A new copyright law from the European Union would lead to the banning of memes on the internet, digital campaigners are warning.
The EU Copyright Directive intends to protect the intellectual property rights of people who upload their material to the internet.
But critics warn that the rules – which will be debated this month – violate the fundamental rights of internet users and could be used to excessively censor the web.
The campaign against a particular provision of the directive, Article 13, warns that online platforms would be economically damaged if they were forced to comply with its extensive obligations.
Campaigners are arguing that the stringent copyright protections of Article 13 would damage the sharing of parody content and memes. Creatives regularly see their designed memes, remixes or other user generated content modified and reused on social media.
According to the BBC, Article 13 states platform providers should “take measures to ensure the functioning of agreements concluded with rights-holders for the use of their works.”
The Copyright Directive is an attempt to reshape copyright for the internet, balancing the relationship between copyright holders and online platforms.
The law would ‘destroy the internet as we know it’ according to campaigners.
The campaign follows an open letter sent by academics from intellectual property research centres in Europe regarding the directive.
In response to the campaign, a European commission spokesperson told Sky News: “The idea behind our copyright proposals is that people should be able to make a living from their creative ideas.”
“The proposals to modernise EU copyright provisions will not harm freedom of expression on the internet.”
“They take into account technological developments that have already been introduced by some of the major players and which help in two ways.”