EU upload filter leads to content block and excludes Europeans




YouTube CEO
Susan Wojcicki, the director of YouTube, warns of significant negative consequences of the new EU copyright directive. According to her, there are impossible financial risks, so that content will be blocked. She also states that Europeans are excluded.

Wojcicki focuses specifically on Article 13 of the text adopted by the European Parliament in September for a new copyright directive. This article is also referred to as the ‘upload filter’. The director of YouTube states that the creation of content by creatives is threatened by this filter, because internet companies are directly responsible for the violation of copyright.

She explains this with an example in the form of the worldwide music hit ‘Despacito’. This video contains many copyrights, from sound recordings to publishing rights. Wojcicki says that YouTube has agreements with several parties, but that some rights holders are unknown. According to her, this uncertainty means that these kinds of videos may have to be blocked, because otherwise liability may arise in accordance with article 13. Wojcicki says that 400 hours of videos are uploaded on its platform every minute, so that the potential financial risks can become so great that no company wants to take. According to her, other systems such as YouTube’s own Content ID are much better suited to respond to the issue of copyright owners.

In addition, Wojcicki states that Article 13 goes beyond just financial risks. She argues that residents of EU Member States run the risk of being cut off from this type of video because platforms do not want to take the risk of having to deal with the new EU rules. In October, Wojcicki predicted that the new directive is threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs , because platforms will be reluctant to continue publishing content from millions of content creators.

Article 13 is an obligation for internet platforms to prevent the possibility of uploading copyrighted material. The obligation to set up an upload filter does not appear as such in the legal text, but critics such as Wojcicki think that internet platforms can not meet the new rules in any other way. The director of YouTube says she can agree with the motives of the EU, namely to ensure that artists get paid more for their work, but she is reluctant to the ‘unintended consequences’, which in her opinion will have a strong impact on the income of hundreds of thousands of people.

On 12 September , the EU Parliament approved a text for the new copyright directive. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission are still negotiating the final text within the EU. It is expected that the final text will be final no later than sometime next year, after which Member States will probably have to introduce the rules within two years. This means that the rules could be in effect from the beginning of 2021.


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