Thursday, November 15, 2018

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Warns Against “Unintended Consequences” Of EU’s Article 13 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is once again raising concerns about the European Union’s proposed update to copyright law, warning it would have profound unintended consequences. This is the second time in two months that Wojcicki has written about Article 13, which would make online platforms liable for copyright infringement. She argues that the European Parliament’s approach — which places responsibility on YouTube, , Twitter and other websites to ensure copyrighted material isn’t illegally shared on their platforms — is “unrealistic.” Take Luis Fonsi’s hit song Despacito, whose music video set a worldwide record with 5.6 billion views. The video contains multiple copyrights, and YouTube has a number of licensing agreements in place to pay for rights to the video views. But uncertainty about whether YouTube has identified all the rights holders might lead the video sharing website to block this video, simply to avoid liability, Wojcicki wrote. “Multiply that risk with the scale of YouTube, where more than 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute, and the potential liabilities could be so large that no company could take on such a financial risk,” Wojcicki writes. Wojcicki argues that YouTube has acted responsibly, taking steps to address copyright infringement through technologies like Content ID, and paying out $2.8 billion for third-party use of copyrighted content. That’s on top of the $899 million in licensing rights paid to content owners across the EU last year, and $1.7 billion in shared ad revenue. She urges policymakers to the entertainment industry to find a solution to copyright infringement that would allow the creative economy to thrive. Otherwise, the toll of Article 13 is more than financial. “EU residents are at risk of being cut off from videos that, in just the last month, they viewed more than 90 billion times,” Wojcicki writes.

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