EU declares war on memes

EU Parliament passes controversial meme ban.

Kolby Spomer
Staff Writer

In a heart wrenching decision last weekend, the European Union Parliament voted in favor of an extremely controversial copyright directive that would force tech giants like Instagram and Reddit to stop the spread of copyrighted material on their platforms.

The directive, called “The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” officially, is the Union’s best idea of a way to update copyright law for the internet age. 

Until now, the responsibility for enforcing the laws has rested mostly with the owners of the properties, but with this new change, the platforms themselves will be required to uphold policies. 

Does this mean the end of memes as we know it?

Well to be frank, no one really knows. Some of the legislators advocating for the bill have said that memes fall into the category of parody, thus meaning they are free to be shared because one person won’t get the same meaning he or she would from the meme that he or she would have got from the original source.

Those guys are the good ones, you should support those men and ladies all the way. Well, not in every issue. I’m sure some of them suck in other ways, but on the “Meme Ban”, they’re the good guys.

On the other side of the argument are the evil, dumb dummies who say that since the article covers all copyrighted materials, and memes include copyrighted materials, memes obviously should be restricted.

This is a very stupid thing to believe in, and it proves how out of touch politicians can be.

Personally, I think this ban is less about the copyright law and more about getting rid of memes because some companies and groups dislike how their images have been used.

They are images that are being related to things they do not want them to. Like Spongebob being literally anything but a children’s cartoon.

Companies do not enjoy not having control over their own properties, and I kind of get that. If I made a cartoon for kids and saw it being used on Twitter in a very un-kid friendly way, I might be a little annoyed.

But does that give me the right to stop that person from using it that way? Hell no. If that’s how things worked, parody as a whole would be gone forever. 

Another reason some are speculating this decision was made is due to the stigma some memes have. Justifiable or not, some believe memes originated from right wing trenches of the internet. 

For example, look at Pepe the Frog. Pepe started in a comic, was adopted by 4chan, and due to his use on R/the_donald, a subreddit praising Donald Trump, he was declared a hate symbol in 2016. Again, I think that reasoning is dumb, as I’ve seen Spongebob memes on R/the_donald as well, and he hasn’t been declared a hate symbol—yet.

Memes are a way for people all over the world to connect and go “Heh, yeah that’s pretty funny”.

This law will make our world a much less enjoyable place unnecessarily and cause our world to take one more step towards a total Orwellian nightmare. In summation, this is stupid and memes are good for the world. 

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

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