2018/09/19: EU has increasingly been concerned with making its copyright system more modern and more competitive as a whole, to attract investments.
If these provisions are implemented, they could have an impact on the amount of content that is actually available online. But Europe has been heading in this direction over the past several years.
Take linking and Article 11. This would not actually be a huge change: The highest EU court has already ruled on a number of occasions that unauthorized linking to protected content might expose one to liability. Under EU copyright, the core idea is that exclusive rights should be granted a “high level of protection.”
In the U.S., the law provides for a fair-use doctrine, but in Europe, even the making of a meme or a GIF is already a bit risky because of different legal approaches. All EU countries have closed lists of available copyright exceptions. In Europe, if you want to make a GIF from, say, Crazy Rich Asians, you first need to identify whether the law would allow that by means of a relevant exception, and then, if you find this exception, you need to check that all legal conditions are also satisfied.
So what now? If Europeans wish to push back against Article 11 and Article 13, they need to prepare to radically change copyright law, including an overall rethinking of its foundations and approach.
The EU needs modern copyright rules fit for the digital age. The European Commission has presented legislative proposals to make sure that consumers and creators can make the most of the digital world.