The Brief: A piece of EU legislation has passed that could, among other things, threaten the free circulation of memes.


The European Parliament has voted in favor of a controversial Copyright Directive. While supporters of the directive argue that it will support content creators, allowing them to be compensated when their work is viewed on other platforms many internet users see this piece of legislation as a significant threat to online freedom. According to critics, article 11, “the link tax” and 13, “the upload filter,” could have devastating consequences for internet users.

The exact implications and implementation of the Copyright Directive are to be determined and remain subject to change by the European Parliament.

Article 13 could pose threats to the freedom of the circulation of memes online, by requiring internet platforms to use software that filters unlicensed copyrighted material. Although memes would usually be protected as parodies, there is currently no way for software to recognize something as a parody.

Many meme makers are expressing their outrage in meme form, both poking fun at the situation, and illustrating the potentially catastrophic effects it could have on this form of online expression.

Is it illegal for Europeans to view American memes? from r/MemeEconomy

#FilterTheFilter boys! from r/MemeEconomy

Article 13 memes are about to be hot, get ready to profit!! from r/MemeEconomy

Potential new format? from r/MemeEconomy

I’m from Europe, this may be my last ever meme. Invest ;( from r/MemeEconomy

Memes shall live on from r/memes

mEmEs aRe iLLeGaL from r/dankmemes

Liberate the meme! from r/dankmemes

I believe this is relevant again. Buy? from r/MemeEconomy