I (along with most of my friends and colleagues), grew up with the rise of prominent social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as the fall of some platforms in the likes of Vine.
Not only have these platforms changed an entire generation of social interaction, but they have also begun to define entire subsets of culture.
Memes, online campaigns, and social media stars such as Casey Neistat, Shane Dawson and PewDiePie are all key aspects to the lucrative world of independent creation.
Because of this, these social media stars have been labeled “creators” by most users. Unfortunately, the term “creator” has recently been deemed problematic by some. The concept of Article 13 has sparked violent online conversation across the world.
Article 13, for those unaware, is a European Union sanctioned regulation on copy written content that is slowly being realized on social media. In other words, the free and open use of media without the direct approval of its owner will be more strictly prohibited in certain countries through Article 13.
The regulation could almost be described as a reinforcement of an already existing law. Article 13 provides legal protection of intellectual property in the context of online use. The regulation also provides more incentive for corporations to tighten their grip on their own content.
So then, what does that mean for individuals outside of the European Union’s range?
I believe that Article 13 is a game-changing development. This being said, the nature of the internet is not to be tamed. As a collection of individuals and corporations alike, the internet does not react to regulations in the same way that communities before it have.
It seems to me that the domino effect of Article 13 began long before it was realized.
The inherent concept of intellectual property and copyrighted content have been shifting for years. The line between creative freedom and conceptual ownership is being warped, faded, and at times, seemingly removed entirely.
Certain corporations have historically been protective of their content, whereas some choose to allow creators the option of free use (typically in the name of publicity). Ultimately, this choice remains available.
Will Article 13 eventually change the way we interact with social media on a daily basis? Only time will tell.
Yes, the users and creators of the internet have proven to be resilient, but to what end?
Thomas is a staff writer here at the Crimson. He writes his weekly column, Tommy’s Music Corner, where he dives into the local underground music scene.