You have probably seen articles and videos talking about Article 13 in relation to online content. This new EU directive has proven to be divisive. However, it is important to be aware of what it is, especially if you are someone who is interested in creating online content.


One reason that online video platforms in particular are concerned about Article 13 is that they could be held responsible for users uploading copyrighted material such as music or movies online.

The rules state that these platforms must show they made the “best effort” to ask permission from copyright holders, ensure their material was not made readily available and that it can demonstrate that anything deemed to have breach the copyright was removed as soon as they were made aware.

The “Meme Amendment”

Once these rules were announced, concerns were raised in the online community that transformative items such as video parodies or reviews would be affected. However, once made aware the rules were amended to ensure that people would still be able to do this under fair use rules.

This is further complicated when someone puts up a livestream of a game- technically, the new copyright is the streamer, but it does also incorporate the music, audio and other elements of the game they are playing. Under the Article 13 rules, this is something that would have to be authorised by the copyright holder.

This is something that in recent years has become allowed and in some cases encouraged by rights holders, even some that in previous times were more restrictive, as companies become more aware of the promotional possibilities that come with livestreaming.


There are concerns that under the new legislation legitimate uploads could suffer. Even before Article 13 has been implemented, the current Content ID and algorithms that video upload sites have been criticised, and some smaller companies have suggested that it may not be possible to put in a system to monitor the usage of copyrighted material.

The counter to this is that a “complaint and redress” system is vital in order to ensure that anyone who is blocked by mistake can have their disputes properly settled.

The future

In both the literal and legislative sense, Article 13 has not been written yet. Companies affected have confirmed that they are monitoring the situation, as the wording of Article 13 seems to be quite ambiguous. While it is understandable that content creators are concerned about the potential legal implications of Article 13, it would appear that it is not as restrictive as people feared. However, it should also be stated that even though Article 13 is an EU directive, it will still apply to the UK even after Brexit as part of the transition period.

If you are someone who posts content online and are concerned about what may happen in the future when Article 13 becomes enforced, please contact Larcomes and we will be happy to go over the situation with you in more detail.