EU Approves Meme and Copyright Article 11 and 13 Laws, Final Vote “Probably in the Spring”

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The European Union have passed the next stage of the proposed Article 11 and Article 13.

For those not familiar with our previous coverage, the laws had come under fire from free speech activists due to how they were going to tackle copyright violations. Article 11 proposes a tax on posting hyperlinks on the internet, while Article 13 would demand an AI detection based filter on websites to prevent any copyrighted content from being uploaded.

While many have criticized it destroys fair use for content such as reviews, parodies and memes, it could also potentially quash smaller news organizations who rely on sourcing other websites and images. In addition, some have shown concern that any form of “upload filter” (akin to the ToS moderating on Youtube and Twitter) combined with crippling alternative news sources could be used to censor specific stories, information, specific beliefs and viewpoints.

An initial version of the laws were rejected in July of this year, under EU law the bill could then be resubmitted later with proposed amendments. According to Mark Meechan (better known as “Count Dankula”) who visited the EU headquarters to speak against the laws, “almost all amendments were rejected”. Information on some of these amendments can be found via a video by Meechan, and from EU MP Julia Reda– who had been against these laws in their current form.

Despite the bill now being identical to what it was in the first place, the bill still passed. Reda posted the results of the vote to Twitter. Out of 703 MPs, 438 approved, 226 rejected it, and 39 did not cast a vote.

However, this is not the end. While the EU Parliament have passed this bill, it now needs to go to the EU Council- representing the member state governments. Only once it has passed this final stage can it be law. Reda claims the vote will “probably in the spring”, and that there is still time for people to contact their governments and make their voices heard.

We will keep you informed as this story develops.

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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