YouTube issues pop-up warning users about EU copyright proposal

File photo dated 09/05/15 of a YouTube logo. The Google-owned video hosting website has apologised after technical issues too
File photo dated 09/05/15 of a YouTube logo. The Google-owned video hosting website has apologised after technical issues took the site offline for more than an hour overnight on Wednesday.

YouTube has intensified its opposition against changes to copyright law across the EU that could change what people are allowed to share online.

The Google-owned video sharing site is staunchly opposed to Article 13, which would make it take more responsibility for the copyright status of material posted by users.

YouTube’s latest move against the changes appear in the form of a pop-up, warning users that “Article 13 could have unintended consequences. There is a better way”.

YouTube copyright warning
YouTube’s warning to users about the EU’s proposed copyright law change (Jamie Harris/PA)

A link to a dedicated site highlighting its arguments against Article 13 is also provided, where artists and creators from across the EU share their opposition, alongside an FAQ about the finer details of the proposal.

“Please, let’s find a compromise. Just help us creators be creative,” a quote from London-based YouTuber Humza reads on the page.

“This law might kill freedom of speech: no more parodies, covers, remixes, satyres, self-made artists…” said French YouTube singer Sara’h, who has gained over 1.8 million subscribers from performing covers.

YouTube has warned that platforms like its own may be forced to block the vast majority of uploads, given the uncertainty and complexity of copyright ownership.

“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],” the video sharing website explains.

However, not all creators are on YouTube’s side. A day after the European Parliament announced its decision to pass changes to EU copyright laws, performers gathered outside YouTube’s UK headquarters in protest. Famous names such as Sir Paul McCartney have also spoken out for the copyright change.

The EU Copyright Directive will now be discussed by the European Union Council, Commission and Parliament to negotiate a final text for passage into law.

It will then be put to a final vote in January with the changes expected to be approved.

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