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Europe might ban memes because no one can take a joke anymore

The end is near.

eddie murphy

Uptight bureaucrats in Europe have approved controversial new changes to copyright law that could lead to the end of memes and mashups. The changes would force sites like Facebook and Reddit to examine and censor user content, according to Business Insider.

Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive requires sites to build “content recognition technologies” to scan for copyrighted images, videos, and posts. However, how precisely such technologies might work and who exactly has to implement them isn’t clear.

This uncertainty, not surprisingly, has already led to opposition to Article 13.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, explained:

The EU Parliament’s duty is to defend citizens from unfair and unjust laws. MEPs must reject this law, which would create a Robo-copyright regime intended to zap any image, text, meme or video that appears to include copyright material, even when it is entirely legal material.

Last week, a group of 70 experts including internet creator Vint Cerf and web creator Tim Berners-Lee, signed an open letter criticising Article 13. They wrote:

By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.

Having been approved by an EU committee, Article 13 now goes before the European Parliament on July 13. Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation want European web users to email their parliamentary representatives to complain about the changes.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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