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Post memes, and your content might get flagged. Stop posting memes, and your account will remain safe (at least for a while!) But think about posting your memeless videos many years from now and ask yourself: Would you be willing to trade all those days for just one chance? One chance to come back here and tell them: that they may copyright strike our accounts, but they will NEVER KILL OUR MEMES!! Hello Internet! Welcome to Film Theory. The show that, quite honestly, might not be able to air in Europe anymore… That’s not an opening joke or an exaggeration either. Do you watch gamers or film criticism channels? Have you ever laughed at a meme: Spongebob, Thanos, or other ones? Do you have a Twitter or Tumblr account? Have you ever used anything from Imgur, Jiphy? (or Giff-y depending on how you pronounce it) (It’s Jiphy BTW) Are you one of those people who long for the old days of YouTube? When the big media companies weren’t on the platform? I am sure, between all of those questions, I am talking to a *huge* chunk of you. And if I am, then pay *very* close attention to today’s episode Because a huge percent of the content that you currently watch and share online is on the chopping block Including this show, and Game Theory, and GT Live, And if there’s any hope of saving them, well, we’ve gotta act now. So if this is such a big deal, Then why is no one talking about this supposed looming threat to all our online content? Well, I mean, the name alone is “The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” Which, hoo-boy! If that doesn’t get you hyped. Well, then you don’t even policy-make bro. In short, it’s kinda complicated. By “kinda complicated” I mean really complicated But you know me! I eat complicated topics for breakfast and then spit ’em back at you in a simplified more digestible way Just like a mama bird puking up little worm nuggets of knowledge! So let’s get down to it, before this show goes the way of Spider-Man on Titan! Cue the Thanos snap transition (since it might be one of the last times we can use it!) I’m-I’m not feeling so good, Internet! You may have heard the words “Article 13” tossed around on and off throughout this year. If you follow me on Twitter, You may have seen me trying to sound the alarms about this supposed “Meme Ban” A piece of legislation that, according to Facebook, “Could have serious unintended consequences for an open & creative internet” and according to YouTube’s CEO, “Poses a threat to creators’ livelihoods and all of our ability to upload videos to share our voices with the world.” But then, what is this thing that everyone is so worried about? Well, let me explain. Right now, all websites, and I mean ALL websites including big ones, like YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, and Twitter. They all rely on two key legal principles to operate: “Fair Use” and “Safe Harbor”. Fair Use is one that probably all of you watching are familiar with at this point, since everyone on YouTube claims that their video is protected by it. “Fair use is very, very easy to understand.” “I’m Alex from I Hate Everything, and where’s the fair use?” “So we will be the first client of this account…” “…That will be known as the Fair Use Protection Account also known as FUPA.” But what is it exactly? Well, it allows for the use of copyrighted materials, without the permission of the original copyright holder. You may have seen some video creators specifically go out of their way to state that their use of clips is for educational purposes “Now with all you’ve just learned…” “(in this video that I have made for educational purposes)” And that’s because educational use along with criticism and review, commentary, news reporting, and research are all things that are explicitly allowed by United States Fair Use Doctrine. It’s how I’m able to show “Gravity Falls” clips like this one, and cut-outs of characters like this one, when crafting theories about how the show isn’t over, because the show isn’t over. It shouldn’t be over. Please don’t tell me it’s over, I refuse to believe that it’s over! Please bring back “Gravity Falls”! or how “Cinemasins” can show clips from a movie to sin them, or how “Honest Trailers” can show clips from a movie to…. …honestly …trailer …them. It’s how we’re able to edit together “Spongebob Squarepants” with the “Super Smash Brothers – World of Light” trailer to have Squidward suddenly getting vaporized mid-bath. or how Thanos can snap his fingers, to dust away “The Emoji Movie”. Thank you for that, by the way. But, what if something doesn’t fall under fair use? Like if I just straight up re-upload a chunk of “Harry Potter”? Well, that’s where safe harbor comes in. You see, according to the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA, Media companies can issue takedown notices to website owners, requesting the removal of infringing content on their site. When someone uploads a 24 hour livestream of “Family Guy” to YouTube, YouTube isn’t actually responsible for committing that copyright violation. They’re only responsible for removing it. That is the principle of “Safe Harbor” That YouTube here is just an intermediary. It’s not at fault for someone misusing the system and uploading illegal stuff, as long as it gets taken down and, as such, they’re shielded from copyright liability. That’s why creators get copyright strikes, and not YouTube. And just know that when I say “YouTube” I really also mean SoundCloud, Imgur, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, pretty much any site that allows users to upload content. Now, there’s one problem that you might have noticed with what I just described. *That all of these laws are in the United States.* (The United States and Fair Use Doctrine, the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Europe has some very different policies. Policies that the Article 13 “Meme Ban” threatens to make even stricter. You see in Europe, it’s not called “Fair Use”, it’s called “Permitted Use”. Now, that at first might seem like an insignificant word change, but just the name “Permitted Use” actually speaks to how the European doctrine differs from the U.S. Think about what the word “Permit” means. It means that you need *permission* to do something For example, you’re not allowed to park somewhere without a *permit* from the city. Home improvements require a construction *permit* from the government. Basically, “You’re not allowed to do this unless we say that you’re allowed to”, and the same applies to copyrighted works. You’re not allowed to use them, except we’re explicitly and expressly permitted to do so. And I think you can start to see where the system might fall apart. So, where are you permitted to use this stuff? Well, as stated before, the US Fair Use Doctrine specifies that for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, the use of a copyrighted work is considered “fair”. However, an important fact here is that the list isn’t exclusive. In other words, the U.S. Fair Use Doctrine is written in a way that basically says “Lots of things can qualify as ‘Fair Use’, here are some examples.” This in turn, allows the law to remain flexible and include new forms of media that have arisen since it was written, like memes or vlogs Which didn’t exist back when U.S. copyright law was first being drafted. By contrast, the European Permitted Use Policy takes the completely opposite approach. According to the EU’s “Copyright in the Information Society Directive of 2001” Use for parody, quotation, private copying or classroom use are permitted. At first, that seems pretty similar to U.S. Doctrine, but then you realize, that’s it. That is the whole list. Anything that is not on that list is automatically not allowed. Under US law, you could take something like this scene… “What the hell are you?” “We are Venom.” And remix it to do something like this. “What the hell are you?” “It’s-a me, Mario!” Quality meme! 10 out of 10! clap clap! and U.S. lawyers would say “Well, this might technically not be a criticism or commentary,” “But it’s not like this person is trying to take anyone else’s work and pass it off as their own…” “Fair Use!” European Union doctrine, as it’s written, says “Is it for a classroom?” “Is it a quotation?” “Is it parody?” Well then no permit for you, haaa!” Oh, and that last one about parody might be a bit confusing But the legal definition of parody is actually very strict. The best example is something like a parody song. In order to officially qualify, the new parody version of the song needs to have lyrics that directly make fun of the original work. So it’s a very limited, narrow, definition. In short, Europe’s copyright doctrine just tends to be a lot stricter. But Article 13 is what threatens to make a bad problem even worse, because now it’s actively targeting the idea of “Safe Harbor”. It directly states that, quote, “Online content sharing service providers…” (i.e. sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, whatever,) “…and rights holders,..” (the movie studios, music labels, etc) “…shall cooperate in good faith, in order to ensure that unauthorized protected works…” “… or other subject matter are not available on their services.” So basically, all these sites need to work to ensure that copyrighted stuff isn’t uploaded. That shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right? YouTube has Content ID, which protects against wrongful uploads, sometimes a bit too aggressively, but certainly enough to ensure that I can’t find full episodes of “Phineas and Ferb” on here without paying. It should be covered. And meanwhile, sites like Dailymotion where you can find literally all sorts of illegal uploads on, will be held accountable and need to clean up their act. It all sounds reasonable, right? But here’s the trouble. You see, an earlier version of Article 13 mentioned… “Proportionate content recognition technologies” Which sounds like what YouTube already has in place. Automatic detection of recognized content upon upload. And if that was actually what was written, well, then things would be fine. I wouldn’t be making this episode. But this didn’t make it into the version that passed. The people behind Article 13, (Which is mostly the music industry, because, quite frankly, the music industry tries to kill anything that it finds threatening) Wants to keep the language vague, because then, they can demand basically anything they want And say, “Well, the law requires you to cooperate in all good faith with us!” What does good faith mean? It’s unclear. It’s poorly defined, and that’s the problem! What they’re demanding is, that nothing that has the potential to be infringing, be uploaded onto these websites. Catching it via Content ID once it’s on the system isn’t good enough. They want to stop it before it even gets uploaded. So what does that translate to? Well, it has the potential to mean the end of all user-generated content. The stuff that we all make. I mean think about it: Who loses in this situation? Not the movie studios or the big media companies. They’re all permitted to use their own rights. Not the music industry. They just own the songs. It’s us. All of us. We all lose. It’s the people on YouTube and Tumblr and TikTok and Twitter and whatever, we lose. In a conversation I personally had with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki about Article 13, She made it very clear. If this ends up going through with the current legal language, YouTube will have to treat Europe like a bubble. Videos uploaded outside of Europe won’t be able to go in, and in Europe, the only people who will really be permitted to upload will end up being the big companies. If you need even more proof, she even wrote about it: “If implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs…” “…European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ.” “The proposal could force platforms like YouTube to allow only content from a small number of large companies.” “It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators…” “…because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content.” The safe harbor shield that was protecting YouTube from copyright strikes may dissolve, and because their butts are on the line for all copyright strikes now, the only people YouTube can allow to upload, are the people they are certain owns the IP rights: The big companies. And all other sites would have to follow suit. And it is expensive and difficult to make an appropriate Content ID system. Even worse, it could empower media companies to make more erroneous copyright claims. Such as the case where Sony Music Entertainment went after people posting classical music composed by Bach. What’s more, we usually think about copyright protection as it applies to movies and music, but simple images are covered by copyright as well Every painting, every drawing, every logo that’s posted to the Internet is copyrighted material. Every tattoo! (That’s not an exaggeration, tattoos are actually owned by the artist who made them.) And of course: each and every meme. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking. Boy, that sucks for people over in Britain, (Wait, they’re not part of the EU. Hold up.) (Would Britain be affected by Article 13?) (Yeah, apparently they would be, alright.) Sucks for people over in Britain, France and Spain, but why should I care? Well, you might not be European, But the sites you use operate in countries that are part of the EU. And when different countries have different laws, Companies usually cater to the least common denominator. Rather than having different policies for users in different countries, Companies will just usually target the strictest set of rules and comply with those, Then apply that set of rules to everybody. For a recent example of this, earlier this year You probably got a flood of emails from Facebook, Google, Reddit And pretty much every website under the sun notifying you “Hey, we’ve updated our privacy policy. Click that you accept it!” Well, the fact that you got all these emails around the same time wasn’t a coincidence. All of these companies were updating their privacy policy to comply with GDPR- the General Data Protection Regulation passed in May by -you guessed it- the European Union! These sorts of privacy and copyright changes affect all users, not just those based in the EU. And trust me, once media companies realize that they can take us down in one part of the globe, I guarantee, they’ll be knocking down the door trying to make it happen in more corners of the earth. So, European or not, the EU Copyright Directive is something that should matter to you. Threatening your memes, your online shows, and most importantly, The literally hundreds of thousands of people who make their living working online. Me. The whole Theorist Team. Every YouTuber that you watch. So what can you do at this point? Well, there are three things. First and most importantly, spread the word! People aren’t talking about this because it’s a complicated issue. But start raising awareness about the dangers of Article 13. Share this video with your favorite online creators, and not because I’m like, “Give me a lot of views!” (Though in this case I absolutely want this video to get a lot of views) But because I think I did a pretty decent job of explaining the issue in a clear way that wasn’t super boring. Basically we need people to understand why this matters. And Number 2: Make your own content. Start tweeting about Article 13 with the hashtag #SaveYourInternet. Make videos, raise awareness! And finally Number 3: If you’re in Europe talk to your MEPs, Find out whether they supported Article 13 and why? Convince them in a clear, and reasoned, and logical way, that Article 13 as it’s currently written will cause significant harm to the European Internet We need MEPs to understand what’s really going on here, And think through the consequences of the language of the law. No one here is disagreeing that the rights of copyright holders should be infringed upon. That’s not the issue. The issue is that the language of the law is too vague And as it’s currently written, it opens the door for media companies to abuse this legislation. And you have to do these three things right away right now! Because here’s the thing: This bad policy isn’t something hypothetical that could happen. It is something that has already happened. It has passed multiple times and it is currently in the final stages of voting. It’s a real thing, they’re just solidifying the language now. And if nothing is done to change that language, it could be finalized and implemented in its current form, before the end of this year. And if it is, this is a preview of the show that you might just end up seeing every week. And that’s no Theory, that’s a fact. Save your Internet guys. Help me save my job. This is a battle that really matters. And hey, if you want to enjoy another meme video while I’m still currently able to air ’em Click the box to the left to watch more memey goodness as I calculate the length of the single longest meme ever created in history. The length of this thing is gonna shock you! And finally make sure you subscribe, We have some amazing theories coming up before the end of the year, on Guardians of the Galaxy, on the deadliest Disney movie, on some classic animated series, Spiderman anime. It’s gonna be a good end of the year So make sure they have a slightly better chance of seeing it appear on your homepage by smashing that Subscribe button and do me the favor: ring the bell! that way you’re guaranteed to get notifications. Now go! Talk about Article 13! #SaveYourInternet! Save my job. All of us over here on the Theorist Team are hoping you’re able to do it.

100 thoughts on “Film Theory: All Your Memes Are DEAD! (Article 13)

  1. Europe just loves the dark ages too Damn much. Without memes, 1/3rd of the population will be wiped out.

  2. Well it past and the worst think is it won't just afect the Eu it will kill youtube as a platform and all over creators in over country's as it will destroy people's channel as youtube won't know what to do

  3. Nooooo i hate article 13
    Game copyrights: stricter
    Video copyrights: stricter

    THESE PEOPLE ARE THREATENING EVERYTHING I WANNA DOO!!!!!!

    ;(

  4. Several things: I live in the U.K. and we have not left the EU yet but OMG I didn't know anything about how Article 13 affected the U.K. and EU

  5. I want to apologize in the name of Europe and all Europeans. Article 17 (Article 13 in disguise) is out and we couldn't stop them…. Our politicians suck

  6. For a second year can we please remember that Australia is a country.

    To all my Aussies out here can someone talk about US and not just the United States and Europe!!

    Like, what happened to equality? Does no one care abour our shrimp on the barbie anymore?!?

  7. So, how do speedpaint and animations on YouTube use copyrighted music? I've been trying to figure that out for a while since I want to upload animations with certain music.

  8. Wait wait wait, so since itโ€™s passed (atleast I think) does that mean itโ€™s over or..? I honestly donโ€™t understand, can someone explain?

  9. Me: ……………
    Thumbnail: Article 13 Maybe Shreading Spongebob Memes
    Me: NOOO NOT SPONGEBOB MEMESS
    Me: crying article 13 Is…. Destroying the gacha community ALULULULUULU BEGONE ARTICLE 13

  10. Article ##: VPN's now banned because they allow people to bypass article 13 by using servers in not europe.

  11. Update: So, Article 13 is being delayed due to the fact some political people didn't agree on negotiations, thank God.

  12. Spongebob
    Avagents
    Uganda Knuckles
    Gravity Falls
    Wreck It Ralph
    Dunkirk
    The Emoji Movie
    Harry Potter
    Mickey Mouse
    Family Guy
    Venom
    Mario
    Pheans And Ferb
    A Star Is Born
    FBE
    Game Theroy
    Fortnite
    Actually Happened
    XXXTentaction
    Bach
    Willy Wonka
    VidCon
    Film Theroy
    Ice Age
    Toy Story
    YouTube
    The Simpsons
    Bee Movie
    Guardians Of The Galaxy
    Disney
    SpinderMan

  13. None of my family or friends believe me so I want to say good bye matpat I will miss you and your content you were the best you tuber out there ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ญ

  14. ARTICLE 13 HAS BEEN PASSED, IT HAS ALREADY AFFECTED TENS EVEN HUNDREDS OF SMALL YOUTUBERS, DONT STORM AREA 51 STORM THE FRIKIN EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT

  15. i really hated article 13 ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ

  16. I live in switzerland, witch isnโ€™t part of the EU, does that mean that Article 13 doesnโ€™t affect me?

  17. Yo, is this still a significant issue? I just came across this, and I do wanna share it if it's still a relevant threat, but I don't if it's become meaningless mumbo jumbo.

    (PS felt nice to see Higa's face in a clip. I feel like he's often an overlooked component of YouTube)

  18. Why EU ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ฐ just why i hate it i wanntet to become a Youtuber now i can make just Videos about my own game

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