Are crypto memes about to be outlawed in the EU? The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EP) is due to meet June 20, 2018, to vote on the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. If the proposed changes to the Directive are approved by the EU, there will be wide-ranging changes imposed on all internet users. The Directive aims to protect the rights holder of digital content, but it is considered by many to be excessive censorship.

Article 13 of the Directive would force website owners to monitor content for copyright infringement before it is added to their site. For small websites with very little interaction with their website visitors, this would be quite straightforward. Larger sites like Reddit would need to use automatic filters to check each submission before the portal accepts it. The worry is that these filters will be too restrictive and some sites may not be able to afford to implement them. Technically, as Reddit is not registered within the EU, the Directive would not apply to them. As a Directive, it will be up to each EU member state to interpret the text with the likelihood of wide variations being adopted.

If complaints were raised against content on sites hosted outside the EU, like Reddit, EU courts could insist that ISPs block access to the site, as they did with Pirate Bay. Websites in the crypto ecosystem are awash with crypto memes, and many of them would fall foul of the Directive if Article 13 is adopted.

There is an active campaign being run in an attempt to have the Directive amended. MEP, Julia Reda, conducted an ask me anything (AMA) session on Reddit June 6, 2018, highlighting was she sees as unnecessary reforms. Reda has stated that she believes there is currently a “razor-thin majority in favour” of the Directive on the EP’s Legal Affairs Committee. Website is urging readers to Tweet, phone or email their MEP before the vote. They have provided easy to use templates including the following text to use with Twitter “On 20-21 June I count on you to delete Article 13 of the #Copyright in the DSM Directive to protect my fundamental rights from the #CensorshipMachine @AxelVossMdEP – Help #SaveYourInternet”.

The image included with this article is just one of many provided by the website in support of the campaign to quash Article 13. If you don’t want crypto memes outlawed in the EU, please support the campaign.