and overseer of creators Robert Kyncl posted a blog before the vote. In the blog, he voiced his opposition to the regulations, believing it would affect creators in a negative way.
“Copyright holders have control over their content: they can use our tools to block or remove their works, or they can keep them on YouTube and earn advertising revenue,” Kyncl wrote. “In over 90 percent of cases, they choose to leave the content up. Enabling this new form of creativity and engagement with fans can lead to mass global promotion and even more revenue for the artist.”
Even Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, are against the article. They’ve argued it’s too vague in its current form to operate properly.
“We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online,” an open letter reads. “But we cannot support Article 13, which would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks. For the sake of the Internet’s future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal.”
Article 13 will put more financial burdens on YouTube to bring in more regulations
YouTube’s already spent over $60 million to beef up its Content ID system. Article 13 will make YouTube invest more to protect itself from being liable for copyright violations.
The Copyright Directive needs one final approval vote. The European Parliament will hold the final vote in January.