The controversial Copyright Directive was officially adopted by European Parliament on Thursday, which has the potential to change the landscape of the internet as we know it. The law is intended to protect smaller content creators, who had their work stolen without attribution or compensation for years, by requiring large internet companies such as Google to pay a “link tax” to media companies for linking to content.
Critics, on the other hand, warn that certain articles of the law could have a devastating impact on a free and open internet. Article 13, in particular, would implement an upload filter that would effectively block any content used without a copyright or licensing agreement, including stills from TV or movies, or pirated music uploads to YouTube.
In other words, you can say goodbye to meme culture as we know it, depending on how each respective EU member state decides to implement the new legislation. The directive will undergo further revisions and negotiations by European Commission of the EU and the European Council in a trialogue meeting later this year.
As one can probably imagine, those of us who are Extremely Online are accepting the decision with cool, collected heads. Ha ha, just kidding! The Dank Memes subreddit is losing its shit and fighting back the only way it knows how—in meme form!
Others are already coming up with reasonable workarounds:
As a brave man once said: “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our memedom.” Truer words have never been spoken.