On February 26, Twitch streamers Pala and P4wnyhof played Mario Kart with MEP’s Tiemo Wölken, from Germany’s Social Democratic Party, and Julia Reda, from the Pirate Party, while discussing the wider implications of the controversial law.
Though Article 13 was designed to help protect copyright holders, its overzealous wording has huge potential knock-on effects for platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. In its current state, these platforms would become liable for any copyright infringements that happen on their sites.
By making these channels responsible not just for what they post, but also for what each user posts, it's clear that this law should change. Posting videos with an image, text, or piece of music that infringes copyright laws could mean hefty fines not only for the user, but also for the platform. This means that all content would have to be checked. Since YouTube has so much content, this means that filters would be used - and we all know how that goes.
Twitch has managed to get the MEPs on board, which is something, but it remains to be seen how effective this will be.
The #SaveTheInternet campaign called for the EU community to contact their MEPs and ask them to vote against the law. However, this has had seemingly little effect.
Article 13 has now been voted through parliament, but the fight is not yet over.
While the law has been passed, the wording has yet to be finalized, which is vital to ensure that the law is fair to all. The Mario Kart tournament hoped to raise more awareness of the knock-on effects to content creators and viewers, especially those outside of the EU.
If you want to know more about Article 13, you can check YouTube’s #SaveYourInternet page, which outlines the issues. Reda herself has also written about the subject and offers some advice on what viewers and creators, especially those in the EU, can do to help.
It remains to be seen if the campaign will gain enough traction to change the law before it changes the Internet.