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Germany: Article 13 – The downfall?

   Reading time: 3 Minutes

For some time now, the rumor about the world-famous Article 13 has been going around the world again. But what actually is this Article 13? The ever controversial Article 13 is supposed to reform the Copyright Act.

According to critics, this is to conjure up the end of the Internet. The EU Parliament has voted. The majority of MEPs voted in favor of the controversial upload filters (Article 13) and (Article 11) the performance right. Opponents are currently talking about a major setback for the free Internet. The proposals are to be implemented before the next EU – election in 2019 and prescribe a comprehensive filtering obligation for website operators. Jimmy Wales, the head of Wikipedia, argues in an open letter and shared that he finds that this law leads to censorship from the Internet. The Internet will become “a place for surveillance,” he said.

Article 13 now makes operators liable!

Where previously everyone was responsible for their own uploads, with the enforcement of this article, the website operator itself would have to be liable. So everyone will be forced to integrate so-called upload filters into the system. YouTube already has one. This has developed the video portal YouTube itself and is said to have cost several million euros. One or the other YouTuber may already know it. For example, if you uploaded a video with music content from a third party, the video was usually blocked or no longer available. But now it can look like this in the future. You upload a video. Youtube checks this and should any already be uploaded, your video will no longer go to upload. Concerns are there, just about the quote right. How will the system recognize that you have made use of it? The artistic freedom will be reduced to a minimum and from now on you would only be allowed to upload 100% self-produced material. How it will finally look on Youtube in 2019 and what solution will be found is still very uncertain. We should first be surprised whether this will actually mean the end of the Internet.

How would the filter system work?

As already indicated, Youtube already has its own system. Named CONTENT ID. A filter system compares already uploaded videos with the new ones. If the system finds a relevant video, it is blocked. This is currently only applicable to music videos and music. However, a filter only works as well as it has been maintained. For example, the filter can not match anything if the missing puzzle piece or counterpart is missing. So, actually also a risky variant for Youtube and co.

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