Upload filters and censorship machines-will EU Copyright proposal change the internet?

Map of actor- proposals

Say goodbye to your favorite memes, gifs, music. There are new rules on the internet!

On June 20 2018, the JURI Committee adopted the Article 13 of the new Copyright proposal. Threatening to change the internet as we know it, I wrote a policy brief underlying the key proposals and their implications over how the internet, and with it users’ behavior, will function.Users can say goodbye to both uploading and seeing their favourite memes, gifs, music, quotes, if someone claimed copyright on them. They will be blocked before upload if they use any (or just part of a) copyrighted material.

One of the most contested issues is the Article 13 – Copyright on online platforms. The reasons for this are manyfold: 1. it breaches the human rights of freedom of free expression and privacy; 2. contributes to the creation of “censorship machines” by filtering all user-uploaded content; 3. it leaves the regulation of the internet and free-flow of content/information in the hands of the online platforms themselves 4. runs directly contrary to the eCommerce Directive (Article 15) — which prohibits imposing “general monitoring” obligations on hosting providers.

Timeline Copyright proposal


It’s been a lengthy and complex process, with many proposals, amendments, “compromise” proposals, opinions, conusltations and lobbying, of course. So grasping both what is proposed, what are the implications and what are the stances of the different actors has been quite a challenging task. I aimed for comprehensives and as much brevity as possible, and I hope I managed to make this issue a bit more understandable.

The process itself mobilized multitude and variety of actors and stakeholders, ranging from civil society organizations, to academics, startups, and the “big players” such as Mozilla and GitHub. Below is the actor network of some of the most prominent actors, and their proposals regarding  Article 13.

Map of actor- proposals


The entire policy brief in a pdf format can be found here.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *