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Content Marketing Under The EU Copyright Directive

5 Minute Read:

Do you remember back in 2018 when EU released the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)? Memory a little foggy? Here, let me help.

The GDPR single-handedly changed how websites interact with their EU users by protecting their users personal information, or “cookies”. Because of this, a lot of global companies (that obviously have a presence in the EU) started being more transparent with the information they are collecting all over the world. (Because that’s way easier than just doing it in Europe). This is why every major website now asks you to “Accept” the cookies that they are collecting.

Now the EU is back at it again, changing the way the internet is used in Europe, and essentially the world.

What is the EU Copyright Directive?

In March of 2019, the European Parliament approved the EU Copyright Directive. The new law is intended to update the existing EU copyright laws for the modern internet age.

There are two articles in this law that have the internet all riled up:

  • Article 11 (The Link Tax), and
  • Article 17, (The MEME Ban) – Formerly Article 13.

While both articles are important, today we are going to focus on The MEME Ban.

Out of the whole directive, Article 17 is what has everyone worried, especially marketers focused on content marketing. As stated in the article itself, “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorized protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.” Essentially, it is now up to the service providers (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.) to take down any content that infringes upon a copyright.

What does this mean for content marketing?

So what’s the big deal here? Well, say goodbye to any content that you’ve shared personally or professionally that could infringe upon a copyright (GIFs, MEMEs, photos, and videos). Will you get in trouble if you’ve posted this content in the past? According to this article, it is up to the platforms to regulate the content – remember?

What about brands? Brands are going to have to be more creative with their content marketing strategies and the pop culture references they use. 

To sum it all up, this article is saying that any tech giant/website that houses large amounts of user generated data is subject to regulating any content that infringes on a copyright.

Because of this, there is backlash from the users who share these GIFs and MEMEs, as well as from the tech community. These companies (big and small) now have to create a “Content ID” filter (like the one youtube uses) for people uploading content. Aside from this, these platforms will have to search through & regulate all of the content that they have collected over the years.

What can you do?

All we can do at this point is wait. Keep an eye on our friends over the Atlantic as they finalize the European Copyright Directive, because the social platforms we use every day will surely be getting an update. Feel free to read through the whole Copyright Directive HERE.

Worried about trying to find new ways to be creative?

Don’t sweat it. Feel free to reach out to us if you need any help with your content marketing strategy. Stay ahead of the curve by becoming a thought leader with The S3 Agency.


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