blog: “It’s an impossible feat.”
Unlike coffee grounds, filtering out protected content on the internet is a tricky and expensive business. Alphabet – the company formerly known as Google – has reportedly spent $100 million on its “Content ID” filter for YouTube. There are lots of issues with it including false claims, the system making “false positive” mistakes, and difficulties in registering the subtle differences between infringement and “fair dealing” parodies and/or commentary. And, this is only video — there is a lot of other trademarked content Article 13 is after.
Article 13 does give smaller platforms a bit of breathing room. Until the new company celebrates its third birthday or earns 10 million Euro – it is off the hook – barely. Cross these limits and a filter will need to be in place. Is that enough space for newbie companies to grow or a gimmick to distract opponents of the new legislation?
While the new legislation has been pitched as a way to restrict the power of the technology giants, it’s actually handing them a blank check to make money as the internet is reforged into a copyright-compliant area. After all, it is Facebook and Alphabet with the deep pockets and deep experience in implementing content filters. This is a great money-making opportunity for technology companies – and who knows what it will do for the artists.
The coming May elections for the European Parliament might be the best help yet to stop Article 13. The logic is that the revised copyright law has already set records in terms of citizen participation, handily beating previous attempts on other issues such as Daylight Savings Time. People are involved – and they are generally negative about the proposed changes. If a MP votes for the legislation in March, they run the risk being a lighting rod for voter discontent two months later in the election. In addition, organizations such as the EFF have also made it easier with online petitions for people to register their feelings with elected representatives.