Copyright Law Update: Strangeness in Europe

Industry watchers have been following the apparent evolution of copyright law in Europe, as there appear to be two big new wrinkles in European Law that may ultimately have ramifications for US businesses.

Previously in July, I wrote about proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive, the two most prominent features of the new amendments being essentially a link tax (Article 11), and the mandate of filters to be used at the portal level (Article 13) (i.e. by Facebook and YouTube) to filter out copyrighted content from users’ posts. Understandably, free speech advocates are concerned that overuse of such filters will stifle the exchange of information.

Ultimately, this widens the divide between content creators, who often (and questionably) incorporate copyrighted content into their videos and blog posts, etc, and the new gatekeepers: Facebook and YouTube.

The EU Parliament has approved the amendments. It is too early to tell how these new laws will affect the marketplace, and it will certainly be interesting to watch.