My opinion on Article 13

Wed, Mar 6th, 2019

So I thought I’d share my view about Articles 11 and 13 (and more recently Article 3).

I’m going to do this article in English, as opposed to my usual Scots because I want as many people to read this as possible.

I think it’s going to be a disaster, not just for your average joe, but it will be detrimental to the corporations that are probably lobbying for it.

For those somehow not in the know at this point, Article 11 is the idea of taxing people for simply linking to articles, Article 13 is a copyright filter that stops people from uploading anything with copyrighted content.

Article 3 is a very recent article that stops people from modifying their routers or any other radiowave device. To stop people from bypassing the other 2, no doubt.

So you can see what is wrong with this on the user end, and is only to serve the corporations and traditional media outlets.

On one hand, I can kind of sympathise with said corporations, sales of newspapers and physical media in general (not counting Vinyl or Cassette) are falling, much to my dismay, and streaming services such as Spotify or Youtube, give out so little money to the artists.

This said, I’m going to argue that said corporations and outlets are actually tying a noose around their necks, thinking they attached a safety rope. Here’s why:

Starting with Article 11, or the “Link Tax”.

So history has a tendency to repeat itself, right? Well German and Spanish newspapers have attempted to get Google to tax for linking to their articles back in 2014.

In response, Google just went “Okay, we just won’t link to your articles”.

The result? Within weeks, the same newspaper companies went crying back to Google because the tax hadn’t increased newspaper sales, and only lost them traffic, and by extension ad revenue, on their online site, and lost so much money from it.

What do you think is going to happen on a continental scale?

The problem is people aren’t just going back to buying newspapers. Internet articles don’t cost 80p-£1 a day, and you can read from all kinds of sources, not just one. If a news article isn’t online, people just won’t know about it, and won’t read it.

This is coming from someone who still gets the occasional newspaper, themself. This will only kill off the medium even faster.

So what about Article 13?

Well, consider this: You watch a video, like a Youtube poop or something, and you hear a song you love the sound of, so you find out what that song is called and by whom, and then you listen to their other songs on Youtube.

You decided that this is your new favourite band, so you buy their albums, whether it be on CD, Vinyl, Cassete or Online.

How many people do you know have had that happen to them? How many times has that happened to you? A lot, right?

It’s certainly happened to me numerous times.

Try to imagine how many album or single sales come from such scenarios.

Well, after Article 13, those videos won’t be there, or at least they’ll be geoblocked in Europe.

This will result in far lower exposure, and far lower sales.

Lower sales means, of course, less money.

Perhaps the very biggest, most formulated pop songs will be affected the least, since they’ll be advertised everywhere anyway. Even then, sales won’t be as big, because fewer people listen to the radio, or watch the TV than before, and Ad Block is a thing many people have.

As for Article 3, well it just kind of borders on Chinese levels of authoritarianism, doesn’t it?

So in conclusion, I can see 2 scenarios coming from this bill, should it pass.

The first is that the effects will dawn on the lobbyists over time, and the moment corporations realised they’ve screwed themselves over, it’ll be too late, and will bleed to death.

The second is that the effects will be felt pretty instantly, and they will soon realise the mistake they’ve made, and instantly lobby to get rid of it.

Either way, I can see corporations bleeding money, leading them to a state of panic.

I will say this, though. If the bill doesn’t pass, please buy albums and movies to support your favourite artists and make sure companies don’t have a reason to try again.

If the bill passes, fuck them to hell.

So those are my thoughts on Articles 11 and 13. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and I’m interested in hearing what you guys think, so comment below, I guess.

Anyway, until next time, see ya.


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