Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Galaxy Star Projector Amazon
    09:43 Deals

    This awesome $32 gadget went viral on TikTok and now Amazon shoppers are obsessed

  2. Best Exercise Machines
    13:17 Deals

    5 exercise machines on Amazon under $250 to build the home gym of your dreams

  3. Best Kitchen Gadgets
    08:33 Deals

    Amazon shoppers are obsessed with this $23 gadget that should be in every kitchen

  4. Amazon Gift Card
    07:58 Deals

    $25 in free Amazon credit beats any Prime Day deal – here’s how to get it

  5. How To Save Money On Your Cable Bill
    15:37 Deals

    Your cable company is furious that we’re telling you about this $59 box on Amazon




New laws could make posting memes a punishable offense because nobody has a sense of humor anymore

June 21st, 2018 at 12:07 PM
meme copyright law

Memes currently make up about 96% of the entire internet. Okay, that was a mild exaggeration, but it’s pretty obvious how much meme culture has grown in recent years. You can’t visit Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or just about anywhere else without seeing silly viral images and videos, but European lawmakers are hoping to change that.

As Business Insider reports, Article 13 of the new EU Copyright Directive has been approved, and it could have a huge impact on the amount of potentially copyright-infringing content you see on sites like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. We may be seeing the death of the meme right before our very eyes.

Article 13 is designed to force sites to crack down on user-submitted content that uses copyrighted work. The vast majority of memes are slightly modified versions of photos, screenshots, or videos of some kind of copyright content.

A GIF or image pulled from a TV show, movie, or sports broadcast is technically violating copyright laws, but those who post them rarely face any kind of backlash. Article 13 requires websites to build tools to identify this kind of content and automatically axe it, which could kill many memes before they even have a chance to catch on.

While sites like Facebook and Twitter have typically been pretty lax at cracking down on copyrighted material, YouTube has gone in the opposite direction. It’s possible to get content pulled from YouTube just by claiming it’s yours, and the site has gotten heat from many content creators for deleting videos that didn’t actually violate any copyright laws or fall into a gray area that is hard to define.

If Article 13 continues its march and become law, some of the internet’s most popular sites could become a tangled mess of sketchy copyright claims, account suspensions, and lots and lots of drama.

That’s the worst case scenario, of course, as the language of the would-be law seems to hedge its requirements on the platform owner having an agreement with whoever owns the specific copyright in question. It’s entirely possible that, even if Article 13 lands in the books, many copyright holders will simply turn a blind eye and let the memes flow, but that’s a big “maybe.”

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.




Popular News