The End of Memes?

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The End of Memes?

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A few weeks ago, a law was approved with 438 votes in favor and 226 against the new (and maybe the most controversial) copyright law in the European Union, which proposes “to reduce the differences between national copyright regimes and allow works across the European Union.”

The truly surprising fact about this news is that it has not become viral despite the consequences it could bring. 

To make this easier to understand, let me give you a brief review since the beginning.  

This law was proposed two years ago but was finally accepted on May of this year. The European Parliament rejected the version of the proposal in July and after “nothing but cosmetic changes” according to Julia Reda, EU Parliament member and a vocal opponent of the legislation, the new version was approved on September 12th. 

Why is this so important? 
Basically, every bit of content registered on social networks, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, etc., is going to have a price and an author. 

This regulation is understandable if we think about the people whose private life was affected after being converted into a meme thanks to the internet.  

Basically, that was the reason why it was created, but… has it gone too far? 

As the title of this article suggests, memes will become the focus of this new law. Sharing, broadcasting or creating memes of your favorite series, movies, songs, people, etc., will be completely illegal unless you have proof that the author has granted you permission or that you have paid them a fee. 

Does it affect people like me or like you?
Of course, but this does not mean that when you share a meme, an officer will arrive at your house or that you will get a fine for breaking the law. 

This law will only affect big companies and for big companies I refer again to: Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and any other social network that has a high activity index. 

The European Union will be responsible for telling the owners of these companies to limit and regulate the content that is uploaded or otherwise they will be forced to face a legal process or a fine of  € 20 million. 

At this point, we must bear in mind that the growth of these social networks has been due in part to the number of memes created and shared, which means that these companies will have to eliminate almost 80% of the content, affecting also the people who have grown on these kind of platforms and those who have invested time and money on the internet until they have turned it into their work.  

When will be the law enforced?
We can continue enjoying the memes with total freedom for now. Although the law was already approved, it does not mean that it will be enforced now. 

The commission will have a private meeting for some months in which they will redraft the law and will organize the essential points. Once this is done, it will undergo a second vote in January.

Until then, the best thing we can do is to wait. 

What do you think? Did you already know about this law? Do you agree or disagree?