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Memes Survive EU's Internet Copyright Laws — For Now

Memes Survive EU's Internet Copyright Laws — For Now

The European Union passed legislation this week that introduces new requirements for how social media platforms handle content posted on their platform.

What Happened

EU bureaucrats passed the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, 348 to 274, which grants new power for European media and entertainment platforms to "increase their authority to police their copyright content," according to libertarian magazine Reason.

For example, if a social media platform wants to allow users to continue posting stories from media sites on their profile, the company needs to seek out a license from the publication.

Companies that have been in business for more than three years or that have made at least $11 million in profit in a year will be held financially responsible if copyrighted content is uploaded to their platform, Reason said.

Memes Safe For Now

Memes and GIFs that include copyrighted content will still be allowed — sort of.  

The bill will allow the use of copyrighted material so long as it is used for "quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody, and pastiche."

But if social media companies and search engines introduce automated filtering technologies to automatically remove content, memes could be collateral damage. 

What's Next

Companies like Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) could decide to simply shut down part of their platform in Europe if the legislation is approved by individual country members, The Verge said.

It wouldn't be unprecedented: Google pulled its news platform in Spain in 2014 when the country enacted similar rules. 

Related Links:

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Posted-In: censorship European Union Reason social media The VergeEurozone Markets Media Best of Benzinga


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