The Internet is still not saved from “destruction”

After the European Parliament (EP) vote yesterday, the Internet was “saved” by the adoption of the disputed texts in the new Internet copyright directive. But that does not mean that the battle is over. In fact, it is yet to begin

Last month, the proposal was accepted by one of the EP committees. There are two controversial texts in Articles 11 and 13. They have created the serious discontent of the IT industry and a great deal of MEPs.

Article 11 provides for an obligation for internet search engines and social networks to share part of their revenue with the media when they show links to their news and material. According to supporters of the idea, social networks and search engines make a lot of profit by using the few lines of text in hyperlinks in their results and streams of publications. Critics believe that it will only benefit some media and will generally lead to a reduction in the distribution of links. They exemplify the fact that there are already local laws in Spain and Germany where Google News totally stopped work, which has reduced traffic to sites.

Article 13 was even more controversial. It provided for an obligation for sites, social networks and Internet platforms to monitor and remove any content with unsettled copyrights. If they do not, they will be subject to liability and fines. The idea may create filters that block content before it’s published.

So even popular “memes”, animated GIFs, and other pictures that users are willing to share can be intrusive because they often use fragments of movies, videos, and more. This is what critics say. Supporters of Article 13, mainly from the music industry, believe that the idea is simply to prevent the random uploading of copyright content anywhere, and to facilitate the process by which content makers receive the right remuneration for their work.

According to the opponents of Article 13, however, in its present form, the law is too broadly worded and would create conditions for censorship. Leading companies opposed the law, and several European Wikipedia pages temporarily restricted access to their articles as a protest and a demonstration of what might happen.