What is Article 13 and how will it Affect the Internet?

Mar 27, 2019

Article 13 header image for Creative Marketing Services Blog

Everyone’s been talking about Article 13 and the way it will affect the internet. As with any major news story, there’s a lot of hype and chatter around this, so we want to get clear in this blog on what it’s really all about.

So, what is Article 13?

Laptop eu flag for what is article 13?

Article 13 is a controversial EU law. It’s all about how content sharing services, which means websites such as YouTube, have to behave when it comes to presenting any content that is protected by copyright, such as music videos and movies.

What is copyright law for and why does it matter?

question mark eu picture, why does article 13 matter?

Copyright law and the World Wide Web have always had a tricky relationship, to say the least. Some readers may recall the trend for illegal downloading of music back in the early noughties. Almost overnight the music industry was more or less turned on its head because everyone was suddenly downloading music for free instead of buying it. It wasn’t legal, but it was very hard to enforce because the internet was so young and the tech was so novel.

Although the music industry has recovered, the issues with copyright continue to crop up time and time again. Anyone who watches YouTube regularly will know how commonplace it is to find films posted on the site and then to find them taken down at a later date. Nobody is supposed to post movies on YouTube without permission, but there are thousands on there at any given time. Likewise, no YouTuber, no matter how young, creative and passionate, should be using, without permission, pop songs as background music or excerpts of famous cartoons and TV shows to enhance their content.

As with the problems with music downloads all those years ago, enforcing the law is not easy because of the scale involved. The legal owners of the content have had difficulty in recent years enforcing their rights.

How is Article 13 intended to help?

How can article 13 help us?

Article 13 is intended to help matters by making the companies themselves take more responsibility. The idea is that a big organisation such as YouTube will have to be much more vigilant about what gets posted and by whom. For example, if an individual video creator decides to use a well-known pop song as his or her theme-tune, and to run it every video as part of their intro, the onus will be on YouTube to prevent this from happening.

Will Article 13 change the internet for the worse?

Will article 13 change the internet for better or for worse - thumbs up or down?

The essential concern over Article 13 comes down to the fear that the internet will be changed for the worse. The internet is celebrated as an invention that allows people to share and connect. Internet technology makes the world a global village and facilitates the existence of millions of diverse communities that transcend borders. At the root of it all is the simple concept of sharing in an easy, uninhibited way. Anyone can jump on their phone or computer and share a funny idea or a creative concept. It’s straight-forward and it’s fun. Now, the worry with Article 13 is that it’s going to clamp down on everything that’s positive about the internet; it’s going to stifle creativity and impose limitations on a flourishing, organic culture.

Memes live on under Article 13!


Against these prophecies of doom, we know, at the very least, that memes are permitted. The meme really epitomises internet culture. As a humorous, topical, viral form of information, often far more sophisticated than its accessible style might suggest, the meme is no mere novelty. (We are passionate supporters of memes!)

It’s not entirely clear yet just how Article 13 will play out, in terms of the impact it will have on internet use and content production. However, the fact that memes are permitted is significant and a good sign. It shows that the law-makers have an understanding of the benefits of the internet and are working to make it fair and practical for everyone, at nobody’s expense.

Get in touch with us here at Creative Marketing Services for expert marketing solutions for 2019. You can call us on 0113 287 7973. And don’t forget to bookmark this blog for our regular digital marketing insights.