Implications of Article 13 Copyright Law On The Crypto and Blockchain Industry


The European Union has passed a wide-reaching update to copyright laws. Most of the changes in the EU Copyright Directive are uncontroversial, setting out how copyright contracts are managed and licensed, but Article 13 could have a huge impact on how the material is shared online. It makes websites responsible for ensuring that content uploaded to their platforms doesn’t breach copyright. The updates will become law once member states enshrine the rules in legislation in their own countries.

The EU says the directive is about making

“copyright rules fit for the digital era”.

To comply with Article 13, platforms such as YouTube and Soundcloud will need to ensure that any copyrighted material on their sites is licensed, guaranteeing the original artist receives payment for its use.

How this is going to be implemented is anyone’s guess. The algorithms which scan YouTube for instances of copyrighted works are good at identifying replicated content. As for implementing this directive at the national level, the EU has left no instruction on how to enact Article 13. Instead, every nation in the EU must devise their own ways of enforcing it, which could leave us with a different interpretation for countries in Europe.

But What Does It Mean For The Crypto Industry?

To start of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law was not very well received. In the crypto industry, only a few projects were affected. Blockchain companies especially found the situation challenging. Many went out of business too.

Article 13 poses a new challenge for crypto companies. They are finding it difficult to be compliant with the new regulations. Only a few crypto companies have entirely embraced the change.

Even tech giants like Google and Twitter are concerned the reforms will do more damage to the web than good. Google argues the new law will

“hurt Europe’s creative and digital economies,” while Twitter says it’s concerned about the potential impact on the “open, creative and conversational nature of the internet.”

As for Facebook, the social media giant says it will work with all relevant parties to align its own rules with that of EU member states.

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