As censorship on the internet continues to spread and evolve, we are starting to see some bad algorithms and AI dictate how content is shared on the internet. Why is this happening? Well, the internet has grown so large it’s almost impossible to police uploaded content on a wide variety of platforms–which means that companies like YouTube–have started to create new ways to police content without human approval.
But now a EU copyright law–article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive, looks to extend some similar practices into a automated upload filter that scans video content to determine if the material is guilty of copyright infringement. The goal? To stop copyright content being uploaded and viewed before it can be published. The effect? Well possibly the end of free speech, memes, and tons of other creative works. This new EU copyright law is “carpet bombing” in the clearest sense of the phrase, and it’s too blunt of a directive to have lasting or even positive impact.
What is the new EU copyright Law?
The new proposal would require companies (like YouTube) to check content uploaded by users against a database of copyright protect materials. If anyone uploads material that matches content in said database, then the user’s upload would not be published.
Why is this law coming into place?
Lawmakers have a vested interest in mega-corporations that have a hold over the music and video industry. The proposal will benefit major record label companies and movie studios that are angry at the internet platforms for being “too lax” with their content online.
What are the adverse effects of the EU copyright law?
So what negative effects would this new proposal have? Well, we’ve already seen the impact of automatic filters through the use of YouTube’s flagging process that is largely automated against copyright infringement. When a user or users flags a video for something, a large portion of the time the video gets taken down and then reviewed automatically without a human response.
Sometimes these users are trolls, and sometimes they are copyright protection agencies, but the system cannot differentiate. The process is guilty till proven innocent, and the effect can often be huge since a video tends to get monetized and make the most money in the first 24 hours. Not only that, but it’s only the content creator that gets punished, not the claimant who misused the right to take down content.
With the new proposal, a content creator could spend a significant amount of time creating content only to find out that it can’t pass the filter and be published. This could have a wide range of ramifications like on channels relying on current news or trends. Not only that, but the new system’s detection methods can’t be 100% accurate, which means that a lot of content uploaded to the web under fair use law would never reach the internet. If regulations and laws get to control more and more content on the internet, we’ll see less creativity and less freedom of speech.