Update on Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive

Hi Creators!

Nice to officially e-meet you all, my name is Weston and I’m on the legal team here at Patreon. I recently returned from a trip to Brussels where I was able to chat with some MEP’s and their policy staff about the intended and not so intended effects Articles 11 and 13 (and the lesser known Article 3) of the EU Copyright Directive will have on platforms and creators. Let’s save Articles 11 and 3 for another time and for now just focus on Article 13. There has been a lot of talk about upload filters and while that is a primary concern with Article 13, Patreon is primarily concerned about the affect this Directive will have on independent online creators.

The good news is the reassurance from EU policymakers that they do not seek to harm or make things harder for online creators. Both sides of this particular debate truly do seem to be looking out for what they believe to be the best interest of creators. Proponents of Article 13 want more cooperative licensing negotiations between tech companies and organizational rightsholders, who represent signed artists and creators. To incentivize tech companies to more comprehensively negotiate licenses, Article 13 holds tech companies liable for all user generated materials, mitigating liability for only those platforms who have come up with technological measures that prevent potential infringements from being uploaded.

This goal makes some amount of sense in theory, despite being largely divorced from reality (as no current technology is capable of adequately preventing infringement). Online companies (think YouTube and Facebook) seem to make a lot of money from online creations while the actual creators generally do not. So, the solution presented is to empower organizational rightsholders (think Publishers, Labels, CMO’s, PRO’s, etc.) to better enforce, negotiate, and collect fees associated with their creators’ copyrights.

The bad news is that most online creators do not belong to these organizations. In fact, the whole point of services like Patreon is to remove gatekeepers and democratize creativity. Patreon is almost exclusively made up of independent creators. These creators will once again be required to use publishing companies, licensing and collection agencies, performance rights organizations, distributors and other corporate remnants of the pre-internet creative industries to negotiate cooperative licensing agreements and/or enforce measures of infringement prevention.

Essentially, what this Copyright Directive has largely overlooked is the fact that the internet has done far more than just inadvertently making it easier to infringe other people’s works. Online platforms have given rise to a ‘remix culture’. A culture that realizes and acknowledges every new work as either being inspired by or created using pieces of previous works. Scientific discoveries build upon one another, language evolves from language, every generation begins with the knowledge of the last. Creativity is no different.

Everyone can create and upload works now, which means everyone is a copyright holder. This has made determinations of infringement difficult for even the courts to decide. Creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum and infringements are not always intentional. Creators are inspired by, use bits of, comment on, expand, reinterpret, mashup, remix, remake, mimic, edit, sample and review copyrighted works. People create new and exciting works using old and wonderful works. Shakespeare consistently stole large plotlines and even whole scenes, the Beatles played cover songs for years before writing their own hits. This is not theft or infringement, it is the creative process. This process is why a balanced approach to copyright law is vital, and why Article 13 ultimately falls short.


Hello~ just sharing my thoughts of that thing

well, as is not my direct concern, is actually a very huge deal threatening creators just for using other “chalk” of content, bcuz is not all of everything content, this law dont seem to work because once soon, there will be not “Enough” content that can be created without a trace of others.

i mean, you will make a character, that has unique attributes, what people want? they will make the same type of character, but with more attributes and other that dont need , that is not possible, and you are infringing the law in that topic.

the ridiculously of this law meets with what we call, parody content. you can laugh at it, mocking at the original content with another same scale content. is fun, and even can raise praise for the original, but might be seen as bad.

under this law, all content will be marked with ownership, and if people are good/bad enough, they can promote the copyright of the characteristics traits.

just a far stretch i am thinking here, but imagine if that could be possible?

if this continue, we can even have like, objects that are unique for a company.
clothes sold by one only place, and so on so forth.
you cant see life and saying “damn is so good enough, i must not disturb its nature”,
becoming nonsense to innovate , this marks us as creatives, we see life, and want to add something to it, for good or for bad, we are creative, and we can enhance anyone work with our own style and likes,
game-wise, there should be a only one game over all them, mario games would be the only ones platform styles, even in 3d , controls? no one would use a joystick or buttons, sony would not copy the wii`s motion controllers,
we would not have what we expect for a game.
journalist could not even call games “darksouls like” anymore,

life wise, we could not even name us with the same names ,

as much i do love that my own work would be copyrighted for me only, i want that content to reach people i never expect to find it by normal means, and even my works arent fully me, i copy life body parts, and i might even seen a pose and draw something with that pose in mind, the fact that i wanted to do my own games was bcuz i play a lot of them.

this law, will crush on innovation, creativity, living, and originality will be less and less attractive to work with.

everyone loves what they Cant get in an easy way, even if the things that they can get are better.

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Yup. This was my assumption from the start. This isn’t about the little guy, it’s about the well-connected big dog with lawyers.