Skip to main content

YouTube CEO says EU regulation will be bad for creators

YouTube CEO says EU regulation will be bad for creators

/

‘Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs’

Share this story

WIRED25 Summit: WIRED Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Tech Icons Of The Past & Future
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for WIRED25

The European Union’s contentious copyright directive became a major talking point for YouTube creators last month, as people rushed to inform their audiences just how consequential the new directive could become.

Now, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is adding her concerned voice to the chorus. Wojcicki spent the first portion of her letter to creators addressing Article 13, a new requirement that would give YouTube the sole burden of preventing copyrighted content from being uploaded and shared by its creators. Right now, YouTube allows remixed copyright material to exist on its platform under the Fair Use Act. But critics of Article 13 suggest that as YouTube becomes more liable for any copyrighted content, a harsher filter will apply to any video being uploaded to the platform, and that could stifle creators’ work.

It’s a particular issue for YouTube, where Fair Use has allowed creators to thrive, spurring an entire generation of remix culture that defines YouTube’s community. Wojcicki wrote about this problem in her letter to creators, condemning the EU’s decision to approve the copyright directive and acknowledging that this will lead to issues far beyond Europe’s borders.

“This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world.”

“This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” Wojcicki wrote. “And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European Creators, businesses, artists, and everyone they employ. The proposal will force platforms, like YouTube, to prioritize content from a small number of large companies. The burden of copyright proof will be too high for most independent creators to instantly demonstrate. There is a better way forward for copyright online but it’s critical you speak up now as this decision may be finalized by the end of the year.”

Wojcicki isn’t the first YouTube executive to speak out against the EU’s copyright directive. Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of business and the man who oversees creators, issued a blog post prior to the vote, expressing his own concerns about how it could affect creators.

“Copyright holders have control over their content: they can use our tools to block or remove their works, or they can keep them on YouTube and earn advertising revenue,” Kyncl wrote. “In over 90 percent of cases, they choose to leave the content up. Enabling this new form of creativity and engagement with fans can lead to mass global promotion and even more revenue for the artist.”

Even some of the internet’s foremost pioneers — like Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia — have argued that the directive is too vague in its current form to operate properly.

“There is a better way forward for copyright online.”

“We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online,” an open letter reads. “But we cannot support Article 13, which would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks. For the sake of the Internet’s future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal.”

There’s another reason YouTube executives like Wojcicki and Kyncl are outspoken on the issue: if the primary burden lies with YouTube to prevent copyrighted content from spreading, so does the financial weight. YouTube has already invested more than $60 million into its Content ID system, which creators have argued suffers from its own faults. But the new EU directive would pressure YouTube to be even more proactive about protecting itself from being held accountable.

The European Parliament will vote on a final approval regarding the Copyright Directive in January, and, as Wojcicki suggests, its approval will have a major impact on the internet culture that users know today.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Midjourneys

A
Youtube
Alex CranzTwo hours ago
After DART smashed into Dimorphos, I can’t stop thinking about the best “blow up an asteroid” story.

LucasArts and Steven Spielberg came up with The Dig, a game about an astronaut, scientist, and journalist blowing up an asteroid and finding a spaceship inside, and they did it years before Bruce Willis, or NASA. You can still buy and play it on Steam!


R
Instagram
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Everything looks better in slow motion.

Apple’s Dynamic Island alert system isn’t sitting still around your iPhone 14’s front-facing camera array. We’ve been enjoying its contextual animations — and even an Android copycat — since it was unveiled, but take a look at it here, captured at 240fps, to see exactly how iOS applies animations that make it feel a bit more lively.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom5:47 PM UTC
Oracle will pay $23 million to settle foreign bribery charges.

The SEC alleges that Oracle used a slush fund to bribe officials in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

This behavior is sadly common among software companies doing business overseas, and it’s not unique to Oracle. In March, a former Microsoft executive claimed the company spent as much as $200 million a year in bribes for foreign officials.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
E
External Link
Emma Roth3:16 PM UTC
Celsius’ CEO is out.

Alex Mashinsky, the head of the bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, announced his resignation today, but not after patting himself on the back for working “tirelessly to help the company.”

In Mashinsky’s eyes, I guess that means designing “Unbankrupt yourself” t-shirts on Cafepress and then selling them to a user base that just had their funds vaporized.

At least customers of the embattled Voyager Digital crypto firm are in slightly better shape, as the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned FTX just bought out the company’s assets.


M
Twitter
Mary Beth Griggs2:46 PM UTC
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins1:30 PM UTC
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.


A
The Verge
Andrew Webster1:06 PM UTC
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler12:59 PM UTC
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.


J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.