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Article 13, the so-called anti-meme law, was approved in European Parliament this week. As with the GDPR, this new legislation will similarly affect Internet users far beyond the confines of the EU. Here's a quick bullet list of its more contentious points, via

  • Companies will need licensing agreements with rights holders such as musicians, performers and authors to use their content;
  • Social media platforms would have to ensure uploaded content is not in breach of copyright rules;
  • The likes of Google News would have to pay publishers for press snippets shown in search results.
Does this mean, then, that the copy/paste above—and, for that matter, the image above that—would require licenses from the respective rights-holders, even with attribution? This is the general worry among bloggers and other creators, and one that seems curiously at odds with the very mandate of Article 13.

As WIRED UK reports, this legislation is meant to reign in the power of big American tech companies:

The whole point of the directive, according to the EU, is to spread money more evenly between the people that create content – like musicians and journalists – and the online platforms that host that content.

The EU argues that up until now, online platforms such as YouTube and Google News have been making huge sums of money by hosting or directing people to creative content – but haven’t been funnelling much of that cash back to the people who make the content in the first place.
There is some irony here in that Google, in particular, may end up profiting from Article 13. Its parent company Alphabet has invested over $100 million USD building an automated copyright detection system for YouTube; now that the law has passed it suddenly finds itself in the enviable position of being able to license this technology to other Internet platforms.

Sources: DW, WIRED UK