Article 13 – the global “meme ban”

Lily Stanton

Digital Editor

It is safe to say that most people in younger generations would be terribly distraught with the major copyright changes that come with the public proclaimed “meme ban” recently in Europe.

With its detrimental effects on freedom of speech online as we know it, Article 13 could change the entire environment of the internet.

Article 13 is a bill that passed in the European Union (EU) in September despite great disapproval from the general population, and while this may not seem important to those in the states, it is expected to have great consequences on the way we go about using social media. The bill is titled The European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, and it affects Fair Use and Safe Harbor in a way that could potentially hinder the way people uploads content on social media: from memes, to creators who make a living on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and so on.

Earlier this year, the EU passed the bill for Article 13, and thus caused harsher copy right restrictions on world-wide social media companies that suddenly held them accountable for the content being uploaded on their sites. Most users of those websites received emails verifying the new terms and condition requirements. While many people skipped over this, plenty people found the bill to be the cause and were not happy about it.

One of the most popular videos made on this topic was by the Youtuber Mathew Patrick who runs a popular channel, The Film Theorists. In his video he addressed the threat that this article runs against all of society today as a whole in a very simple and entertaining way. Other, more reliable, sources back his claims as well, such as Regional Bureau Director for Europe, Frederick Donck’s article “Article 13 of the Copyright Directive Raises Serious Questions”

As the Internet Society has written, content-blocking technology is often highly ineffective, overly broad, and even counterproductive. Technologies deployed today often block legal content and do not differentiate between fair use and copyright infringing activity,” said Donck, aiming at the portion of the article referring to the means in which these companies should be expected to filter their content.

The article is set to pass very soon, and even people in our communities at Douglas Anderson have opinions for what this article could mean for them.

“I don’t think this will affect me very much,” said Araya West, junior. She believes that because she doesn’t post pictures that are not her own original content often, the copyright striking technology will not affect her.

However, Julian Taylor, also a junior, has the opposite opinion— one that many others share as well.

“I’ll definitely be affected by it. With the cheap bots that they [big social media companies] use instead of moderators, anything can get taken down by anyone who claims copyright.” said Taylor. “It’s lazy and could affect all of the content we consume as a society on the internet.”

Currently there are hundreds of campaigns running to petition against this bill or at least require stricter language, but no action has been taken yet.

To join in the movement against Article 13, petitions can be signed at

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