YouTube is running an aggressive lobbying campaign against the European Copyright Directive, going so far as to enlist and bankroll YouTubers to post videos denouncing Article 13 in extremely stark, end-of-the-world terms. Let’s examine the truthfulness of some of the claims of this campaign.
All videos will be examined for copyright violations as they are uploaded, creating an oppressive censorship machine.
This is misleading. Most rights holders will want their works on the platforms and so will negotiate rights, or have their rights be negotiated for them. So not much changes. Official videos will be available, and the licences will cover uploaders’ mashups, highlights and parodies. Copyright, or authors’ right, is a tool for creators to be remunerated, not a tool to censor: no creator benefits from leaving their works unseen or unheard.
If the rights holders do not want uploaders to post video with versions of their material, it will be up to the rights holders themselves to report to the platforms with metadata, digital fingerprints or other pertinent information so that content can be removed. Parody, snippets and educational exceptions will remain in place, so platforms will have nothing to do in these cases.
Platforms will of course not have to take action in cases where rights holders are not trying to monetize their material.
Oh, speaking of censorship, read our post on how much filtering is already going on at YouTube.
Nobody will ever get famous again posting their cover of a favourite song.
Not relevant. The copyright directive does not change anything involving covers. If the original song is covered by a licensing agreement, so will the cover. Like today. The same goes for background music. If there is a license, it’s covered.
The business model that supports platforms like YouTube will be destroyed.
No. User-generated content will not die. Creators will not have to abandon YouTube. What will happen is that creators will have the tools to negotiate fair deal, and platforms will have to become more transparent.
Memes and GIFs will die.
Nope. The new Copyright Directive will not affect rules around memes and GIFs, which are protected under parody exceptions.