Thursday, November 8, 2018

Due to "Article 13": Will YouTube be deleted next year?

One topic is trending at YouTube Germany these days: the draft of a new Copyright Directive of the European Union which could force YouTube to stop its business in Europe. At least this is what some people say.

Currently YouTube Germany proposes the query "youtube will be deleted" already when only typing "y".

This pessimism is based on a blog post of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki from October 22, 2018 which says:
"... the EU Parliament voted on Article 13, copyright legislation that could drastically change the internet that you see today.
Article 13 as written threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people – from creators like you to everyday users – to upload content to platforms like YouTube. And it threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere."
At November 2, the German YouTube channel WissensWert ("worth knowing") released a video with the title "Why YouTube will not exist anymore next year". In this video it pretended that in some months all channels that we like will be deleted except a few of some big firms.

The truth is: article 13 is part of the Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on copyright in the Digital Single Market. But it is still in discussion within the institutions of the European Union. It is still unclear which one is becoming the final version.

For example, the Council's text of Article 13 regulates that an online content sharing service provider shall obtain an authorization from the rightholders in order to communicate or make available to the public works or other subject matter. Where no such authorization has been obtained, the service provider shall prevent the availability on its service of those works and other subject matter.

YouTube recognizes that it would be impossible to obtain authorizations from every rightholder. Thus YouTube would risk to get sued by rightholders. One way to prevent this would be to delete European YouTube channels – except some bigger ones in which YouTube trusts.

The consequence of this scenario would be that most of music clips will disappear from YouTube so that they cannot be embedded on COVER.INFO anymore.

YouTube started the #SaveYourInternet campain to invite creators to make videos about this topic:
"Article 13 could create enormous unintended consequences for everyone. We need to come together for a better solution."
When online content sharing service providers use filters to block uploaded content which might use copyright-protected works, this can lead to censorship. The filter may block content even when you cite a work in a permitted way, for example if you want to show a photograph in order to discuss it. But the truth is that upload filters would be nothing new. YouTube already uses them; they are called "Content ID".

If social-media corporations retired from Europe to avoid liability, there probably would be no contemporary platforms anymore to express opinions.

While there are superficial petitions on and many YouTube videos at the same level to spread dysphoria against the European Union, a speaker of European Commission designated the criticism on article 13 as nonsense at November 6, as German online magazine reported. The European Union is not against the Internet, he said. The position of rightholders should be strengthened and their content better rewarded.

Because of its scope, it is very important to carefully find a proper wording for the new Copyright Directive. The European Commission welcomes proposals.