Do you like memes? Can’t get enough of them? Do you send them to all of your friends? Has memeing become your most important (and your only) hobby? Do memes make you feel good? Well, me too. Which is why I have been collecting my favorite Berlin memes in order to share them with you. But while I’m at it, you should know that our true Meme Life is being threatened by a new EU policy.
The EU is proposing a very strict copyright law, Article 13, that would most likely benefit big corporations and hurt smalltime meme creators (me) and those who share them on Social Media platforms (you).
The Create.Refresh campaign is a collaborative project, initiated to highlight the concerns of creators regarding the EU’s proposed changes to copyright law. Supporting organisations include Creative Commons, Kennisland, La Quadrature du Net, and me :).
Wait – you came here for the memes – I don’t want to keep you waiting.
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Alright, now that I have your attention again – you should know more about Article 13.
What is Article 13?
Create Refresh focuses on Article 13 of the European Commission’s copyright proposal, which would require all online services that permit user-generated uploads to install filters that can automatically detect, flag, and censor copyrighted material before the content even hits the web. The provision would apply to websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, and even noncommercial sites like Wikipedia.
In a nutshell: All your memes are belong to them.
I mean, it doesn’t sound so bad initially. After all, I am a creator myself – I would like to see my content protected as much as possible. But Article 13 would enable filters to run through and delete your content on suspicion of copyright infringement. Now take it one step further: does that mean ALL of our content is being watched? Everything I upload, everything I produce – all of it analyzed and, if critical to some big cooperation, deleted? I feel like most of my online existence would vanish.
- Everytime I upload a picture on WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest…., it would have to be approved?
- No more remixes on YouTube or Soundcloud?
- No more memes with pictures of brands?
- No more videos of me and my friends goofing around and singing to a copyrighted song? (Not that anyone needs to see those, but hey, I’m making a point!)
This would apply to memes, video-remixes and other creative (and constructive!) content. How would the algorithm know if I have the rights to a picture or not? And how are my own rights protected if I’m not a big enterprise? How do I buy into the filter? It really doesn’t sound great.
BEST BERLIN CLUB MEMES
Big thanks to Create.Refresh for sponsoring this article. Make sure to read about Article 13 and don’t forget: we protecc, we attac, and most importantly, we have to save the goddamn internet!
“The Create.Refresh campaign opposes the proposed measures that privilege the interests of big rights holders above the interests for small and independent creators and users. Should the mandatory upload filters envisaged in Article 13 of the Commission’s proposal become law, the European Internet will lose a lot of its cultural diversity.”
BEST RANDOM BERLIN MEMES