The EU approved amendments to Article 13 of the Copyright Directive. How to prepare and not to drown in the claims?

On April 17, 2019, the European Parliament adopted amendments to Article 13 of the Copyright Directive. Early in the discussion stage, this bill has caused many public disputes. The adoption of the directive was followed by mass protests in Germany. About 100 thousand protesters took to the streets of German cities. More than 5 million people in Europe have signed a petition for the abolition of the new law.

Let’s take a closer look at what has changed in the regulation of copyright law and how this will affect the sites with user content.

Dura lex, sed lex

According to the new amendments to Article 13 (Article 17 in the new version of the Directive), neither the users, nor the copyright holders, but the owners of the sites are responsible for the pirated content that’s being uploaded. The owners of the video hostings are obliged to monitor the copyright not after the content has already been published on the site, but at the upload stage. Hostings should check for uniqueness all the content that users publish and share with each other.

Before and after

Earlier the law worked as follows:
User publishes someone else’s content (i.e. copyright infringement occurs online), in case unauthorized use of their materials is detected, the copyright holder submits a complaint and demands for the content to be deleted. Copyright infringing content is deleted or the platform receives a claim from the copyright holder and the problem is resolved in court.

Now what?

In fact, the new edition of Article 13 cancels the second point in this scheme. Copyright holders no longer need to search for their content on the Internet. The hosting site is responsible for this and should block pirated materials at the upload stage.

Content sharing services must “store and provide access to large volumes of works and other materials uploaded by their users,” for licensing copyrighted materials from copyright holders, article 13 says.

How the site owners can protect themselves?

Not a single hosting site was satisfied with the new amendments to the Directive. The thing is, the compliance with the new standards of copyright protection will require the site owners to spend substantial costs on the development of algorithms that will identify pirated content.

Such algorithms will now be in demand not only for large social networks and hosting sites but to all sites where users can upload their content.

A similar algorithm is already being employed on some sites, for example, Content ID in the case of YouTube. However, Content ID can often make mistakes and blocks the author’s materials or skips pirated ones. In addition, it cannot be used to protect the copyright of bloggers who publish streams and reviews on games and movies. Meanwhile, such content now makes up the lion’s share of YouTube. You can read about it in detail in this article.

InvariVision team offers the best solution for video hostings, websites, bloggers and content makers – InvariMatch. This service finds matches in the video and identifies pirated content with precision. For this purpose, the original content must be uploaded into the InvariMatch database first.

Despite the fact that the law has already been passed by the European Parliament, it will not come into effect until the EU parliaments approve the new Directive. This means that small and medium businesses still have a chance to get ready and start using the InvariMatch service on their sites.