The final version of the EU Copyright Directive is an improvement, but we remain concerned.

Article 17 (formerly Article 13) could still have unintended consequences that may harm Europe’s creative and digital economy.

On March 26th, the European Parliament passed the EU Copyright Directive. In the session, amendments were proposed that might have removed A11 and A13, but by a narrow margin of just five votes, MEPs decided not to debate further changes. The final version of the text is an improvement on the earlier version, but we remain concerned. The EU Copyright Directive could still have unintended consequences that may harm Europe’s creative and digital economy.

Despite the outcome, we are incredibly proud of the many creators and communities who spoke up and made their voices heard. You made an impact. You are responsible for bringing attention to the issues surrounding copyright and ensuring that the creator perspective was heard by lawmakers and the public alike, resulting in improved language in the final EU Copyright Directive’s text. You created a movement that generated the most popular Change.org petition in history and showed the strength and importance of the creator economy.

So, what’s next?

We are completing an analysis to understand the implications of the EU Copyright Directive for all partners, including creators, artists, rights holders and users.

With an EU Directive, it is up to individual Member States to devise their own laws to implement the Directive, which will happen within the next two years.

YouTube’s Plan of Action

We will support the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive by working with Member States to advocate for the incorporation of fair licencing and liability frameworks that support creator expression and the digital economy. We will:

  • Analyze and communicate the impact of the final EU Copyright Directive on all partners, including creators, users, artists, and publishers globally
  • Monitor each country’s implementation plans and timelines
  • Continue to work with the industry & rights holders to find a system where both platforms and rights holders collaborate, including participation in dialogue organized by the EU Commission
  • Provide updates directly to creators via this site. We also have additional resources such as YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s quarterly letter, direct emails, and @YTCreators

In the coming weeks, we will have completed our analysis, and will come back to the community with the details of how the final text will impact European creators, artists, and users.

Hear from artists and creators

Upload-Filter kommen früher als gedacht

PietSmiet

Diskussion über Artikel 13 | Maybrit Illner vom 28.03.2019 | ZDF

ZDF

Axel Voss im Interview | Artikel 13 beschlossen!

HerrNewstime

ES IST VORBEI

ConCrafter | LUCA

Artikel 13 kommt definitiv! Alle Infos.

MrWissen2go

The Jussie Smollett Scandal's New Twists & Corruption Accusations, PewDiePie, & Article 13

Philip DeFranco

Robocopyright - Article 13 Rap

Grandayy

Jordan Peele Hates White Men Clickbait, Brunei is Beacon Of Equality, & Accidental Article 13 Vote

Philip DeFranco

  • More questions? Read the FAQs.

    1. What is Article 17 (formerly Article 13)?

      Article 17 (formerly Article 13, as indicated by the new numeration of the Directive) is one part of a proposed European Union (EU) copyright legislation created with the intent to better protect creativity and find effective ways for copyright holders to protect their content online. (Final approved text here).

    2. What’s the current status of Article 17? And what happens next?

      • On March 26th, the European Parliament voted in favor of the Copyright Directive, including Article 17.
      • The final text will now move forward to the Council for formal approval, which is slated for April.
      • The Directive will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and EU countries will enter a 2 year period where each will decide how to implement the directive as a national law.
    3. What is YouTube’s plan of action?

      Next steps are to support the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive by working with Member States to ensure fair licencing and liability frameworks are incorporated in a manner that supports creator expression and the digital economy. We will:

      • Analyze and communicate the impact of the final EU Copyright Directive on all partners, including creators, users, artists, and publishers for each country
      • Monitor each country’s implementation plans and timelines
      • Continue to work with the industry & rights holders to find a system where both platforms and rights holders collaborate, including participation in dialogue organized by the EU Commission
      • Provide updates directly to creators via this site. We also have additional resources such as YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s quarterly letter, direct emails, and @YTCreators
    4. How is YouTube going to make the site Article 17-compliant?

      The implications of Article 17 are complex - we are currently analyzing the final text. From there, we will also need to analyze each Member State’s implementation legislation, which they have 2 years to write. As this is finalized for each Member State, we will be sure to communicate the details of how we will ensure YouTube is compliant.

    5. What are the issues with the final version of the text?

      The latest text is an improvement over the version adopted by the European Parliament in September 2018. Platforms that are making a good effort to help rights holders identify and protect works should not face liability for unidentified user uploads, especially when neither the rights holder nor the platform specifically knows who actually owns that content. The final text includes language that recognizes that principle. However, the final version of Article 17 still has several points that are concerning.

      Specifically, the final text that was voted through:

      • Fails to clearly outline requirements for how rights holders should cooperate to identify their content. Instead, it introduces vague, untested requirements that could be imposed on well-meaning platforms, content creators and rights holders. This will likely result in online services over-blocking content to limit legal risk.
      • Is unclear on what kind of content platforms like YouTube need to have licences for - e.g. images, paintings, photos, etc. Given that it’s unclear, there's no way to be 100 percent certain whether all the rights are covered at the moment of upload. This could also result in online services over-blocking content to limit legal risk.
      • Introduces potential new legal liabilities and responsibilities for creators.
    6. Would each individual creator need to receive a licence, or can a rights holder grant a blanket licence so anyone can make videos with it?

      It will all depend on how Member States decide to implement the EU Copyright Directive. It is possible that rights holders could grant blanket licences, but Article 17 will make the whole licencing process more complex for everyone given the uncertainty created by the current language.

    7. Will I be able to upload song covers I perform to YouTube?

      Maybe. YouTube will continue to seek licences on behalf of users to create covers songs. The licences require a publisher, the entity that administers the relevant rights, to identify the song being used. If the publisher can not identify the song, or if YouTube is unable to obtain a licence, you might not be able to create covers of as many songs as you can today. YouTube might need to block unidentified covers because YouTube will not know if the cover is licenced or unlicenced.

    8. What if a video is stylized to look like an existing video game, but the assets are actually completely from scratch?

      Copyright is really complex. Any use of a work or of any other content that could be protected by intellectual property laws (such as a picture, a painting, a photo, a piece of furniture, etc.) will make platforms liable under Article 17.

    9. Will YouTube be able to get all necessary licences on creators’ behalf?

      We will do our best, but the ambiguity in the text of Article 17 will open the door to possible claims from rights holders because, even if we get the rights, the data regarding ownership is so poor, we might no know if a license covers a particular piece of content because the rights holder is unable to identify it.

    10. What does this mean for me as a YouTube creator or artist in the European Union?

      YouTube and other platforms may have no choice but to block your existing videos and prevent you from uploading new ones in the European Union unless you can prove you own everything in your videos (including visuals and sounds).

    11. What does this mean for me as a YouTube creator or an artist NOT in the European Union?

      YouTube and other platforms will need to apply the EU Directive to any videos made available to users in the European Union. So depending on the implementation legislation of each Member State - the same video could be subject to different criteria depending on where the video is viewed.

    12. What types of copyrighted content would I not be able to use in my videos?

      Examples of copyrighted material possibly impacted in your videos include images, artwork, software, excerpts from books, music, parodies and much more. (Read more here).

    13. Why aren’t copyright matching tools like Content ID enough?

      With Article 17 as currently written, copyright matching tools like Content ID wouldn't be enough to avoid liability for platforms such as YouTube.

      Content ID works if rights holders use it and provide clarity as to what belongs to them. However, in many cases information on copyright ownership is missing, or there is partial knowledge, meaning that the system would not have sufficient input to accurately identify full copyright information at the point of upload.

      Put simply, a piece of content with partial or unknown ownership might be treated the same as a piece of content that is unlicenced and so would have to be blocked.

    14. What’s up with other platforms? Is YouTube alone in this fight?

      The Copyright Directive won’t just affect creators and artists on YouTube. It will also apply to many forms of user-generated content uploaded onto other platforms across the Internet.

      Many other people are raising concerns too. Individuals, organizations (like European Digital Rights and the Internet Archive), companies (like Reddit, Patreon, WordPress, and Medium), the Internet’s original architects and pioneers (like Sir Tim Berners-Lee), and the UN Special Rapporteur for free expression have spoken out. Creators across the Internet are standing up for their right to create and express themselves, including Phil DeFranco, ConCrafter | LUCA, ZDF, and MrWissen2go.

    15. Which countries would be directly impacted by Article 17?

      All Member States of the EU will have to implement the EU Copyright Directive: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland,Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK (at least for now, it will be up to the UK government to implement the Directive or not. It is possible they will, since they participated in the negotiations. Here’s more about Brexit).