New Copyright Directive

Was yesterday’s announcement really a dark day for internet freedom? And how will it impact Content Marketing practice?

The recent EU Copyright Directive passed by the EU is great news for someone like me – but bad news if you or your agency’s content marketing strategy is taking other people’s content and repurposing it.

The now-passed regulation focuses on Copyright law, and is deemed to potentially change the internet, forever. Specifically, the passing of Article 13* means hosting platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn etc have two years to set up stricter uploading regulation to their sites – or pay hefty license fees for allowing copyrighted content to be uploaded to their website.

They have a dilemma on their hands because 1) stricter uploading rules means less user generated content but 2) they also don’t want to pay millions or billions in copyright fees and lose profitability to maintain the status quo. I very much doubt they will be prepared to absorb that cost, but I could be wrong.

Here in New Zealand there is still concern over lack of urgency from Facebook and YouTube over their inability to control shared footage from the Christchurch terror attack – and what action they will take in future to ensure hatred is not given any oxygen on their platforms. So perhaps their response will be their global make-good to shift attention away from that.

But back to the EU Copyright Directive, which only applies to the EU collective as of now and Member states are now to make the final decision on the implementation of it in their respective countries? Will it affect New Zealand? It may well well filter through us and to other countries, as other significant changes have done in the past.

Article 13* has been clear to ensure Cloud storage and most importantly, memes, are exempt. The introduction of a potential uploading filter and how it will be implemented is still in question with major platforms yet to respond.

The introduction of Article 11* is also an interesting one – search engines and news aggregate platforms would be required to pay copyright fees to use links from news websites. Essentially, a link tax.

This is interesting as media monitoring companies are already hiking prices for direct, PR  and Content Marketing agency clients to cover copyright fees for sharing news media clippings with clients. So my observation would be this is a general shift – yes mostly about money and being paid the dues you as a creator are owed, but generally about the protection of content being shared online, which is currently an uncontrollable beast.

Overall, the EU Copyright Directive and how it is implemented is a step towards regulating the internet, by holding platforms responsible for user generated content uploads.

So what does this mean for us down here, today?

For the content marketing pro’s – it’s actually quite exciting. It likely means there will be greater demand for those of us who curate customised content, and I’m glad. There is a plethora of farmed out content which is underwhelming and brands miss out on the power of new, bespoke, tailored-just-for-you content that inspires, informs and educates.

For a PR-Copywriting-Marketing hybrid like myself, Content Marketing is the perfect union of my areas of speciality and the implementation of the Eu Copyright Directive will mean demand for quality content marketers will be significantly higher. And of course it means Creatives and their work are protected.

So what can you do, before we understand fully how this will impact New Zealand and Australia?   

1)      Use remarketing – it’s cheap, and it works

2)      Build and act on a Content Marketing Strategy – a good one, that you act on regularly

3)      Be open about data use and privacy on your website – and be aware of others where your content is being shared or promoted. That includes platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tik Tok etc

4)      Be mindful of using services such as Fiverr or Upwork for your Content Marketing – much of it is copied and pasted, often from blogs or news articles. Plagiarism in general should not be a core element of your strategy, so an Exclusivity Agreement is recommended, even without the change impacting NZ right now – it’s just good practice

Or for an epic Content Marketing Strategy that speaks to hearts, minds and wallets, you are of course welcome to flick us an email.  

*Articles 11 and 13 are now known as Articles 15 and 17 in the latest regulatory version.

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