Article 13: UK will not implement EU copyright law


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Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore has said that the UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive after the country leaves the EU.

Several companies have criticised the law, which would hold them accountable for not removing copyrighted content uploaded by users, if it is passed.

EU member states have until 7 June 2021 to implement the new reforms, but the UK will have left the EU by then.

The UK was among 19 nations which initially supported the law.

That was in its final European Council vote in April 2019.

‘Terrible for the internet’

Article 13 is the part of the EU Copyright Directive that covers how “online content-sharing services” should deal with copyright-protected content, such as television programmes and movies.

It refers to services that primarily exist to give the public access to “protected works or other protected subject-matter uploaded by its users”, such as Soundcloud, Dailymotion and YouTube.

Copyright is the legal right that allows an artist to protect how their original work is used.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised the law in March, claiming that it was “terrible for the internet”.

The new reforms have been widely criticised by tech giants such as Google.

The company had campaigned fiercely against them, arguing they would “harm Europe’s creative and digital industries” and “change the web as we know it”.

YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki had also warned that users in the EU could be cut off from the video platform.

Kathy Berry, a professional support lawyer at Linklaters, welcomed the government’s stance on the law, claiming it will “allow the UK to agree to more tech-friendly copyright provisions in free trade deals with other countries”.

The law sparked suggestions from its biggest critics that it would end up “killing memes and parodies,” despite it permitting the sharing of memes and GIFs.



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