Article 13 FAQs
16 April 2019 by Michael Downing
In view of the EU's Article 13 legislation here are the answers to what we anticipate will be questions of concern to business owners…
Q. Do users or companies need to expunge historic memes from their social channels?
A. No they won’t, because Article 13 doesn’t change the basic law on what’s covered. So if it was legal, it still is. Article 13 throws a wall up that stops new stuff being posted on a channel if it looks like it might be an infringement (even if it actually isn’t).
Q. Can I legitimately socially share content where a share button is offered? For example, if a company such as the BBC, provides a Share button to socially share content, is it assumed that they are granting permission to share copyrighted material?
A. Yes, but the permission being granted is to post a link back to their article. Linking is sometimes argued about, but in a simple case of a post that says “you should read this link.. . www.bbc.co.uk/whatever” there is no copyright infringement in any case. If you took the content of the article, adjusted it, and re-uploaded (say) an photo that the BBC owned then you’re infringing.
Q. My company has a blog which allows visitors to comment. Am I responsible for those comments and do I need to disable comments, moderate comments or impose upload filters?
A. Yes, you are. It’s your blog, you are the publisher, so if it starts hosting infringing content then you are potentially liable. Disabling comments is obviously one option, but is potentially counterproductive if the aim of the blog is to encourage interaction. A better option is to watch and review the comments to ensure that they don’t contain infringing material. You can do that by pre-moderating the comments – so that they need to be seen and approved prior to appearing – and that would be the preferred option but you do need to be responsive if the subject is a fast-moving one. The alternative is to keep watch and take down comments that are potentially infringing; the major channels don’t do this as the sheer volume of material makes it impractical, but for a small-ish business blog it may be feasible. You will need to be prompt, though. So either way, some form of alert that a new comment has been posted would be a very good idea.