Will YouTube stay the way we know it?

    At a time when the Russians are trying to fight against the isolation of Runet, the inhabitants of the European Union go to rallies demanding to stop the adoption of laws governing the use of the YouTube platform. At the same time, the main slogan at the demonstrations is "There is no censorship on the Internet."

    Section 13

    MEPs are planning on March 27, 2019 the adoption of laws designed to change the current copyright law, making it, in their own opinion, relevant to modern realities. The planned changes will affect three articles: 11, 12 and 13. It was around article 13 (Artikel 13) that the main discussion unfolded. It is about her that will be discussed in this article.

    The main idea underlying this law is the protection of copyrights, which, according to European parliamentarians, are mercilessly violated by monsters such as YouTube, Facebook, etc. According to the deputies of the European Parliament, it is precisely the massive violation of copyright by YouTube that allows him to earn billions, and the creators of the content are left with nothing. It is worth noting that there were no answers to the numerous questions of critics of the law, what is the percentage of copyright infringement, and how many art people went bankrupt thanks to YouTube.

    The planned law should act simultaneously in three directions:

    1. Require platforms to filter all downloaded content for an unlicensed component. If you find such components, downloading the video should become impossible. Under the platform is understood an Internet service containing a large number of works or other materials.
    2. The platforms hosting the content bear full legal responsibility for copyright infringement.
    3. Content creators should be rewarded for their creativity.

    The first paragraph caused the most fierce debate. The idea of ​​filtering content (Upload Filter) is associated with censorship and nothing else. Intellectual property protection alone is a good thing, but the law does not define the parameters, saying only that the service provider must obtain permission from the copyright holders. If we talk about resolution, then it should be on almost everything that is captured on the video. For example, I shoot a video of a dog in an apartment. The dog, walking along the corridor, passes by Nike sneakers, next is an adidas sports bag, on the bedside table are the keys to the BMW car, next to which lies the iPhone, well, let's say a photograph hangs on the wall. Well, the worst thing, the phone sounded, the ringtone of which is a popular tune.

    So, according to the new law, this video contains four trademarks, a photograph of an “unknown master” and a melody of a popular artist. As you can see from the above, my video has no chance of being uploaded, since all of the above items are protected by copyright law.

    The problem is also exacerbated by the fact that in some countries of the European Union, a violation is also the uploading of photographs and videos of art objects in public places. Since the new law should take into account national laws, an attempt to download materials with the above elements should be blocked.

    What the authors of the law expect from Youtube and Co.

    In fact, all portals providing the ability to download content (music, video, photos) must conclude a legal agreement with all copyright holders. For example, in Germany, intermediaries, such organizations as GEMA , for which the new law promises a significant increase in income, most often act as the copyright holder . It is such organizations that act as the most ardent supporters of this law.

    YouTube is obliged to create a constantly updated database containing sample materials in order to prevent the leakage of unlicensed content. All this should significantly exceed the amount of ContentID currently in use.

    From Youtube and Co. they also expect an unprecedented level of intelligence, because, according to the authors of the law, the use of criticism or irony, for example, is still possible, and the system should be able to separate irony or criticism from the original content. So, if while viewing the meme Upload Filter laughed, then everything is fine. If the filter missed the material for which the copyright holder’s complaint was received, then the YouTube employee will take further consideration, and he must do this within 48 hours.

    The way proponents of the law evaluate the capabilities of AI, on the one hand causes sympathy, and on the other hand fear. Such experts say the following: “Artificial intelligence can recognize faces, preferences and even park a car on its own. And as a result, it should easily distinguish the original from the parody. ”

    In order to avoid accusations of censorship, the Upload Filter in the texts of the law was replaced with the phrase best efforts, and the interview uses the recognition software of the recognition program. Moreover, completely denying the fact that a filter is used to separate one from the other, whether it is a filter for a vacuum cleaner (air from dust) or a sieve for sand.

    How do opponents of the law see the future?

    According to opponents, from the adoption of such a law, those who will be created to protect it, namely the people of art, will lose in the first place. Since they will be forced to transfer management rights to organizations like GEMA.

    Estimated costs of creating such filters are estimated at 100 million euros. Thus, small platforms are left overboard, or they will be forced to rent filters from leading players. For many, renting such a filter would be an unbearable burden.

    According to article 13, an exception is made for platforms with the following simultaneously coinciding parameters: age less than 3 years, annual turnover less than 10 million and the number of unique visitors does not exceed 5 million. What should be done for a platform for posting photographs existing for more than 10 years, but with 200,000 views in month? Is she able to conclude a contract with each user who uploaded a photo to her? Will a similar hobby platform attract filter rental from YouTube?

    But even the presence of a filter does not guarantee quality. I believe many people are familiar with the case of downloading the Bach scoreon Facebook. Facebook blocked the download according to Sony Music’s claims to own this piece of music, basing its claim that “their” musician also plays Bach. Due to public pressure, Sony abandoned their claims.

    Based on the foregoing, a huge segment of the Internet is practically falling under the control of American concerns such as Google and Facebook. At the same time, all the dirty work of cleaning the Internet from small competitors is carried out by European lawmakers.

    The downloaded picture, music or video file in the YouTube database allows it to decide whether to skip a remix or a parody of an existing file. Thus, under the protection of copyright protection, censorship will be veiled.

    In order not to take risks, the platforms will weed out all potentially problematic materials. And maybe everything will be very simple, downloading from European IPs will simply be blocked.


    On this day, a vote will be held on this law. It is hoped that it will be sent for revision. A huge number of musicians, popular bloggers, legal professors spoke out against article 13, and German Wikipedia on March 22, 2019 was unavailable. The petition created on change.org has collected more than 5 million signatures. Well, then deja vu, reminiscent of the current election of the president of one of the former Soviet republics. The initiators of the law, the faction of the Christian Democratic Party (authors of the bill) announced the signatories of the petition bots (including me). But this time, not Russian, but American. But that is not all. Demonstrators March 23, 2019(according to various estimates, up to 40,000 participants) in Berlin were also not real, but extras bought by American concerns, who received up to 450 euros for participation.

    It remains only to hope for the prudence of the deputies! And I will inform about the voting results in addition.

    Wikipedia page March 23, 2019:


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