Article 13 – What’s the fuss about?

If you spend a lot of time online, odds are you’ve heard something about Article 13. It’s part of new EU legislation that’s recently been passed. While it’s been hailed as a breakthrough by some content creators, many others (possibly a majority) are worried about it. It’s wording is somewhat vague. Some see it as a threat to net neutrality. And some have dubbed it a “meme ban”. We’ve summarised some of the pros and cons of Article 13 (and its cousin, Article 11, the “link tax”) below, and our friends over at the CMA have also posted an analysis of what it might mean for creative industries.

What is Article 13?

Simply put, Article 13 aims to see money traditionally kept by content-hosting platforms (e.g. Google News & Youtube), shared between contributors to those platforms. The EU argues that content-hosting platforms have been making money off other people’s content, and that a larger share of this money should go to the content creator. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? While many musicians and independent creators have praised the legislation, others are less optimistic. It become harder for small-to-mid-sized companies to compete with Google and other larger content hosts. Wired have put together a great video about why this isn’t so straightforward:

What about Article 11?

This one takes aim at news aggregators and search engines that use snippets of people’s content without paying them. It was initially feared that even linking to content might necessitate a fee, but Article 11 was changed to stop this. Even with this change people are worried, as being unable to display metadata without paying a fee might mean fundamental changes to the way sites like Google News work. Of course, huge corporations like Google have enough resource and finance to adapt, and more money going to content creators is great, but Article 11 could again cause problems for smaller aggregators and search engines. How could a start-up search engine hope to compete with a company like Google if they have to pay for link preview text?

What next?

The actual impact of both of Article 11 and Article 13 remains to be seen. Companies now have two years to comply with the new EU legislation. As a creative marketing agency, we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for any changes affecting us or our clients. We’ll post our findings to the blog as we get them, so check back periodically for more info on the changing face of the digital space.

Looking for help creating content? Get in touch and let’s put our heads together.