There’s been no more fiery a topic in the global music business this month than Article 13.
This is the provision within the new European Copyright Directive which seeks to make user-upload services like YouTube legally liable for all copyright-infringing content on their platforms.
YouTube is claiming that Article 13 will essentially break its platform. It says that, due to the liability caused by its wording, that it will have to pull down videos like Latin smash hit Despacito in the future.
Music business lobbyists strongly disagree, suggesting that such cautions by YouTube are nothing more than additions to a “carpet-bombing propaganda” campaign designed to whip up unfounded worry about the legislation.
Who to believe? One simple way of deciding that is to actually read Article 13. It runs to just 240 words in length, it’s not weighed down by particularly dense legalise, and you can read it in full below.
Does it, as YouTube claims, open up the service to “unmitigated liability and such a large financial risk that we would be forced to block huge amounts of video”?
Or does it, as a group of music trade bodies countered yesterday, prove that “YouTube’s eleventh-hour campaign of fact-free fear-mongering should be seen for what it is: an attempt to derail the EU democratic legislative process”?
Make your own mind up.
The European Copyright Directive is likely to be passed into law before the close of 2018.
Use of protected content by information society service providers storing and giving access to large amounts of works and other subject-matter uploaded by their users:
- Information society service providers that store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works or other subject-matter uploaded by their users shall, in cooperation with rightholders, take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rightholders for the use of their works or other subject-matter or to prevent the availability on their services of works or other subject-matter identified by rightholders through the cooperation with the service providers. Those measures, such as the use of effective content recognition technologies, shall be appropriate and proportionate. The service providers shall provide rightholders with adequate information on the functioning and the deployment of the measures, as well as, when relevant, adequate reporting on the recognition and use of the works and other subject-matter.
- Member States shall ensure that the service providers referred to in paragraph 1 put in place complaints and redress mechanisms that are available to users in case of disputes over the application of the measures referred to in paragraph 1.
- Member States shall facilitate, where appropriate, the cooperation between the information society service providers and rightholders through stakeholder dialogues to define best practices, such as appropriate and proportionate content recognition technologies, taking into account, among others, the nature of the services, the availability of the technologies and their effectiveness in light of technological developments.
That’s literally it. It’s taken from the European Copyright Directive which is available here.
YouTuber Christopher Bingham takes an interesting perspective on all of this: despite uploading content to YouTube for more than 12 years, he believes Article 13 isn’t a problem.
You can check out his thoughts on the topic, and YouTube’s reaction to Article 13, through here.Music Business Worldwide