Opinion: EU online copyright reform won’t break the internet

For two years, lobbyists, internet stakeholders, publishers, media professionals and online activists have been hard at work influencing the institutions of the European Union on the reform of copyright in the digital age.

A compromise has now been reached that won’t bring about “the end of the internet,” nor will it offer “absolute protection for authors” or a “bonanza for newspaper publishers” — some of the more vehement positions expressed by concerned stakeholders.

However, the planned reforms are not half as bad as they seem. Regular internet users who upload their content to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube are unlikely to be affected by the new copyright law. On the contrary: the responsibility for copyrighted content will shift from users onto the major internet platforms.

For example, the buck will now fall on YouTube to ensure that an uploaded video does not contain film excerpts for which it would have to pay. How the major internet platforms plan to monitor their content, and what technology they plan to use, is up to them.

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(Photo: Michael Illuchine/sxc.hu)