Article 13 Approved ... How will this affect Patreon?

Hey Guys,

The Article 18 has been approved in EU and I was wandering how this will affect Patreon.
I know that it is too soon to speak about it but it would be great if you could share your point.

I know many people on patreon have also a YouTube channel and there are a lot of people who rely on acoustic covers.

I am wandering if YouTube will start taking down all the copyrighted material …

Looks like Europe is closing himself in a bubble.


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I don’t know what you think the Copyright Directive is about (there is a lot of misinformation about, no surprise there), but protecting the rights of creators and ensuring their work is not used commercially without proper compensation is excellent news and long overdue. I don’t see how it would affect the site as a whole. Using someone else’s work for profit was never acceptable here in the first place.


Some useful reading to clarify what this is about. The breakdown of the facts below comes from the legal team of the Society of Authors, the UK’s trade union for professional writers, illustrators etc:

The Copyright Directive seeks to modernise copyright for the digital age. As well as forcing platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to take greater responsibility for the creative content they host, it contains the following much-needed provisions which would strengthen the rights of authors:

  • A transparency obligation, which would force publishers to be more transparent when reporting information to authors related to accounting and the exploitation of their works.

  • A contract adjustment mechanism (or “bestseller clause”) allowing authors to claim additional remuneration when sales are much better than expected.

  • A dispute resolution mechanism, enabling disputes over these two issues to be submitted to an alternative resolution procedure.

Various tech giants have spent millions of pounds lobbying against the Directive, and their campaign has been characterised by a loop of misinformation and scaremongering – this briefing from the British Copyright Council explains more. This led MEPs to reject the Directive when they first voted on it in July.

Here’s a 12-point breakdown of what the Directive actually is:

  1. Creators and performers are also users of copyright works — it’s about a fair deal for all .
  2. The proposals aim to benefit all creators : professionals will be paid for use of their work, while creators of user-generated content will get all the rights they need through the upload platform.
  3. Most creators are individuals and small businesses — the proposals ask internet giants to follow the offline norm and pay a fair share for creative content used on their platforms.
  4. Creators have always been inspired by works that went before — the proposals don’t stop anyone standing on the shoulders of giants ; they hold the ladder.
  5. People will still be able to link to and share other people’s content — hyperlinking is explicitly excluded from the proposals.
  6. The proposals state clearly that they don’t apply to online encyclopaedias like Wikipedia and other non-commercial services.
  7. Parody is not threatened (and neither are ‘memes’) — it’s already covered by an exception to copyright and the proposals say rightsholders can’t prevent uploading of works covered by exceptions.
  8. The proposals aren’t censorship : that’s the very opposite of what most journalists, authors, photographers, film-makers and many other creators devote their lives to.
  9. Not allowing creators to make a living from their work is the real threat to freedom of expression .
  10. Not allowing creators to make a living from their work is the real threat to the free flow of information online.
  11. Not allowing creators to make a living from their work is the real threat to everyone’s digital creativity.
  12. Stopping the directive would be a victory for multinational internet giants at the expense of all those who make, enjoy and enjoy using creative works.

For more information on the Copyright Directive, please read these briefings from the British Copyright Council:


Wow … thank you for that Joumana. We will see how YouTube will work on that.
I am just scared that videos of covers and song tutorial will be taken down … which would be a clear disaster.
Is it just me freaking out about this things? Will YouTube handle that?
We will see :slight_smile:

ArsTechnica writeup here too.


We’re so upset that this passed but continue to stand with all our creators and fight against it when we can. We’re now unfortunately at the “wait and see how this unfolds” part of the lifecycle of the law. This website is a good resource on what happens next.

Article 13 is right up there with such clever ideas like “government only” security back doors. It’s really stupid.

I mean, if it was going to bring about all those things the BCC says it will do, that’s great. The bad news is, it’s not going to. Article 13 isn’t about giving small-time content creators their fair share, it’s about protecting the interests of large corporations with copyright-enforcement legal teams.

This isn’t speculation, this is exactly what happened with DMCA in the US, except this time around the decision that your content violates Disney’s copyright (or is close enough) is going to be made by a piece of software. There is no remuneration when your channel gets demonetized for having too many hits. Fill out a form to get your content back, we’ll get back to you.

The additional costs for the enforcement systems is going to come out of creator ad revenue, too.

"Article 13 isn’t about giving small-time content creators their fair share, it’s about protecting the interests of large corporations with copyright-enforcement legal teams.”

Completely the wrong way around. Just what I said about misinformation. Personally I will put my trust in the analysis of a respected entity with over 130 years of experience protecting small-time content creators against corporations and governments, whose legal team read every word of the proposal before putting their full support behind it. That’s credibility no individual blogger can claim, especially if they have to resort to sensationalistic undiscerning headlines. Sheesh.

Maybe I’m wrong about the site being affected, but if there is a general movement towards protecting small creators’ rights, as I believe there is, then being forced to get up-to-date is for the best. The GDPR was a pain to get through, but what a relief now that it’s the norm. Freaking out before we know exactly what is going to change for us, and to what extent, is a waste of energy. (Nope, I don’t expect this view to be popular.)


Those are noble credentials. I have no doubt that they believe that the Article’s goals are good for them, but the BCC has no implementation expertise. This is where Article 13’s critics say it will fail.

Many organizations who are in a position to know say it will not.

Patreon has come out against it. Why do you think that is, when they are so clearly an organization that depends on the success of small creators?

Creative Commons (an organization that knows a thing or two about digital rights for small creators) has come out against it. They point out that while the Article 13 allows for parody and fair use, the automated enforcement systems that will arise will not be able to recognize fair use or parody.

So, some specific questions. Let’s say it’s 2023, and Article 13 is in full effect.

You, @joumana - you have the right to have your copyrighted content protected by Article 13. All you have to do is create frame-by-frame hashes of your videos and artworks at different resolutions.

  1. Will you do this yourself? How?
  2. If not, who do you think will do this for you?
  3. How much are you willing to pay to have this done?
  4. Do you think most small creators will be doing this?

Once you have that database, now all you need to do is to get Facebook and YouTube to ingest them. How will you do this? If they only cave to the pressure of the largest rights-holding groups (e.g. the MPAA, ANGOA), how have small creators benefited?

If Facebook just decides to skip ingesting rights databases and instead just gets a blanket copyright license with large license holders (e.g. the MPAA or its equivalent), how does that benefiit small creators? Do you have a mechanism for getting money from the MPAA?

More personally, automated content tracking software is my day job. I can tell you that weeding out false positives from a large, rapidly expanding database costs millions of dollars. Nobody will do this work unless it benefits them financially.

Since there are no provisions in Article 13 to punish claiming other people’s copyrights, how does this benefit small creators?

As I said earlier, this isn’t theoretical, this is exactly what happened with the DMCA in the US.

That made me smile, considering half the threads on this forum are complaints about Patreon not knowing what they’re doing/not really caring about their creators. I don’t share that view, but the fact is the Patreon team is very young, which means a lot of good things but also glaring blind spots (as was demonstrated by the big payments debacle a few months ago). That they came out against it doesn’t mean much to me: I trust their good intentions, not their judgement necessarily.

I’m afraid this is the first time I ever encounter the term “frame-by-frame hash”. I think I see what you mean by that process, but I’ve used DMCA on a number of occasions to stop the unauthorized use of my content, successfully and at no cost. I can’t on the other hand do anything about websites in countries where there is no such regulation in place (such as China). For me the regulation has been a net benefit. Perhaps I’m too small a creator to run into the issues others have experienced, but then again, mine could be the majority experience for all I know. Do we know?
Either way, the comparison with the DMCA is speculation and projection, not fact, and neither of us can speak of how the directive will or will not be implemented at this point. That would be fear or hope, not reality. We can only talk about what is in the proposal and what isn’t.
It’s fair enough to read what is THERE and have a pessimistic take on it. What I can’t abide is to see people freak out because of a tweet about a headline tacked by an editor onto an article by a journo who skim-read the proposal and decided the only way to make it interesting is to call it the end of the internet. Hence posting a clarification and actual passages.


Th etechnology isn’t there to determine what copyrighted images and video would fall under “fair use” and what wouldn’t so to play safe the websites would have to block all if they wanted to avoid trouble… Kind of like Youtube’s current system (which is almost universally agreed to be terrible) turned up 1000%

You can argue what the intention of the law is and what is written down until the cows come home. The technological restraints will mean this law is more like a big sledgehammer than something nuanced.

The reason so many people are upset about this is because if you create memes, parody videos, compilations or anything it is going to badly affect you. Do you think when you upload a parody of a song using the same beat as before or using it in a video reviewing said song that the content filter algorithm will be able to tell whether it is fair use or not?

This is bad news for a lot of people. For one particular example I’ll pick fellow Patreon creator’s OSW Review… They review old wrestling events and they do so by talking over footage of the event themselves. Naturally they had trouble keeping their videos online for a while but, I beieve, they came to an agreement with the company that owns the footage they mostly use and they are allowed to upload it, everything is legit… Except a new and more hardcore filter of copyright is not going to know about this agreement. It will see copyrighted footage and block no matter wherever it should be allowed up or not.

I think there are a lot of reasons for people here (and everywhere) to be concerned.

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I agree with @Elfy. I used to do guitar lessons on YouTube and all my videos have always been marked with a “Copyright infringement”. The YouTube Content ID, based on the title of the video flagged my guitar lessons one by one. It doesn’t harm my YouTube channel but I do share revenues with the publisher and I am totally fine with it.

The problem is YouTube Content ID doesn’t know that you can’t copyright the title of the song and you can’t copyright a chord progression. Yet, my videos still got flagged. even after disputing, the publisher would claim it again.

I am like … dude I am showing a chord progression! You can’t copyright a chord progression.

In this case I wandered how Content ID works …

It looks like publishers have also used YouTube Content ID to flag everything they can even though in some cases it isn’t a copyright infringement because the only thing you can copyright is lyrics and melody.

This is an example of a a great machine (the YouTube Content ID) used (or misused) by publishers to flag everything they can.

Do I agree or disagree? I don’t know.

As a musician I always thought that using somebody else song to gain popularity isn’t something cool and I sort of knew that at some point it was going to end.

Good that I stopped making song tutorial and started focusing on my own video lessons but there are still thousands of guitar channels who rely on songs to promote themselves.

Will YouTube Content ID still be the same? I hope so.

Will YouTube start taking down channels because of Article 13? I guess we will find out.

This is interesting.
But, ultimately will have zero affect on me, or my channel.

I make everything that is in my videos - the music, art, and photos.
I think this is something more content creators need to consider - make your own content top to bottom.

If you’re doing guitar lessons, then write your own chord progressions and don’t use pop songs to promote your teaching. The only reason pop songs are used is to generate views - original songs generate less views and revenue, and that’s why so many label their tutorials with pop song names. And use the popularized music to generate views and revenue - you’ll get way more hits showing people how to play ‘Uptown Funk’ or the latest ‘Portugal the Man’ song than your own original material.
And this is why popular art and music gets re-used so much.

No one can tell you what to do with your song, nor can they demonetize it, or give the revenue to another artist who has lawyers.
This is the main point I’m trying to make - if Article 13 forces everyone to drop anything copyrighted from their content, it will drive a push for more independent content.
If anything, this is going to hopefully stop these huge companies from monopolizing creative culture.

In this day and age with the amazing advances in technology, it’s not hard to make your own music/art. It’s also very easy to find royalty/copyright free music.

The thing is, if as a creator, you can’t create something you need, then that’s what collaboration is for.

If anything, I see this Article 13 pulling together the creative community even more. If I need a song, I’ll be more inclined to go searching for an Indy artists stuff I can use for free than risk copyright infringements or demonetization.

If you can’t use the regurgitated crap from pop culture, then find or make something else to use. There are plenty of creatives out there that are willing to share, regardless of what YT or the big corporations do or say. All one has to do is reach out and find them.

I see this is a liberation from pop culture music/art/reference being used everywhere for everything.
Good riddance.


I totally agree with you @Ghool.

Honestly I started my YouTube to promote private tuition in London.

I started with songs because it was the easiest thing to do but my channel didn’t really grow much and so my revenues. (My private teacher though has always been pretty hectic).

In Feb I decided to change my videos and start recording my own lessons and I really saw a massive change in stats and also revenues.

My Patreon is also growing because I can finally post my music TABs without have to worry about copyright. Also my demographic changed a lot and now I have more adults following me instead of average 18 years old guys.

I think it is important to be creative and really do “Your things” without necessarily have to copy somebody’s else art.

I don’t know what will happen with Article 13.

I know we have to adjust to the quick changes and don’t stress to much about it because there are a lot of things we don’t have control of.

We will see :slight_smile:

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The problem is the disconnect between the law’s proposals which only really firm up what already happens and what is actually possible in reality.

No filter in the world can tell whether that picture of Kanye West you’re uploading is a meme or not. No filter can tell if you are uploading a video with parts of songs or things in them to review or parody them. They will all be blocked just the same. It’s actually hugely limiting to most things that get made and sounds more like something you would hear about in China than Europe.

Thanks to the technology not existing websites will be forced to play it safe which is to say they will have to block anything unless they are certain it doesn’t contain anything copyrighted.

Those that sneer at people worrying about such a huge change to how the internet runs because of how things are worded need to look at how these things would work in practice.

The vote in the new year is considered, by people I’ve spoken to, to be a foregone conclusion. It would be very unlikely they would suddenly change their minds, then it’s however long it takes to get implemented before the internet and all its users lose out to make the rich richer.

Even worse, it will be sent to each individual country to vote through and they can put their own spin on it. I can already imagine the UK government licking their fingers as they look at this.

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So, there will be less Kayne West memes and crud like that littering the internet?
How is this a bad thing again?

Like I said above, this will encourage more independent growth by creatives.
Now, no one can just do some voice over a movie for laughs, get millions of views, and make money doing it. But, what did that ‘creative’ really do?
That’s the issue I have.

YouTube and lot of the ‘free’ uploading sites allow one to make an income off of any content you create. If 50% of what you’re using is made by some one else, and the creator is essentially piggy-backing off of pop culture, then how is that income deserved?

This is why I made 100% sure that everything I uploaded was and is mine, and created by me.
I’m not making the rich any richer, because I don’t need to ride on popular memes, art, songs, or culture to get views and make my income.

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As a creator, good for you. I don’t think that is possible for all creators though.

Just to note, you can copyright a chord progression.

I hate linking BuzzFeed, but there is an actual lawyer in this post talking about it;

Also, a great many works of parody or fair use are actually not those things; legally, a parody is only a parody if it makes commentary, socially or comedically, on the original work, among other things.

So just drawing a slightly altered version of a popular character or putting that character in a silly situation doesn’t automatically count.

Fair use is the same way; for something to qualify as that, not only does it need to be at least 51% your own original work on top of it, it needs to actually (again) offer commentary or critique of said work, and ideally it’s for educational or teaching purposes but that isn’t a requirement.

That’s why I make a point of stating that this is what collaboration is for.
If it’s not possible to use content that is copyright protected, then it forces creatives to seek their content through collaboration.

There’s a lot of creatives out there looking for exposure and an audience.

If your content relies heavily on others’ work, then it might be time to take make changes to how and what one uses to create their content.

Totally agree.