Article 13… a Ban on Memes

Article 13... a Ban on Memes

Ashraf Ahamad, Andrew Krishna, and Vincent Harris

        The European Parliament passed a new copyright law called the copyright directive in the digital single market. The lawmakers are claiming that the copyright directive will protect the rights of content creators, but opposers are saying that it unintentionally caused a restriction of freedom of speech. The most interesting section of the law is in Article 13, here it says that the platforms can be sued if they don’t make their “best effort” to stop copyrighted content from being uploaded on their sites. The main reason people are fearing the article is because of the fear of being sued will push platforms to “over-block” and throttle content that closely resembles copyright content. That is why some people are calling it the “meme ban”.

         Passing the directive in the EU Parliament is only the first step. The members have set a two-year deadline to implement the law locally. Content creators have said that the copyright law is a “censorship machine” and that it will harm freedom of speech and impose a problem on social media platforms and such. It is not yet clear if such a law would pass in the United States.